Attractions

Top Choice Historic Building in Charleston

Middleton Place

Designed in 1741, this plantation's vast gardens are the oldest in the US. One hundred slaves spent a decade terracing the land and digging the precise geometric canals for the owner, wealthy South Carolina politici…
Historic Site in Charleston

Fort Sumter

The first shots of the Civil War rang out at Fort Sumter, on a pentagon-shaped island in the harbor. A Confederate stronghold, the fort was shelled to bits by Union forces from 1863 to 1865. A few original guns and …
Museum in Charleston

Old Slave Mart Museum

Ryan's Mart was an open air market that auctioned African men, women and children in the mid 1800s. It's now a museum about South Carolina's shameful past. Text-heavy exhibits illuminate the slave experience; the fe…
Museum in Charleston

Charleston Museum

Founded in 1773, this claims to be the country's oldest museum. It's helpful and informative if you're looking for historic background before strolling through the Historic District. Exhibits spotlight various perio…
House in Charleston

Magnolia Plantation

Up for a spooky stroll? Then follow the boardwalk through the trees and bog on the Swamp Garden tour - it's a unique experience. The 500-acre plantation, which has been owned by the Drayton family since 1676, is a v…
Historic Building in Charleston

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

Kids love the creepy dungeon, used as a prison for pirates and for American patriots held by the British during the Revolutionary War. The cramped space sits beneath a stately Georgian Palladian customs house compl…
Historic Building in Charleston

Aiken-Rhett House

The only surviving urban plantation, this house gives a fascinating glimpse into antebellum life. The role of slaves is also presented, and you can wander into their dorm-style quarters behind the main house. The Hi…
House in Charleston

Drayton Hall

This 1738 Palladian brick mansion was the only plantation house on the Ashley River to survive the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and the great earthquake of 1886. Guided tours explore the unfurnished house, which has…
Historic Building in Charleston

Nathaniel Russell House

A spectacular, self-supporting spiral staircase is the highlight at this 1808 Federal-style house, built by a Rhode Islander, known in Charleston as 'the king of the Yankees.' The small but lush English garden is al…
Gallery in Charleston

Gibbes Museum of Art

Houses a decent collection of American and Southern works. The contemporary collection includes works by local artists, with Lowcountry life as a highlight. The museum was closed for renovations in 2015 but is sched…