Charleston, South Carolina, is actually one of the vital lovely cities in America – therefore why I write about it a ton. And at this time, we have a look at the most effective museums in Charleston, South Carolina. Let’s study extra about Charleston and its historical past.
The metropolis of Charleston, South Carolina, is steeped in historical past. It was based in 1670 as Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England. The authentic settlers have been Englishmen who had been granted a big tract of land by the king.
Over the years, Charleston grew and prospered, changing into one of the vital essential cities in America. One of the principle causes for Charleston’s success was its location. The metropolis was located on a serious commerce route, and it quickly grew to become a middle for transport and commerce.
Charleston additionally performed an essential position within the American Revolution and, later, the US Civil War. The nice Charleston space continued to develop and prosper after the Revolution. The metropolis grew to become a middle of tradition and studying, and it was dwelling to among the most interesting minds in America.
On the flip facet, Charleston was one of many greatest commerce hubs for slavery on the planet and the biggest slave buying and selling port in America. For chunk of Charleston’s historical past, town’s greatest traded “commodity” was human lives. Charleston was additionally dwelling to sizable plantations, and it’s most likely as a result of these causes that South Carolina was the primary state to secede from the Union.
Today, Charleston is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot and one of the vital lovely cities in America. It has a wealthy historical past, that includes every part from the charming to the shameful.
This makes it a must-see vacation spot in South Carolina. And at this time, we discover extra of Charleston, South Carolina, museums. That’s the place historical past, tradition, and schooling all reside.
Best Museums in Charleston, SC
From the darkish days of slavery to historic homes and naval historical past, Charleston guests have loads of issues to get enthusiastic about, significantly for those who love American historical past.
If you’re visiting for an prolonged keep, you’ll be able to hit up a couple of of those museums and get monetary savings with the Charleston: Tour Pass. So, what are the most effective museums in Charleston? Let’s get into it!
Address: 40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
While technically not in Charleston correct, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum can simply be accessed from Charleston. It’s positioned in close by Mount Pleasant on the Charleston Harbor, close to the mouth of the Cooper River.
The museum is one among South Carolina’s most visited vacationer points of interest, for motive. For starters, it’s dwelling to a collection of museum ships, together with the USS Yorktown WWII plane service museum, the (briefly closed) USS Clamagore submarine museum, and the USS Laffey destroyer, in addition to a Medal of Honor museum.
This superior museum’s assortment contains artifacts from all over the world, resembling uniforms worn by Admiral Nimitz himself throughout his command of Pacific Fleet operations towards Japan throughout World War II. There are additionally a ton of navy plane on show, in addition to the sprawling Vietnam Experience Exhibit.
The jewel within the crown is clearly the USS Yorktown – an Essex class “escort carrier” from the Second World War. And if you wish to discover this unbelievable attraction extra uniquely, you’ll be able to join a haunted tour of USS Yorktown!
All in all, this is without doubt one of the most important historical past museums within the United States for maritime historical past and historic weaponry. War buffs, look no additional.
2. Old Slave Mart Museum
Address: 6 Chalmers St, Charleston, SC 29401
The Old Slave Mart Museum is a phenomenal constructing with a darkish previous. As the identify suggests, it as soon as housed a slave market. Constructed in 1859, it’s believed to be South Carolina’s final surviving slave public sale facility and the most effective slave museum in Charleston to study slavery.
The Old Slave Mart Museum is devoted to preserving and deciphering the darkish historical past of slavery in South Carolina, the state’s significance to the slave commerce, and its dogged reluctance to deal with black folks as something apart from property.
The museum’s everlasting displays embody unbelievable accounts of slavery and its influence on our nation’s historical past. The museum has a number of exhibitions that target nineteenth Century Charleston, artifacts from the slave commerce, and particular exhibitions highlighting totally different elements of African American historical past.
Want to study extra concerning the plight of black Americans and the horrors of slavery? Check out this guided tour that meets proper outdoors the beautiful St. Philip’s Church.
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3. The Charleston Museum
Address: 360 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403
Founded in 1773 and first opened in 1824, The Charleston Museum is without doubt one of the oldest museums within the United States. Its extremely regarded everlasting assortment contains historic artifacts, pure historical past displays, ornamental arts, two traditional Charleston homes, and an armory.
The Charleston Museum tells the story of town and the encompassing space all through historical past. It significantly pays shut consideration to town’s position within the War of Independence and the Civil War.
Also, it’s an energetic analysis museum and hosts enjoyable and academic occasions for teenagers too. So, in case you are searching for the most effective historical past museums in charleston for you and your children, The Charleston Museum wouldn’t be a nasty choose. Book the City Tour and Museum Combo for the most effective up shut and private expertise with town’s historical past – see and study greater than you anticipated.
4. Old Exchange Building & Provost Dungeon
Address: 122 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
The Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon is positioned within the coronary heart of Charleston and is a historic constructing that when held American prisoners of struggle below the care of British provosts in the course of the Revolutionary War.
The constructing has additionally served as a submit workplace, industrial trade, navy headquarters, metropolis corridor, and at the same time as a elaborate gown ball web site for George Washington. Today, the Old Exchange Building & Provost Dungeon (also called The Exchange) is a museum operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Located adjoining to St. Michael’s Church on East Bay Street, this constructing was constructed between 1767 and 1771 utilizing bricks imported from England. Its neoclassical structure model displays its authentic use as a customs home, jail, and public assembly place for native residents.
The Old Exchange Building was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973 due largely to its significance in deciphering colonial historical past by its bodily sources (primarily the architectural options) but additionally as a result of it has been in a position to retain a lot of its authentic character, regardless of quite a few adjustments all through time together with getting used as an workplace and even struggle harm.
See Related: Best Unusual Museums within the US
5. Nathaniel Russell House
Address: 51 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
Nathaniel Russell House is definitely one of many grandest Charleston mansions. It was inbuilt 1808 by slave dealer Nathaniel Russell and is a wonderful instance of neoclassical structure. In truth, it’s listed among the many most essential neoclassical homes within the US and is even a National Historical Landmark since 1973.
This constructing is without doubt one of the most completely preserved late-Georgian row homes in America and is now open to the general public as a home museum. The three-story mansion has an ethereal really feel as a result of its tall ceilings, grand central staircase, and light-filled rooms. Plus, the gorgeous parlors are among the best-preserved examples of Federal interval structure and ornament within the nation.
The home modified possession a number of instances after Charleston’s demise, up till 1955 when it was purchased by the Historic Charleston basis. The basis launched into a undertaking to revive the home’s authentic architectural particulars in 1995. So, if you wish to admire or respect beautiful nineteenth Century structure, that is the place.
The gardens are additionally open to the general public and are positively price a stroll. They characteristic a number of species of flowers, palms, and different foliage which are rigorously manicured. There’s additionally a present store, housed within the former slaves’ residence. It’s price noting that this significantly smaller and far humbler constructing was the place eighteen people needed to reside in every others’ pockets.
With beautiful structure and grounds, in addition to a darkish historical past, the Nathaniel Russell House is among the many finest home museums in Charleston, open any day of the week, from 10 am – 5 pm.
6. Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Address: 25 Ann St, Charleston, SC 29403
For a museum that’s price your children’ time (and yours, too), go to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. This spot is nice for younger children and focuses on hands-on, interactive displays which are designed to show youngsters concerning the world round them in a enjoyable approach.
Some of the displays embody a water play space, a pirate ship, a sensory backyard, and an artwork studio. The museum additionally affords academic applications and courses all year long.
Established in 2003, the museum goals to interact younger children’ potential by permitting them to discover new environments and experiences that stimulate curiosity and spark creativeness by video games. In different phrases, youngsters can study a lot from this museum, however in a enjoyable and fascinating approach!
What awaits you here’s a world of discovery to your children and even enjoyable for you, the guardian. For instance, the kids can take pleasure in racing boats down rapids, driving an vintage fireplace truck, or onboarding a pirate ship. On the opposite hand, households play quite a few video games, together with creating masterpieces within the museum’s devoted artwork room, racing golf balls, or discovering gems below the waterfall.
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is open Tuesday by Saturday from 9 am to five pm and Sunday from 12 pm to five pm. And for the admission charges, it’s free for toddlers below one 12 months, $10 for South Carolina residents, and $12 for non-South Carolina residents.
7. Aiken-Rhett House Museum
Address: 48 Elizabeth St, Charleston, SC 29403
This museum home, which was inbuilt 1820 by the well-known service provider John Robinson, can be among the many nation’s best-preserved townhouse complexes of the interval. As such, it’s fairly essential within the city’s historical past and attracts flocks of vacationers who wish to see and study extra concerning the structure and lives of the slaves owned by the Aikens.
While the home has seen huge expansions between 1830 and 1850s by Governor William Aiken and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr., it has maintained most of its authentic architectural particulars and furnishings. And these are among the major particulars that appeal to historical past lovers to this museum home.
Currently, the home options the constructing itself, an vintage kitchen, a carriage block, the unchanged slave quarters, and the again lot. As for the furnishings, there are a bunch of surviving authentic furnishings that provide a sexy picture of the lifetime of a wealthy politician, industrialist, and slaveholder, William Aiken. In distinction, the slave quarter is a real illustration of slaves’ lives.
This museum home was within the arms of the Aiken household till Charleston Museum purchased it in 1975 and opened it to the general public in 1975. Visiting the museum is feasible any day from 10 am to five pm.
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8. Gibbes Museum of Art
Address: 135 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
If you’re searching for artwork museums in Charleston, Gibbes Museum of Art ought to be your first cease. Built round 1858, this artwork museum is among the many finest websites to go to in Charleston’s historic district, having opened its doorways to the general public in 1905.
The museum is dwelling to round 10,000 works of American Art, particularly from Southern US, from the 18th Century to at this time. The assortment options work, sculptures, ceramics, and Photography that come from each native and worldwide artists. In different phrases, you’ll discover each well-known and rising artists’ works on this museum.
What’s extra, the museum organizes short-term exhibitions fairly continuously to make sure that there’s at all times one thing new for the guests. These artwork collections come from well-known international museums, spanning each model, style, and period. As such, each new go to means a brand new and thrilling expertise.
Even higher, you’ll be able to entry the first-floor gallery totally free and admire among the most wonderful art work and work. But as for the 2nd and Third-floor galleries, it’s important to half with some admission charge. The museum is open the whole week from 10 am to five pm, aside from Sundays when it opens from 1 pm to five pm.
9. The Williams Mansion
Address: 16 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
This magnificent constructing, previously generally known as Calhoun Mansion, is the proper illustration of a victorian home. Built from 1875 to 1876, the mansion was previously dwelling to one of many richest males in Charleston, the as soon as vice-president and slavery fanatic John C. Calhoun, and its design, furnishings, and massiveness are a real testimony of this wealth acquired from buying and selling human lives.
For occasion, it’s a 24,000-square-foot constructing with 30 major rooms plus a number of different smaller ones. Its major corridor boasts an space of fifty toes lengthy by 14 toes vast. Plus, its ballroom ceiling is round 45 toes excessive. In truth, its thought to be Charleston’s largest single-family residence.
Besides the quite a few rooms, the mansion additionally boasts a Japanese water backyard, koi ponds, a music room, 23 fireplaces, three ranges of piazzas, and a 75-feet excessive stair corridor ceiling. Now, these sound like some options that many individuals would like to see. A guided tour of the mansion is out there at $75 per individual, however children eleven years and under take pleasure in free admission.
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10. Mace Brown Museum of Natural History – College of Charleston
Address: 202 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29401
Are you fascinated by pure historical past? And you searching for someplace to entry it totally free? The Mace Brown Museum is a wonderful place for simply that.
Located on the College of Charleston campus, this museum options quite a lot of pure historical past collections from totally different components of the world. To begin with, you’ll discover an in depth vertebrate paleontology assortment with quite a few fossils from the Cretaceous Period.
The museum additionally has a big invertebrate paleontology part with wonderful specimens from throughout the globe. This is along with a complete show of minerals and rocks from round South Carolina. And if that’s not sufficient, there are additionally a number of herbarium specimens and mounted animals on show on this museum.
Enjoy a show of round 1,000 fossils starting from dinosaur bones, cave bears, crinoids, mosasaurs, North America’s Oligocene mammals, Carolina’s Pleistocene mammals, and even plant fossils. The listing is undeniably lengthy.
Many vacationers are principally amazed by the reconstructed humongous jaw, housing the tooth of the (presumably) extinct Megalodon. If you’re a dentist or shark fanatic, I’m certain you’ll additionally love the view. If you’re searching for nice free museums in Charleston, that is your finest choose.
11. Charleston Postal Museum
Address: 77 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
I do know what you’re pondering; a postal museum can not presumably be that attention-grabbing. But you’re incorrect.
If you’re going to go to a museum concerning the postal system, Charleston’s Postal Museum is the one. It might come as a shock, however the museum is without doubt one of the most attention-grabbing locations in Charleston to go to. Firstly, it options an array of postal artifacts from totally different components of North and South Carolina and a variety of postal-related displays.
Also, it has interactive shows that can hold you entertained. For occasion, there’s a sorting desk the place you’ll be able to type mail similar to the submit workplace employees do. This helps you work together with how issues have been within the 18th Century earlier than e mail and cellphone messages have been born.
You can even check out the first-class mail supply truck and study its historical past. The museum is positioned in a historic constructing, Meeting St, Charleston, and it’s open from Monday to Saturday – plus admission is free.
There are few locations within the nation that showcase the easiest and the very worst components of American historical past, however Charleston is without doubt one of the finest locations to study all about America, warts and all, from its inception. Whether it’s admiring the beautiful structure or studying the depths of mankind’s cruelty to 1 one other, Charleston received’t disappoint. There’s a motive we hold coming again right here!
Note: If you’re searching for someplace to remain in Charleston throughout your go to, no want to fret. Check out our complete information on the most effective locations to remain in and across the metropolis.
Are there extra nice museums in Charleston?
Yes. For occasion, Fort Sumter is a good time out. The Karpeles Manuscript Museum (aka Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum) is dwelling to one of many world’s largest personal collections of paperwork and manuscripts. The Joseph Manigault House can be a terrific possibility, because it is without doubt one of the most beautiful antebellum buildings town is understood for. Lastly, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a good place to soak in some wonderful tradition.
What are the most effective instances to go to Charleston?
The finest time to go to Charleston is between March and May, in addition to September by November. These months supply reasonable temperatures, that are excellent for touring town. Also, throughout these months, you’ll discover fewer crowds, making it simpler to get round.
What is the most effective factor to do in Charleston, South Carolina?
There is lots to do in Charleston. For occasion, you can begin by visiting the Charleston Museum, taking a carriage journey by town, strolling by Waterfront Park, exploring Fort Sumter, and touring the Aiken-Rhett House. I’d additionally advocate wanting right into a culinary tour of town – Charleston is a good city to study on the top of a fork. Whether you’re touring solo or with a household, you’ll have greater than sufficient attention-grabbing issues to do right here.