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

  • star rating  We all really enjoyed our tour today. Jonathan is an extremely knowledgeable tour guide and passionate about the tour information. I’ve lived in Charleston for over 15 years and have... read more

    Emily K
    11/08/2019

    star rating  I have been a tour guide for 4 years and this one of the best tours and experiences I’ve had in Charleston. John not only provides amazing and interesting “herstory”... read more

    52elliottc
    2/04/2020

    star rating  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

    star rating  We had a great time! Plenty of stops and knowledge shared. Felt like a group of friends on a walk around a fascinating city. Awesome!

    O622PHstephent
    3/13/2021
  • star rating  Jonathan was a fantastic and passionate wealth of information about the badass women in Charleston's history. He spoke directly from the heart about women who achieved incredible things despite the... read more

    Tyler H
    10/23/2019

    star rating  JWalk Tours was fantastic!! We learned so much about some of the history of Charleston in 2 hours. Jonathan was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We're looking forward to doing another... read more

    kellyjs725
    3/16/2021

    star rating  Jonathan led me and a group of friends on a most interesting and informative walking tour of Charleston. His knowledge of all things Charleston is beyond impressive and his... read more

    Ellenbur
    11/20/2019

    star rating  My friend and I traveled to Charleston from Philadelphia to do some sightseeing, and this tour did NOT disappoint! From history to herstory, we really enjoyed our knowledgeable Charleston College... read more

    johnsoner94
    2/09/2020
  • star rating  Jonathan's tour was fascinating. As someone with only a broad scope of American history, particularly Southen history, I was intrigued, moved and amused by the wonderful storytelling. Walking through the... read more

    shahgiat
    10/29/2019

    star rating  This tour was a great way to get situated with the history and layout of Charleston. Jonathan was a fabulous host, and I loved seeing how passionate he was about... read more

    T6231WZlaurend
    4/29/2021

    star rating  This walking tour was amazing! Jonathan is extremely knowledgable and passionate about the history of Charleston. He had interesting tidbits that added so much. He led us... read more

    Lisa B
    4/26/2021

    star rating  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
  • star rating  This tour was amazing!! It was so informational and fun at the same time, Jonathan was so charismatic and really made EVERYTHING he said very interesting. At times my hair... read more

    Nebsmith23
    1/15/2020

    star rating  This review is long overdue and bad on me. It was Christmas Day and Jonathan took my aunt and me on an incredible journey through the quiet streets of... read more

    passport_required007
    3/22/2020

    star rating  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

    star rating  We have been to Charleston many times doing many historic tours. This was/is hands down the best we have ever done. We learned the most and enjoyed this tour so... read more

    666russellt
    3/15/2020
  • star rating  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

    star rating  What a great way to end our 2 day visit in Charleston. What a passionate yet very knowledgeable guide Jonathan was. You can tell this is... read more

    O6985VElisad
    2/27/2020

    star rating  I have lived in Charleston for 5 years and my fiancée for 2. We have a broad knowledge of the city’s history, but when we hosted my future father in... read more

    F2760ABandyd
    10/30/2019

    star rating  This tour is hands down THE BEST in Charleston and very family friendly! Our tour guide Jonathan was so nice and had so much information on the History of the... read more

    Shanshalala
    1/23/2020
  • star rating  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

    star rating  Our tour was very informative and entertaining. Jonathon’s delivery of information was fabulous....not at all boring!! He made sure to ask if we had any questions before... read more

    Tundra1998
    11/26/2019

    star rating  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

    star rating  Every time Jonathan spoke, you could feel his passion for story telling. His dedication to his craft kept everyone’s attention throughout the whole tour. He seamlessly works light hearted jokes... read more

    G3649WJjohng
    11/28/2019
  • star rating  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

    star rating  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

    star rating  We enjoyed this walking tour! We found it to be one of the most interesting tours and we walked away with so much more knowledgeable of Charleston! ... read more

    Jennifer B
    4/14/2020

    star rating  Our guide Jonathan was informed, entertaining, and passionate. While I was aware of some of the women he spoke about, I learned about a few new ones. Stories were great.

    JoanZ071
    3/15/2020
  • star rating  This was an amazing tour! Jonathan is very knowledgeable and entertaining!!! The 2 hours flew by. I would highly recommend JWalk tours!

    wvugirl8889
    2/27/2021

    star rating  A personal tour with our guide Will through the lovely city of Charleston. The Badass women of Charleston tour was the best tour we had taken on our trip. ... read more

    kassam99
    7/17/2020

    star rating  Fantastic tour! Will was our guide and very knowledgeable about the area including answers to our random questions. We did other tours while in Charleston and this was the best... read more

    007amyi
    1/20/2020

    star rating  I took the Chicora Walk Tour- it was great. So much good information, including honest history of heavier subjects and uplifting stories about the people and the city. Time well... read more

    J2633RXbarbarab
    2/11/2020
  • star rating  I highly recommend JWalk Tours! Our tour exceeded all expectations. Will was an encyclopedia of knowledge and a gracious guide through the history of old Charleston.

    willbM3598LS
    2/05/2020

    star rating  Our group of 7 from Ohio joined our guide Jonathan today for a walking tour to learn about some badass women who through determination, grit, perseverance, and passion, helped change... read more

    Bindy G
    11/14/2019

    star rating  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

    star rating  I enjoyed the story-telling nature of this tour! It felt like we were walking through time learning about architecture, culture, art, war and famous lives from the beginnings of Charleston... read more

    merrillf2021
    3/28/2021
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