Which Charleston Tourist Pass is Best?
This post will provide details about each of the tourist passes that are available in Charleston, South Carolina. We will also compare and contrast all of the services they offer to help you make a decision about which one to purchase.
If you’re looking for one easy pass you can use to enter several historic and notable sites in Charleston, this service is definitely worth considering.
The Charleston Tour Pass provides free access to 40 popular attractions and activities in the city, giving you the opportunity to save a lot of money on general admission prices.
Check out our personal experience with the Charleston Tour Pass when we used it on our visit to Charleston:
In addition to plantations and tours, they also offer free tastings at a few restaurants in the area. Here are just a few places you can expect to visit with the help of this tourist pass.
We will include the average price you can expect to pay for each activity without the pass.
- Charleston Speedboat Adventures |
- Palmetto Carriage Works Tours |
- Haunted Charleston Walking Tours |
- Nathaniel Russell House Museum |
- Aiken Rhett House Museum |
- Charleston Tea Plantation |
- Gray Line City Bus Tour |
- Charleston Harbor Tour |
- Boone Hall Plantation |
- McLeod Plantation |
- Fort Sumter Tour |
Free Drinks & Meals
- Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts – One free doughnut
- Revelry Brewery Co. – Two free pints
- Fire Distillery – Free tasting & souvenir shot glass
- Palmetto Brewing Co. | Free flight
- Deep Water Vineyard | Free tasting
- The Grit Counter | $7 Voucher
- 1-Day Pass: $69/Adults | $39/Children
- 2-Day Pass: $114/Adults | $62/Children
- 3-Day Pass: $144/Adults | $82/Children
- 4-Day Pass: $174/Adults | $99/Children
- 5-Day Pass: $199/Adults | $113/Children
There is a lot of potential value behind this tourist pass. It would be almost impossible to see and do everything they offer – even if you choose the 5-day pass – but you can still save a lot of money with this service.
The Charleston Tour Pass includes admission to several locations that would normally cost $24-$26 per person. If you used the pass for just three of these attractions per day, you’d more than pay for its cost.
Add in a few of the free drinks and meals and you’ll end up saving a lot of money while taking in the atmosphere of this historic city!
Here’s an example of how you could use the 3-day pass to save money:
- Palmetto Carriage Tour | $28
- Fort Sumter Tour | $24
- Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour | $30
- Glazed Gourmet Donut | $3
- Charleston Speedboat Adventures | $79
- Nathaniel Russell House Museum | $12
- Boone Hall Plantation | $24
- Firefly Distillery Tasting & Shot Glass | $7
- Charleston Harbor Tour | $29
- Charleston Tea Plantation | $12
- Aiken Rhett House Museum | $12
- Palmetto Brewing Co. Free Flight | $10
Total Value: $270
Total Price: $144
Total Savings: $126 (around 47% off)
As you can see, it’s actually not too difficult to save a lot of money with the Charleston tour pass. You could potentially add a few extra activities to the itinerary we have listed above, making your total savings over 50% off!
Other benefits of this pass
This is a great pass for a quick trip or for those who just aren’t sure what they want to see.
In addition to free admission to some of the major sites, the pass separates which sites require timed reservations (like the Harbor Tours and Ghost Tours) and which you can just walk in during opening hours.
There is also a map to show you where the sites are so you can see what might be nearby.
Things to Note
This is a mobile pass that you can download to your phone. When you arrive at your chosen site, you’ll show the pass on your phone and the vendor will login on your app.
You must book featured attractions that require reservations ahead of time on the pass (hotel WiFi is a good option), but for walk in attractions, you can present your Pass ID (located on the main page of the app).
The customer service and communication with the Charleston Tour Pass representatives and the vendors is phenomenal!
Questions were quickly answered and during our personal use of the Charleston Pass (and you’d think we’d get this right since we work in the tourism industry) the wrong date was booked but the Charleston Harbor Tour desk was able to right then and there quickly and easily change our reservation to the boat tour we wanted.
The Charleston Heritage Passport focuses primarily on providing admission to historic sites around the city. Although they don’t offer access to as many attractions, you can get this pass for up to 7 days and take your time visiting each of the locations that are included.
To top it off, this service is also much more affordable and provides entry to sites not included by their competitors.
Here is a list of each historic site you can visit with the Charleston Heritage Passport:
- Drayton Hall Plantation
- Middleton Place Plantation
- The Charleston Museum
- The Gibbes Museum of Art
- Nathaniel Russell House Museum
- Heyward-Washington House Museum
- Aiken-Rhett House Museum
- Joseph Manigault House Museum
- Edmondston-Alston House Museum
- 2-Day Passport: $52.95 per person
- 3-Day Passport: $62.95 per person
- 7-Day Passport: $72.95 per person
Although it might be difficult to see all of these places in just 2 or 3 days, you’ll still be saving quite a bit of money on admission by purchasing the 7-day pass. If you were to pay for individual tickets to each location, you would end up spending a total of $145.
The Charleston Heritage Passport allows you to save up to 65% on everything. Travelers who have an interest in seeing all of these sites will definitely get a lot of value out of this tourist pass.
In this video, you can see some of the historic homes included in the Heritage Passport.