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Visit the historic French Quarter while in Charleston

a stone wall

Named to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s, Charleston’s historic French Quarter was settled as part of the original Charles Towne charter way back in 1680. It eventually adopted the nickname of the French Quarter due to the high concentration of French merchants who settled and worked in the area over the years. As part of the original walled city, this is the oldest area of Charleston and offers visitors many wonderful sites and experiences.

This is a particularly favored area for history seekers as it is the residence of many notable historical buildings. The area also boasts a great variety of restaurants and shops. And, of course, it is the location for one of our most popular culinary tours, the Downtown Charleston Tour! If you want to enjoy fabulous food, make new acquaintances and learn history along the way with a friendly expert tour guide (at an affordable price), we have you covered!

It is our goal that you enjoy every visit to this beautiful city! On that note, we wanted to provide you with a list of some of our favorite places to visit when visiting the French Quarter.

Pink House Tavern

Said to be one of the oldest surviving homes in the south (which is really saying something considering the fact that many structures in this area are several hundred years old!), this little tavern has been everything from a bar to an art gallery and is now a remodeled period-style home. The most unique characteristic is the bright pink facade of Bermuda stone, a type of limestone formed from coral. Since it is a private residence, inside tours cannot be given, but it is a meaningful way to experience a quaint slice of Charleston colonial life with cobblestone roads and all.

Old Slave Mart Museum

Surprisingly, 35-40% of slaves entered the United States through Charleston! This is a fact not known by many visitors. As such, spending some time honoring that past when visiting the city is well worth the time. This auction gallery was built in 1859 and is considered the last slave auction gallery to survive. Often run by volunteers who can trace their history to Charleston slaves, expect to see informational displays, pictures and some artifacts.

Dock Street Theatre

Claimed as one of the first sites of theatrical productions in the United States, this historic landmark opened in 1736. After undergoing several major renovations over the years, the theatre maintains its historical atmosphere while enjoying modern upgrades. Owned and managed by the city of Charleston, it is still a working theatre and is worth the time to go see a production! Check the upcoming schedule here.

Waterfront Park

As one of the most visited parks in Charleston, this beautiful 12-acre area offers beautiful views of Charleston Harbor and the surrounding area. A perfect place for adults to take time to sit and relax after a busy day of sightseeing and for kids to splash and cool off in the two child-friendly fountains. (One of them resembles a pineapple!)

French Huguenot Church

Embedded with a rich history, this beautiful church stands as a reminder of a persecuted people. The Huguenots were a religious group that were a part of the French Protestant movement. Due to intense persecution by the French Catholic Court during the 1600s, the Huguenots fled to other parts of Europe, South Africa and areas along the eastern seaboard such as New York, Philadelphia and other American colonies. The church was built in 1687 where about 450 Huguenots had settled by 1700.

Downtown Charleston Culinary Tour

Every cultural area of a city has authentic food that should be savored and enjoyed and the French Quarter of Charleston is one of the best. That’s why we love our Downtown Charleston tour. This is the tour we recommend to all of our first-time visitors to Charleston because it allows you to experience the most iconic of Charleston history and food while walking some of the oldest and most historic streets in the city. In 2.5 hours you can experience some of our favorite locally-owned restaurants with insights into Lowcountry cuisine and a broad range of samples.

Classic Downtown Charleston Food Tour Includes:

  • All food and non-alcoholic beverage tastings
  • Enough food to make a meal for most
  • A fully narrated tour by a certified Charleston tour guide

Plus, every tour includes free admission to the Charleston Powder Magazine, Charleston’s oldest public building (a $6 value/person).

Our culinary tours are top-rated and we cater to our customers, offering options to fit a variety of tastes, time allowances and budgets. As an alternative to selecting restaurants at random, which can often lead to mealtime disappointment and wasted time researching and reading reviews, go with a trusted source and one that will not disappoint!

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