Explore Rainbow Row

One of Charleston’s most photographed areas is the thirteen pastel-colored historic homes along the waterfront on East Bay Street. These Georgian-style row houses were built in 1740 and they were not originally painted in pastel colors. Businesses were on the ground floor of the home and the merchants and their families lived on the top floor.

There are many theories about how the Rainbow Row houses all came to be painted various pastel-colors. One theory believes the variety of house colors made it easier for drunken sailors to find their way home at night. Another theory is that the different colors of the buildings would indicate what types of merchandise were sold there and shoppers would know what color house to go to for purchasing needed items.