Fort Sumter National Monument, 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
5,354 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Obviously, any history buff needs to visit Fort Sumter if they are in Charleston. Start of the Civil War, and all that. Like many of these military fortifications, it can seem a bit nondescript, but t...  more »
  • I took the Fort Sumter ferry across to the historic site. The boat ride was wonderful and had great views of other historic places.  more »
  • What a great place to visit. There is so much history to see and learn about or refresh one's memory. It great for all ages if you are mobile, and want to learn more.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful area. Fort Sumter is worth the visit. Beautiful views of the harbor. There is a very nice visitor center right across the street. They offer guided tour or you can just walk and check it out. I didn't take the guided tour. I walked at my own pace.
  • Visiting Fort Sumter you will have a lot of information and details about Civil War and World War II. The rooms are open to the public, with original objects and furniture in perfect conditions! The view from the top of the fortification is awesome and it’s located on a beautiful beach where you can step the sand and enjoy the breeze.
  • You aren't on the island too long. The rangers on the island are very knowledgeable. There is a museum in the battery that is air conditioned and the ship we took had two levels. The top deck is open air, and the second level is enclosed, with air conditioning and restrooms. Refreshments are available on top deck, and beer is available on the return trip.
  • Amazing! We took the last tour of the day and experienced the lowering of the American flag. Was a beautiful thing to see. Very well cared for. Pretty windy, dress accordingly.
  • Well worth the 10 or 15 bucks to go see. Not only do you get a great little cruise out to the island but you get to see multiple points of interest along the way as well. The fort is well maintained and a huge point of pride for us locals. If you like history or just like fantastic views this can not be beat. I even saw a dolphin in the water on the way there!
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