There are numerous walking tours in Charleston. Today I highlight what differentiates my Charleston Old Walled City Tour from the others. First of all, I have been a student of Charleston and American History my entire life. I relate events in Charleston to the national scene of the time to provide context that interests visitors from all over. Having done tours for so long, I incorporate elements from all my tours to raise the interest of my guests. With kids in the group, we talk pirates, Founding Fathers, and maybe even a ghost story. With Canadians, not so much national history but more culture, gardens, and architecture.
The 10 AM Old Walled City Tour is my freestyle tour. We discuss topics and visit sites of particular interest to my guests. Typically I survey my group to get an idea of which direction to go. I started the tour at Cumberland and Meeting Streets, the site of the Colleton Bastion, which was the northwest corner of the oldest section of town. Charleston was the only English walled city in North America, the wall was substantially in place by 1712. We tour the oldest neighborhoods in Charleston, strolling past virtually intact blocks of pre- and post-colonial homes, storefronts, churches, and public buildings. All the while I relate the rich tales and legends from Charleston’s proud and turbulent past. Hear about the personalities and circumstances that turned a small pioneer settlement in 1670 into the greatest city in the South by the time of the American Revolution, and the seat of Southern Culture through the Antebellum period. I always engage my groups, (questions encouraged!) and your input develops the theme for the day. We generally end on High Battery at the waterfront and I will direct you back up the streets we haven’t seen so you can discover Charleston on your own. So beautiful! Although this old Charleston tour takes 2 hours to walk a mile and a quarter, you can stroll back to 151 Meeting Street (the starting point) in 20 minutes! Locals remember that the price is always $16.00 for residents of Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties. Come see me!—-Al Ray