Rainbow Row: Charleston's Colorful Historic Landmark

One of the most iconic sights in Charleston, South Carolina is the famous Rainbow Row. This picturesque stretch of colorful houses along East Bay Street is not only a popular tourist attraction but also a significant historical landmark that tells the story of Charleston's rich past.

The History of Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row is a series of thirteen historic Georgian-style row houses that were built in the late 18th century. The houses were originally constructed as merchant stores on the ground floor with living quarters above. Over the years, the buildings fell into disrepair until a preservationist named Susan Pringle Frost purchased them in the early 20th century and restored them to their former glory.

Today, Rainbow Row is one of the most photographed spots in Charleston and serves as a reminder of the city's colonial past. The vibrant colors of the houses are said to have been inspired by the Caribbean, where many of the city's merchants traded.

Exploring Rainbow Row

Each of the thirteen houses on Rainbow Row is painted in a different pastel color, ranging from pink and yellow to green and blue. The colorful facades make for a stunning backdrop for photos and a popular backdrop for weddings and special events.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along East Bay Street to admire the architecture and soak in the history of Rainbow Row. The area is also home to charming shops, restaurants, and art galleries, making it a perfect spot to spend an afternoon exploring.

Fun Fact:

Rainbow Row is the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States.

Preserving Charleston's History

Charleston is known for its commitment to historic preservation, and Rainbow Row is a prime example of the city's dedication to maintaining its architectural heritage. The houses on Rainbow Row have been meticulously restored over the years to ensure they remain a focal point of Charleston's historic district.

According to local historian William Baldwin, \"Rainbow Row is not just a collection of colorful houses, but a symbol of Charleston's resilience and ability to adapt to changing times while preserving its past.\"

Visiting Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row is located at 83-107 East Bay Street in Charleston, South Carolina. The area is easily accessible on foot or by bike, and there are plenty of parking options nearby for those driving to the area.

Guided tours of Rainbow Row and the surrounding historic district are available for those looking to learn more about the history of the area. Visitors can also explore the nearby Waterfront Park and Battery, two other popular attractions in Charleston.

Expert Tip:

For the best photo opportunities, visit Rainbow Row early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the lighting is just right.


Rainbow Row is not just a collection of colorful houses; it is a living piece of history that tells the story of Charleston's past. The vibrant facades and rich history of Rainbow Row make it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Charleston, South Carolina.

Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or just someone looking for a picturesque spot to explore, Rainbow Row has something for everyone. So next time you find yourself in Charleston, be sure to take a stroll down East Bay Street and experience the magic of Rainbow Row for yourself.

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