Aiken-Rhett House, Charleston

Constructed in 1820 by Charleston merchant John Robinson, Aiken-Rhett House serves as a time capsule for 19th-century Southern architecture and the life of the Aiken family who took ownership of the property in 1827. Surrounded by palm trees and other greenery, the preserved, three-story home is on the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds were also home to a number of skilled African American slaves, who were freed after the end of the Civil War. You can wander the area and see their living quarters. The family passed the property down from one generation to the next until the house was donated to the Charleston Museum in 1975. Make Aiken-Rhett House part of your personalized Charleston itinerary using our Charleston trip itinerary builder app .
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Aiken-Rhett House Reviews
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  • Took the fam here on a lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon and even our two teen agers liked it. The fact that this is a “preserved” house (cleaned up but left as-is from its old 19th century glory), not a “...  more »
  • Visiting the Aiken-Rhett House made me feel like I was at an archaeological site. The audio tour was easy to follow as it guided me through the slave quarters, kitchen, carriage block and main house. ...  more »
  • Wonderful slow-as-you-like personal walking tour of a preserved urban plantation. Not restored. headsets provided. Though not free men, the slaves were highly skilled and sometimes let out as carpente...  more »
Google
  • This was an audio tour which gives you the option to slowdown and take a closer look. This house is in preservation so don't expect to see the Biltmore like restoration. This house has history/storied residense used in Gone With the Wind. I got chills in the detached kitchen and slave quarters. Very interesting.
  • I have lived in Charleston for 13 years, and have been coming here for 18 years, and had never taken the time to go visit this historic landmark that not only describes through narration, but shows in it's physical presence what life was like in the early years of the city of Charleston. This is a tour that I would recommend to anyone who is visiting and wants something to do to learn about the history and culture of our great city....SIMPLY AMAZING and insightful!
  • To say it is preserved was a bit deceiving to me. The house is in incredibly poor condition but nobody mentions that it is due to Hurricane Hugo. Knowing that going in would make me feel less dissapointed. I had to ask what caused the poor state of repair on the way out. That being said, it is very informative and I enjoyed the recorded audio tour.
  • This is a no frills self guided tour which can be wonderful because you can explore the mansion and grounds without being confined to a group. The house and outbuildings give you a sense of what antebellum living was like in the city. You may find the art collection the Aikens acquired in life interesting or the house and items from the same era. Lots to see and explore!
  • This house may be considered run-down by some, but it is a special way of preserving life that is not restored to original. 45 minute audio tour included with ticket.

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Where to stay in Charleston

Charleston is serviced by dozens of local hotels and practically every major U.S. chain. Expect to pay top dollar for a room on the downtown peninsula, particularly if you wish to stay in one of the historic hotels. The upside of taking a room there is the proximity of all major attractions--you won't need a car to explore and enjoy your visit. Less expensive options are available in North Charleston, West Ashley, and Mount Pleasant, where you'll find all kinds of inns for the budget-conscious traveler.
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