The 10 Best Guided Tours in South Carolina!

Guided tours offer guests an insight you won’t find on your own: Personal experiences, insider stories, and general background knowledge of the place you’re visiting. With a guide, there’s opportunity to ask questions and receive real-time feedback. Given South Carolina’s rich cultural history since the founding of this nation, you can find plenty of fascinating and informative tours all across the Palmetto State. Here are the 10 best guided tours in South Carolina. 

1. Wild Encounters Tour at Myrtle Beach Safari, Myrtle, Beach, SC

If you’ve never fed an elephant or played with baby tigers, you can check off a few bucket list items at Myrtle Beach Safari. This guided tour takes you on a journey through 50 acres of the wildlife preservation that lets you meet and interact with tigers, a liger, Bubbles the elephant, chimps, and other amazing animals. 

2. Haunted Jail Tour, Charleston, SC

For ghost enthusiasts and non-believers alike, you can’t help but get an eerie feeling on the Haunted Jail Tour. This tour takes you through the Holy City’s Old City Jail which used to play home to some of history’s most terrifying pirates, civil war prisoners, and criminals. The jail shuttered in 1939, but you can explore the mostly-in-tact facilities as you all but hear the echoes of wrongdoers crying out for help. 

3. At the Chef’s Table Culinary Tour, Greenville, SC

Calling all foodies, this tour is for you! Greenville is known for its masterful cuisine, and this guided tour can take you some of the city’s tastiest hotspots and let you see where the magic happens. You can meet the chefs and sample their creations, check out the kitchens, and learn more about what makes Greenville so flavorful. 

4. Boat Tour at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC

As if Brookgreen Gardens weren’t fascinating enough, you can pay a little extra for a boat excursion that will show you sights of the grounds you otherwise would have missed. You might see alligators, waterfowl, and other wildlife along the way to view the old rice plantations. 

5. Oaks Plantation History and Nature Tour at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC

This walking tour highlights the prominent Alston family that lived in the area during colonial times. You will visit the plantation house, cemetery, grounds of the slave village, and other highlights.

6. South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC

If you have a group of 10 or more, you can book a guided tour through the South Carolina State Museum. Here you can explore four floors of science, history and art, including the new Art exhibition, visit the observatory, and enjoy a planetarium show or 4D movie.

7. Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passageways, Charleston, SC

You better bring your walking shoes for this one! This tour takes you through some of Charleston’s most historic areas, like the Provost Dungeon and Rainbow Row, along with some other hidden gems you might have missed otherwise. These tours are conducted in small groups to help you maximize your time and ability to ask questions. 

8. Greenville BBQ Trail Tour, Greenville, SC

Since South Carolina is well known for their variety of barbeque, it’s only fitting that one of the most prestigious cities in the state pays homage to this delicious southern staple via a guided tour. You’ll travel to three top barbecue joints in the city, learning their backstory and tasting their meats. 

9. Historic Sea Island Plantation and Lowcountry Life Tour, Beaufort, SC

For a closer look at Lowcountry history, this fully-narrated van tour is not to be missed. It starts with a visit to Penn Center, which was started as an educational resource for freed slaves. You can also expect to see plantations and a glimpse of the Gullah culture that the area is known for. You’ll also travel down the famed Avenue of Oaks, visit a cemetery, and explore the same grounds where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. 

10. Two Gals and a Fork Food Tours, Columbia, SC

Walking food tours combine with a taste of Columbia history in two epic events: the Brunch and Munch and the Site and Bites tours. These tasty tours take you through the Vista as you soak in some historical tidbits while tasting the offerings of five of the area’s best restaurants. 

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