Historic Charleston Walking Tour

We believe the best way to explore our city is with a historic Charleston walking tour. Grab your comfy shoes, and get ready to get lost in Charleston's enchanting beauty and rich history. It also doesn't hurt to have a history buff walking alongside you regaling you with the stories of Charleston’s intriguing past. If you find Charleston history as fascinating as we do, we recommend scheduling a tour with 1670 Tours and going for a walk. We did, and here’s what we discovered: Historic Charleston Walking Tour The Charleston City Market is frequently and incorrectly referred to as the slave market, when in fact slaves were never sold here. Beginning in 1804, this market was comparable to today’s farmers market. The front building was used as a meat market, and the carcasses would be thrown onto the streets once the usable meat was sold. Because buzzards were so helpful in getting rid of the rancid meat, a law was passed where they were not to be disturbed when they on the street. The land where the market sits was owned by the Pinckney family who ceded the land to the City of Charleston for the express use as a public market with three stipulations for its future - slaves couldn't be sold here, it had to be open air, and it couldn't be open on Christmas day. These stipulations are still in effect. Sweetgrass baskets are a historically significant, multi-thousand-year-old art form of Africa origin. Sweetgrass palmetto roses and baskets are woven in the market by families who can trace their roots to West Africa. Fun fact: Sweetgrass baskets often contain a plant called bulrush, which is notable for being used in Moses's basket in the Old Testament. Historic Charleston Walking Tour After exploring the market, we ventured over to the French Quarter where we learned about Charleston's religious history. Saint Philips church is not the oldest church in the Charleston, but it is the oldest congregation due to a fire that destroyed the original church building. The graveyard attached to the church is where a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Edward Rutledge is buried. The oldest church building in the city, Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church, was built in 1776. Saint Michael’s pew No. 43, originally known as “The Governor’s Pew,” is known for being the one in which President George Washington worshipped in May of 1791.  Fun Fact: The graveyard houses the largest crepe myrtle tree in the downtown area which blooms with beautiful red blossoms in the summertime. Historic Charleston Walking Tour After meandering through cobblestone streets, we headed toward Rainbow Row which is one of the most picturesque locations in the downtown area. Not only is this the most colorful scene in Charleston, but it's also the longest contiguous row of Pre-Revolutionary War buildings in America. Charleston architecture's most distinctive style is the Charleston single house which is the width of one room and has a piazza on the South or West side. These houses were designed so that every home maximized the property on the street and the airflow from the piazza into the house. Fun fact: There are four main types of architectural influences in Historic Charleston: English, French, African, and Caribbean. Historic Charleston Walking Tour Wrapping up our Historic Charleston walking tour, our group headed back to the hotel through the winding and fascinating alleys of downtown Charleston. These alleys once connected throughout the Historic District and include part of the Charleston Garden Club's gateway walk. The gateway walk was designed in 1928 to connect the 10 gated churchyards from Archdale Street to Church Street. Fun fact (legend): The inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe's poem Annabel Lee is said to be his young girlfriend Anna Ravenel. It is also said that Anna Ravenel is buried in the Unitarian Churchyard in an unmarked grave in her father's attempt to keep poet away from his daughter, even in death. After a long day of exploring, we retired to the Kings Courtyard Inn for the relaxing wine and cheese reception. If you're interested in enjoying a historic Charleston walking tour, please speak to the concierge at any one of the Charming Inns properties, where attention to detail and genuine Southern Hospitality are the highest priority.

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