Fort Sumter National Monument

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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 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.

Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise

2. Charleston Harbor: Luxury 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.

Charleston Harbor: Narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

3. Charleston Harbor: Narrated Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

Take in the amazing sights of Charleston Harbor on a 1.5-hour boat tour with live narration from an expert guide. Pick up insight into the fascinating Charleston history while you glide through the gentle waves of the harbor. Your knowledgeable and entertaining guides have been licensed by the City of Charleston and are eager to share their knowledge with all guests aboard the cruise. Make sure to bring your camera for famous American landmarks, such as Fort Sumter, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, the Battery, the Ravenel Bridge, Castle Pinckney, and other sites from Charleston's past and present. This relaxing and fun tour departs from Patriots Point and Aquarium Wharf daily. Get ready to hear enthralling tales of the city’s colorful past as well as scintillating facts about its most interesting former citizens. Perfect for all ages, the whole family can enjoy cruising along the coastline of the beautiful “Holy City”. Do you know why it's called the "Holy City"? Find out on this trip around the Charleston Harbor.

Fort Sumter: Sunset BBQ Dinner Cruise & Tour

4. Fort Sumter: Sunset BBQ Dinner Cruise & Tour

Explore the grounds at Fort Sumter National Monument with a National Park Ranger and visit the Museum. Get a window into the life and trials of America’s heroes, from the Civil War to today’s modern conflicts. Enjoy a BBQ dinner on the way back from Fort Sumter. Depart from Liberty Square in downtown Charleston at 5:00 PM, 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. Approach Fort Sumter with graceful sailboats and playful dolphins in sight. 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. Explore the grounds of Fort Sumter and stand on the grounds where America’s deadliest war began. Have enough time to explore well-preserved fort ruins and to browse Museum store souvenirs in 1 hour. Learn about the events leading to the war and stories of courageous heroes in action from the Civil War’s first battle. Walk in the steps of those who shaped this nation. Enjoy the beautiful views of the sun setting in the city and a delicious BBQ dinner as you ride the ferry back to Charleston. Relax and take in the spectacular views of the harbor and her marine life while dining on Southern BBQ cuisine. Feel free to purchase beer, wine, and cocktails to/from the fort. Arrive back in Liberty Square at 7:45 PM.

Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

5. 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

Charleston: Historic City and Southern Mansion Combo Tour

6. 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.

South Carolina: Charleston and Savannah 6-Day Package Tour

7. South Carolina: Charleston and Savannah 6-Day Package Tour

Embark on a multi-day trip to Charleston and Savannah for a treat of Southern charm and hospitality. Over 3 nights in Charleston and 2 nights in Savannah, you’ll tour Fort Sumter and Boone Hall Plantation, catch a scenic evening train to Savannah, and visit all the main sights on a city bus tour. Begin your trip in Charleston by spending some time shopping in one of the largest historical districts in the US. See why the city is dubbed the "Holy City" and a "living museum" by noticing the tall church spires and gothic architecture that make the streets unique. On day 2, board the ferry at Charleston Harbor for a guided tour of Fort Sumter. Walk around the man-made island and learn about its role in the civil war. Return to the mainland for a carriage tour of the historic district and a walking tour to Patriots Point, Rainbow Row, Colonial Lake, and more. Day three takes you through 300 years of living history with a tour of Boone Hall Plantation. Discover the region's colonial history and see how life has changed through the centuries. Enjoy some free time on day 4 to return to your favorite sites and relax in the public parks, before catching an Amtrak train in the evening to Savannah, Georgia. Ride the hop-on hop-off bus around Savannah City on day 5 to see all the top landmarks and beautiful tree-lined streets. Learn about the importance of River Street, City Market, Forsyth Park, Waving Girl, and the churches and Synagogue to locals and tourists alike. Use your free time on the final day to find the famous park bench from "Forest Gump" and scenes from "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". See moss-draped oaks, spectacular fountains, cobblestoned streets by the river, and colorful public squares that earned Savannah the title of “Garden City”. With transport and accommodation all taken care of, all that’s left for you to do is make some memories.

Frequently asked questions about Fort Sumter National Monument

What are other attractions than Fort Sumter National Monument that are worth visiting in Charleston?

How can I visit Fort Sumter National Monument?

Possible ways to visit the Fort Sumter National Monument:

To enter Fort Sumter National Monument, you need to have a ticket or be part of a guided tour.

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 1,073 reviews

The history surrounding Fort Sumter is so interesting. The walk around this place and hearing the significance it plays in our history is worth the ferry ride out there. Seeing the site in person is so moving. The ferry ride could be more interesting. Some sites were pointed out along the way.

We were fortunate to be the last tour of the day (4 p.m. ), and our group was able to witness the lowering of the flag and helped fold it. The museum was very informative and interesting.

Excellent & heartfelt presentation at the flag raising. The ferry ride was very organized.

Interesting, beautiful ride to and from Fort Sumter. Perfect amount of time at the fort.

Comfortable. Very knowledgeable narration. Covered all the sights well.