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Holy City Pirates Tour

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Pirates Tour

This fun and fascinating tour covers the sites and stories of the pirates connected to Charleston, including the gentleman pirate, Stede Bonnet, fearsome woman pirate Anne Bonny and, of course, the most infamous pirate of all…Blackbeard!
Schedule: 2-3x a week
Duration: 90 minutes

This fun and fascinating 90-minute tour covers the sites and stories of the pirates connected to Charleston.

Learn about how the city's walls were made to keep out the pirates, but ultimately failed. See the home of Charleston's first Attorney General, Nicholas Trott, and talk about his efforts against pirates.

Here the stories of the pirates that plagued Charleston

  • Stede Bonnet
  • Anne Bonny
  • Mary Read
  • Lowther
Free Tours by FootExcellentFree Tours by Foot4.9 Based on 241 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onKelly G.Kelly G. ★★★★★ Excellent tour! Our guide - Gia was extremely knowledgable about the city and its history. Highly recommend!Harley L.Harley L. ★★★★★ Gia was charming, knowledgeable and friendly. Recommend this tour to anyone visiting Charleston! We have been on this walking tour before and always learn some new information.Helen S.Helen S. ★★★★★ We took the history tour with Gia who we loved for her knowledge, enthusiasm and great stories. Pace was steady, and not too far in distance so very accessible. Highly recommended for great overview of the city's history in a fun and informative way.Riki B.Riki B. ★★★★★ Very knowledgeable & engaging tour guide. We had a great time.Mark W.Mark W. ★★★★★ Scot was great and an incredible fountain of knowledge! Would do it all over again!!Kathy K.Kathy K. ★★★★★ Amazing tour guide. Scott gave an articulate, interesting, informative tour of the city. I'm so glad we decided to take the tour.Ashley G.Ashley G. ★★★★★ Scott was an incredibly knowledgeable and engaging tour guide. The time flew and he made the tour enjoyable by covering all the highlights and their history, as well as modern day relevance. He went above and beyond to give recommendations throughout the tour for other activities and even restaurants. His love of Charleston and its history was palpable and made the tour all that more enjoyable. Would highly recommend this tour and especially with Scott!Stephen R.Stephen R. ★★★★★ Excellent Tour! Scott is incredibly knowledgeable and engaging. He managed to cram so much info into the tour and keep us interested. I highly recommend!!Samuel V.Samuel V. ★★★★★ OMG!!! Gia Stewart is the most awesome tour guide if you want a thorough & personal history of Charleston! She was very knowledgeable, personable & a complete joy! She is the ONE to tour! She was so engaging that she gifted us extra time too which I totally loved! When we are in town again, we are taking you (Gia) to eat after our next tour! Thank you for just being fabulous!!!Arianna V.Arianna V. ★★★★★ Such a great tour! Loved how much we learned and our guide Gia really made our trip. I can’t wait to book with Gia again because she honestly is a gem and you could feel her passion in what she does. So grateful to have crossed paths with her to best learn about the city!Joelle JJoelle J ★★★★★ Our tour guide Scott was a history encyclopedia! Great story telling and made history fun. Learned so much about the city and a wonderful way to start our trip.Rich G.Rich G. ★★★★★ Gia was our tour guide for the historic tour of Charleston. Shewas very knowledgably and engaging. Thanks Gia for a great timeVicki J.Vicki J. ★★★★★ The walking tour with Diana was truly amazing. She was professional, knowledgeable and kind. She gave us so much fascinating historical information backed up by interesting and funny stories about real people. Her enthusiasm for her profession was obvious. She loves what she does and you'll love it too!!Dennis J.Dennis J. ★★★★★ Diana did a great job with the presentation. She kept it lively while also being very informative along with a touch of humor.SandraSandra ★★★★★ Our guide, Diana Dupuis, was great! She explained the history of Charleston in a fun and interesting way and made sure to point out sights we might want to go to on our own time.I find that I get so much more from a trip when I have the opportunity to walk through a historic area with someone who can point out what I'm seeing instead of just trying to read the plaques on historic buildings!Liza B.Liza B. ★★★★★ Cynthia W.Cynthia W. ★★★★★ Great Information and able to pivot as needed for guests interestsDawn M.Dawn M. ★★★★★ What a great tour! Gia, our guide, is a local Charlestonian. She was delightful, engaging and super knowledgeable.Sonia M.Sonia M. ★★★★★ Nicole D.Nicole D. ★★★★★ My friends and I did two different tours - the History tour with Scott and the Ghost Tour with Gia.History Tour - Scott was extremely informative and knowledgeable. The tour hit many famous spots and Scott knew everything (and the best perspectives for photos). Scott was fantastic at providing specific information to augment the tour for specific individuals (I'm a big fan of The Patriot and he was able to point out some filming spots). Incredible way to start our time in Charleston.Ghost Tour - Gia was very passionate and understanding. She was able to tailor the tour a bit to suit our group's needs (we wanted to know more about pirates, for example.) A highlight would be when the pneumatic decide actually went off as Gia was explaining phenomenon that can occur by a certain graveyard!!Amanda M.Amanda M. ★★★★★ My family and I absolutely loved this walking tour. Super informative, not too strenuous, and the guide (Scott) was so helpful and kind. We loved all of the different areas we got to see of Charleston and highly recommend this tour to anyone and everyone visiting the area!Karen L.Karen L. ★★★★★ We had a wonderful and informative tour with Scott. He answered all of our questions concerning the history of Charleston. He made sure the pace was good for all ages in the group, and even gave recommendations for lunch. Great tour!Jocelyn S.Jocelyn S. ★★★★★ Definitely worth doing!We did the 2 hour Ghosts of Charleston tour with Gia.My friends and I were a little skeptical at how this ghost tour world compare to some of the others in Charleston, but it wasn't lacking at all! Our tour group was only 10 people total, which allowed our guide, Gia, to have plenty of conversation with us. The tour felt personal and well thought out.Bina J.Bina J. ★★★★★ Scott was an awesome tour guide. Got a great overview of the history of Charleston and recommendations for places to visit.Patricia P.Patricia P. ★★★★★ Scott was very informative about the history of the city and the practicality of being a tourist in the city. I plan to return with others and do the tour again.Dave L.Dave L. ★★★★★ Scott was a great tour guide! This was a great way to explore and learn the history of Charleston. He also had great recommendations for us for the rest of our trip, including restaurants and other sites to see. Highly recommended!Sheryl HSheryl H ★★★★★ Scott is an awesome tour guide. He’s not only a wealth of information, but he’s fantastic with his delivery, keeping us entertained and intrigued for the two hours we were with him. Highly recommend this tour!Lizette M.Lizette M. ★★★★★ Gia Stewart was a super knowledgeable, friendly, energetic tour guide for our Charleston SC history tour! Highly recommended!Melanie B.Melanie B. ★★★★★ Scott gave us a delightful historical overview tour of downtown Charleston. We learned all about the formerly walled city and how the town has grown over the centuries since. The 2 hour tour passed by quickly, and we enjoyed it all. Thank you.Kristine N.Kristine N. ★★★★★ The tour was informative, interesting, and fun! Scott was very knowledgeable and witty. We were so pleased that we have already booked another tour with him for next month when more guests come to visit!Michael T.Michael T. ★★★★★ Passionate, thorough, and entertaining explanations from Diana, a transplant from out of state who has taken firm root in Charleston. More than rote recitation of dates and trivia, rather an interpretation of how environment and personalities combine to create history.Victoria C.Victoria C. ★★★★★ We did the historic tour with Gia and really enjoyed it. Gia was a great and fun guide - she showed us many beautiful places, shared interesting insights and gave us recommendations. Definitely would recommend!yechiel S.yechiel S. ★★★★★ Great tour, very knowledgeable guide, very engaging! Highly recommended!C T.C T. ★★★★★ Gia was awesome!!Chris O.Chris O. ★★★★★ I have taken several tours with this company in different cities. All the guides have been extremely knowledgeable, personable and accommodating. My guide, Diane, was exceptional. I highly recommend her tour in Charleston.Cheryl H.Cheryl H. ★★★★★ Excellent!! Entertaining, informative, engaging. Diana knows her history and it shows. I could have listened to her all afternoon!!Brianna T.Brianna T. ★★★★★ We did the garden geek tour with Wendy. She was so kind, knowledgeable, and passionate about the city. She taught us about the local gardens as well as some history and culture. Highly recommend!colette L.colette L. ★★★★★ Gia was fantastic and very knowledgeablePirate tour great. Be prepared to walkKomali V.Komali V. ★★★★★ The tour was great and our tour guide Scott was amazing. I would 100% recommend to add this your 'to-do' list when you're visiting Charleston.Lana J.Lana J. ★★★★★ Scott was FANTASTIC! What a wonderful time learning all about Charleston with him. Absolutely book a tour with Free Tours by Foot, such a great way to take in the city. 🤩Christiane H.Christiane H. ★★★★★ Scott was a very knowledgeable and nice guide who provided us with all relevant information and gave us some great tips for the afternoon and evening .Alina Ispas M.Alina Ispas M. ★★★★★ Scott was very knowledgeable about everything from the history of Charleston to present day events and habits. He was very mindful about all of our individual needs and questions, and took great care of us throughout the tour! Really appreciated the recommendations for restaurants and activities he gave us as well!Al A.Al A. ★★★★★ We enjoyed the walking tour with Diana. She is very knowledgeable and fun.Marybeth K.Marybeth K. ★★★★★ Gia was phenomenal - so educational and personable. We had so many questions for her and she had great stories to share. 10/10 would do any other tours of hers!!!Emily O.Emily O. ★★★★★ Our architecture tour with Gia was STELLAR. So fun, so informative, and so many fabulous recommendations. Gia said she has only been a tour guide for 5 years, but she has the knowledge of someone leading tours for 20! Definitely would recommend her tours 🙂Tara B.Tara B. ★★★★★ Gia was phenomenal! She was so enthusiastic and passionate about Charleston. We did an architectural walking tour and she was able to answer every single question we threw at her far beyond architectural questions. Recommendations, stories, history, you name it! She even continued to chat with us and spill more knowledge after our time ended. Would recommend booking a tour with her to anyone visiting Charleston!joan O.joan O. ★★★★★ Our tour guide was a "Fountain of Knowledge" and I learned so much about the history of Charleston.Dina T.Dina T. ★★★★★ We had Diana for our tour guide on our recent visit to Charleston (March 2023) and LOVED it. It was truly a highlight of our trip. She did a great job talking about Charleston's rich history as she led us through the city. It was a little over 2 hours and I could have gone longer. (Reposting with personal profile and removing from work profile).Doris B.Doris B. ★★★★★ Geri K.Geri K. ★★★★★ This was the first time we took a free tour by foot and it will not be the last!!! I will try this tour in every city I visit where it is offered! Our tour guide in Charleston, SC was terrific! He was knowledgable and personable and made the entire tour entertaining and educational! I highly recommend this tour!js_loader

Sites we see on the tour:

  • Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
  • High Battery
  • Missroon House
  • White Point Gardens
  • Pink House
  • Pirates House
  • St Philip's Cemetery
  • Powder Magazine
  • Nicholas Trott's House

Recommend for ages 12 and up.


Parking: Because this tour begins in the French Quarter and ends at the battery, street or metered parking near the intersection of Broad and Church Streets is recommended.


Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more should review our group booking policy.

Charleston city regulations allow only 20 participants (including children) per tour guide.  This is a hard cap.  Reservations are required and must be an accurate number of persons, regardless of age.

Where:  We meet in the St. Phillips Church parking lot parking lot next to the Powder Magazine, 79 Cumberland Street (map)

The tour ends at White Point Garden at the southern tip of the peninsula.

Duration: Approximately 90 minutes.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.

Though our tours work on a pay-what-you-like basis, we must charge $3 upfront cost per ticket to cover an admin fee and the tour tax that the City of Charleston imposes per participant on any tour within the city plus the administrative fees to handle.

When:

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