Charleston, West Virginia audio tour: Art and Architecture in the Downtown Charleston Historic District

Art and Architecture in the Downtown Charleston Historic District

Walking Tour

45 mins

About the Tour

If you like 20th century history, diverse architecture, and quirky public art, this walking tour in the Downtown Charleston Historic District is for you!

Having lived in Charleston all my life, I decided to channel my passion and love for the city into something I could share with others. On this circular walk, I’ll unlock the stories behind several fascinating places that you’ll see along the way, including:

• The site of the first brick-paved street in the United States
• Two former State capitols’ locations
• Charleston’s oldest business and its modern day incarnation (spoiler alert: it smells amazing!)
• Beautiful Kanawha River and its scenic spots
• Home of the best ice cream in town
• Charleston’s smallest piece of art

Whether it’s your first time in Charleston, or you’re a lifelong resident who’s eager to learn more about the city, this tour is a valuable introduction to all that historic downtown Charleston has to offer.

This hour-long walk starts and ends along the Kanawha River, but not before taking you down the city’s historic Capitol Street. Along the way, there are plenty of restaurants and shops along the route for a short or lengthy stop.

Tour Producer


Emma Carpenter

Hi! I am a local high schooler with a passion for historic buildings and architecture, here in the great city of Charleston, West Virginia.

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Major Landmarks

  • City Hall

  • Capitol Street

  • Old Daniel Boone Hotel

  • Stone and Thomas

  • Blossom Dairy

  • Mortar Man

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins at Haddad Riverfront Park, also known as The Levee. It is located on the riverbank side of Kanawha Boulevard, directly across from the Sheraton Four Points Hotel.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

If you're in the mood for a bite during this tour, we'll be walking by a few of my favorite restaurants along the way, as well as two ice cream places, and a historic snack shop. I also recommend stopping by a few fun stores. Here are some of my favorites:

-Black Sheep Burritos and Brews
-The Block
-Pies and Pints
-Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille
-Swiftwater Cafe
-Sam's Uptown Cafe

Ice Cream:
-Ellen's Ice Cream
-Stellas Gelateria/Specialty Market

Snacks/Other Dessert:
-Rock City Cake Company
-The Peanut Shoppe

-Buck & Bette
-Taylor Books
-Stray Dog Antiques
-Art Emporium

Best time of day

This tour is best anytime during the day.


Be aware of any construction occurring downtown.


I’m newer to the Charleston area, a friend of mine at school had made the tour, and after hearing everyone’s passion surrounding it. I decided to take my family and see what all the hype is about. It more than lived up to it. I learned so much about the different architecture in Charleston, And more importantly it helps me find a new found respect for the city in which I’ve lived so close all my life. Emma does a fantastic job with her passion and excitement being overtly obvious throughout the tour. I recommend it to everyone.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 30 days ago

Greetings Emma, congrats your producing debut! Maybe next time please check out the Historic Luna Park district. We conducted a walking tour this past August & beautification interpretive panels will be installed in December. Gracious for your appreciation, interest & love of our city.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 6 months ago

Wonderful tour of Charleston, WV!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 8 months ago
Art and Architecture in the Downtown Charleston Historic District