Whenever my family and I travel we love to take tours of the places, predominantly cities, that we visit to get a good understanding of where we are and also what there is to do overall. Normally, with kids we either do a bike tour or bus/trolley tour.
Since Charleston was the chosen spot for my hubby’s and mine getaway this year, I decided to do a walking tour. Normally this is a huge red flag with kids, they get restless, tired and bored. So, for once, we can do big people tours.
After much research I decided to go with Charleston Sole. There were several tours to choose from, but at the end of the day it boils down to service. Brian, the owner, was amazing from the start. He answered my questions and emails within a couple of hours. And he simply had a fun feel about how he worked.
Charleston Tours – Walking Through History
This is the first time we have ever done a walking tour. We’ve been to many, many places and usually do other sorts of tours. But, while doing any kinds of tours in other cities, we rarely noticed other tours around us, either they were few or we were the only ones doing a tour. Normally, the hop on hop off buses is a hot attraction because it’s easy, you can do many stops, but other than those, nothing ever stuck out.
In Charleston doing a walking tour is THE thing to do! OMG, I have never seen so many walking tours in my life.
I absolutely loved seeing how interested people are in learning about this southern gem and loved that this is a huge part of the local economy.
I can not compare our experience to others, but I have to say, we lucked out with Brian. You know when you meet some people in life that are so obviously doing what they love that it’s not really work but an extension of who they are. And if they weren’t doing it in front of you, or for money, they would still be doing it.
This is Brian. If he wasn’t giving tours, I can almost guarantee he would be learning and talking about all the historic places and events that happened in Charleston with his buddies, wife, kids or anyone else that would join in. Now he gets to share his wealth of knowledge with travelers and teach us so much as well.
First and foremost, Brian is a born and breed Charleston man. Secondly, he is a total history buff. The combo worked perfectly in his favor.
The tour is about two hours long and, gratefully, Charleston is not only a beautiful, small city, but also really flat. I’m not sure if I would be excited about doing a walking tour in a city like San Francisco (but I had no idea about the layout before arriving).
Charleston, South Carolina – Rich in History
- It was first founded in 1663 as a British colony.
- During its early days it received many attacks from Spain and France.
- Pirate attacks were also common so a fortification wall had to be built.
- Charleston was a leading city until the civil war when it was devastated.
- Charleston’s oldest and most noted church, was built on the southeast corner in 1752
- The following year the capitol of the colony was built across the square.
- By 1790 Charleston had become a trade center.
- The College of Charleston was built in 1770 and is now the oldest college in South Carolina, the oldest municipal college in the United States, and the 13th oldest college in the United States.
- During the 17th and 18th centuries slave trade was a big business. Tons of Native Americans were sold during this time.
- Charleston became a focal point in the ensuing American Revolution.
- It was home to the protest of the Tea Act of 1773. Charlestonians confiscated tea and stored it in the Exchange and Custom House.
- Representatives from all over the colony came to the Exchange in 1774 to elect delegates to the Continental Congress, the group responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence.
- The Capitol building burned down in 1788 during the Constitutional Ratification Convention.
- By 1792, the Capitol had been rebuilt and became the Charleston County Courthouse.
- Charleston became even more prosperous in the plantation-dominated economy of the post-Revolutionary years.
- On December 24, 1860, the South Carolina General Assembly made the state the first to ever secede from the Union.
- Exactly one month after that a massive fire burned 164 acres of Charleston, including the Cathedral of St John and St Finbar, and many of the city’s finest homes.
- In 1867 Charleston’s first free secondary school for blacks was established.
- On August 31, 1886, Charleston was nearly destroyed by an earthquake.
- Because of its historical importance Charleston is now a major tourist destination, with a considerable number of luxury hotels, hotel chains, inns, and bed and breakfasts and a large number of award-winning restaurants and quality shopping.
Information for Charleston Sole Walking Tours
Address: Brian Simms, Proprietor & Narrator, Charleston, SC 29402
- Monday—Sunday: Morning Tour, 10 a.m.
- Monday—Sunday: Afternoon Tour, 2 p.m.
- Adults – $20.00
- Children 6-12 – $10.00
- Under 6 – Free