Museums

Where The Culture and History of Charleston Come To Life

Charleston is a multicultural city with a long history. Whether you're interested in history, slavery, war, art, science, animals, gardens, nature, firefighters, textiles, manuscripts, the post office, or The Citadel, Charleston has the perfect museum just waiting to be explored.

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Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

Walk in the steps of heroes at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. See three vessels, the Medal of Honor Museum, 28 historic aircraft, and the 3-acre Vietnam Experience.

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The Charleston Museum

America's First Museum showcases an outstanding collection that tells the story of Charleston and the Lowcountry. Whether you have an interest in early southern culture, decorative arts, historic weaponry or military history, The Charleston Museum has something for everyone in your family. See website or call for hours and pricing.

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Charleston City Market

Open M-Su. Built in 1841 to sell produce and meats, it features small shops, restaurants and flea market with everything from produce to antiques.

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Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Nine hands-on exhibits, including a two-story medieval castle, a pirate ship and an art room, allow your children to explore the arts, sciences and humanities through play.

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Congressional Medal of Honor Museum

The Congressional Medal of Honor Museum tells the stories of brave Americans who displayed remarkable courage. The museum details eight eras of Medal of Honor history, and features interactive exhibits that explain the award along with archives of important documents.

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Friends of the Hunley

In 1864, the Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine and then mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was recovered from the sea in 2000. See history unfolding during weekend tours of the Hunley. For tickets, call 1.877.4HUNLEY. For weekday large group tours, call 843.744.1488.

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Gibbes Museum of Art

Experience Charleston's history through art! Come face-to-face with stories of the South Carolina Lowcountry as seen through painting, miniature portraiture, sculpture, photography, and more at Charleston's signature art museum. Complimentary cell phone tour is offered with admission.

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Karpeles Manuscript Museum

W-Sa 11am-4pm. Karpeles houses the largest private collection of historically significant manuscripts in the world (more than 1 million). Philanthropist David Karpeles supports seven museums across the nation and his collection ranges from Ancient Egypt to the Apollo moon landing. Free.

Museum Mile

This diverse mile long corridor stretches along Meeting Street from the Charleston Visitor Center to the Nathaniel Russell House. Offering visitors the most comprehensive array of historical and cultural attractions in downtown Charleston.

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Old Slave Mart Museum

Recounting the story of Charleston's role in this inter-state slave trade by focusing on the history of this particular building and site and the slave sales that occurred here. 9-5 M-Sa. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's. $7 adults, $5 children aged 6 to 12, under 5 free.

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Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.

Established in 1991 by the Vestry of St. John’s Reformed Episcopal Church to develop and maintain a commemorative garden and preserve the legacy of the master craftsman. Locations: the Bell Garden on George Street and the Heart Garden (topiary garden) on Menotti Street.

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Postal Museum

Charleston’s postal history. The Post Office Building circa 1896 was erected over the ruins of the old police station, which was destroyed in the earthquake of 1886. The building at Meeting and Broad is the oldest continuously operated post office in the Carolinas.

South Carolina Historical Society

Research library Tu-F 9am-4pm; Sa 9am-2pm. Founded in 1855. The state’s oldest historical society maintaining a vast research library and archives in the historic Robert Mills Fireproof Building. Researchers are invited to explore our collections. Members conduct research for free and receive the Society’s publications. Tours available by appointment.

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The Citadel Museum

Su-F 2-5pm; Sa 12-5pm. Closed College, religious, and military holidays. Museum portrays the history of The Military College of South Carolina and Corps of Cadets from 1842 to present. Exhibits feature photographs, uniforms and archival documents. Dress Parade held at 3:45pm almost every Friday during the academic year. Also visit Summerall Chapel. Free.

The City Hall Gallery

M-F 9am-5pm. Located in the Council Chamber of the Charleston City Hall (1801), the gallery contains portraits of many important leaders, including one of George Washington by John Trumbull.

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The Confederate Museum

Market Hall was built in 1841. Since 1898, the Daughters of the Confederacy has operated the Confederate Museum, which contains flags, uniforms, swords and other Confederate memorabilia.

The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum & Educational Center

The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center blends history and hands-on education into an unforgettable experience for the entire family.

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