There’s no better way to experience a city than by walking its streets with a local expert who can tell you about the area’s history, unique buildings and hidden charms. A guided walking tour also offers you the opportunity to get a closer look at architectural details, discover local haunts and hear stories you won’t find in guide books.
Planning a trip to South Carolina? Consider taking one of these highly rated and unique guided walking tours:
Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages
These enchanting pathways, often inaccessible by car, are easily overlooked among the Holy City’s many beautiful homes and historic buildings. Lowcountry Walking Tours offers a two-hour tour of the city’s most interesting cobblestone, brick and stone lanes, providing you with a different perspective of a bygone era.
Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour
In a city famous for its cuisine, a culinary tour is a great way to sample dishes from some of the area’s most-acclaimed restaurants. Charleston Culinary Tours offers food tours of Charleston’s Historic French Quarter, Upper King Street and farm-to-table restaurants.
The Ghosts of Charleston Tour
Nightfall is the perfect time to visit Charleston’s ghostly haunts. Buxton Books guides will recount some of the city’s many supernatural events, including recent encounters at the eerie 18th-century Unitarian Church Graveyard.
Historic Bluffton Walking Tour
This tidewater town near Hilton Head Island may be known for its quirky “state of mind,” but it has some serious heritage to go along with its off-beat vibe. The Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center offers a walking tour through Old Town Bluffton that will take you past its beautiful antebellum homes and historic churches.
Janet’s Walking History Tour
Walk among the magnificent antebellum homes of Beaufort’s National Historic District and listen to the spellbinding history of this riverside town dating back to the 16th century. From treasure-hunting pirates to wealthy planters, Beaufort’s storied past is full of great tales highlighted by its role during both the Revolutionary and Civil wars.
Main Street Walking Tour
The downtown street, starting from the South Carolina State House to Elmwood Avenue, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, with architectural styles spanning three centuries. During the tour, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of Columbia’s dynamic commercial district, which has seen a redevelopment boom in recent years. The tour is offered Saturday mornings during the Soda City Market so you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy this popular weekly event.
West End Walking Tour
This tour begins at the birthplace of Greenville—Reedy River Falls in the beautiful Falls Park. It’s here where Vardry McBee built a grist mill in 1816. As you walk through the bustling West End, your guide will point out a number of historic buildings, including the 1882 Huguenot Mill that helped transform the small trading post town into the “Textile Center of the World,” as well as the Gower, Cox and Markley Carriage Factory buildings, now part of the corridor’s lively dining and entertainment offerings.
Charleston isn’t the only South Carolina town boasting legends of other-worldly visitors. Learn about Aiken’s ghostly sightings on this fun, nighttime walking tour offered by Tailored Tours of Aiken. In addition to sharing stories of spirits and bits of Aiken history, your guide will use ghost-hunting tools to search out the haunted souls who are said to still frequent the town.
Strollin’ on the Sampit Walking Tour
Led by a guide who grew up in Georgetown, this 12-block tour of the historic district starts with a stroll along the Sampit River before entering the town’s residential area where you’ll get an up close and personal look at its historic homes, churches and cemeteries, some predating the Revolutionary War.
Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Take a 90-minute tour of downtown Rock Hill, once just a railway stop between Columbia and Charlotte. Among the points of interest is the former McCrory’s where nine students from Friendship Junior College were arrested after sitting down at the “Whites Only” lunch counter, making them the first sit-in protesters of the Civil Rights Movement to be imprisoned.