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“Not worth the time or money.”

The Calhoun Mansion
Book In Advance
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$24.99*
and up
Historic Carriage Tour of Charleston
More Info
$149.99*
and up
Private Historic Carriage Tour of Charleston
Ranked #39 of 241 things to do in Charleston
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of Charleston's architectural treasures, this historic mansion owned by George Walton Williams transports visitors back in time.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Not worth the time or money.”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

The woman selling tickets was the first person I came across in Charleston who didn't seem to have a shred of southern hospitality. That said, we were told several times by locals to make sure to see this 24,000 sf mansion. We expected to see the place. Most of it at least. Instead, the tour guide was like an actor talking at breakneck speed about items cluttering this place from floor to ceiling. I felt like a duped tourist in a schlocky tourist trap. We were able to see a few rooms from a roped off vantage point, nothing near the 24,000 sf. A young man/boy followed us closely, presumably so we didn't touch? It was odd. And why such secrecy around who owns the place? But the bottom line is, if you're impressed with gaudy wealth and hoarding, go for it. If you want history or like value for your money, I'd think twice.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Seritalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Erie, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The mansion was absolutely amazing!!”
Reviewed June 22, 2013 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed seeing this beautiful mansion with hundreds and hundreds of antiques. We could have stayed in this house for hours. It was amazing to see so many things from all over the world in one place. Our tour guide, Denise, made the history of the house come alive. It is so kind of the owner to open his amazing home to the public.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank PruMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“One for the history books”
Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

I love all things Charleston. Basically because I love history and imagining the kind of life people led hundreds of years ago. If you know anything of the history of the family that built this home or have done any research about them then you will know not to go into this home expecting to see a house full of their stuff. This is a privately owned home and it has this person's STUFF. However, there are two very important things to consider: 1. The house was restored and has original wood,flooring,light fixtures,walls painted by Mr.Tiffany, etc.,etc
2. The current owner's stuff is magnificent and you could literally spend hours looking and never see the same thing twice. And they are magnificent and intriguing antiques in their own right. I would definitely recommend that you tour the Calhoun Mansion while you are in Charleston. It is a true piece of American history.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandey30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairdale, Kentucky
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Over the top”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

We took the carriage tour and selected the Calhoun Mansion to tour later. We only had time for one tour so we were trying to select a house that would reflect the history of the area. We were so wrong!! The Calhoun Mansion, while a beautiful house and wonderful gardens, was very disappointing on the inside. Too much collectible antiques having nothing to do with the period. It was more of a "bragging rights" display by the owner. We should have taken the guide's offer of stopping and getting a refund. Our guide Tom, however, was very cordial and entertaining.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Eldora S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The Best House In Charleston”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

We loved this house so much we saw it twice - with a group tour, then a private one. Unlike most houses open for tour in Charleston, this one is not owned and operated by a museum or foundation. This is a private home, generously open to the public by an owner who has not only restored the Tiffany ceilings, chandeliers and windows to their original grandeur - but has decorated each room with a collection of furnishings and artwork with the aesthetic of a curator. To be sure, some of the priceless clocks, silver, china, paintings, sculpture and ornamental pieces found throughout this home are not what one would have found when it was occupied by the original family that built it - but that is part of the charm. You'll see plenty of "representational" decorating on every other house tour available in this city. What you will find here is a fabulous collection of just about every kind of collectable object lovingly and sensitively arranged in one of the few houses in this country that could adequately display it. This review would not be complete without mentioning the fabulous tour guides Denise and Frankie - who were well informed, energetic and generous with their time. Don't miss this house. It is the very best in Charleston!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Barbara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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