Learn About the Ghosts of Charleston, SC on this Haunted Harbor Tour

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Did you know you can catch a ride on a haunted harbor tour with Sandlapper Boat Tours in Charleston, SC? Sandlapper Boat Tours actually offers a wide range of water tours. In addition to a haunted tour you can also discover new things on Sandlapper Boat Tours’ Eco Tour or enjoy the sunset on a sunset cruise through the harbor.

We recently polled the Kidding Around readers on social media about what they would like to see us cover in Charleston. The two top results were ghost tours and harbor tours. Since we here at Kidding Around try to go above and beyond, Melanie found an activity that fit the bill for both top requests! A Ghost tour, with Sandlapper Boat Tours! Find out what she learned about the spirits of Charleston, and the other fun you can have with Sandlapper Tours. 

For more fabulous things to do in Charleston, don’t miss our Guide to Charleston, SC.

The team at Kidding Around recently shared their Pandemic Travel Precautions with readers. 

We were provided media passes in partnership with the Charleston CVB and Sandlapper Tours to bring you this review. The following review is an honest and genuine account of our experience. 

If you are a loyal fan of Kidding Around, then you might have realized some of our team loves the thought of hunting ghosts. We’re too scared to actually do it, but the thought of it seems cool. So, when I saw that our readers wanted us to cover a ghost related activity in Charleston I was thrilled. Readers also wanted a harbor boat tour activity, imagine my delight when I discovered I could knock it out of the park and offer readers a “two-fer”! I had already planned on booking their educational-eco tour for another piece I was working on (more on that in a bit), so I didn’t have to go far too find information on the ghost tour. 

Find a place to stay in Charleston. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Learning About The Ghosts Of Charleston

Anyplace that has seen turmoil and tragedy is bound to have restless spirits. The history of Charleston includes the start of the civil war, the main port for incoming enslaved people, the fires that ravaged the city, and so many other things. This makes it a perfect setting for tales of ghostly encounters. 

The night we took the tour, the weather couldn’t have better lent itself to the setting of the tour if it had been orchestrated by the tour company. A lightning storm came rolling in out of nowhere just a few minutes before we were supposed to board, and it had the other passengers on edge (myself included). After a too close for my blood pressure lightening strike, the storm disappeared as quickly as it came and we never heard another peep from mother nature.

We set off on the tour’s covered pontoon boat and began listening to stories of the city. Ed Macy knows his ghosts, in fact he’s published several books on the ones that reside in Charleston. You can learn about the city’s maritime ghosts , and the ghosts of Charleston in his writing.

While the tour is open to all ages 3 and over, you should know that the stories could get scary for young children. I had my four year old who talks about ghosts all the time. ALL THE TIME! I had read reviews from other parents and brought some noise cancellation headphones along just in case. We never needed them, and my children slept just fine that night.

You will learn about the school marm that visits the brunch time patrons of Poogan’s Porch, which is allegedly one of the most haunted places in the city. You might learn about the unfortunate history surrounding the bridge that once stood where the Ravenel bridge now is, or about the mother who was caught mourning the death of her child graveside. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our ghost adventure of the tour, it also provided us with spectacular nighttime views of the city and the Ravenel Bridge. The tour lasts 90 minutes. 

The Sandlapper Haunted Tour 

Adults $30 | Children (ages 4-12) $20 

Learning About The Animals That Call Charleston Harbor Home

Sandlapper also offers other options besides the ghost tour, and one of them is an eco-tour. I was excited to take this because it’s also a dolphin tour and it lived up to the promise. Each tour has a local naturalist on board that will talk to passengers about the ecology of the local waters. The boat will bring you to Morris Island, where you will disembark for a short time to explore the island and beachcomb. I hit the jackpot and found the very first shark’s tooth I’d ever found! There were lots of cool things found on the beach, and we had a show and tell once we boarded the boat again. On the tour we saw all sorts of different wildlife, including a sea turtle! My children really enjoyed learning about the ecology of the harbor and wanted to go out again the next day! Their website offers links to powerpoint lessons that meet SC education standards! 

The tour lasts two hours. 

The Sandlapper Eco-Tour 

Adults $40 | Children (ages 4-12) $30 | Children (3 and under) Free

Watch The Sunset Over Charleston

The tour company also offers a sunset tour that we didn’t get a chance to experience. If it’s as nice as the ones we did get to enjoy then it’s worth checking out. 

Experience the beautiful sights and sounds of the coast, as Charleston’s unique skyline comes alive with peaceful and breathtaking views of sunset silhouetted steeples. It is truly remarkable! In addition to the gorgeous cityscape, dolphins and shorebirds will entertain you with their whimsy.

The Sandlapper Tour Website

The tour lasts two hours.

The Sandlapper Sunset Cruise

Adults $40 | Children (ages 4-12) $30 | Children (3 and under) Free

Things To Know Before You Go on a Sandlapper Tour

The boat used by Sandlapper Tours has an onboard bathroom, and they offer soft drink, water and alcohol sales. 

The tour leaves from the Maritime Center that is just a block away from the South Carolina Aquarium. The website suggests parking in the parking garage in front of the aquarium. However, unless you plan on doing more sightseeing or heading to the aquarium, I wouldn’t park that far away. In front of the maritime center they are building an African American History Museum, there is metered parking there and it is much closer. 

The tours are booking passengers at a lower capacity during the pandemic. The two tours we went on had only 2 other families on-board, leaving tons of space between us and the other passengers.

We included the eco-tour in our suggestions for an educational trip to Charleston. Visit that list if you are looking for other ways to homeschool-away-from-home. 

Have you been on a tour like this in Charleston? Let us know what your favorite kind of harbor tour was in the comments.

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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