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Fort Sumter National Monument

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Fort Sumter National Monument: Our most recommended tours and activities

Fort Sumter: National Monument Entry Ticket & Ferry

1. Fort Sumter: National Monument Entry Ticket & Ferry

Enjoy 2 convenient ferry departure points: Liberty Square in downtown Charleston or Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant. See the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge as you ride the ferry along, and take in sights of Charleston’s stately Rainbow Row and Battery homes.  As you approach Fort Sumter, graceful sailboats and playful dolphins add to the photogenic scene. If you depart from Mt. Pleasant you will enjoy views of the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier from up-close, while tours embarking from downtown will see Aquarium Wharf as they depart and return. Arrive at The Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, which sits prominently at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, a strategic location that was crucial to its defense.  While here, explore the grounds of Fort Sumter. Stand on the grounds where America’s deadliest war began at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park. The first shots were fired here, igniting a conflict that saw more than 700,000 casualties. Experience the opening battle of the American Civil War and explore its origins with a National Park Ranger. Your approximate 1-hour visit to Fort Sumter allows ample time to explore well-preserved fort ruins and browse Museum Store souvenirs. A visit to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park provides a window into the life and trials of America’s heroes, from the Civil War to today’s modern conflicts. Learn about the events leading to the war from knowledgeable National Park Rangers who will relay stories of courageous heroes in action from the Civil War’s first battle. Walk in the steps of those who shaped this nation alongside a National Park Ranger. Then enjoy the beautiful views of the city as you ride the ferry back to Charleston.

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Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

2. Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

Experience Charleston on board a 1920s-Bay-Steamer-replica yacht. Listen carefully as your captain guides you on a journey through more than 300 years of American history. You’ll pass by 75 landmarks and points-of-interest on this 20-mile trip. Get close-up views of the “Holy City,” including Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Glide past Confederate and Union army forts and see the famous “Fighting Lady” of World War II. As you pass by remnants of the Civil and Revolutionary wars, don’t forget to look for dolphins and pelicans splashing nearby. Choose between indoor or outdoor seating. There is also an enclosed observatory and a partially-covered upper deck in case of rain.

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Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

3. Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

Save 40% or more off of Charleston's top tours and attractions, pay zero to enter, simply show your Mobile Pass! Choose a 1, 2 or 3-day pass. Includes admission to Fort Sumter, Ghost Tours, Plantations, Museums, Carriage and Bus Tours, Historic House Museums, Cultural sites and many more. After purchase we'll send you a text and email to start using the pass on your smartphone where you can choose from a selection of hand-selected tours, attractions, and historic sites. The Mobile Pass provides instant access to over 40 of the city's top tours, attractions and historic sites where admission is included. Reserve tours in advance before arriving. Multi-day passes can be used on non-consecutive days.Choose from: 1-Day pass: Choose 2 featured tours + visit unlimited "Walk-in or Standard" attractions for 1 day. 2-Day Pass: Choose 3 "Featured Tours" + visit unlimited "Walk-in or Standard" attractions for 2 days. 3-Day Pass: Choose 4 "Featured Tours" + visit unlimited "Walk-in or Standard" attractions for 3 days. FEATURED TOURS (requires reservations which can easily made within the mobile pass) Fort Sumter Tour Downtown Carriage Tour Boone Hall Plantation Drayton Hall Charleston Harbor Tour Haunted USS Yorktown Guided Tour Charleston Strolls History Walking Tour Historic Charleston Walking Tour Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour Chilling Charleston Walking Tour The Hunley Submarine Tour (Weekends only) Narrated City Bus Tour WALK-IN or STANDARD ATTRACTIONS (no reservation required, can be visited anytime during operating hours): Aiken Rhett House Museum Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site Caw Caw Interpretive Center Nathaniel Russell House Museum Charleston Fun Park ($20 value) Charleston Museum Gibbes Museum of Art Charleston Tea Plantation Charleston Water Taxi (all day ride pass) Confederate Museum Deep Water Vineyard (free tasting + wine glass) McLeod Plantation Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon Slave Mart Museum Powder Magazine South Carolina Historical Society Museum The Grit Counter ($7 lunch voucher per person) Palmetto Brewery (free flight per person) Verde Salads & Wraps ($5 voucher per person)- Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts (free doughnut per person) North Charleston Fire Museum

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Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

4. Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

Take a journey through Charleston's 300 years of living history with passionate licensed tour guides. Experience the Old Market area and the historic homes and churches where generations of Charlestonians worked, lived, and worshipped. Step out of the air-conditioned minibus onto the famous Battery Seawall to admire the wonderful views. See and hear about Fort Sumter, the Harbor of History, and the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point. Enjoy a tour through the elegant interior of a fully-restored historic home - Joseph Manigault House. Come and enjoy the beauty and hospitality of one of America's most historic cities.

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Charleston: 1.5-Hour Historic Walking Tour

5. Charleston: 1.5-Hour Historic Walking Tour

Take a historic walking tour around Charleston, a place free of carriages and motorcoaches. Take a fascinating tour and hear stories revealing Charleston’s rich history and colorful past.  This tour will go south into one of the largest historic districts in the nation and will guarantee a visit to Rainbow Row and to the battery. Your tour guide will show you some of Charleston’s most famous landmarks as well as give you glimpses of this historic city that you can only see on foot. The pace of our walking tour is leisurely and your guide is there to answer any questions that you may have as you stroll through the “cradle of Southern charm and hospitality.” Some historic highlights on the Charleston Stroll walking tour will include: • Rainbow Row • Historic Waterfront Battery • Antebellum Mansions • A visual tour of Fort Sumter • Hidden gardens and courtyards • Historic churches and graveyards and sites important to both the Revolutionary and the Civil War

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Other Sightseeing Options in Fort Sumter National Monument

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What people are saying about Fort Sumter National Monument

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,300 reviews

I have been to Ft. Sumter a few times but not since Hugo. Happy it's still a fun and learning experience. This is my friend's 1st time. Very enjoyable. Love history. Ferry out to the Fort was very nice also.

The captain and his crew was fantastic. They had snacks and alcholic and non-alcholic beverages. The captain should have been a stand up comedian. My wife and I toured the historic area and we had a blast.

This is an excellent experience and a must due excursion if you are interested in U.S. history. You have around an hour at the fort and that is plenty of time. The rangers are helpful and informative.

My husband and I had a great time! Captain JP was awesome. He knows everything about the area and made the cruise a really fun time.

Friendly staff and well-maintained Monument. Enjoyed the trip