This street of brightly colored homes in Charleston is easily the most photographed spot in the city. With one look at the architecture, beauty and Southern style that these houses represent, it’s easy to see why. There are 14 different buildings on the row, each with its own piece of Charleston culture and history.
There are many rumors as to why the houses are painted with pastel colors, from identification for sailors returning home to indicating what the shops once contained. Others claim the houses are influenced by traditional Caribbean style.
The Rainbow Row buildings were contructed in the 18th century. Historically, they were once at the heart of Charleston’s commercial area, with shops on the first floor and the owners living above. After a period of neglect, they were renovated by a local woman in the early 19th century and have been restored and revered ever since. The area is are now completely residential and is one of the most famous architectural landmarks in the state.
Rainbow Row is located from 83 to 107 East Bay Street in Charleston, between Tradd Street and Elliot Street. It is a short walk from Waterfront Park. Taking a carriage tour is another popular way to see the homes.