Chicora Walk: An American History Tour

Chicora Walk: A Historical Tour of Charleston

Walking the streets of Charleston, one of the oldest cities in America, is walking through an important part of the tapestry of American history. Established in 1670, Charleston grew to become one of the nation’s leading ports and was an especially important for trade and military defense in the South. In fact, by 1750 Charleston was the largest and wealthiest city south of Philadelphia.

On our walk together, you’ll become part of a city with a rich and fascinating story to tell. From its wealth and opulence to the many disasters that fell upon our great city and we'll also discuss its participation in the darkest parts of American history and humanity. Like any city with opportunity, people of great diversity came from near and far to participate in the building of one of the early melting pots in America. They built enduring structures; houses, churches, businesses and forts all with their own stories to tell. These streets and structures have been walked by presidents and foreign dignitaries, generals and soldiers, slaves and slave traders, and pirates and merchants. You will feel a part of the celebrations held for visiting presidents to the devastating fires, earthquake, hurricanes along with attacks by foreign invaders, pirates and eventually Union armies that were defended against.

Let's Take a Walk

Plan Your Tour

Price

$25 per ticket

Time

Starts 10AM Daily,
Duration 2 Hours

Starting Point

Bitty & Beau's
159 Church St.
Charleston, SC

We had an amazing time! Have not stopped talking about it and all of the stories we learned. You have such a gift of story telling and your passion and knowledge of the city make your tours amazing!! - Jennifer P. (Florida)

The Badass Broads tour is truly badass. Jonathan' knowledge and passion for Charleston's history is simply amazing. We laughed, we cried and enjoyed every minute of it. - Warren G. (Texas)

“Chicora” are the fresh coastal breezes that add to Charleston’s charm and natural beauty. Legend has it that during a particularly deadly outbreak of disease the natives suggested that their foreign neighbors move down to the peninsula where the healing, “chicora” breezes would restore their health. It may be that these breezes also limited the population of mosquitos that were vectoring their ailments and so the settlers indeed found improved health. They probably found other things such as fertile soil and other resources that made it an ideal place to build give rise to Charleston, South Carolina. 

Tour of the Tour

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

  • Oldest congregation in Charleston
  • John C. Calhoun, 2 time VP buried here
  • Christopher Gadsen, William Rhett, Charles Pinckney and Edward Rutledge buried here
  • Four degree tilt due to earthquake of 1886
Oldest congregation in Charleston, John C. Calhoun, 2 time VP buried here, Christopher Gadsen, William Rhett, Charles Pinckney and Edward Rutledge buried here, Four-degree tilt due to earthquake of 1886

Dock Street Theater

  • First building in America to be used for theatrical performances
  • Destroyed in Great Fire of 1740
  • Reopened as Planter’s Hotel in 1809
  • Planter’s punch invented here
  • Reopened in 1937 as a theater
  • Reopened in 2010 as a theater
Dock Street Theater

French Huguenot Church

  • Also known as the Church of the Tides

Chalmers Street

  • One of 8 remaining cobblestone streets in Charleston

The Pink House

  • 2nd oldest house in Charleston

Ryan’s Mart

  • 40 to 50 slave markets
  • This is the only one that is still standing
  • Currently a museum
  • 40% of all slaves brought to this country came in through the port of Charleston
  • Here we discuss this part of our city’s history
Ryan's Mart

8 ½ State Street

  • Discuss different architectural features and why Charleston is one of the most well-preserved cities in America

Old Exchange

  • Built in 1771
  • It is the last building built with British money
  • This was a gift from the British
  • August 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the citizens of Charleston from these steps
  • In 1788, the Constitution was ratified by South Carolina in this building
  • In 1791, President Washington visited and a three-day ball was held for him where he danced with over 250 women
Old Exchange

Rainbow Row

  • Originally merchants’ homes
  • Shops were on the first floor and the merchant’s families lived on the second and third floors
  • Was rehabbed in the 1930’s
  • Painted these colors to celebrate our connection with Barbados
Rainbow Row

Robert Smalls

  • Born into slavery
  • Was sent to Charleston and became a wheelman in the harbor
  • Assigned to the CSS Planter
  • Stole the ship and turned it over to the Union
  • He became a Captain in the Union Army
  • Returned to Beaufort after the War and bought the plantation that he was born on
  • Served one term in the South Carolina General Assembly and five terms in the US House of Representatives
Robert Smalls

Stoll’s Alley

  • We will see several great examples of ironwork made by Philip Simmons
  • Philip Simmons was one of the most well-known blacksmiths in America

Let's Take a Walk

  •   Jonathan has really researched his information. He is knowledgeable and well spoken. He is thoughtful and considerate, not only for his tour group, but also for the property owners.... read more

    Oma3612
    3/10/2020

      Outstanding guide, group, and topic. Immediately at ease with the plan and our guide. He clearly has a passion for Charleston, its history, charm, and beauty. He took every comment... read more

    725jillc
    2/02/2020

      My mom (visiting from California) and I had the best time walking with Jonathan! He was very informative, and the historical stories he told were detailed and captivating. I feel... read more

    951shelbic
    12/02/2019

      We had Jonathan give us the Chicora tour and had a blast! Beautiful Charleston weather and inspirational stories told with passion. I learned a lot and am looking forward to... read more

    WitchOfMarketSt
    11/28/2019
  •   On thanksgiving Day, Jonathan took myself and about 14 friends on a tour through Charleston. I have lived here for two years and have never done a walking tour before.... read more

    670meagang
    12/06/2019

      Jonathan was very informative, entertaining, and enthusiastic about every story on the tour. 10 out of 10 would recommend! Best Tour in Charleston.

    guscrump
    11/28/2019

      I took my family on this tour and we all had a fantastic time. Jonathan is very knowledgeable about Charleston. Will definitely be taking the other tours that he offers!

    Alexandria7109
    10/30/2019

      Jonathan’s passion for history radiates and brings life to his tours. He will take you on a walk through history that will inspire you and create a sense of emotion... read more

    m_gould96
    11/28/2019
  •   Jon truly knows and cares about the history of this beautiful town. Not only does he understand the basic background, he is a true historian and researches the facts in... read more

    Sally V
    7/04/2019

      This tour was great! Learned about history we did not previously know about. The tour guide was very knowledgable about everything.

    rebeccavF3417JK
    12/15/2019

      Jonathan our tour guide was so passionate about this tour. He was interesting, so knowledgeable and answer all question about this amazing city. He has a great sense of humor... read more

    Skip A
    2/23/2020

      The Badass Broads tour was worth it! We did it on Thanksgiving and had Mark all to ourselves. He was extremely interesting, easy to follow, walked at a great pace,... read more

    anj0ug
    12/10/2019
  •   We had such a great tour with Sara G. She was fantastic! Her passion for the city was evident in the stories she told along the tour. She was able... read more

    KatiH613
    6/27/2020

      We had a great tour today with Jonathan! I highly recommend taking one of his tours He is extremely knowledgeable and answers all your questions. We got to learn... read more

    P1411YOamyb
    10/10/2019

      Loved, loved, loved it! So much more interesting than most. We learned the history behind the history and went at our pace. I would recommend to anyone.

    lalasueb2004
    9/22/2020

      Me and a co worker really enjoyed the tour. Our guide’s knowledge was amazing and also his passion for history made it more interesting!

    Companion745824
    3/31/2020
  •   Excellent walking tour! Jonathan had a great personality and plenty of historical stories (great story teller). Very easy to approach and ask questions. I am looking forward to the next... read more

    Bob B
    11/06/2019

      Excellent tour. Jonathan is a great storyteller and extremely knowledgeable. He was flexible in that he tailored his tour to us. We told him we had already done... read more

    annehbraun
    11/06/2019

      Our guide Jonathan was awesome, very knowledgeable, fun and enjoyed engaging with our group. He is passionate about Charleston and loves talking about the many badass broads throughout Charlestons... read more

    j-m0jo
    2/16/2021

      Jonathan's knowledge and passion for Charleston's history is simply amazing. We laughed, we cried and downright enjoyed every minute of the walk. He spent two hours with us because couldn't... read more

    groovopolis
    9/23/2019
  •   We had the absolute best time touring Charleston with our wonderful guide Jonathan! He makes the history of this city really come alive with his energy and passion! I would... read more

    Julietcoleman
    1/17/2020

      Jon is an awesome tour guide and storyteller and also takes an interest in getting to know his audience. Thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Charleston, thanks Jon!

    761mikaylat
    10/14/2020

      This was the best tour I’ve taken. John is so personable and engaging. The walk was a perfect blend of history and entertainment. He loves what he does and it’s... read more

    ellisdea
    1/23/2020

      Jonathon was an amazing and informative tour guide. He has a shining personality that really brings the HER-story of Charleston to life. If you’re looking for something more exciting than... read more

    Koreindian
    11/19/2019
  •   Jonathan did a great job giving us an overview of history here along with details of specific, interesting events. His relationship with local homeowners paid off when, as we... read more

    BringEmATshirt
    1/12/2020

      Our tour was on Christmas Day and it was the best present I have ever opened! Jon is a bottomless wealth of information, facts, and obscure details which made the... read more

    890carolf
    1/11/2020

      My husband and I took have taken walking tours in Italy, Chicago and New Orleans. None were as informative and engaging as the time we spent with Jonathan walking in... read more

    ontheroadalot_9
    3/10/2020

      Johnathan is an excellent guide...extremely knowledgeable and entertaining!! His love for his city is evident and contagious. By far the best of 3 tours l took while in Charleston.

    Bernadine M
    11/04/2019
  •   I went on this tour with four of my friends (all college-aged). Our tour guide, Will, was super knowledgable and made the tour very interesting! You can tell he really... read more

    piscionierej
    11/21/2019

      Our tour with Jon and JWalk Tours was amazing. We learned so much about the history and city of Charleston. Jon was very knowledgeable and was able to keep our... read more

    jpete123
    8/05/2019

      The pace was easy going, the knowledge was in-depth and incredibly well delivered, even the weather didn't let us down. This is the absolute best tour I've taken in... read more

    55coltj
    3/27/2020

      Best tour I’ve ever taken! Jonathan has a ton of knowledge and he’s able to take that knowledge and share it with amazing stories! I can’t wait to take more... read more

    amandaeP8069XM
    1/23/2020
  •   Jonathon was phenomenal! I felt like I traveled back in time listening to him tell stories of Robert Smalls and other famous historians. Highly recommend this tour! Fantastic!!!

    littlealliebailey
    10/20/2019

      We had an excellent, informative walk with Jonathan. He knows his Charleston history and his love for the city and it’s unique place in both the Revolutionary and Civil War... read more

    sharon w
    10/04/2019

      Johnathan provided my family from out of town one of the best experiences they've had in Charleston! My nephew - who is young, most have asked 100 questions, Johnathan was... read more

    mswhitt07
    4/17/2020

      What a great experience. Jonathan, our guide, was so knowledgeable and interesting. He is a great story teller, the two hours went by too quickly. It is obvious he... read more

    kent h
    11/15/2020
  •   Our grown son and I just completed this tour with guide, Jonathan Green. He was hands down the best tour guide we have ever experienced. He is extremely knowledgeable about... read more

    cberg312
    3/14/2020