After our Free Tours by Foot tour of Charleston I asked Daughter what she wanted to do next. I had a plan but that was about to go out the window. Daughter wanted to go back to the market area and maybe (depending on costs) take a carriage tour. My plan was to leave the historic area and head to Drayton for a tour before returning to the airport for our flight home.
We walked back through the market and saw different vendors. Daughter purchased a nice matted photograph for her room. We also looked at various carriage tours and inquired on costs. They all seemed to be around the same price but one vendor thought he would be funny and try to steer us in his direction. He told us most carriages give the same tours but that his tour was not “half-assed and that they use horses for their tours.” Not funny. I am never a fan of bashing another business to make yours look better. And by the way mules are amazing creatures. Guess what tour we did not take?
We walked around to the red barn a block over to inquire if they had room for a tour that afternoon. Luckily for us being a Monday they were not overwhelmed and we were able to secure a tour leaving in a little over 30 minutes.
They offer a waiting area with decent bathrooms. Lots of benches and fans while you wait or you can shop the market and return prior to your tour time.
They pull your carriage team up to the loading area and call your name to board by row. We had 4 in our row and we were seated right behind the driver.
They make a stop on the way out to record with the city the teams name and to find out what tour location they are assigned. This keeps the teams from over heating with breaks and keeps congestion down so all the carriages are not on the same roads.
Our tour allocation put us out near Charleston College and other areas I had never seen before. It was an interesting trip and fun to see some of the sights we had never viewed before. Very different from our Savannah tour but both fun. We loved our mules and the guide really enjoyed his job.
Each team is given rest between tours and longer breaks on hot days. The city keeps a close eye on things but you can tell Palmetto Carriages take care of their animals. It was fun to see the teams in the barn before heading out for our tour.
The cost for adults is $25 and $15 for kids 4-11 years old. You can book online ahead of time to assure your tour here: http://palmettocarriage.com/tours/historic-carriage-tours/