Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston

(4.3/5 based on 3,000+ reviews on the web)
Explore the site where the Union and Confederate armies clashed for the first time in the American Civil War. Your visit to Fort Sumter National Monument begins at the education center, where you can study exhibits on the war and purchase ferry tickets to the sea fort. Once you arrive, a park ranger will give a short talk about the conflict between the North and South that led to the firing of the first shots. As you walk the area, examine the defenses and imagine the Confederates’ 34-hour bombardment until the Union forces surrendered. For more information, visit the fort’s onsite museum. Refreshments are available on the ferry, but it is a good idea to bring water. Arrange to visit Fort Sumter National Monument and other attractions in Charleston using our Charleston itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Well worth the money. The boat ride out to the island was very informative with an audio playing and describing the surrounding. Learned a lot about the history of the beginning of the Civil War. My w...  more »
  • Really enjoyed the opportunity to bring our kiddos here. They loved learning about the rich history surrounding the island and the Civil War. The views were amazing and the volunteers were knowledgeab...  more »
  • Fort Sumter is a must see if you are in the area. There are two departure locations, Liberty Square and Patriot's Point. The Fort is an incredible piece of history, but the tour is only an hour which ...  more »
Google
  • Nice national park with good tours from well-informed park employees. The park admission is technically free, but the ferry ride to the park is $40 or so. If you're savvy (or cheap) you can figure out your own boat ride to the island. Or if you're *really* cheap you can wait until low tide and walk to the fort from James Island. Though I reckon you'll be wearing out your welcome by the time low tide rolls around again...
  • We enjoyed our visit to the Fort Sumter National Monument on 9-5-16. The reason I am only giving 3 stars is because we had a disable person with us. When we purchased the tickets we advised the clerk at the Liberty Square location of our situation. They asked if he could go up a few stairs. We said yes he could do about 5 stairs at most. They said then he should be ok. Well yes, the ferry was not an issue but the Fort was. They do have elevators that were out of service. When I mentioned that the employees at the front counter should be made aware of this the ferry employee said that the elevators had been out for months. Had we known this the disable individual would not have gone on this tour as he was unable to climb the first section which was about 10 stairs. The next section was about 15 stairs. Hopefully, the elevators will be fixed soon.
  • If you are interested in history this is a great tour. They tell you lots of fascinating information on the boat, and on the island if you wish to listen. They have a nice air conditioned museum on the island. Inside the cabin of the boat it was hard to hear the guide speaking, and if you listen to the guide on the island you don't have enough time to see the whole museum.
  • Ranger Sarah was absolutely wonderful. Her respect & dedication to the site and our Country was inspiring. She reminded us that, regardless of our opinions on the politics of the day, we are all Americans. Family got to help lower our flag at dusk...lifetime memory. Nice ferry ride & ample time to tour the fort. Definitely worth the trip!
  • Amazing history lesson for all Americans! Learned many things about Fort Sumter both before and after the Civil War. Excellent service from all involved - Park Service and boat crew. Very very affordable!