Old Slave Mart Museum

Top choice in Charleston

Formerly called Ryan's Mart, this building once housed an open-air market that auctioned African American 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 illuminating the slave experience; the few artifacts, such as leg shackles, are especially chilling.

For firsthand stories, listen to the oral recollections of former slave Elijah Green and others. In a word: haunting.

Combination tickets with the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon cost adult/child $15/8.