Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston

(3,200+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site
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
  • I'm not a history buff, and wasn't sure how I'd like this tour. But my fiance is, so we decided to go. I'm very happy we went. The ferry ride to the island was very scenic and comfortable, and we saw ...  more »
  • If you can take the time of 2.5 hrs to go out to the fort, it will be worth it especially those who have a love of all things history. The ferry ride out is nice because they give you a history of the...  more »
  • If you enjoy Civil War history the fort is a great place to visit. Boat ride out is interesting with good narrative presentation. Nice museum at the fort.  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I never realized what an important role S.C. and Charleston specifically had in our nation's history. Maybe it's from the dumbed down version of history that they teach in public schools. The ride back and forth is nicely narrated. Actually traveling through the harbor made the geography of it all make more sense. The National Parks Service is undertaking a great task in restoring, preserving, and teaching about this important piece of land in the harbor.