Calhoun Mansion


If you've ever wondered what the wealthiest, fanciest, most well-traveled hoarder's house might look like, visit the Calhoun Mansion. With 35 rooms and 24,000 sq ft, this Gilded Age, Italianate manor is Charleston's largest single family residence, and nearly every inch of it brims with the eccentric homeowner's collected furnishings, art and antiques from around the world.

Many visitors find it gaudy, but collectors often salivate, and everybody's jaws tend to drop at the sight of the Imperial Russian malachite table, the red sofa that belonged to Napoleon's brother, the hippopotamus-tooth chandelier, the samurai-warrior replica that dates back to the Ming dynasty and folds into a carrying case – you get the idea.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Charleston attractions

1. Edmondston-Alston House

0.11 MILES

Charles Edmondston built this Federal-style home in 1825 for a mere $25,000, and fell on hard times in 1837, forcing him to sell it to Charles Alston for …

2. Battery & White Point Garden

0.11 MILES

The Battery is the southern tip of the Charleston Peninsula, buffered by a seawall. Stroll past cannons and statues of military heroes in the gardens,…

3. Joggling Board

0.17 MILES

In the yard of the Nathaniel Russell House sits a fine specimen of a super-Charlestonian porch furnishing – the joggling board. It consists of a 16ft…

4. Nathaniel Russell House

0.17 MILES

A spectacular, self-supporting spiral staircase is the highlight at this 1808 Federal-style house, built by a Rhode Islander, known in Charleston as 'King…

5. Heyward-Washington House

0.27 MILES

As the name hints, this 1772 Georgian-style town house is kind of a big deal because George Washington rented it for a week, and visitors can stand in…

6. Rainbow Row

0.32 MILES

With its 13 candy-colored houses, this stretch of Georgian row houses on lower E Bay St is one of the most photographed areas in Charleston. The…

7. St Michael's Church

0.34 MILES

St Michael's is the oldest church in town, dating back to 1752, and its beloved bells have been announcing the time and various events, including…

8. Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

0.42 MILES

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…