Palmetto Carriage Works
Sightseeing Tours • Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Established in 1972, Palmetto Carriage Works is the oldest carriage company in historic Charleston, SC. Still family-owned and operated, the company offers guided horse and mule-drawn tours of Charleston's downtown and and residential historic district for the thousands of visitors hoping to take in the charm and history of the city in a more authentic way.
Charleston, South Carolina
Features animals

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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Tours and Tickets by Palmetto Carriage Works
Private and Luxury
1 hour
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Recommended by 94% of travelers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
from
$49.95
per adult
City Tours
1 hour
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Recommended by 91% of travelers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
from
$265.00
per group
Travelers talk about
(1,000 reviews)
(155 reviews)
(652 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
9,054 reviews
Excellent
7,382
Very good
1,130
Average
338
Poor
128
Terrible
76

NBeachBabe
Newport Beach, CA12 contributions
May 2022 • Family
The carriage ride was good and had some tidbits of historical buildings, but I was sort of hoping/expecting more history of Charleston in between the buildings we passed of historical significance. The carriage itself was nice and clean and comfortable and the team that greeted us was totally on top of things and we didn’t have to wait a minute to get loaded up and moving. We hired a private carriage for 4 adults and 3 small kids (5 and under) and I think the horse we had should have maxed out on a smaller carriage…we moved so so slowly, we had to get out of the way of other carriages that were attempting to pass us. It felt a little like the slow pace made for a pretty limited tour area, but it could have been we just got a very small tour area in the lottery.
All in all I would recommend and would definitely go again, but I would request a driver that has some longevity and might have more stories and history to share…our driver was sweet, but has only been in the area for less than a year and driving for a few months and the lull between tidbits was long at times. With so much history in this city I was expecting a bit more in terms of local legend, folklore, all the fun stories passed down through generations about this historic town.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

daveespo
North Haven, CT27 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
This buggy ride is a bit pricey but so is just about everything else in Charleston. However, it's a very well run operation with plenty of staff welcoming you upon arrival, making sure you're loaded onto the coach on time, and the coachman was knowledgeable and gave an interesting tour.

Note, however, that the city of Charleston only allows a certain number of carriages in each "section" of the historic area and the permit for a particular section is handed to the driver as soon as you pull out of the barn so you won't know which section of town you're going to see until you're already on the tour. We happened to end up in the northeast corner (Old City -- The Battery and Rainbow Row area) but you could end up farther south or west depending on the number of carriage operators at that moment.
Written March 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AgileDude
Seattle, WA845 contributions
Feb 2022 • Family
Scott is the best tour guide we've ever had! We did the private tour for our family of four, which is costs a little bit more than the 16 person carriage ride, we think it's well worth it. The comfort on the carriage is welcome, however, the interaction with your guide will create memories for the ages. We were able to stop and discuss the history of the city, we're able to get fun trivia tidbits like differences between graveyards and cemeteries, and most importantly, we learned how the creative people at Palmetto are able to make the flags on the roof fly in the same direction! (Seriously, ask about this if you have Scott). Our kids, ages 17 and 18, loved the tour and said it was the highlight of the trip. Scott and Palmetto - thank you for a wonderful and memorable experience.
Written February 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MP
Sioux Falls, SD2 contributions
Nov 2022
Palmetto staff were nice and the carriage comfortable but the carriage ride was very disappointing. Know before you go that there are different routes and you nor the carriage company gets to choose. It is a lotto process chosen by the city. We must have gotten the worst route because there was nothing interesting to look at or lean about. Later when we were walking in the very interesting parts of the city, the battery, churches, rainbow row etc we saw carriage tours. We said we would have loved to hear about these areas and important sites in history. So while it was a nice ride it definitely was not worth the 150 dollars we spent. We paid an extra 50 dollars to have the whole seat because we had heard about some very crowded carriages. I would recommend a walking tour or a tour where you know the route and what you are going to hear about over this where you take a chance at getting a good route or bad one. Unfortunately we were not lucky that morning
Written November 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rachel A
Jamestown, NY2 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
My husband and I came from New York on Monday June 28th for our first trip to Charleston with our four young children ages 7,5,3 and 1 for our sons 5th birthday. We had a 9:30 tour booked that we were looking forward to for months. Upon booking and receiving our confirmation email, the email plainly stated not to arrive any earlier than your booking time of 9:30 and you would be placed on a carriage in 10-15 minutes with a maximum wait time of 30 minutes so we tried to honor that policy and not show up too early. As we were parking I received a call from a woman at the carriage company at 9:28 completely berating us for not being there yet. I was shocked and explained to her what the email said, to which she told me I was mistaken and there’s no way the email could have said that. When I read her word for word when the confirmation email said to arrive she said and I quote “well it’s 9:30 now so where are you.” And then proceeded to tell me while on speaker phone that they might not be able to get us on a tour at all that day which had my kids on the verge of tears. We were beyond flustered and shocked by the treatment we received. Her husband was in charge of the parking and apologized to us for her bad behavior and was kind enough to not charge us for parking. To prove to her that this policy was stated in the confirmation email i read it to her in person upon arrival to which she stated “well that must have been an old policy during covid.” No apology for being wrong, no nothing. We tried to move on and enjoy our tour from that point forward because our tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable but our experience was ruined by this woman. She should be ashamed and she is a stain on the company’s good reputation.
Written July 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bodebull23
1 contribution
Dec 2021
This was a first time trip to Charleston for my wife and I. It was a decision made 3 weeks prior to going there for a romantic Christmas getaway. I had a vision of taking my wife on a romantic ride in a horse drawn carriage down a charming main road filled with Christmas lights just after sunset.

Where we live in Massachusetts it gets dark at roughly 4:20pm around Christmas time. When I booked the private 5pm 30 min ride I did not think about the fact that the sun did not set in Charleston until roughly 5:30pm. Needless to say it was still light out, there was no viewing of Christmas lights, it was the end of the day for the horse who was tired and kept wanting to trot a little faster then normal to get back to the stables. The tour guide, who was very nice, kept having to slow her down. We went down roads we had walked up and down several times over the prior couple days. The traffic whizzing by was very distracting and at times loud, a couple times scaring the horse.

Overall, it was not what I had envisioned. It was a very quick and not-so-romantic ride. Don't get me wrong the carriage rides are nice, the horses are beautiful to look at, but in hindsight we probably would have been better off taking a morning or mid day public 1 hour tour for $45 pp when the horses are not so tired and not out in the 5pm traffic when some folks seemed anxious to get home. That instead of spending just under $300 for what felt like a very quick and anxious 30 min ride. We now know better for next time.
Written December 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kim H
4 contributions
Aug 2022
At the last minute, we were offered a private tour instead of the group tour we reserved. We opted for the private tour and regretted it. The carriage was very cramped (barely enough room for our feet) and 2 of us were facing backwards the entire time. This made it much less enjoyable since 2 of us were not seeing what the tour guide was referring to until we were past it, unless we turned around in our seats, which was very difficult/nearly impossible to do. No issues with the tour guide at all; she was very knowledgeable and friendly.
Written August 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Erik
1 contribution
Nov 2022 • Couples
Private ride for 2 was well worth the early bird cost. Guide Sara was amazing... Friendly, well-informed, and made sure we got what we hoped for from a carriage tour. It's a great city, and Sara made certain we came away from the excursion knowing and appreciating even more (graveyards are connect to the church and cemeteries are set apart!)
Written November 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robert G
109 contributions
May 2022
Not all carriage companies offer a private tour. Palmetto does an early bird which is the way to go less traffic cooler. Briana was the guide driver, Melody did the pulling. Both were great. Briana knew her stuff even though the routes are randomly assigned. Excellent introduction to the historic district. Great way to start your visit and well worth the cost.
Written June 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David A
2 contributions
Apr 2021
I took the tour with 14 other people and I found the guide and the information to be very interesting. What I found to be somewhat lacking was the comfort of the carriage. The carriages are minimal when it comes to comfort, and sitting so close to the person next to you that one gets the feeling of what it would be like to be a Siamese twin. There is no evidence that there is competition among the various carriage ride providers. I suspect that they are in agreement with each other on rates and features and none of them attempt to set themselves apart by providing any additional creature comfort. No veterans or senior discounts, no coupons for local restaurants or vendors at the market. It's a bit of a disappointment in that respect but then there is no incentive on their part to do anything b/c most people who visit think "I'm on vacation....so I'll pay whatever they ask....I am only here once". That reduces it to a revenue stream for providers and removes the incentive to do anything that is more customer experience enhancing. In order to get a private carriage its $300, and personally I can think of a lot of things to do for that amount of money that will make a for a delightful long term memory. As a Service Quality Professional I found it lacking. I don't think it will be long before alternatives arise, like the bike cabs starting to provide similar tours with enhanced features.
Written April 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Palmetto Carriage Works (Charleston) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go