Things to Know about Fort Sumter


Are you planning a trip to Charleston for your next break? Charleston, South Carolina is a city full of history and beauty and is definitely one of our favorite places to visit. One of the most popular destinations on any visit to the area is a boat ride out to Fort Sumter. Whether you are looking to discover more about US History or just enjoy amazing scenic views from the deck of a boat, this is a tour you definitely want to include in your vacation plans.

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Things to Know about Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is approximately 4 miles out in the Charleston Harbor so the boat ride takes about 35 minutes out to Fort Sumter. You have the opportunity to sit inside the enclosed boat where there are restrooms and a snack bar or you can sit on the top level of the boat and enjoy the wind and scenery.

Fort Sumter Tours Charleston South Carolina

Remember that the temperature on the boat and out at Fort Sumter will be approximately 10 degrees cooler than in Charleston. So you might want to pack a light jacket.

Fort Sumter is an island accessible only by boat. So even though admission to the historic site is free, there is a charge to take the tour on the boat. You can board the boat from Patriots Point where you also can tour the USS Yorktown, Clamagore, USS Laffey and the rest of the museum exhibits or you can board the boat from downtown Charleston.

When you purchase your tickets online, you can choose which place you want to board the boat from. I recommend you board from Patriots Point if you are touring the USS Yorktown. That way you only have to pay for parking one time.

On your ride out to Fort Sumter, you will go around the USS Yorktown and get a sense for how large the aircraft carrier is. You also get a beautiful view of the Ravenel Bridge and the Charleston Harbor as you ride out to Fort Sumter.

Touring Fort Sumter

When you arrive at Fort Sumter, you will cross over to the island on a bridge and then have the opportunity to tour the Fort.

The History Channel states that after the Civil War, Fort Sumter was restored by the U.S. military and manned during the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-45).

There will be a brief park ranger-led introduction to the history of the fort and then you are given the opportunity to explore on your own. But remember that most of the Fort is original, so no climbing on the walls, cannons and definitely don’t collect any souvenirs from the fort.

There is a museum inside the Fort where you can learn more about the history and view the flag that was flying when the Fort was first attacked.

Find Fort Sumter Tours

Downtown Charleston
Liberty Square’s Fort Sumter Visitors Center
340 Concord St. 
Charleston, SC 29401

Mt. Pleasant
*Departure Location of choice if you are also touring Patriots Point
Patriots Point
40 Patriots Point Road
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.

Ticket Information

Have you ever toured Fort Sumter? What is your favorite National Monument to visit?

If you are in Charleston, make sure you check out Palmetto Carriage Works and take a carriage ride through the historic streets of downtown Charleston!

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