Walk the Walled City of Charleston

10 People Max

2 hours

1.5 Miles

$27 adults
$20 kids

What to Expect

Did you know that during the 18th Century, the walled city of Charleston was complete with a moat, drawbridge, and gate?! On this tour, you’ll learn all about where the walls stood, why they were here, and how they helped Charleston survive the most tumultuous time in it’s 350-year history.

Charles Town, as it was then known, was one of only three walled cities in North America (St. Augustine FL and Quebec were the others).

From the beginning, Charlestonians feared three main threats– the French & Spanish, hostile American Indian tribes, and disease. They built walls and a series of military defenses to ward off all three.

The walls  of the walled city of Charleston have been gone for over 250 years, but the impact of the walls on modern Charleston can still be seen today. 

One way to experience the impact is to walk the location in which the walls and defenses once stood, and hear the stories of how they came to be, and how they protected Charlestonians from invasions, and even ruthless pirates.

 

Departure Details

The walled city of Charleston tour will leave from the US Custom House at 200 East Bay St. at the time you select.

We ask that you please try to arrive at least 10 minutes before departure time.

You can meet your guide at the left-hand corner of the main steps on Bay Street.

charleston walking tour, virtual tour, custom house

Highlights of the Walled City of Charleston

Craven Bastion
US Custom House
We'll set the scene for what life was like in Charles Town at the turn of the 18th Century, when they began work on the walls. The city was very different then, but the imprint of the colonial city still remains.
Craven Bastion
Carteret Bastion
Cumberland & Meeting
You'll learn about the oldest public building still standing in South Carolina as we make our way to the site of Carteret Bastion. There, you'll hear the story of Charleston's encounter with the Yamasee tribe and it's effect on the colony.
Carteret Bastion
The Gate
Meeting & Broad
Charleston's most prominent intersection was also the location of the gates and drawbridges that gave access to the walled city of Charleston. Learn the history of this important location and why it has mattered so much in the political, cultural, and historical life of the city.
The Gate
Colleton Bastion
Meeting & Tradd
We'll continue to explore Meeting St. South of Broad and you'll hear about the interesting homes and architecture as we make our way to the site of Colleton Bastion, where you'll hear about the role the walls played in the Golden Age of Piracy and what happened when Blackbeard blockaded Charleston harbor.
Colleton Bastion
Granville Bastion
The Battery
We'll walk the path of what used to be a large creek, just outside the walls, and come to what is now the High Battery. Enjoy the views and sea breeze as you hear the fascinating story of what happened when Charleston was invaded by French and Spanish forces.
Granville Bastion
Where a redan once stood
The Walled City of Charleston Exhibit
Just north of Granville Bastion, and across from Charleston's famed Rainbow Row is a small exhibit from the Charleston's Walled City Taskforce. We'll stop and take a look at the site of what used to be one of the redans in the wall, and learn about the history of what is now East Bay St.
Where a redan once stood
The Half Moon Battery
The Old Exchange
On the shaded side of Charleston's most historic public building, you'll hear about what makes the spot so significant in the colonial life of the city, and we'll talk about what colonial life was like for the enslaved people of the walled city of Charleston.
The Half Moon Battery
A complete tour
Back to the Beginning
We'll finish up our route by heading up East Bay Street back to the Custom House. Along the way, you'll learn more about the bustling colonial waterfront, and how colonial Charleston and it's walls are still impacting modern Charleston today.
A complete tour

but wait, there's more!

No, seriously, there is a lot more! Those are just some of the stops you’ll make, and just a small sample of all of the amazing things you’re going to learn and experience. And of course– we’ll answer all of your questions! 

Don’t miss out…

Book Now