Al Ray is a seventh-generation Charlestonian who was first licensed as a tour guide in 1979. A former president of the Charleston Tour association and is widely recognized as a knowledgeable historian and a talented storyteller, strengths that make him an excellent guide. His years of Healthcare Outreach and Public Speaking honed skills that allow him to convey maximum information and retention using humor and logical sequencing of the narrative. Al’s belief is that a good guide will entertain, edify and inform, in that order.
Engage Al as your Charleston Private Tour Guide. Al frequently guides Private tours of Charleston for individuals, family, church, and corporate groups. Private guided Charleston tours are tailored to your time schedule and interests. Tours can be arranged for the city only, or Charleston Town and Country Tours can take you to the Gardens and beyond! Arranged to suit your interests, Private Charleston city tours can include exclusive access to Charleston gardens and museum houses. Sometimes they encompass two days, with one Tour south to the Battery, encompassing the Old Walled City, and the other north to Calhoun Street, Marion Square, and the Charleston Museum.
Your Charleston Private Tour guide can also offer a Town and Country Driving Tour, touring old Charleston in the morning and guiding you out to the Gardens at Magnolia and Middleton Place. Another option is the South Islands Tour, which can include McLeod Plantation, the Angel Oak, The Tea Plantation, and a stroll through scenic Rockville. Sometimes groups wants to go to the Firefly distillery for tastings! For Civil War buffs, we can visit Fort Lamar on James Island at Secessionville and the Seashore Farmer's Lodge at the historically African American community on Sol Legare Island. Reserve your Charleston Tours online today to make arrangements.
Dr. Eric Lager has a passion for giving entertaining and educational tours that cover a broad array of topics related to Charleston’s history, but specializes in the city’s Revolutionary and Civil War history. Eric earned his B.A. in history at the University of Florida in 2003, worked for several years as a tour guide at Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and then as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service at Fort Pulaski National Monument in Savannah Georgia.
In 2008, Eric earned his M.A. in history at Clemson University. After working as tour guide for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Virginia and teaching courses on United States history at Colorado Mountain College, Eric spent the next seven years working on his doctorate degree in Nineteenth Century American History at the University of Tennessee, graduating with a Ph.D. in 2019. His dissertation, The Transformation of a Confederate State: War and Politics on the South Carolina Home Front, 1861-1862, examines the state government’s prosecution of the war effort and addresses issues relating to civilian life in Charleston and more broadly on the South Carolina home front.
On the days when he is not giving tours, Eric teaches courses on United States and European history at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. He has severed on many history panels over the years and presented his research to several professional conferences and private history organizations. Eric thus brings an extensive background in both public history and higher education to the guests on his tours, explaining historical information in a fun, yet highly informative manner.