Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston

4.3
#1 of 15 in Museums in Charleston
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. Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Charleston trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.
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Fort Sumter National Monument Reviews
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4.3
TripAdvisor
  • October 4, 2017
    We just happened to choose the most windy of days. It was a chilly ride out to the island but it was nice. It was very choppy because it was so windy. Can't complain about any of the ride, it was nice...  more »
  • October 4, 2017
    Our party of 4 took the 2:30 ferry from Charleston Harbor at Concord street. You can also get there from Patriot’s Point as well. The ferry ride was 30 minutes and we stayed at the fort for an hour ar...  more »
  • October 4, 2017
    The visit starts with a fine exhibit about the Civil War in the Visitors' Center, followed by a boat ride, with narration and a self-guided tour of Ft. Sumter, The US Park Service Rangers, are, as alw...  more »
Google
  • June 19, 2017
    Great place to visit. A lot of history here. The Park Rangers were great, gave us a very good informational talk, and answered our questions. Your leave by ferry and takes about a half hour each way. Highly recommended trip. I
  • June 7, 2017
    Really excellent tour including a beautiful ferry ride around the bay with excellent and well thought out narration. Very interesting and scenic fort. National park staff and volunteers go above and beyond to answer guests questions and explain sights and history without even asking.
  • April 20, 2017
    One of those places you must visit if you are only around the Charleston area for a few days (and also an excellent place to take the family). Note that though it is not filled with as many Civil War era relics as one would expect, the relevance of the fort up through the World Wars and the remaining structures from that period are still an interesting sight. Worth seeing and learning about.
  • May 16, 2017
    I took the last ferry/tour of the day and got to help lower the American flag over the fort! What a awesome experience! Just stand up top and take it all in. The views alone are worth it, but the historical importance means so much more. The fort is an incredible piece of American history that shouldn't be missed. All sorts of history for everyone, no matter how much you already know, to learn about. The NPS was very helpful too!
  • June 2, 2017
    Terrific dolcent giving 15 minutes of history at beginning of tour when we first landed on island. She's from Springfield, Illinois I am sorry I don't remember her name. Reading the placards was very interesting and seeing how far away the army was that was bombarding the fort with mortars and cannonballs was remarkable since the island and fort are much smaller than I envisioned.

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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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