The Grandeur Of Charleston's Past Restored For Future Generations

Picnic in the Cistern at America's first municipal college. See a show in America's First Theater. Buy souvenirs in one of the nation's oldest public markets. Take a tour of one of Charleston's historic homes and buildings and see why Charleston truly is a place where history lives.

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Take a bateau ride on a genuine black water swamp, explore nature trails and the beautiful grounds of Cypress Gardens. Learn More
Hear unique stories of heroism and the paranormal on this guided ghost tour aboard the USS Yorktown. Learn More
drayton_hall
The oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public. Admission includes guided House Tour, Connections Program: From Africa to America, interactive landscape tour, African-American cemetery, nature walks, Museum Shop. Please call ahead for hours and tour times.
edmondston_alston_house
Dating to 1825 and located on Charleston’s High Battery, guided tours invite visitors to step into a world of Antebellum elegance and style. Visitors will see furniture, silver and paintings original to the Alston family, and breathtaking views of the harbor from the second-floor piazza.
nathaniel_russell_house_
Grand Federal townhouse completed in 1808. Restored interior w/ elaborate ornamentation and a magnificent free-flying staircase. Set amid spacious gardens and furnished with period antiques, the house evokes the gracious lifestyle of the city's elite. $10. M-Sa 10am– 5pm, Su 2pm – 5pm. Last tour beings at 4:15 p.m.
joseph_manigault_house
M-Sa 10am-5pm; Su 1-5pm (last tour 4:30pm). “Charleston’s Huguenot House” was built in 1803. The Garden Gate Temple and outstanding collection of American, English and French furnishings of the period capture the lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family. Adults $10; children $5. Combination tickets available.
heyward_washington_house
M-Sa 10am-5pm; Su 1-5pm (last tour 4:30pm). Built in 1772, “Charleston’s Revolutionary War House” was the town-home of Thomas Heyward, Jr. Features magnificent Charleston-made furniture and a formal 18th century garden. Adults $10; children $5. Combination tickets available.
aiken_rhett_house_
The city’s most intact antebellum urban complex (c. 1820). Historic interiors, surviving virtually unaltered since 1858, have been conserved and stabilized. Many family objects are still found in the rooms for which they were purchased. $10. M-Sa 10am– 5pm, Su 2pm–5pm. Last tour beings at 4:15 p.m.
middleton_place_house_museum
Built in 1755, the House Museum interprets generations of the Middleton family -- rice barons who shaped the history of the U.S. from the founding of Charleston to the Civil War. Guided tours describe the amazing collection of original Middleton family portraits, furniture, silver, jewelry and documents.
Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture
Reading room and archives open 10am-5pm M-F and 12-5pm Sa. Walk-in tours open M-Sa 12-5pm. Group tours by appointment. (1990 Carolopolis Award). Beautifully restored facility, site of former Avery School built in 1865. Tour of building includes exhibits and archives.
Morris Island Lighthouse
Morris Island is located off of Folly Beach and is an ecologically and historically sensitive barrier island. One of Charleston's best known and most beloved landmarks is recognized as one of the top 100 cultural sites in the state of South Carolina by the Heritage Trust Program Board.
Old City Market
Open M-Su. Built in 1841, it features small shops, restaurants and a flea market with everything from produce to antiques. Hear the lilting dialect of Gullah ladies as they weave and sell handmade sweetgrass baskets.
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Built by the British in 1771, American Patriots were held prisoner in the Provost during the War of Americas' Independence. One of the three most historically significant buildings of colonial America. Educational tours/evening events. Adults $8; 7-12 $4; 6 and under free.
South Carolina Historical Society
The state’s oldest historical society maintaining a vast research library and archives. Researchers are invited to explore our collections. Members conduct research for free and receive the Society’s publications. Tours available by appointment.
The Charleston Library Society
M-F 9:30am-5:30pm; Sa 9:30am-2pm. Established December 28, 1748 by seventeen young gentlemen of various trades. The Charleston Library Society paved the way for the founding of the College of Charleston in 1770 and provided the core collection of artifacts for the founding of the Charleston Museum.
The College of Charleston
Founded in 1770, the first municipal college in America was built in 1724 on land set aside for educational purposes. Present main building was designed by eminent Philadelphia architect William Strickland, built in 1828, and paid for by voluntary subscription by the people of Charleston.
The Historic Dock Street Theatre
“America’s First Theatre,” located in the heart of downtown Charleston, is home to the City’s finest cultural institutions including Spoleto Festival USA and Moja Arts Festival. Charleston Stage, the theatre company in residence at Dock Street, presents a full season of plays each year.
The Powder Magazine
Oldest public building in the Carolinas. The Powder Magazine stored the powder crucial for defending Charleston. Although replaced by a newer magazine in 1748, it served effectively until the American Revolution. Restored to its mid-nineteenth century appearance and open as a National Historic Landmark.