Fort Sumter is a seaport in Charleston, South Carolina, best known for its two battles in the American Civil War. Today, many people are fascinated to visit the place widely considered to be where the Civil War began.
How about you? Are you ready to take a look back in time?
Charleston’s Fort Sumter is one of the most historically fascinating places in the entire south. It was constructed in 1829 after the city of Charleston was named as a vulnerable location for attacks following the War of 1812. However, it wasn’t until 31 years later that the first shots of the Civil War were fired here by Confederate Troops on April 12, 1861, at 4:30 a.m.
It is only accessible by boat. Departure points are located at Liberty Square in Downtown Charleston and Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. Liberty Square is home to the fort’s Visitor Center and is the perfect place to begin your visit and get acquainted with the area.
Hungry? It’s a great idea to grab a bite to eat here, as there aren’t any dining options within the fort, and picnicking is not permitted. If you want something quick, there’s a snack bar on the ferry as well. And you’re welcome to bring small items and water into the fort.
Once you’ve arrived at Fort Sumter, you can enjoy a self-guided tour or a ranger talk. These guided tours offer context about the significant historic events that occurred here, as well as stories about significant individuals that demonstrated courage in the face of danger during the Civil War. Tours last approximately two hours and 15 minutes. They make for an ideal day trip. Since the fort is a designated historic site, activities are fairly limited. Though birdwatchers are often drawn to the island for the variety of feathered friends that can be found here. Before you depart, make sure that you snag a souvenir or dig further into the history of the fort with one of the many books at the monument’s gift shop.
The Fort is open year-round, only closing on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day and offering limited ferry departures from January 2 to February 28. Admission is $22 for adults, $20 for military veterans, $14 for children ages three and up, and free for children under three.