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Rainbow Row Tours

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144 Reviews
Rainbow Row
This street of brightly colored homes in Charleston is easily the most photographed spot in the city, and it’s easy to see why. The 14 colorful Georgian row houses along East Bay Street date back to 1730, when they were built as merchant stores.

The Basics
Situated in near Waterfront Park in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, Rainbow Row features on just about every Charleston walking tour and carriage ride, along with other popular points of interest like the Dock Street Theatre, White Point Gardens, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, and the Waterfront Battery. Once commercial buildings, the houses today have all been converted to private residences—meaning you can only gawk at them from the outside. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Rainbow Row is a must-see for architecture lovers and first-time visitors.
  • Don’t forget your camera; Rainbow Row make for one of Charleston’s best photo ops. 
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, especially if you’re visiting as part of a walking tour.
  • Guided tours that stop at Rainbow Row last anywhere from 80 minutes to three hours, depending which you’ve chosen.

How to Get There
Rainbow Row is located on the stretch of East Bay Street between Tradd and Elliot streets in Charleston. It’s located a short walk from Waterfront Park, and it’s easily accessible on foot from just about anywhere in the historic district. 

When to Get There
For the best light for your photo—and sparser crowds to interfere with shot—plan to visit early in the morning or around sunset. In summer, expect hot, humid weather with highs in the upper 80s.

Why the Pastel Colors?
No one’s sure just why the Rainbow Row houses got their signature sherbet-hued paint job. One theory posits that the houses were painted like this so drunken sailors returning from the port could easily find the right one. Another suggests the colors once indicated the type of goods sold within each house, making it easier to attract illiterate shoppers. 
Address: 83 to 107 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
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34 Tours and Activities to Experience Rainbow Row

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Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and MoreCultural Tours

Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More

star-4.5
Experience the charm and beauty of Charleston on a morning or afternoon walking tour. With an entertaining guide, take a leisurely stroll through the city’s Historic District, passing antebellum mansions, hidden gardens, historic churches and graveyards, as well as famous sites like Fort Sumter, Rainbow Row, and the Waterfront Battery. Along the way, learn about Charleston’s rich history and contemporary culture.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Charleston's Alleys and Hidden PassagesHistorical & Heritage Tours

Charleston's Alleys and Hidden Passages

star-5
Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided small-group walking tour. Explore some of the city’s most enchanting alleys and hidden passages. Visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, a colonial building with a 300-year history; Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; plus historic Philadelphia Alley, and many more.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Historic Charleston Walking TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

Historic Charleston Walking Tour

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Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided walking tour. Visit points of interest including Charleston City Hall; the Dock Street Theatre, America’s first theatre; the Old Exchange Building, South Carolina's most historic building; White Point Garden, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district with a spectacular view of Fort Sumter, and many more.
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  • 2 hours
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Daytime Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic CharlestonLuxury Tours

Daytime Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Charleston

star-5
Ride a horse-drawn carriage through the heart of historic Charleston on a guided tour through the heart of the city. Soak up the old fashioned charm of cobblestone streets lined with antebellum houses, lush gardens, and landmark churches as you listen to stories about Charleston history, architecture, and culture.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Charleston Historical Sightseeing Bus TourAttraction Tickets

Charleston Historical Sightseeing Bus Tour

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Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided sightseeing tour. Visit a plethora landmarks including Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; the Old Exchange Building, South Carolina's most historic building; White Point Garden, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, with a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and many more. Upgrade option available to include a tour of the famous Joseph Manigault House, one of Charleston's most exquisite antebellum structures.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Charleston City Sightseeing Bus TourBus Tours

Charleston City Sightseeing Bus Tour

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An air-conditioned sightseeing bus offers a refreshing Charleston Sightseeing Tour for summertime visitors trying to escape the heat or those with limited mobility. Roll by popular "Holy City" sights like Rainbow Row, the Battery, White Point Gardens, Nathaniel Russell House, and St. Michael's Church from wide viewing windows while your guide informs and entertains with stories from Charleston's rich past.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Charleston's Most Beautiful WalkHistorical & Heritage Tours

Charleston's Most Beautiful Walk

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Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided small-group walking tour. Explore some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods on Charleston’s most beautiful walk. Visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, a colonial building with a 300-year history; Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; plus the private gardens along Tradd Street; White Point Garden at the tip of the peninsula; the mansions along East Battery Street; mysterious Stoll’s Alley and many more.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic CharlestonNature & Wildlife

Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Historic Charleston

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Explore Charleston in an intimate horse-drawn carriage during this private tour. Get personalized attention from your guide while riding through the historic streets of the old walled town.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Charleston in a Nutshell Private ToursBus Tours

Charleston in a Nutshell Private Tours

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This private sightseeing tour of Charleston offers a local perspective on the most charming city in the South. Beat the crowds of bus tours and go where carriage rides can’t as your licensed guide drives you around the peninsula in the comfort of a private vehicle. As you drive past top sights like Waterfront Park and the Battery, hear stories of Charleston history and culture in the Holy City.
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  • 2 hours
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Highlights of Charleston Walking TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

Highlights of Charleston Walking Tour

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Without a guided walking tour, you might miss some of the eclectic history and hidden nooks and crannies around Charleston that make this city such a gem. This walking tour takes you through the French Quarter and South of Broad neighborhoods to top sights such as the Rainbow Row, the Old Slave Mart Museum, and the Old Exchange, all while your guide shares stories from Charleston history and lore.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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The Best of Charleston: History, Culture & Architecture TourLuxury Tours

The Best of Charleston: History, Culture & Architecture Tour

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Your guide brings history to life during this Charleston walking tour of the city's historical downtown. See notable buildings including the Nathaniel Russell House, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, and the Old Slave Mart Museum. As you walk over the flat and easy terrain with your guide, discover the history that occurred right under your feet and around every corner from Rainbow Row to the Battery.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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High Society II: Combo Walking Tour with Art & Wine Wine Tasting & Winery Tours

High Society II: Combo Walking Tour with Art & Wine

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This original Charleston walking tour is not offered anywhere else in town! You'll stroll the most beautiful streets and lanes learning of the artisans, artists, architects, and landowners who built the rich city of Charleston. Lead by Travel Writer and Licensed Tour Guide, Jill Paris, Owner of Eclectic Tours of Charleston, this unique tour experience ends with a special visit to one of Charleston's premiere Art Galleries where you'll learn about local artists connected to the city and sip sparkling wine. The building itself holds some mysterious aspects you won't want to miss! Highlights * Unique Historic Charleston walking tour PLUS a visit to an exceptional Art Gallery and Wine Reception * Subjects cover History, Art, Culture, Civil War, Flowers and Trees, and unusual facts that make Charleston so charming * Tour lead by Travel Writer and Licensed Tour Guide, Jill Paris * Plenty of time to stop and take Instagram-worthy snaps
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of CharlestonHistorical & Heritage Tours

90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston

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Charleston’s historic alleyways and pocket gardens can’t be reached by car or carriage, making this Charleston walking tour an excellent option for visiting the Holy City’s enticing nooks and crannies. Follow a guide through the French Quarter, down to the Battery, and right past Rainbow Row as you learn about the city’s 350-year history from a licensed tour guide.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Historic Downtown Walking TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

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Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities — Charleston, South Carolina — on this guided, 2-hour walking tour. Visit points of interest including Chalmers Street and the Old Slave Mart; the Dock Street Theatre in the historic French Quarter neighborhood; Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; the Old Exchange Building, South Carolina's most historic building; plus St. Michael's Alley, Washington Square and White Point Garden, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, with a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and many more.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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2-Hour Downtown Walking TourLuxury Tours

2-Hour Downtown Walking Tour

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Tour the city like a local! This 2-hour historic walking tour of historic downtown Charleston is the perfect introduction to the city. You will walk through the historic streets and scenic alleyways of the famous French Quarter and South of Broad neighborhoods, covering nearly 350 years of amazing history, architecture, culture, and geography! City-Certified Guide and member of Palmetto Guild.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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The Chicora WalkLuxury Tours

The Chicora Walk

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This is a 2 hour walk through 350 years of the history of the beautiful city of Charleston. We tell an accurate, interesting, sad, tragic, uplifting, dramatic, sometimes funny, tale.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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High Society: Combo Walking Tour & Historic BuildingLuxury Tours

High Society: Combo Walking Tour & Historic Building

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You're cordially invited to attend a walking tour like no other featuring the lavish lifestyles of Charleston's wealthiest residents. Travel Writer and registered tour guide, Jill Paris, Owner of Eclectic Tours of Charleston, leads you through the tree-lined district where landowners spared no expense learning of their wild and decadent tastes. Next, you're granted special access inside one of the city's most important Adamesque buildings - South Carolina Society Hall - where the Hallkeeper conducts a private tour of the interior not open to the general public. Highlights * Original Walking Tour of Historic Charleston PLUS entry into a private building * Perfect for Couples, Friends, Special Occasions & Wedding Parties/Bachelorettes
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Charleston Scavenger Hunt AdventureFamily Friendly Tours & Activities

Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Add some strategy to your Charleston tour with a fun scavenger hunt adventure! This competition turns your 3-hour historic walking tour into a friendly race through Charleston to solve clues, complete challenges, and track down some of the city’s hidden gems. Don’t forget your smart phone or sleuthing sensibility! Note: Price is per individual, but each team must book together to join in the same adventure.
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  • 3 hours
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From  
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Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking TourLuxury Tours

Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour

star-5
This exclusive historic walking tour highlights the essential streets of downtown Charleston and highlights many trailblazing women worth remembering. While strolling down the charming streets and hidden alleys of the French Quarter and South of Broad with Travel Writer and Licensed Tour Guide, Jill Paris, you'll be privy to the secrets of local characters and learn about the southern culture through heartfelt tales, not lectures. You can almost hear the desperate plea of captured lady-pirate Anne Bonny pleading for her life; badass women abolitionists, writers, artists breaking down barriers; a young girl-spy's quick-thinking cool under pressure; a pioneering preservationist; a female ghost's sad story; and an African American leader worthy of her own national holiday. Let's face it. Girls rule. Highlights * Plenty of time to take Instagram-worthy snaps * Tour covers History, Culture, Architecture, Plants & Flowers, and more * Tour starts and ends next to convenient parking
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Charleston City Walking Tour with Edmondston-Alston House AdmissionCultural Tours

Charleston City Walking Tour with Edmondston-Alston House Admission

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This Charleston walking tour not only takes you to top sights around downtown Charleston such as the Battery and South of Broad Street, but also includes access to the Edmondston-Alston House, a gorgeous 19th century home with unobstructed views of the Charleston Harbor. After learning about Charleston history on a guided walking tour, visit the house for a peek inside the lives of Charleston’s elite class—and an unforgettable view.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Badass Broads-CharlestonLuxury Tours

Badass Broads-Charleston

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Every badass history has a badass...HERSTORY. Walk with us as we celebrate Charleston's. We have a very rich story and the women of Charleston have played an enormous role in it. This is the only tour in the city showcasing badass women.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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60 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in CharlestonPhotography Tours

60 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Photographer in Charleston

Create lasting picture-perfect memories of your anniversary, family vacation, or bachelorette weekend in Charleston during a private 1-hour photoshoot. Yourpersonal photographer takes you to the scenic location of your choosing, which simply can't be captured with a selfie stick. Within just five days of the shoot, you get access to an online gallery of high-resolution photos ready to print or share online.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Jewel Of The SouthLuxury Tours

Jewel Of The South

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This is a local's view of the city. Evans is like walking with the mayor. He knows everyone and has spent more than 24 years interpreting the history in a fun, and entertaining way.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Best of Historic Charleston Walking TourLuxury Tours

Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour

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This is the perfect walking tour for the first-time visitor or repeat guest. We’ll cover iconic landmarks such as St. Philip’s Church, the French Quarter, the Dock Street Theatre, Rainbow Row, The Battery, White Point Garden, Calhoun Mansion, and so much more. You’ll get a comprehensive view of Charleston’s architecture, churches, culture, history, people, and even the hidden alleys and lanes often overlooked on other tours. I’ll highlight historic downtown extensively at an easy pace with lots of photo stops and interesting facts you’ll always remember. More ground covered = more beauty experienced. Charleston is the star.
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  • 2 hours
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  • 2 hours
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Rainbow Row?

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