South Carolina
Culture & History

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended South Carolina Culture & History

Fort Sumter: National Monument Entry Ticket & Ferry

1. Fort Sumter: National Monument Entry Ticket & Ferry

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: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

2. Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

Experience Charleston on board a 1920s-Bay-Steamer-replica yacht. 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. As you pass by remnants of the Civil and Revolutionary wars, don’t forget to look for dolphins and pelicans splashing nearby. Choose between indoor or outdoor seating. There is also an enclosed observatory and a partially-covered upper deck in case of rain.

...
Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

3. Charleston: Historical Downtown Tour by Horse-drawn Carriage

This 60-minute narrated carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic downtown Charleston. It really is the best way to see the “Holy City” and learn about its rich and vast history. The tour begins at our stables just one block from the city market, where a number of our horses live. Restrooms and water are available as well as a loading ramp to easily board one of the custom-built carriages.  Departing from the barn, you will continue to the city gate located in the Old City Market. Historic Downtown Charleston is split up into a number of areas that each tour is directed to travel to. Some highlights of these areas are Charleston Harbor, Rainbow Row, 4 Corners of Law, King Street, White Point Gardens, and the Charleston Battery.  A licensed tour guide will be narrating the entire tour with informative and entertaining commentary. At the end of the tour you will arrive back at the stables, where you will get off the carriage using the unloading dock.

...
Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

4. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

Take a sightseeing cruise to explore the incredible nature around Hilton Head Island and the surrounding waterways. Hear about the island’s history from your expert crew as you search for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Admire the coastal landscape as you learn about the lifecycle of these mammals. Discover why this region is the perfect place for dolphins to settle. With sightings guaranteed, this tour is sure to be a highlight of your vacation.

...
Charleston: Patriot's Point Haunted USS Yorktown Tour

5. Charleston: Patriot's Point Haunted USS Yorktown Tour

Come aboard the USS Yorktown and hear the stories of the American heroes who lived, died, and are still rumored to be here today. Commissioned in 1943, the Fighting Lady was once manned by over 3,000 people and designed to fight off enemies all over the globe during WWII. Learn about the ultimate sacrifice and heroism of the people who once inhabited this ship.  This tour gives you exclusive night time access to areas of the ship that are usually closed to the public, including the flight deck after dark. Don't forget your camera, you never know who or what you might capture.

...
Charleston: Magnolia Plantation Tour and Transport

6. Charleston: Magnolia Plantation Tour and Transport

Witness a slice of living history at Magnolia Plantation and its world-famous gardens, owned by the Drayton family for 12 generations. Visit the Historic Gardens, Petting Zoo, and The Conservatory. 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. Step into 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. Experience history on a 45-minute narrated tram ride through the Audobon Swamp Gardens and visit important locations like Drayton Home (not Drayton Hall), Orientation Theater, and the Old African American Cabin.

...
Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

7. Charleston: 1-Hour Carriage Tour of the Historic District

This tour begins at the Big Red Barn in downtown Charleston, where you'll meet a knowledgeable driver-guide and settle into a carriage drawn by either horses or mules. Follow a route that takes in some of the historic downtown district’s most elegant mansions and gardens, learning about the architecture of each place as you drive along. Catch the scent of jasmine flowers from deep, shady porches, and pass by rows of bristling palmetto trees. Get an overview of Charleston’s dramatic history, from long-ago pirate raids to plantations, Revolutionary battles, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. The city was founded in 1670, and Charleston's historic buildings have been meticulously preserved and restored. Guides combine humor with history for a lighthearted experience of Charleston’s atmospheric center, and you'll cover between 25 and 30 blocks of the downtown district. This tour concludes with drop-off at the Big Red Barn.

...
Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour

8. Charleston: 90-Minute Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour

Take an up close and personal look at the spooky history of Charleston, known as the Holy City. On this 1.5-hour walking tour, allow your guide to take you where others don't dare to tred. With this exclusive opportunity, you will walk inside the gates of one of Charleston's oldest graveyards after dark. Explore its corners, check out the headstones, and take a moment to step across the graves, if you dare. Listen as your experienced guide gives you a full history of Charleston’s graveyards, focusing on the stories of the famous individuals who found their final resting place in the Holy City.

...
Charleston: Supernatural 90-Minute Ghost Tour

9. Charleston: Supernatural 90-Minute Ghost Tour

"There is only one essential ingredient in a ghost story: death." So say Charlestonians Ed Macy and Geordie Buxton in their introduction to their book about the haunted streets of Charleston. By rambling through the oft-forgotten enclaves of the Holy City, the paranormal authors bring guests face to face with a group of orphans who haunt a dorm of a Charleston College, a Citadel cadet who haunts a local hotel, and an angelic spirit in a Freedman Methodist graveyard, to name just a few. We will hear tales of a bookstore phantom, notorious for rearranging books in perfect vertical stacks, and a gruesome 19th century amputation taking place in a medical student’s apartment. This tour is not for the faint-hearted! Based on historical events and specific details that are often lost in our general notion of ghosts, each haunting encounter will send chills down your spine.

...
Charleston: Tour Pass with 40+ Attractions

10. 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

...

Other Sightseeing Options in South Carolina

Want to discover all there is to do in South Carolina? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about South Carolina

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 582 reviews

Our guide did an exceptional job of rendering the necessary historical facts and adding in a little fun and humor when appropriate. It made the experience a pure pleasure and I’d highly recommend this tour to all visitors.

I have been to Ft. Sumter a few times but not since Hugo. Happy it's still a fun and learning experience. This is my friend's 1st time. Very enjoyable. Love history. Ferry out to the Fort was very nice also.

Thoroughly enjoyable tour of a few of the hidden and not so hidden gems of Charleston’s food scene. Gia, our tour guide was tons of fun and knowledgeable of Charleston’s rich history and diversity!

The tour was great and the guide was awesome. Very entertaining and knowledgeable. My teens also really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone while in Charleston.

In 90 minutes we saw the most important sights with a history lesson in the comfort of a air conditioned closed vehicle.