Things to do in Charleston

Historic Houses and Buildings

Aiken-Rhett House Aiken-Rhett House
Mom-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 2-5pm. The expansive Aiken-Rhett House stands as the most intact urban villa with dependency buildings showcasing life in antebellum Charleston. A conservation approach has been adopted for this important site, which has survived virtually unaltered since 1858. Many objects can still be found in the rooms for which they were purchased. $10. MC, V, D.

48 Elizabeth Street
Charleston , SC 29403
Phone: 843-723-1159


Middleton Place Middleton Place
Daily 9am - 5pm (Closed Christmas Day). Admission for Gardens & Stableyards: $25/Adults, $5/Children 7-15. An 18th century rice plantation and National Historic Landmark in Charleston comprising 65-acres of America's oldest landscaped Gardens. A tour of the House Museum highlights family collections and the Middleton's role in American history. Explore the Stableyards where craftspeople recreate the activities of a self-sustaining Lowcountry plantation. Experience African American Focus Tours, Nature Walks, Carriage Tours and Horseback Riding. Located 14 miles north of downtown Charleston on Hwy. 61.

Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414
Phone: 843-556-6020 or 1-800-782-3608


Drayton Hall Drayton Hall
Open daily except Christmas Eve and Day and New Years Day. Drayton Hall, c.1738, is the oldest preserved plantation house in America open to the public. After seven generations, two great wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house of this National Historic Landmark remains in nearly original condition. Included in gate admission: professionally guided house tours on the hour, self-guided nature walks, African-American cemetary, and highly praised interactive Connections program. MC, V, D.

3380 Ashley River Rd.
Charleston, SC 29414
Phone: 843-769-2600


Edmondston-Alston House
Tue-Sat 10am - 4:30pm; Su & M 1:30 - 4:30pm. One of the first dwellings built on Charleston's High Battery in 1825, this house is a gracious example of early 19th century elegance, style and comfort. Alston family furniture, silver, books and paintings adorn the high-ceiling rooms. In 1861 General Beauregard joined the Alstons to watch the bombardment of Ft. Sumter from the piazza facing the Harbor. A, M, V, D.

21 East Battery
Charleston , SC 29401
Phone: 843-722-7171 or 843-782-3608


Heyward-Washington House
M-Sa 10am-5pm; Su 1-5pm (last tour 4:30pm). Built in 1772, and home to Thomas Heyward Jr., signer of the Declaration of Independence. When George Washington visited Charleston in 1791, the house was rented for his use. Furnished with an extraordinary collection of Charleston-made furniture, there is also a period formal garden and restored kitchen building. Adults $8; children $4. Combination tickets available.

87 Church Street
Charleston , SC 29401
Phone: 843-722-2996


Middleton Place House Museum
Tu-Su 10am - 4:30pm; M 12pm - 4:30pm. Surrounded by America's oldest landscaped Gardens and Stableyards, the Middleton Place House Museum displays 18th and 19th century Middleton family china, silver, furniture and portraits. Guided tours of the House Museum introduce guests to the Middleton family and its role in American history. A, D, MC.

4300 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414
Phone: 843-556-6020
Fax: 843-766-4460


Morris Island Lighthouse Morris Island Lighthouse
Morris Island is located off of Folly Beach and is an ecologically and historically sensitive barrier island.One of Charleston's best known and most beloved landmarks is recognized as one of the top 100 cultural sites in the state of South Carolina by the Heritage Trust Program Board. Originally constructed 1200 feet onshore the 123-year-old Lighthouse now stands on only 80 acres of submerged land. For more information on the lighthouse, please visit www.savethelight.org.


Nathaniel Russell House M-Sa 10am-5pm; Su 2-5pm. For nearly two centuries, visitors have admired the grand Federal townhouse of Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell, completed in 1808. The graceful interior boasts elaborate ornamentation and a magnificent free-flying staircase. Set amid spacious gardens and furnished with period antiques, the house evokes the gracious lifestyle of the city's elite. $10. MC, V, D.

51 Meeting St.
Charleston , SC 29401
Phone: 843-724-8481


Old City Market
Market Street between Meeting and East Bay streets, Charleston, SC. Open M-Su. Built in 1841, it features small shops, restaurants and a flea market with everything from produce to antiques. Hear the lilting dialect of Gullah ladies as they weave and sell handmade sweetgrass baskets.

Market St. between Meeting and East Bay St.
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: 1-800-868-8118


Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Built by the British as the Exchange and Customs House in 1771, American Patriots were held prisoner in the Provost during the Revolutionary War. The Old Exchange played a huge role in American history and is one of the three most historically significant buildings of colonial America. Pirate and George Washington scavenger hunts for children are available in gift shop. Adults $6; 7-12 $3.50; under 7 free. MC, V, D.

112 East Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401 Phone: 843-727-2165


The Avery Research Center for African-American History and Culture
Beautifully restored facility, site of former Avery School built in 1865. Research Center's purpose is to document, preserve, and make public the unique historical and cultural heritage of South Carolina Lowcountry African-Americans. Tour of building includes exhibits and archives. Reading room and archives open 12:00 - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday. Walk in tours open Monday-Friday 12-5pm. Group Tours by appointment. (1990 Carolopolis Award).

125 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843-727-2009
Fax: 843-953-7607


The Charleston Museumís Joseph Manigault House
M-Sa 10am-5pm; Su 1-5pm (last tour 4:30pm). A premier example of Adam-style architecture, this c. 1803 home was designed by gentleman architect Gabriel Manigault for his brother. The outstanding collection of American, English and French furniture captures the lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family. A charming gate temple enhances the garden. Adults $9; children $4. Combination tickets available.

350 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Phone: 843-722-2996


The College of Charleston The College of Charleston
Founded in 1770, the first municipal college in America was built in 1724 on land set aside for educational purposes. The present main building was designed by eminent Philadelphia architect William Strickland, built in 1828, and paid for by voluntary subscription by the people of Charleston. The portico and wings were added in 1850 by South Carolinian Edward Brickell White.

St. Philip and Geaorge Streets
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: 843-953-5507


The Dock Street Theatre
Open daily for free self-guided tours. Built on the site of one of Americaís first theatre buildings (1736), the present theatre, built within the walls of the Planters Hotel (1809), is a recreation of a Georgian Playhouse. With its beautiful hand carved cypress interior, it is one of the most beautiful theatres in America and considered the crown jewel of Charlestonís cultural life. Owned and managed by the City of Charleston, the Dock Street Theatre plays host to the Charleston Stage Company, Spoleto Festival USA, The Moja Arts Festival and many other events throughout the year. The Historic Dock Street Theatre

135 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: Box Office(843) 577-7183
Theatre Manager or Charleston Stage 843-577-5967


The Powder Magazine The Powder Magazine
The Old Powder Magazine is the oldest public building remaining in North or South Carolina. In the late 1600's, the construction of walls around the city and the building of harbor forts added to the defensive character of Charleston. The Powder Magazine was crucial to storage of powder for defense of the city. Although replaced by a newer magizine in 1748, it continued to serve effectively for its purpose into the period of the American Revolution. It served various uses from a printing house, storage building and livery stable, until it was acquired by the Colonial Dames in 1899 and restored as an important reminder of historic colonial Charleston. Today the Powder Magazine has been restored to its mid-nineteenth century appearance and is open as a National Historic site with an exciting exhibit on early colonial Charleston.

79 Cumberland Street
Charleston, SC , SC 29401
Phone: 843-722-3767

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