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Rainbow Row
Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row

83 to 107 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina

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.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Charleston

star-5
If you only have a day do this.
Adam_W, Nov 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
The guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. It was a joy for the whole family. Well worth it to get an overview of Charleston.
star-5
Keith was extremely...
Tali_A, Nov 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Keith was extremely knowledgeable and engaging. He provided a well balanced overview of Charleston's past and present.
star-5
Visiting Charleston
Inna_K, Oct 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
A lot of history of Charleston and civil war . We saw a lot of historical sites and old houses and pace was good
star-5
Fabulous tour
Amy_V, Oct 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Linda, our guide was fabulous! She was very knowledgeable and showed us a ton of sites and suggestions of other places to visit in Charleston!
star-5
Engaging & Informative Intro to Charleston
Maureen_O, Oct 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Fabulous tour by Linda. Having not visited Charleston before, I wanted a history lesson, taste of local flavor, and an introduction to the city. We got all of that and more! Linda is the perfect guide - knowledgeable, engaging, accommodating, and generous with her recommendations for enjoying your visit.
star-5
Great way to see old Charleston
Sean_K, Oct 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Great summary of the old Charleston. Nice, easy walk and good history info. Saw many old gorgeous buildings and churches.
star-5
Great Tour
Heather, Oct 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
This tour was worth every penny. Our tour guide, Sarah, was extremely knowledgeable about everything Charleston! We were able to see parts of the city we wouldn’t have been able to on our own. Sarah was so friendly she made the tour fun and informative! Highly recommend 10/10!
star-5
Best tour of Charleston
Judith_B, Sep 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Very informative- Keith knew so many interesting details about the city ! It was a fun and we learned so much , I would definitely recommend this tour and Especially Keith !
star-5
Fun walking tour
Elsie_E, Sep 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Great overview of Charleston - the history you thought you already knew comes alive during the tour.
star-5
Excellent tour guide (Linda)!
Jennifer_K, Sep 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Linda was a great tour guide! Very informative and friendly. Gave us a nice and relaxed walk but with plenty to see and learn about! Highly recommend the tour for getting to know your way around downtown.
star-5
Lovely tour
Kim_P, Sep 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Loved this tour! So many of the tours focus on the market, this was a nice opportunity to learn more about a different part of Charleston. Our guide was lovely and did a great job of keeping us in the shade whenever possible which was greatly appreciated!
star-5
Perfect tour
Joseph_R, Aug 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
Our guide was personable and full of enthusiasm. Her stories and sights were wonderful. We were looking for learning about historical life in Charleston. This tour was perfect.

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.

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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.

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Trip ideas

A Spooky City Guide to Charleston

A Spooky City Guide to Charleston


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.

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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.

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