Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Private guide for touring Charleston S.C. and area ?

Private guide for touring Charleston S.C. and area ?

Old Aug 6th, 2002, 12:26 PM
  #1  
Eva
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Private guide for touring Charleston S.C. and area ?

In Sept. we'll be visiting the area for the first time. It has been suggested to engage the services of a private guide to put together a customized tour. Has anyone done that and did you find it beneficial ? I have done some research and feel we could "wing it" on our own. Please let me know your thoughts on that. Thanks !
Sorry, I'm re-posting under S.C. again. The first time my message did not show up there !
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 12:33 PM
  #2  
Gretchen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
E-mail [email protected] She does wonderful tours of charleston.
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 04:18 PM
  #3  
Toni
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's a small town...get a good travel book on the south (Frommers is what I used) and wing it...it's a wonderful place, oozing charm. The homes in the Battery are incredible! Your gonna love it!
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 04:25 AM
  #4  
Danna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would also suggest a book on the history of Chas if you decide to wing it. I think most people are weaker than they realize in American history. Most of the real historical excitement surrounding Charleston is from the Revolution, not the Civil War.

Before my Yankee in-laws visited Charleston with us for the first time, I bought myself and book and read up! Didn't want to be caught lacking in my own state history. That way, you have some of the knowledge that the tour guide would be most useful for. Then you can regale your own group with stuff like " here's where they hanged the gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet" and "that's why the fire hydrants look like British soldiers".

Actually, I got that last one from a carraige tour I took years ago. Which reminds me, the carraige tours are really cool, I don't care HOW touristy they look. You'll be glad for the shade and a chance to rest your feet and the guides are usually pretty good.

Do you know where you're staying? I stayed at Charleston Place last week and I have never been disappointed. Also, don't forget there are beaches VERY close by.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 05:27 AM
  #5  
phonegirl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I just returned from there last week. You dont need a private guide...make your first stop the visitors center...they are very helpful there. there are a bunch of tours you can take and see the entire area. fyi--if the weather is very hot, the carriage rides stop at noon until later in the day, so take early or later in day.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 05:27 AM
  #6  
Q
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

Any good restaurant experiences from last week? I'd love to try something besides Poogans Porch, Jestines', or Slightly North. Thank-you.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #7  
Gretchen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There is also a gentleman who gives a gullah tour. I am sure the Charleston website might list him. Don't forget the plantations--my favorite is Middleton.
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 07:09 AM
  #8  
Danna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Q: I have a bad attitude about all those "upscale southern" places and I was trying hard to avoid them. Last week I went to 3 places I had never been before:

Fish - This was pretty good, my Tuna was nice but not fantastic, but my friend got the Thai glazed talapia which was great and the fish was perfectly (barely) cooked.

Hank's - Big, loud, too busy to get a table, ate at the bar. Menu looks a lot like a Myrtle Beach fried seafood restaurant in places, but also has some interesting additions. My friend and I were trying to eat light, so I only had a salad and scallop ceviche appetizer. Both were addequate but not special. The people beside us at the bar were groaning in ecstacy over the grouper in brown butter/balsamic vinegar sauce w/ risotto. It did look good. So an incomplete review here.

Il Cortile de Re: Best experience of the trip. Looks like a hole in the wall (off King st.) Smells a bit musty, but the food was superb. An authentic (as far as I know - have not been to Italy) Italian restaurant. Service very good, I had a great Barolo and Super Tuscan by the glass. Buffulo Moz. caprese salad was good. Olives on the table were high quality. Kind waiter let my friend and I split a pasta (penne in black olive and goat cheese sauce) and a second course ( wild boar with cannelini and polenta). Everything was great.

Upstream:

This restaurant was having a 90th birthday celebration for Julia Child which was participated also by various restaurants around the country. Tom Collichio from Grammercy Tavern in NYC was hosting. The prix fixe menu with selected wines looked great. Problem: It was $110/head and my friend is NOT of foodie and does not drink so this was out of the question for her. However, this leads me to believe this might be a good restuarant to check out sometime.

On previous trips I have enjoyed McCrady's - it's probably my new favorite, I'm a bit sorry I missed it this trip. My former favorite was Garibaldi's, an Italian menu, but all seafood specials. Get the crispy flounder. It's not what it sounds like.

General observations are: Charleston restaurants have begun to pay attention to the wine list and have more interesting wines by the glass than in years past. It is impossible to find a restaurant without some grits on the menu somewhere. This really bugs me because grits are for breakfast (with the possible exception of shrimp&grits). Southerners do not serve a little grits cake with their grilled fish normally. This is an affectation put on to give the tourists a thrill. (sorry about the soapbox)

Bon Appetit!
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 09:24 AM
  #9  
Betsy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Eva......

I'll be in Charleston in late SEptember, and I would recommend HIGHLY Sarah Ragsdale. Her email is Exploreholycity.com

I've read a million rave reviews of her personalized tours, and she can put together anything. She's been helping me out with restaurant reservations, and overall, has been a real joy. I think that her tours are going to be oustanding. I'm doing a combination tour of Drayton and Middleton Plantation, with a bit of culinary and Civil War history thrown in. The next day, I'll be going with Sarah to the Hunley.

I would try to book with her as soon as possible, as she's very popular.

enjoy!
 
Old Aug 7th, 2002, 01:53 PM
  #10  
Eva
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi, thanks for your suggestions. I can hardly wait for our trip no matter how we do it !
Betsy : I have no idea what it may cost for custom tour. Can you give me an approx.price range ? Is it by hour, day or package 'deal' ?
 
Old Aug 9th, 2002, 09:28 AM
  #11  
Betsy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Eva!

I'm doing a combo tour, so the price for my tour/s will likely be more expensive. I think the price for tour is probably around $70.00 and upward, but Sarah should be able to answer your questions more thoroughly. I'm pretty psyched up about Charleston!
 
Old Aug 9th, 2002, 10:10 AM
  #12  
xxx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yes, by all means Do one of Sarah Ragsdale's tours. The best in Charleston!
 
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 07:40 PM
  #13  
SXL
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sarah Ragsdale has taught me every piece of actual Charleston history that I have ever learned AND retained. This is a major victory considering my usual short attention span and regular yen for the nearest shady pub. lol She is a real southern lady, which for such a young woman is a rare find these days, and a real treat. My wife and I don't ever miss an opportunity to have her show us a new part of Charleston and she has always greeted us like old friends. I assure you, she is worth every dime. I noticed that her e-mail address was incomplete in a previous post. It is [email protected]. Happy traveling.
 
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 01:29 PM
  #14  
Liz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have to agree with SXL! We always hire Sarah when we visit Chas and we have always had a marvelous time!
 
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 02:17 PM
  #15  
Bucky
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Definitely Sarah Ragsdale. One of the best tour guides I have ever had in any city!
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Graziella5b
United States
11
Sep 4th, 2016 04:28 AM
iceland2010
United States
4
Jul 24th, 2010 05:25 AM
KandKmom
United States
4
May 30th, 2003 07:31 PM
Stash
United States
5
Jul 5th, 2002 01:06 PM
rae410
United States
4
Jul 5th, 2002 10:51 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -