Attractions

Top Choice Historic Building in Charleston

Middleton Place

Designed in 1741, this plantation's vast gardens are the oldest in the US. Countless slaves spent years terracing the land and digging the precise geometric canals for the owner, wealthy South Carolina politician He…
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.' A meticulous ongoing restoration is hon…
Historic Building in Charleston

Aiken-Rhett House

The only surviving urban townhouse complex, this 1820 house gives a fascinating glimpse into antebellum life on a 45-minute self-guided audio tour. The role of slaves is emphasized, and you can wander into their dor…
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, the largest of 40 or so similar auction houses. South Carolina's shameful past is unraveled in text-heavy exhibits …
Historic Site in Charleston

Fort Sumter National Monument

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

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…
Historic Building in Charleston

Magnolia Plantation

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

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

Kids love the creepy dungeon, used as a prison for American patriots held by the British during the Revolutionary War. The cramped space sits beneath a stately Georgian Palladian customs house completed in 1771. Cos…
Historic Building 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…
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. A recent renovation installed a new museum store and cafe …