Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates believes their beautiful city can be explored in many humane ways without abusing animals that work in urban environments. If you plan to visit Charleston, check out alternative ways you can enjoy the city in place of a horse carriage tour.

Humane Activities to do in Charleston!

  • Pumpkin Patch, September 30 – October 29 2023

    Annual fall event at Legare Farms, Johns Island, with pumpkin picking, hayrides, farm animals, horse rides
    and other activities.
  • Boone Hall Farms Pumpkin Patch, September 29 – October 29 2023

    Annual fall festival (Fridays to Sundays) at Boone Hall Farms, with tractors tours, corn maze, petting zoo,
    shows, exhibits, crafts, pumpkins, food vendors and live performances.
  • The Fall Tours, October 11 – November 4 2023

    The annual fall home and garden tours of the Preservation Society of Charleston, with various tours focused on
    architecture, gardens and history, some visiting private Charleston residences not usually open to the public.
  • Charleston Beer Week, October 28 – November 5 2023

    Annual beer festival featuring a variety of craft beer events across the city.
  • Charleston Farmers Market, Saturdays April through November 2023

    Very popular weekly farmers market in Marion Square, with produce, prepared foods and other goods from
    local vendors, arts and crafts, and live performances.

  • Charleston Scottish Games & Highland Gathering, November 4 2023

    Annual Scottish heritage festival at Riverfront Park, North Charleston, with traditional athletic contests,
    Scottish music and dancing, Scotch tasting, food and more.

  • From Harborview to the Harbor Fall Garden Tour, November 5 2023

    Fall tours of private gardens in the Charleston/James Island area, in association with the Charleston
    Horticultural Society.

  • Holiday Festival of Lights, November 10 – December 31 2023

    Big annual drive-through holiday lights show at James Island County Park, plus holiday food and shopping,
    Santa Village and more.

  • Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble 5K, November 23 2023

    Annual Thanksgiving run/walk through downtown Charleston, with start and finish lines at Marion Square.

  • A Christmas Carol, November 29 – December 22 2023
    Holiday musical at the Historic Dock Street Theatre.
  • Charleston Holiday Market, December 2-3, 9-10, 16 2023
    Popular annual holiday market in Marion Square.
  • Holiday Swing: Charleston Jazz Orchestra, December 2 2023

    Holiday concert at the Charleston Music Hall.

  • Kiawah Island Marathon, December 9 2023

    Annual marathon and half marathon races on Kiawah Island.

  • Reindeer Run, December 9 2023

    Annual holiday 5K run/walk and costume contest in downtown Charleston to benefit the MUSC Shawn
    Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

  • A Gullah Christmas Concert, December 13 2023

    Holiday concert at Boone Hall Plantation, with Gullah Christmas stories and songs.

Best of Charleston 2024

Check out the best of Charleston’s Culture, Arts, and entertainment! Whether you are looking for a night on the town, the perfect brunch spot, or just wanting to soak in history, you can enjoy all things Charleston without the inhumane practice of horse carriages. See the list here!

Ship on the water during sunset

Schooler Pride in the harbor during sunset.

Want to tour the city in style?

Bike rental sites are available around the downtown area — Biking is a great way to exercise while you tour the city at your own pace without the inhumane practice of horse carriages. See Charleston from the sky with private helicopter tours or charter a boat with one of many boat tours available, like the 84′ tall ship Schooner Pride. To get up close and personal with the harbor’s marine life, paddleboard and kayak tours are the way to go.

Bus tours like Gullah tours will give you special insight into the rich cultural history of the Lowcountry, but walking tours will let you get up close and personal with the city’s incomparable history and culture.

Replica 17th century trading vessel ship

The Adventure, a replica 17th century trading vessel at Charles Towne Landing.

Looking for fun for the whole family?

Beautiful Southern weather allows outdoor play and exploration year-round. Spend your day learning about regional history at Fort Sumter, an iconic island fortification notable for two battles of the Civil War, Fort Moultrie, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which offers a train tour, or Charles Towne Landing, the birthplace of the Carolina colony. Discover the beauty of avian and marine life at The Center for Birds of Prey: The Avian Conservation Center and the South Carolina Aquarium. Bond with the family over engaging outdoor activities like Big City Hunt, a city-wide scavenger hunt. Or, visit any one of the 33 county parks. Museums like Patriots Point, a maritime museum on the harbor, Charleston Museum, Gibbes Museum of Art, and Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, a hands-on museum for kids, also give families the opportunity to learn together and keep the little ones occupied with interactive exhibits.

In town for a conference?

When you come to Charleston for a specific event, you shouldn’t count out all other fun. The historic city has plenty of engaging and interesting activities for individual adults. Shop the historic streets of The Market area, a 200 year old market complex that spans 4 blocks. Make new friends at local distilleries and brew houses or find the perfect place to meet colleagues after panels on any one of Charleston’s rooftop bars and watch the sun set over the city skyline. If you just want to waste time or get away from the busy conference center for a bit, stroll through White Point Garden, a public park with stunning views of the Harbor and Fort Sumter.

Charleston wine tasting room

The tasting room at Mira Winery.

Enjoying a romantic weekend getaway?

Voted the best city for a romantic escape in 2015 by Travel + Leisure, Charleston’s cobblestone streets, Avenue of Oaks, waterfront swings, and charming gardens makes it the perfect destination for your couple’s getaway. Escape to Morris Island, an uninhabited island accessible only by boat, or watch the sunset from a sailboat in the harbor over dinner for 2. Head to one of the local beaches for the day to stroll in the sand and waves and relax in the sun. Folly Beach is popular with the local surfing group. Expand your tastes at Mira Winery Charleston Education Center and Tasting Room or take cooking classes together.

Charleston plantation

Drayton Hall, a Palladian plantation house open to the public.

Interested in the city’s vast history?

2020 was 350th anniversary of the City of Charleston — Charleston has a rich and diverse cultural heritage and, as a port city, was an early gateway to the United States and a key trading and import/export commerce center. As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the US, the architecture, decorative arts, literary, culinary, cultural, and other distinguishing characteristics have survived wars, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and epidemics for over 3 centuries. The Preservation Society of Charleston and Historic Charleston Foundation have annual private house and garden tours with additional lectures, an antique show, and other activities/programs to highlight all that is Charleston. Historic house museums, government buildings, public parks, churches, other museums and military sites are open year-round.

Visit a local National Park: https://www.fs.usda.gov/scnfs

Group of ladies clink wine glasses

Private tastings by reservation available at Deep Water Vineyard.

In town for your bachelor(ette) party?

The wild night out is a given – but what about the daytime? Gather your friends and get creative with your last experience single! Master the waters and charter a fishing boat. Or, relax on the Schooner Pride with a drink in hand and 360 degrees of views. Take a paddleboard or kayak to Morris Island, an uninhabited island in the harbor, or head out to Wadmalaw Island for vineyards, and more. Hit up the Historic District and shop The Market, spanning 4 blocks of downtown Charleston and trendsetting King Street, or bond with your wedding party at Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park, a high ropes course for every experience level, or experience the United States’ only tea garden.

For more indoor activities, master southern cuisine with group cooking classes or hang out at a winery tasting room or one of the city’s many rooftop bars.

Whatever your reason for visiting our enchanting city,
take in the history and views with one of our alternative ways to enjoy the jewel of the South.
Learn how you can take action for a safer, cleaner, more humane visit.