Visiting Charleston during the Coronavirus Pandemic

your safety is our first concern and we want you to have a great time visiting Charleston, safely

Ghost City Tours recognizes the importance of the health and safety of our guests and guides. Here in Charleston, we’re eager to help you enjoy the city, even during this time of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We’re committed to following CDC and State protocols.

Ghost City has put together this Travelling During COVID-19 Guide. We hope that you find the resources we’ve provided helpful.

Visiting Charleston during the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

Know Before You Go

South Carolina has implemented specific safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. These include mask mandates for indoor activities, a 10-person limit to gatherings on city property, and 50% capacity of bars and restaurants. We encourage you to enjoy Charleston while adhering to the protective measures set in place.

How has the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted Tours in Charleston?

We at Ghost City Tours have taken the Coronavirus threat very seriously, implementing special procedures to help maintain our guests' health and safety.

Even though being outside on walking tours is one of the safest ways to experience a city, Ghost City is strictly following Social Distancing Guidelines. While you can stay in your group, we expect our groups to maintain the suggested 6-foot distance from other groups on tour.

Face coverings are mandatory for Charleston, and we will be enforcing their usage even before your ghost tour begins.

Since we're outdoors, our tours are already a safe way of getting out and about. Now, you can have even more peace of mind.

Why is the Coronavirus Risk for Walking Tour Participants Low?

There are many aspects of walking tours that make them an excellent option for someone looking for a very low-risk activity.

  • All of our Tours take place outdoors, not in enclosed areas.
  • We expect our guests to abide by Social Distancing Guidelines. If you do not abide by these guidelines, you will be asked to leave the tour.
  • There is plenty of room to spread out, ensuring you're social distancing properly.
  • Before the pandemic, we already did an excellent job of avoiding crowds. We've taken those efforts even further.
  • Contact-Free seems to be all the rage - from Pizza joints to Car Dealerships. Our tours have always been "contact-free."
  • Ghosts can’t catch or carry COVID-19!

The reality is that taking a ghost tour with Ghost City Tours is no more of a risk to your health than walking around the block at home. We've taken every measure possible to ensure that an already low-risk activity is even safer.

Things to Do in Charleston During COVID-19

When exploring Charleston, you’ll find that many locations are open for business. In order to help keep Charleston a safe place to visit, the State of South Carolina and the City of Charleston have asked businesses to do their part in maintaining health and safety guidelines.

We urge all travelers to familiarize themselves with CDC protection tips.

Who Has to Wear a Mask?

The City of Charleston requires that everyone within six feet of one another outdoors – and everyone indoors – mask up! Please ensure that you bring your own masks as they are not provided.

Face coverings must be worn from the get-go; this includes when checking in for your tour. If you cannot wear a mask due to underlying disease, you are permitted to join without one.

Children under ten years old are exempt from the mask mandate. You are not required to wear a mask while drinking, eating, or smoking.

Acceptable Face Coverings for the Public

Acceptable face coverings include face masks, homemade cloth masks, and scarves. Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in critical demand and should be worn only by healthcare professionals and first responders.

While we don't want the current situation to deter you from visiting one of the nation's most fascinating cities, we do prioritize your safety. With the health of travelers in mind, we have compiled a list of fun, low-risk activities to do while in Charleston.

Below is a list of fully operational businesses taking extra steps to help keep you safe.

Hotels, Inns, and Bed and Breakfasts that are open during Coronavirus

More and more, we're seeing people day-tripping from nearby cities to Charleston. If you're staying for more than a day, the hotels listed below are some of the best options for a safe, sanitary visit.

We also think that hotels are excellent ways to explore the city while adhering to health and safety guidelines. These accommodations offer great opportunities to learn about historic Charleston. You won’t have to venture far from your room to explore the culture and legacy of the “Holy City.”

The Marshall House, one of Savannah's hotels which are following Coronavirus safety protocols.

Andrew Pinckney Inn

Visit their Website Call: (800) 505-8983

40 Pinckney Street

Located at 40 Pinckney Street, this boutique hotel stays true to Charleston’s historic charm. The 300-year-old structure has been meticulously restored, offering luxury amenities and stately rooms. It’s also a popular spot for paranormal enthusiasts: one guest witnessed a full-bodied apparition on the premises.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: masks are required in the public areas of the hotel; valet service is suspended; housekeeping service is by request only; elevator occupancy operates under limited capacity; sanitizing stations are provided; breakfast buffet is temporarily suspended.

The Cottages on Charleston Harbor https://www.thecottagesoncharlestonharbor.com/

16 Patriots Point Road

(866) 901-2688

Located at Patriots Point across Charleston harbor, these waterfront rentals provide luxurious space, secluded lodgings, and private views. They likewise offer spa services, bouquet packages, and certified babysitting services – ideal for the romantic traveler. You can even arrange to have your kitchen stocked upon arrival.

Don’t let the location deter you. For a small fee, guests can take the Charleston Water Taxi to downtown Charleston.

For more information about The Cottages on Charleston Harbor, please visit their website.

Belmond Charleston Place https://www.belmond.com/

205 Meeting Street

(843) 722-4900

Belmond Charleston Place pairs seventeenth-century splendor with contemporary luxury. Indulge yourself with Belmond’s Georgian staircases and Italian Carrera marble, their leading-edge, Swedish spa, and their world-class cuisine. International opulence meets southern charm at this premier hotel.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: masks are required in the public areas of the hotel; valet service is suspended; housekeeping service is by request only; elevator occupancy operates under limited capacity; sanitizing stations are provided.

For more information about Belmond Charleston Place, please visit their website.

Meeting Street Inn https://www.meetingstreetinn.com/en-us

173 Meeting Street

(843) 723-1882

Nestled in Charleston’s Historic District, this quaint bed-and-breakfast was once a theater, saloon, brewery, and nightclub. It’s now a picturesque inn with paranormal energies: housekeeping often reports playful, poltergeist-like activity in rooms 303 and 307.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: masks are required in the public areas of the hotel; sanitizing stations are provided.

For more information about Meeting Street Inn, please visit their website.

Francis Marion Hotel https://www.francismarionhotel.com/

387 King Street

(843) 606-5730

Named for the Revolutionary War Hero Francis Marion (the “Swamp Fox), this landmark establishment is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. It was built in 1934, but received an award-winning restoration in 1996. Marble baths and plush, pillow-top mattresses are two of the top-tier amenities you’ll find here.

Francis Marion is conveniently located in the Historic District, making it a hot spot for city explorers.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: masks are required in the public areas of the hotel; the elevator is limited to single-person usage with the exception of families; sanitizing stations are provided; valet service is temporarily suspended; the fitness center is by reservation only; reduced seating in the bar and restaurant.

For more information about Francis Marion Hotel, please visit their website.

Charleston’s Bars and Restaurants open during Coronavirus

If you're coming to Charleston, you're going to have to eat! The good news is that many of the city's restaurants have reopened, but with new policies to keep you safe while dining out in Charleston during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Of course, there are going to be some of you who still don't feel entirely comfortable dining-in. We have good news for you as well. Most of the restaurants in Charleston offer to-go orders and contactless delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash.

You can bring your food to any of the many outdoor areas in Charleston and enjoy your meal while taking in the fresh air. Outdoor dining has become a popular option for people who are concerned about dining out during the Coronavirus outbreak, leading many restaurants in Charleston to offer outdoor seating.

The restaurants on our list have implemented distanced seating and limited reservations to prevent large gatherings. Staff is required to wear masks and gloves while serving customers and daily temperature checks will be conducted for all team members.

At this time, restaurants in Charleston operate under limited capacity. Restaurants are open under strict social distancing guidelines, including redesigned seating to ensure a minimum of 6 feet in separation from seating to seating or the employment of physical barriers to separate groups of seating. Capacity will depend on the size and capability of each establishment.

Utensils, equipment, and workstations are being sanitized between use. Customers over the age of 10 are required to wear face coverings before being seated. Face masks can be removed once seated, while eating or drinking.

The Blind Tiger https://blindtigerchs.com/

36–38 Broad Street

(843) 872-6700

Named after speakeasier of the nineteenth century, the Blind Tiger Pub pays homage to one of the most infamous eras of American history. Some say this upscale bar has more spirits than liquor. What’s haunting Blind Tiger Pub?

For more information about The Blind Tiger, please visit their website.

Poogan’s Porch https://www.poogansporch.com/

72 Queen Street

(843) 577-2337

If you’re looking for southern fare, stop by Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishment. Not only is it a hot spot for celebrities and politicians, there’s a chance you’ll spot a phantom pup. Locals say that Poogan’s poltergeist haunts the house, looking for scraps.

For more information about Poogan’s Porch, please visit their website.

82 Queen https://www.82queen.com/

82 Queen Street

(843) 723-7591

Known for its Lowcountry Cuisine, 82 queen offers a “uniquely Charleston dining experience.” Their intimate courtyard will please travelers and locals alike, though it’s said to be a popular spot with phantoms, too. Come for the southern pickins’, stay for the apparitions!

For more information about 82 Queen, please visit their website.

Tommy Condon’s Irish Pub http://tommycondons.com/

160 Church Street

(843) 577-3818

Grab some pub grub at Tommy Condon’s. This family-friendly restaurant offers Irish fare and phantom sightings. (Guests have spotted apparitions in the kitchen and women’s restroom!) Plus, they provide patio seating for those who prefer to stay outside.

For more information about Tommy Condon’s, please visit their website.

Zero Restaurant and Bar https://zerorestaurantcharleston.com/

0 George Street

(843) 817-7900/p>

Nestled in the heart of downtown Charleston, Zero Restaurant pairs Old World elegance with sublime fine dining. They focus on fresh ingredients, and feature tartare, trout, and lamb. They currently operate with limited seating capacity, so reservations are encouraged.

For more information about Zero Restaurant and Bar, please visit their website.

Jackrabbit Filly https://www.jackrabbitfilly.com/

4628 Spruill Avenue

(843) 460-0037

Named after animals of the Chinese zodiac, Jackrabbit Filly serves Chinese-American fare in a fun, fresh environment. They currently operate with limited seating capacity, so reservations are encouraged. Curbside and take-away are also available.

For more information about Jackrabbit Filly, please visit their website.

If you’re looking for rustic and modern Greek cuisine, check out Stella’s https://stellascharleston.com/. For those interested in fresh, Lowcountry seafood, Chubby Fish https://www.chubbyfishcharleston.com/ offers catches straight from Charleston.

Outdoor Activities to Enjoy

Staying outside is a great way to enjoy the city, social distance, and keep safe. Luckily for us, Charleston has an ample amount of “things to do” outdoors.

Some facilities mandate a mask while on the premises.

While Charleston doesn’t require masks for socially distanced, outside activities, they’re encouraged. The City of Charleston also recommends that you visit these attractions by yourself or with those in your household.

Terrace Drive-In Theater https://www.terracetheater.com/

1956D Maybank Highway

(843) 762-9494

What better way to socially distance than at a drive-in movie? Terrace Theater has been voted “best movie theater” by the annual Charleston City Paper Awards for seven years running. It was also voted as one of the Top 10 attractions in South Carolina by USA Today and one of the Top 12 Independent Theaters by Moviefone.

For more information about Terrace Theater, please visit their website.

White Point Garden https://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/park/white-point-garden

2 Murray Boulevard

(843) 724-7321

Located in the Downtown Historic District, White Point Garden was once the gruesome hanging site of pirates. It’s now a public park, offering picturesque views of Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbor. Some say you can spot a few spirits there, too.

For more information about White Point Garden, please visit their website.

Unitarian Church and Graveyard http://www.charlestonuu.org/tours/churchyard-hours-information

4 Archdale Street

(843) 723-4617

You’re bound to be haunted whenever you’re the oldest Unitarian Church in the American South. Outside of being particularly known for spiritual energies, the graveyard is an excellent place to stay safe and socially distanced. Explore the burial ground of this eighteenth-century site during your next trip downtown.

For more information about the Unitarian Church and Graveyard, please visit their website.

West Ashley Farmers Market http://www.charlestonfarmersmarket.com/westashley/

55 Sycamore Avenue

(843) 724-7305

Currently the West Ashley “Essentials” Market, this outdoor experience offers sustainably sourced, local products. Stop by Ackerman Park on Saturday to support the farmers of South Carolina and see why it was voted the “Best Outdoor Event” for six years running.

For more information about West Ashley Farmers Market, please visit their website.

Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park https://www.wildblueropes.com/

1595 Highland Avenue

(843) 225-1555

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly adventure, book with Wild Blue Ropes. This adventure park provides the perfect recreational experience. Make your way through roped obstacle courses while you’re suspended in air. Swinging bridges, warped walls, and cliffhangers are just a few of the obstacles you’ll find at Wild Blue Ropes.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: masks are advised; waivers should be completed before arrival.

For more information about Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park, please visit their website.

Morris Island https://discoversouthcarolina.com/articles/visit-morris-island

Morris Island

Once the site of the Siege of Battery Wagner, this 840-acre habitat is a must-see for history buffs. Visitors will also want to check out the nineteenth-century, “candy-cane” lighthouse. It’s only accessible by boat, so you’ll need to book a tour to see this historic location.

For more information about Morris Island, please visit their website.

Fort Sumter https://www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm

340 Concord Street

(843) 577-0242

Learn about the birthplace of the American Civil War at Sullivan’s Island. Park Rangers are available to provide the history of the site, making Fort Sumter an informative, immersive experience.

While the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center is located at 340 Concord Street, Fort Sumter is only accessible by ferry.

For more information about Fort Sumter, please visit their website.

Indoor Activities for Safe Family Fun

Although Charleston County limits capacity for indoor gatherings, it’s still possible to enjoy the day indoors. Wear a mask and social distance to have a safe, sanitized trip in the city.

Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon http://www.oldexchange.org/

122 East Bay Street

(843) 727-2165

As one of the most actively haunted locations in South Carolina, this Charleston landmark will keep you on your toes. Visit what was once “one of the worst prisons in the history of the United States,” and learn about this deeply troubled basement.

Want to avoid poltergeists? The Old Exchange also provides exhibits on Charleston’s colonial era to the modern preservation movement.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: face masks are required within the museum; social distancing is implemented.

For more information about Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, please visit their website.

Powder Magazine https://www.powdermagazine.org/

79 Cumberland Street #3112

(843) 722-9350

As one of the few surviving structures from the Colonial Era, Charleston’s Powder Magazine has seen its fair share of specters. The museum highlights Charleston’s participation in the Colonial and American Revolution, so stop for socially distanced fun. You’ll connect with the stories – and spirits – that helped shape the nation.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: face masks are required within the museum; social distancing is implemented.

For more information about the Powder Magazine, please visit their website.

Old Slave Mart Museum https://www.charleston-sc.gov/160/Old-Slave-Mart-Museum

6 Chalmers Street

(843) 958-6467

Once the site of Charleston’s slave trade, the Old Slave Mart Museum now recounts the history of American chattel slavery. It’s a somber, self-guided experience through America's darkest period. Described as an “eye-opener,” the Old Slave Mart Museum is not to be missed.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: face masks are required within the museum; social distancing is implemented.

For more information about the Old Slave Mart Museum, please visit their website.

The Charleston Museum https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/

360 Meeting Street

(843) 722-2996

Founded in 1733, America’s “First Museum” preserves the legacy and history of South Carolina’s “Lowcountry.” The Charleston Museum also features the Bunting Natural History Gallery, an Armory, Egyptian mummies, Greek and Roman artefacts, and a two-headed snake. Plus, visitors can purchase a multi-site pass, allowing them access to the Charleston Museum, the Heyward-Washington House, and the Joseph Manigault House.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: face masks are required within the museum; social distancing is implemented.

For more information about The Charleston Museum, please visit their website.

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum https://www.patriotspoint.org/

40 Patriots Point Road

843-884-2727

Located on Charleston Harbor, the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum includes the USS Yorktown, the USS Laffey, and the USS Clamagore. If you’re fascinated by aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines, this military museum is a must-see.

For more information about Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, please visit their website.

House Museums & Historic Museums

What better way to learn about Historic Charleston than by visiting some of its oldest and most significant homes? The number of guests allowed inside the historic house museums has been reduced to enforce social distancing. Business hours vary by property.

We strongly recommend that you purchase your tickets in advance to avoid lines and social gatherings. For some historic properties, reservations are required.

Heyward-Washington House https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/

87 Church Street

(843) 722-2996

Signed by one of the four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence, this Georgian-style double house is now a National Historic Landmark. The Heyward-Washington House also features the Holmes Bookcase, considered “the finest example of American-made colonial furniture.” It’s an excellent opportunity to explore Charleston’s eighteenth-century experience.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: face masks are required; social distancing is implemented.

For more information about the Heyward-Washington House, please visit their website.

Joseph Manigault House https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/

350 Meeting Street

(843) 723-2996

Built in 1803, this antebellum building features nineteenth-century furniture and decorative arts. Visit to learn about the history of the French Huegenots of Charleston as well as their commercial enterprises.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: face masks are required; social distancing is implemented.

For more information about the Joseph Manigault House, please visit their website.

Middleton Place House Museum https://www.middletonplace.org/

4300 Ashley River Road

(843) 556-6020

Built in 1755 as a Gentleman’s Quarters, this historic house museum occupies 65 acres of America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Their collection features Middleton family furniture, paintings, documents, and artifacts that help interpret Middleton's role in American history. They also provide an African-American Focus Tour, allowing visitors to learn the stories of those enslaved.

For more information about the Middleton Place House Museum, please visit their website.

A Quick Thank You

We truly hope our resources have helped you plan your visit to Charleston. We know that it can be challenging, but enjoying your summer amidst the Coronavirus outbreak is possible.

Ghost City Tours thanks you for your continued support. After all, we would be nothing without our guests.

Our team of writers, illustrators, and marketers will continue to produce content to keep you entertained - and sane - during these trying times. We will also continue to provide useful and up-to-date information.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about travel, tour information, or guidelines. If you need to talk, we’re here.

Our Charleston Ghost Tours

Are you visiting Charleston? Our Ghost Tours are one of the safest activities you can find during the Coronavirus pandemic. We practice social distancing, and our tours are all outside!