Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston: Our most recommended tours and activities

Charleston: African-American History & Simmons House Tour

1. Charleston: African-American History & Simmons House Tour

Start the tour at the Philip Simmons House where one of the greatest African-American artists of the 20th century created a lifetime of beauty. Led by museum docents, learn more about the humble life of a great Charleston artisan. After the museum visit, walk down America Street, the heart of Charleston’s African-American community. Along the way, learn about and witness the trials and tribulations of the past and present. Briefly stop at the edge of the African-American community where you'll see a powerful visualization of class division. Finally, walk to Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME church in the southern United States. Learn about how free African Americans came together to form flourishing communities and houses of worship.

Charleston: Historical Walking Tour with Storytelling

2. Charleston: Historical Walking Tour with Storytelling

Stroll through Charleston’s oldest neighborhood on a guided walking tour, led by an expert guide. Learn about the women and men – both pirates and patriots – who first founded the city, as you discover its highlights. The tour begins in front of the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, one of Charleston’s oldest and most historical buildings. Continue down East Bay Street, passing Rainbow Row. See period mansions, and admire the views of Charleston Harbor and White Point Garden. Walk in the footsteps of pirates and their captors, as your guide tells you stories of looting and plundering. Wander the streets and alleys of Charleston’s South of Broad neighborhood. Learn about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the founding of America. Head back to the starting point, passing the Four Corners of the Law and the shops and residences on Broad Street. Your experience includes entrance to both the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and Philip Simmons House.

Charleston: 2-Hour Strong Women of the South History Tour

3. Charleston: 2-Hour Strong Women of the South History Tour

The Strong Women of the South History Tour is an exploration of historical Charleston from the perspective of the founding mothers and women of every color who contributed to the Great American Dream. Along the way, learn about a city once owned and controlled by women. Rated as a top Airbnb experience by Charleston Weddings Magazine, this tour is perfect for bachelorettes, couples, locals, and tourists who are looking for something more than a generic city tour. This experience begins at the alleged execution site of America's first female serial killer. Stand in the spot where she met her fate and hear her story. Next, visit the homes and sites of the “Old Maids." Learn about these women who were activists, printers, artisans, madams, shopkeepers, and plantation owners while hearing stories about their contributions and conundrums. Go back in time and see the world from their perspective. Lastly, stand in front of the homes and shops of the women who built this city. Hear their stories in the contemporary voice of their times and smash the myth of the "Fainting Southern Belle," the "Woman behind the man," and Chattel Slavery. From each ticket sold, $1 will be donated to the Halsey Contemporary Art Foundation and the Philip Simmons Foundation.

Charleston: Haunted History Tour - Learn to see a Ghost

4. Charleston: Haunted History Tour - Learn to see a Ghost

Learn how to see a ghost and explore one of the most haunted cities in the world. Discover the city's 350-year history through stories of graveyards, ghosts, and ghouls. Stand in front of the most haunted graveyards in Charleston's historic district. Hear stories of the most photographed ghost in America and see the most robbed grave in Charleston. Walk down Philadelphia Alley where gunfighters and robber barons met their fate. Learn how conflicts of the old world were resolved with violence and how those who perished still haunt the city today. From each ticket sold, $1 will be donated to the Halsey Gallery and the Philip Simmons Foundation.

  • Guided tours

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What people are saying about Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 17 reviews

Our tour guide was excellent!! I believe his name is Larry. He was very informative and spoke w/ a lot of passion. We were lucky, it was only my husband and myself for our group. We learned a tremendous amount information about the early start of Charleston. Highly recommend this tour.

The tour guide provided details you can’t learn from reading signs and scanning the web. We got a great deep dive into this city’s history and walked away with a deeper appreciation for Charleston.

We had a great time. Larry Gerald is very knowledgeable and quite the historian. He truly made our trip more complete. We could have spent another 2 hours with him,

This was one of the best walking tour we ever had. Guide was very knowledgeable. We learned so much about the history of Charleston.

Larry was an amazing tour guide who spoke with such knowledge and passion. I highly recommend this activity!