The Battery, Charleston Culture & history

Our most recommended The Battery, Charleston Culture & history

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: Historic City Tour and Harbor Cruise

2. 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: Magnolia Plantation & Historic City Tour

3. Charleston: Magnolia Plantation & Historic City Tour

Begin your half-day tour by boarding a climate-controlled coach in Charleston. Meet your professional guide and ride to Magnolia Plantation, dating from 1676 and the time of the British colony. Witness a slice of living history at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and get an amazing perspective on Charleston's past and present. The Magnolia Plantation and its world-famous gardens have been owned by the Drayton family for 12 generations. Enjoy your visit to one of America's first tourist attractions and first public gardens, which have been open to the public since 1870. Take a guided walk through America's last large-scale Romantic garden, and experience history on a 45-minute narrated nature tram ride through the Audobon swamp gardens. Step out among the Romantic gardens and Spanish moss to see wildlife such as alligators, egrets, herons, and turtles on the nearly 600-acre plantation. Cap it all off with a 30-minute tour of the Magnolia Plantation Home before boarding your bus back to Charleston. Back in the Holy City, your deluxe, climate-controlled shuttle will take you for a 1.5-hour tour of the city’s historical highlights. Accompanied by a knowledgeable, local guide, visit over 100 of Charleston’s most iconic sights of the past and present whilst listening to amazing tales and anecdotes about the city. On your tour, travel through some of the most historic parts of the city and visit Charleston’s historic homes, The Battery Sea Wall, the Four Corners of Law, and Rainbow Row to name but a few. Other highlights of the tour include a number of historic churches, old markets, and picturesque neighborhoods.

Charleston: Strolls Walking Tour

4. Charleston: Strolls Walking Tour

A Charleston classic since 1979, this two-hour walking tour through America’s most charming historic district is sure to be the highlight of your visit to historic Charleston. Join a local guide on this walking tour and receive a wealth of historical information and “insider tips” on where to stay, dine, and things to do. Let the knowledgeable tour guide show you some of Charleston’s most famed landmarks as well as give you glimpses of this historic city that you can only see on foot. The pace of the walking tour is leisurely and the guides are there to answer any questions that you may have as you stroll through the cradle of southern charm and hospitality. Visit some of Charleston's most notable landmarks including Rainbow Row, the Waterfront Battery, Antebellum Mansions as well as points of interest from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Get amazing views of Fort Sumter and discover hidden gardens, courtyards, historic churches, and graveyards. 

Charleston: Historical Walking Tour with Storytelling

5. Charleston: Historical Walking Tour with Storytelling

Stroll through Charleston’s oldest neighborhood on a guided walking tour, led by an expert guide. Learn about the women and men – both pirates and patriots – who first founded the city, as you discover its highlights. The tour begins in front of the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, one of Charleston’s oldest and most historical buildings. Continue down East Bay Street, passing Rainbow Row. See period mansions, and admire the views of Charleston Harbor and White Point Garden. Walk in the footsteps of pirates and their captors, as your guide tells you stories of looting and plundering. Wander the streets and alleys of Charleston’s South of Broad neighborhood. Learn about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the founding of America. Head back to the starting point, passing the Four Corners of the Law and the shops and residences on Broad Street. Your experience includes entrance to both the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and Philip Simmons House.

Charleston: Self-Guided Audio History Walking Tour

6. Charleston: Self-Guided Audio History Walking Tour

Enjoy a journey of over 300 years of history in Charleston on a self-guided walking tour. Explore the French Quarter’s iconic sights, Old Customs House, and more at your own pace with the magic of an audio guide. You will receive the download instructions after booking. Download the app and start the tour with your mobile phone as your guide. Start your tour at the famous City Market and have a chance to grab a cup of coffee or a quick bite before stepping into a time machine to explore Charleston’s rich and fascinating past. Visit the scenic Pineapple Foundation in Waterfront Park, Old Exchange, and the Provost Building. Take a stroll down memory lane to visit some of the city’s oldest and best-preserved homes. Hear about the revolutionary Civil War and Charleston’s connection to the slave trade. Discover the facts about why George Washington stayed in the city for three days straight during his tour of the South. You will know the significance of the pineapple in the area. Walk through the beautiful lanes and hear the stories behind the famous buildings of Charleston. 

Charleston: The Edmonston-Alston House Walking Tour

7. Charleston: The Edmonston-Alston House Walking Tour

Charleston's history and unique way of life can be greatly attributed to its location on a small peninsula bounded by two rivers. The southern tip of this peninsula, known as the Battery, has become one of the city's most treasured sites and no visit to Charleston would be complete without touring this historic district. Starting and ending at the Edmondston-Alston House, take an hour-long guided walking tour South of Broad Street, learning not only about the area's rich history, but further about the extended Alston family during the years before the Civil War. Your experience will conclude with a 30-minute tour of the Edmondston-Alston House, which is constructed in lush Greek Revival style, evocative of a classic antebellum architectural trend. Constructed in 1825, the house commands a magnificent view of Charleston Harbor and 90% of the home's furnishings were originally owned by the family.

Other Sightseeing Options in The Battery, Charleston

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What people are saying about The Battery, Charleston

Ferry ride was very informative and the grounds at Ft. Sumter we’re all we could expect. Would be nicer to have more than an hour to walk the grounds.

The rangers at the Fort were amazing! The flag ceremony was phenomenal— very inspirational and meaningful! Thank you so much!!

Could use more time at Fort Sumter - flag raising was great but not enough time to read the placards and visit the museum.

Fantastic trip. The park ranger, Christopher, was wonderful. Full of info and dad jokes. He knew his stuff.

Beautiful property! Our tour guide Beverly was awesome!