A Taste of Charleston & Walking Tour
Duration: 2 1/2 hours
Tour Code: CHS-018
Charleston has an amazing history, some magnificent period architecture and its own unique culinary traditions. This charming tour succeeds in perfectly blending the three, starting with a walking tour that showcases the rich history of the city, and following that with a visit to three downtown culinary gems.
Joining your guide at the pier, you will commence your excursion with a guided stroll down lovely streets and lanes where you will have an up-close view of the marvelous architecture of homes built more than a century ago. Throughout your walking tour, which travels within the historic walled city area, your experienced guide will weave the culinary traditions and culture of Charleston into the narrative.
Following your guided walking tour, you’ll have the opportunity to learn exactly what makes low country cuisine the cornerstone of coastal South Carolina heritage. The rice which was grown here in the 1700’s and 1800’s made this city the wealthiest in Colonial America. This wealth allowed the planters who grew the rice and the merchants and factors that marketed and transported it, to entertain lavishly with sumptuous banquets. The enslaved Africans who were brought here to work the rice fields brought with them the sweet potato, the benne seed, okra, and collard greens among other southern favorites. Along with settlers from England Charleston’s population included French Huguenots, Sephardic Jews, and settlers from the Germanic countries, from Scotland and from Ireland. All of these groups contributed to create what is now known as “Charleston Cuisine”.
Today, Charleston has over seven hundred restaurants and is home to fantastic chefs, many of whom have been awarded the coveted James Beard award for excellence. Today, these chefs use not only beef and pork which were the most popular meats in the 1700’s but also seafood which was abundant in the low country. Many chefs also embrace the farm to table philosophy and outsource to local and regional farms.
Your first culinary stop is a a specialty olive oil and vinegars shop where you will receive a spirited education on these products and be treated to some dramatic tastings. Next, you’ll walk to a world-class, Emmy award-winning chef’s kitchen, whose dramatic flair and excellence took him from global kitchens to television to his new beginnings and a unique demonstration kitchen in Downtown Charleston. Following a tasting here, you’ll continue on foot to your last stop, an unparalleled French pastry and coffee bistro where you will meet the master of these delicate French confections and learn about some of the secrets of his trade.
Afterwards, accompanied by your guide, you’ll walk back to the pier where your tour concludes.
Please note: The walking portion of this tour includes approximately 90-minutes of easy to moderate walking which may include some uneven surfaces and a few steps. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Weather-appropriate casual clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Tour sequence may vary.