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  • Address: 83 to 107 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Charleston ATTRACTIONS See all

Rainbow Row Tours

This street of brightly colored homes in Charleston is easily the most photographed spot in the city, and it’s easy to see why. The 14 colorful Georgian row houses along East Bay Street date back to 1730, when they were built as merchant stores.

The Basics
Situated in near Waterfront Park in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, Rainbow Row features on just about every Charleston walking tour and carriage ride, along with other popular points of interest like the Dock Street Theatre, White Point Gardens, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, and the Waterfront Battery. Once commercial buildings, the houses today have all been converted to private residences—meaning you can only gawk at them from the outside. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Rainbow Row is a must-see for architecture lovers and first-time visitors.
  • Don’t forget your camera; Rainbow Row make for one of Charleston’s best photo ops. 
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, especially if you’re visiting as part of a walking tour.
  • Guided tours that stop at Rainbow Row last anywhere from 80 minutes to three hours, depending which you’ve chosen.

How to Get There
Rainbow Row is located on the stretch of East Bay Street between Tradd and Elliot streets in Charleston. It’s located a short walk from Waterfront Park, and it’s easily accessible on foot from just about anywhere in the historic district. 

When to Get There
For the best light for your photo—and sparser crowds to interfere with shot—plan to visit early in the morning or around sunset. In summer, expect hot, humid weather with highs in the upper 80s.

Why the Pastel Colors?
No one’s sure just why the Rainbow Row houses got their signature sherbet-hued paint job. One theory posits that the houses were painted like this so drunken sailors returning from the port could easily find the right one. Another suggests the colors once indicated the type of goods sold within each house, making it easier to attract illiterate shoppers. 

Tours & Tickets

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Historic Charleston Walking Tour, Charleston, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Historic Charleston Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 64 Reviews

Join your knowledgeable and engaging local tour guide for a relaxing 2-hour stroll through the quaint and charming streets of the historic district, all the ...  Read more

Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hrs

From USD $20.00
Historical Charleston Tour with Optional Joseph Manigault House Visit, Charleston, Historical & ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Historical Charleston Tour with Optional Joseph Manigault House Visit

4 star rating: Recommended 68 Reviews

On this historical Charleston tour, journey back in time as your guide reveals the beauty and charm of one of America's most historic cities. Learn about the ...  Read more

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Duration: Flexible

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A Short History of Charleston Walking Tour, Charleston, Historical & Heritage Tours
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A Short History of Charleston Walking Tour

Hear the story of historical Charleston on this 2-hour walking tour. Charleston’s history stretches back nearly four centuries - that’s a lot of ground to ...  Read more

Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $28.00
Charleston's Alleys and Hidden Passages, Charleston, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Charleston's Alleys and Hidden Passages

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 17 Reviews

Explore some of Charleston's enchanting alleys and hidden passages on this guided, small group, 2-hour walking tour. With our small group tours, you are ...  Read more

Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $25.00
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More, Charleston, Walking Tours
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Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 12 Reviews

Tour where carriages and motorcoaches are not allowed as you take a fascinating stroll with stories and traditions revealing Charleston’s rich history and ...  Read more

Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $28.00
Charleston's Most Beautiful Walk, Charleston, Walking Tours
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Charleston's Most Beautiful Walk

4 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

This 2-hour walk, which takes place on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, has been curated by a professional guide and incorporates some of Historic ...  Read more

Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $25.00
Very Charleston City Walking Tour, Charleston, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Very Charleston City Walking Tour

Experience this guided, 80 minute exploration of Charleston’s history, culture, and country charm inspired by Diana Gessler’s celebrated book, "Very ...  Read more

Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Duration: 80 minutes (approx.)

From USD $28.00

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