Frequently Asked Questions
Are box office/outlet sales available? Hours of operation?
Tickets may be purchased at the Preservation Society of Charleston offices at 147 King Street Charleston during normal business hours. Beginning October 5, the box office will be open Monday through Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm and 10:00am to 7:00pm on Thursdays October 6 and 20.
Age restriction for attendance, if any?
Children over six may participate if they have a purchased ticket and are supervised. Neither strollers, car seats, back packs, nor children strapped in any manner to an adult may enter private residences.
At what age do children require a ticket?
Six years old; Adults with children under six may participate if one adult waits outside with the child while the first adult goes through a property, and then takes the child upon exiting so that the second adult may enter.
Will my ticket be mailed?
No. We do not mail tickets. Guests must pick up their map and wristband for entry at the Preservation Society headquarters. 147 King Street, at the corner of King and Queen. The store is opened Monday - Sunday, 10a.m. - 5p.m., and on days of evening tours,Thursday 6 and 20 from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. It is helpful to bring your confirmation with you so we don't have to look it up.
Can I buy my ticket in person?
Yes! Tickets can be purchased at the Preservation society headquarters, 147 King Street, at the corner of King and Queen.
How far in advance should I purchase my ticket?
We recommend purchasing tickets as early as possible. We continue to sell tickets until the tour begins, but tours do sometimes sell out.
Can someone else pick up my ticket(s) for me?
A copy of the confirmation email is required for tickets picked up by someone other than the billing name.
Where is parking for ticket pickup and purchase?
Tour maps are to be picked up from the Preservation Society headquarters at 147 King St. prior to the tours. There are two public parking decks on Queen St. from which the society is accessible.
Fees for parking:
Fees vary accordingly
Where is parking for the tour:
Parking in the neighborhoods can be challenging therefore we recommend parking in one of the many parking decks.
Shuttle information, if applicable:
The City of Charleston does have some public transportation options. Please visit their website for more information. http://www.ridecarta.com/
Photography is permitted only within the public right of way. No photos may be taken once one steps onto private property, either indoors or out.
Food and beverage
Other than bottled water (with a cap) no smoking, eating, or drinking is allowed inside the properties
Does the venue sell food and beverages?
Does the venue sell alcohol?
How long will it take/ will it take the full 3 hours?
The tours are self-paced and the length of time varies. Factors affecting length include the number of tickets sold, the size of the properties, and the proximity of the sites to one another. Some tour guests take the full 3 hours, but others finish in closer to 2.
What is the dress code?
Dress comfortably but respectfully. Guests should wear comfortable walking shoes - those wearing high heels or shoes that could damage floors may be required to remove their shoes prior to entering a private property
Are the tours handicap accessible?
The tours require walking six or more blocks, often over uneven streets and sidewalks. Private residences are not handicapped accessible; some, but not all, guests with mobility limitations have felt the tours met their expectations.
Is cell phone use permitted?
No. Please silence and put away cell phones and do not take calls or use mobile devices on tour.
Are there restrooms located throughout the tour?
Restroom facilities are not readily available in Charleston's historic residential neighborhoods. Your map will indicate the location of the nearest public restroom, which may be a substantial walking distance away. Please plan accordingly.
How close together are the houses?
Tour footprints cover six or more blocks.
Are these museum houses?
No, most are private houses owned by supporters of the Preservation Society of Charleston. Often there may be one of two public buildings such as an historic church or all included on each tour.
Are tickets refundable?
Tours take place rain or shine. NO REFUNDS. You may exhange your ticket for another time/event if space is available
How many properties are on tour?
Our goal is to offer seven to eight private houses and/or gardens. Most tours are a combination of interiors and gardens. Some owners offer a tour of the first and second floor while others offer a tour of the first floor. Others will only allow their gardens to be toured.
Do we get to go inside the houses?
Yes,in most instances. Volunteers lead tour guests through the interiors of private residences.Often a homeowner will only allow access to their garden.
Are all of the houses old?
There can be a great range in the age of the houses on each tour, from 18th century dwellings to modern interpretations.
What if it rains?
Tours take place rain or shine and there are no refunds for inclement weather. You may exchange your ticket for another tour/date if space is available.
Am I allowed to carry bags with me through the tour?
Backpacks and other packages are not permitted inside the private homes, nor are large handbags. You may leave these items outside the home AT YOUR OWN RISK. The Preservation Society is not responsible for personal items
What is the weather like in October?
October in Charleston can bring a range of weather experiences. Days can be hot and evenings can be cool. Guests may be more comfortable with a jacket or sweater, especially on the evening Candlelight Tours.
How do I decide on a tour? Which tour is better? Tell me more about a tour.
Neighborhoods and streets differ. Please note the description of each. Each tour will offer a variety of interiors and garden only properties. The houses will vary from 18th century houses to modern interpretations and will include numerous architectural styles.
Where should I eat?
Visit the Charleston Visitors Bureau website at charlestoncvb.com
Where should I stay? Hotels, B&B, etc.
What else should I do while in Charleston? (other attractions)
Charleston Tea Plantation www.charlestonteaplantation.com, 843.559.0383; Drayton Hall www.draytonhall.org 843.769.2600; Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Road, 29407; Magnolia Plantation, 3550 Ashley River Road, 29407; numerous museum houses on the peninsula; McLeod Plantation, 325 Country Club Drive, 29412
Can I pick up all of my tickets at once?
Can I pick up tickets prior to the tour?
Yes, but we will not reissue lost tickets. Once they are picked up, they are the responsibility of the guest.
Can you send me a brochure?
You may request a brochure here or call 843.405.1050
I don't have an email. How can I get a reciept?
You can pick up your tickets without an email confirmation, but the billing name must match the name of the individual picking up the tickets, and the guest may be asked to show a photo i.d. If an individual does not have an email, please enter firstname.lastname@example.org as the email address
Can I volunteer?
Yes. Please sign up here or call Susan Epstein 843.405.1050
Are tickets tax deductable?
If you are unable to use your ticket(s) please call the PreservationSociety at 843.405.1050 BEFORE your tour begins. We will issue a donation letter provided we have been notified as described. Donation letters cannot be issued after the tour date.