We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Clarify Carriage Tours?

Which Charleston hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
New England
Level Contributor
88 posts
250 reviews
Save Topic
Clarify Carriage Tours?

I have read the postings on carriage tours and looked at the Charleston Visitor Center website and I'm still not clear on how the tours work. Is there one pick up spot for all tour regardless of provider or do you go to the barn of a specific provider and the barns happen to be located near one another? Ditto on the tickets. Do you purchase a ticket from a specific provider or a generic ticket from the visitor center for travel on any provider? If you chose a specific provider, is there one that is preferred? Finally, are there any evening carriage rides if we wanted to take a ride around 5:30 or 6 this Saturday?

Thanks for any help!

Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
Level Contributor
10,910 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Clarify Carriage Tours?

Carriages all pick up by the Market. Most of the barns are very close to there also. You can go to the barn if you wish, but as I recall you will just buy a ticket and told to stand at the pick up spot. There is no generic ticket seller. I don't really remember how late they operate. If you google charleston sc carriage tours - you should get links to some of the various providers and it may tell the hours they operate.

The tours are pretty much the same, drivers have to pass a history test before getting the job. Now and then someone will say that they thought the ticket seller or driver, etc were rude, but that is an exception, they are all pretty nice. So - there is not really a "preferred" provider.

Edited: 23 June 2010, 20:52
Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston
Level Contributor
3,950 posts
308 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Clarify Carriage Tours?

They all leave from the same point which is about the middle of The Market and when they finish boarding they approach a city run booth. The city employee counts the number of people on the carriage and checks their license then assigns the route by selecting a ping-pong ball like a lottery system.

I would go early because the horses/mules are not allowed to work if the temperature gets too hot. This is very closely regulated, too.

I agree that all are about the same with the same training and all have to pass a test to be licensed. I have never seen any being anything but nice and very friendly.

Sometimes there are discounts for one company or another at the Visitors Center.

Level Contributor
13 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Clarify Carriage Tours?

There are five companies all who operate from a carriage zone at the Market. Palmetto, Old South and Olde Towne will load you in their barns immediately adjacent. Classic and Polo will load you on the street. All operate on the same lottery system. The only issue for you is that the city only gives tags for an hour tour through the residential area until 5:30. ANYTHING after that will be a shorter tour at a lesser rate and won't include the residential areas. You will get history, anecdotes, churches, public buildings, the Market, Waterfront Park, etc...just not the lovely homes. Palmetto operates tours in the evening on Saturday. Have fun!

New England
Level Contributor
88 posts
250 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Clarify Carriage Tours?

Thank you all!! Very helpful. I think we will take an early morning tour to ensure we can see the home too.

5. Re: Clarify Carriage Tours?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 23 December 2010, 06:15