Things to Do in North Charleston
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With their fleet of Robinson R22 utility helicopters, the aviators at Charleston Helicopters take joy in breaking the laws of gravity. They whisk passengers high above Charleston for flight lessons and photo tours, and while passing over the harbor, guests can snap shots of the Battery, Shem Creek, and various forts. Viewers may also zoom over the Charleston skyline to admire buildings soaked in red-and-orange sunsets and the flickering lights of surrounding towns. Many of Charleston Helicopters's tours invite guests to toast airborne triumphs upon landing with champagne, instilling an extra sense of victory without having to drag race passing geese.
5875 S Aviation Ave.
"I love that I get to take a walk, literally, into the past every day." That's how Charleston Sole's owner, Brian Simms, described his job for the company website's Q & A section. A self-described history buff and Charleston native, Simms leads tours that explore the Holy City's past, lore, and legends. He spins tales of days past at landmarks such as Revolutionary War sites, Antebellum Mansions, and St. Michael's Church—Charleston's oldest church edifice. Simms' walking adventures last approximately two hours and cover 1.5 miles—the average distance humans can walk before needing to recharge their batteries.
122 E Bay St.
Charleston Culinary Tours’ guides introduce visitors and locals to the cuisine of a city rich with Southern charm, grace, and history. Their tours explore the historic districts of downtown and King Street, allowing visitors to gain knowledge of the area, taste innovative cuisines, and meet the owners and chefs responsible for crafting the meals. They also offer a farmer’s market tour, which allows guests to pick out their own ingredients, venture to a partner restaurant as a group, and watch as a chef creates a customized meal from the ingredients.
40 N Market St.
Olde Towne Carriage Company’s licensed, knowledgeable tour guides have been escorting wide-eyed voyagers along Charleston’s winding 250-year-old streets in horse-drawn carriages for more than 30 years. These carriages are towed by a herd of majestic horses—including doe-eyed beauties Chief, Jake, and Big John—who clip-clop down cobblestone streets as guides impart facts about Charleston's rich history. The changing seasons bring with them themed ghost tours, holiday sleigh rides, a Valentine’s Day ride, and 15-round matches between tour guides in honor of Boxing Day. The carriage company also rents out its old-timey carriages and drivers to help ensure memorable corporate events, special events, and weddings.
20 Anson St.
For more than 20 years, the aquatic athletes at Trophy Lakes have set national and world records all the while maintaining a 100-acre water-sports and disc-golf complex that has been admired by WaterSki magazine. Disc golfers launch frisbees from 35 concrete tee pads, sinking their discs into 18 baskets. Along the way, water holes and a host of tee-and-pin locations challenge players' throwing skills. Alternatively, two private lakes boast three watersports cables, as well as a slalom course and ski jump. Knowledgeable staff members rent ropes, gloves, skis, wakeboards, and MasterCraft Boats from their well-stocked pro shop. Additionally, Trophy Lakes hosts disc-golf competitions, wakeboard festivals, water-ski tournaments, and lake-drinking contests each year.
3050 Marlin Rd.
Eric Lavender is one of very few men in the world who can show up for work each day in a pirate costume and expect to keep his job. The licensed guide and professional storyteller, who has been featured on networks such as the Travel Channel and SCETV, also has an unconventional coworker—Captain Bob, a chatty blue and gold macaw who perches on his arm. Sometimes aided by other guides in pirate and colonial garb, he introduces visitors to lesser-known aspects of Charleston's more than 300-year history on walking tours to National Historic Landmark buildings.
During his signature pirate tour, Eric divulges stories of buccaneer revelry and crimes, such as Blackbeard's harbor blockade, or unveils local spooky legends and pieces of Gullah lore on his ghost and pirate tour. Eric also leads custom walking tours and teaches children about pirate lore and city history through his educational programs. And, on pub tours, guides show visitors to some of the city's historic taverns, where they reveal which colonial musicians got their start at open-mic nights.
79 Cumberland St.
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