Add dates

Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument: Our most recommended tours and activities

Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

1. Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride

Enjoy a ferry ride to the grounds of Fort Sumter and explore the grounds at your own pace. Pass by the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and take in the 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.

Charleston: Luxury Harbor Dinner Cruise

2. Charleston: Luxury Harbor Dinner Cruise

Embark on a true Charleston Harbor dining experience aboard the Spirit of Carolina. Enjoy a three-course dinner, made to order from local seasonal ingredients. As you dine on a delicious multi-course plated dinner, cruise through the beautiful Charleston Harbor, past Fort Sumter, along the Battery and beneath the Ravenel Bridge. Take in the views from the large enclosed air-conditioned dining decks or the open-air observation deck. Enjoy music throughout the cruise, as well as a full-service bar. Dinner menu: Soup: Charleston she-crab soup Salad: Edisto green salad with a blend of baby lettuce, dried cranberries, crumbled feta cheese, and toasted almonds with herb vinaigrette (gluten-free) Entrées: (All entrees include freshly baked bread and butter) • Braised short rib of beef (gluten-free, dairy-free) with cabernet reduction, roasted garlic whipped potatoes (gluten-free), and seasonal vegetables (gluten-free)• Seared wing tip chicken breast (gluten-free) with white wine lemon sauce, sautéed spinach and feta cheese fillings, roasted garlic whipped potatoes (gluten-free), and seasonal vegetables (gluten-free)• Low country shrimp and grits (gluten-free) with sautéed shrimp, tasso ham, and andouille sausage. Served on creamy stone-ground grits and topped with aged cheddar cheese and bacon jam garnish• Roasted sliced cauliflower (dairy-free, vegetarian) with roasted red pepper drizzle, wilted spinach, lemon and olive oil mixed ancient grains of quinoa, farro, toasted barley (dairy-free, vegetarian), and grilled asparagus (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian) Desserts: • New York-style cheesecake with strawberries and whipped cream • Chocolate pot de crème (gluten-free) with whipped cream and chocolate shavings ($6.00 each) Food is not prepared in a nut-free, shellfish-free, or gluten-free facility.

Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

3. Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

Cruise through the Charleston Harbor on an old-fashioned 1920s-Bay-Steamer-replica yacht. Enjoy live narration from the captain and purchase treats from a fully-stocked drink and snack bar. See the Civil and Revolutionary war sights and keep an eye out for dolphins. Relax in the enclosed observatory or on the partially-covered upper deck. 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. Pass by remnants of the Civil and Revolutionary wars and look for local wildlife like dolphins and pelicans splashing nearby. Choose between indoor or outdoor seating.

Charleston: Schooner Sailing Harbor Tour & Dolphin Watch

4. Charleston: Schooner Sailing Harbor Tour & Dolphin Watch

Experience the wonder of sailing on a classic, 84-foot tall ship in the idyllic setting of Charleston Harbor. As you cruise, marvel at the power of the wind filling the sails and the tranquility of the sea. Catch glimpses of historic landmarks, like Fort Sumter, and dolphins gamboling on the waves. Begin your sailing excursion at the Aquarium Wharf. There, meet your captain and crew of the striking, 3-masted ship known as the Schooner Pride. Admire the character and class of this authentic model of the classic coastal trading schooners. Next, prepare to set sail and help the crew as you begin to pull away from the dock. Once the sails are raised, sit back and relax on the benches lining the main deck. Enjoy views of Charleston Harbor stretching out before you. Continue your tour as you cruise past Charleston highlights, such as Fort Sumter, Fort Johnson, and Yorktown Point. Onwards, discover the historic waterfront area of Castle Pinckney. Sail further on waters that Blackbeard once traveled before returning to Aquarium Wharf.

Charleston: Historic City Tour and Harbor Cruise

5. Charleston: Historic City Tour and Harbor Cruise

Discover 300 years of Charleston history from land and sea with passionate licensed tour guides. Experience a 90-minute narrated tour of Charleston in a climate-controlled luxury coach and then head to the water for another perspective of the city from Charleston Harbor. Learn fascinating historical facts about Charleston while you cruise the gentle waves of her harbor. Knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides are licensed by the City of Charleston and are eager to share their knowledge with all guests aboard the cruise. Don't forget your camera as you will see all that the Holy City has to offer: Charleston's Historic Homes and Churches, the Old Market, Rainbow Row, Fort Sumter, USS Yorktown, and incredible views from Charleston Harbor.

Charleston: City Tour and Museum Combo

6. Charleston: City Tour and Museum Combo

Feel the past come alive on this combination tour in Charleston. Ride in comfort on a climate-controlled coach and discover Charleston's 300 years of living history with passionate licensed tour guides. Follow your bus tour with a visit to the Charleston Museum, one of the oldest museums in the United States. On your bus tour, experience the Old Market area and admire the historic homes and churches where generations of Charlestonians worked, lived, and worshipped. See and hear about Fort Sumter, the Harbor of History, and the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point. Make sure to take your camera as you will have the opportunity to stop at the famous Battery Seawall and enjoy the spectacular views. Keep your camera handy when you pass by the colorful houses on Rainbow Row, too. Finally, dive into the history of the Holy City at the Charleston Museum, which was opened to the public nearly 200 years ago. Explore the exhibitions that cover the American Civil War, the natural history in the area, and much, much more.

Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

7. 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.

Charleston: Low Country and Shores E-Bike Tour

8. Charleston: Low Country and Shores E-Bike Tour

Add something special to your trip to Charleston with a leisurely scenic tour by e-bike. Cruise past the city's highlights and hidden gems. Ride with a guide through the old village to Pitt St. Bridge, Shem Creek Park to spot dolphins, and Sullivan's Island. Head back along South Carolina's beachy shores. The route will take you first into the old village and then to Pitt St. Bridge with stunning views of Fort Sumter. Ride through neighborhoods lined with oak trees and Spanish moss. Pass by stunning Southern estate homes, marshlands, boardwalks, and more. Next, ride through Shem Creek Park. With an active shrimp boat fleet and the chance to see dolphins, a visit to Shem Creek is sure to be unforgettable. Then, head to Sullivan’s Island and check out the pristine beach. Ride along the shoreline on your way back to the meeting point.

Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

9. Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

Save 40% or more off of Charleston's top tours and attractions, pay zero to enter, and simply show your Mobile Pass. Choose a 1-day pass (you can add more days after purchase if you wish) with admission to Fort Sumter, Ghost Tours, Plantations, Museums, Carriage, and Bus Tours, Historic House Museums, Cultural sites, and much more. After purchase, you'll receive 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 between: 1-Day pass: Choose 2 featured tours plus visit unlimited walk-in or standard attractions for 1 day. • Fort Sumter Tour • Carriage Tour • Boone Hall Plantation • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens • Drayton Hall • Charleston Harbor Tour • Haunted USS Yorktown Guided Tour • Charleston History Walk • Choose from 6 different Ghost Tours • Hunley Submarine Tour (weekends only) • Mini-Bus Guided Tours Standard Attractions (no reservation required, can be visited anytime during operating hours): • Aiken Rhett House Museum • Heyward Washington House Museum • Joseph Manigault 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 Water Taxi (all-day ride pass) • Museum at Market Hall • 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) • Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts (free doughnut per person) • North Charleston Fire Museum

Charleston: City Bus Tour Ticket with Live Commentary

10. Charleston: City Bus Tour Ticket with Live Commentary

Take in the 350 years of Charleston’s city history on a guided bus tour of the city. Relax with live commentary, and enjoy a stop and photo op at the Battery. Meet your guide at the bus stop and climb aboard. Get comfortable in your seat as the bus takes off for the highlights of Charleston. Sit back as your guide explains the city’s history as you drive. First, drive past Rainbow Row. Then continue past famous churches, the Old City market, and follow it up by driving past Customs House. Next, arrive at the Battery. Hop off the bus for a quick look and photo opportunity at the White Point Gardens and Fort Sumter. Take advantage of the bathrooms at this stop before climbing back on board and continuing on. Finally, circle back to where you started at the Charleston Visitor Center, and thank your guide as you descend from the bus.

Available activities

13 activities found
Sort by:

Other Sightseeing Options in Fort Sumter National Monument

Want to discover all there is to do in Fort Sumter National Monument? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Fort Sumter National Monument

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,248 reviews

Very informative, the guides were fun, engaging and very knowledgeable! What a nice way to spend the afternoon learning about the history!

Enjoyable trip out and back. It started a little late due to fog, but we were given plenty of time to explore.

We are from Utah and we were excited. The tour was great, good info plus time to wander and shop on our own.

We enjoyed the ferry ride and appreciate the team for taking us out even with the weather conditions.

We done and very informative. An excellent experience.