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Fort Sumter National Monument
Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument

Free admission
1214 Middle St, Sullivan's Island, South Carolina

The Basics

Fort Sumter National Monument is composed of three sites: Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, and the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center. The simplest way to visit is with guided tour tickets. Basic tours include round-trip transportation to Fort Sumter (accessible only by boat), commentary from a National Park Service ranger during the 30-minute ferry ride, and a guided tour inside the fort. The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center is located at the downtown ferry launch on Liberty Square and provides additional information about the historic site. You can also catch views of Fort Sumter on a historic Charleston walking tour, Charleston harbor tour, or paddleboard tour of the harbor.

Though part of the Fort Sumter National Monument, Fort Moultrie is on Sullivan’s Island and accessible only by car. Look for tours that combine a visit to both forts to easily see them in a day. Fort Moultrie also offers self-guided tours.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Charleston

star-5
Great Day Trip!
John_R, Oct 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Awesome day trip and well organized by Viator! Our driver was so friendly and professional. Highly recommend Viator for Charleston!
star-4
A Day in Charleston, SC
Pauline_S, Sep 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
It was a full day at Charleston, it was absolutely beautiful day! Didn’t expect so much walking. Our bus driver didn’t explain himself very well but all was good! Would try something like that again! Well worth the price!
star-5
Class of 72 SSP
Randy_B, Sep 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Great bus driver Wendy. Very timely and well organized. Carriage ride guide was also very good and funny too. The plantation was a real eye opener for me. Great day in Charleston.
star-5
So so fun!
Jennifer_N, Sep 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
The carriage ride was wonderful. Best part of the tour! I am so glad I decided to book this. What a great way to see Charleston!
star-5
It was a nice way to see...
Debra_S, Sep 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
It was a nice way to see a bit of Charleston. The carriage ride was informative. The bus driver was great.
star-5
Tour
Kristal_M, Sep 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Enjoyed our tour with my family. Wendi the driver was very friendly. I highly recommend the tour....
star-5
Great tour
James_G, Sep 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
The tour guide was awesome gave us a lot of history then boat tour to fort sumter was awesome to and the plantation was nice to
star-5
Great
Marsha_H, Aug 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Great service and great tour. Wonderful driver Wendy.Iliked how they communicated with you for picking
star-4
Good tour
Kenneth_T, Aug 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Very good tour…especially Fort Sumter and the Boone Hall plantation. The horse-drawn tour was also interesting.
star-5
7 thumbs up
Deborah_T, Jul 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Dave our tour guide on the carriage ride of Charleston was the highlight of the trip for me. The whole experience was awesome and our bus driver was the best.
star-4
Great service
ZAJ, Jun 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Tourist experience as expected. Driver was exceptionally personable. Transitions were on time and organized. Person on the phone was helpful with all questions.
star-4
Myrtle to Charleston
JamesC, Apr 2021
Day Trips to Charleston, tour INSIDE Fort Sumter, Carriage Tour, Lunch & More
Good bang for the bucks Wendy wonderful driver /host Box lunch ok Charleston quaint Lil town lots history horse drawn carriage ride Very nice Besides tire fell off 1/2 way through tour so drove on metal rim then horse lost a shoe We were a spectacle to all that seen or heard us coming Skip plantion tour do Yorktown aircraft carrier battle ship Very good over all 👍

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Fort Sumter National Monument is a must for history buffs and Civil War enthusiasts.

  • Book early to guarantee entry—tours sell out far in advance.

  • Fort Sumter is accessible only by boat.

  • Both forts are located on islands—dress in layers if visiting during cool weather.

  • Fort Sumter does not require an entrance fee, but Fort Moultrie does.

  • Tours to Fort Sumter typically last 2.5 hours. Plan to spend roughly 30 minutes in the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center.

  • Most of Fort Sumter is accessible to wheelchair users.

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How to Get There

Fort Sumter is accessible only via commercial ferry or private boat from either the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center or Patriots Point, across the Ravenel Bridge in Mt. Pleasant. The Visitor Education Center is located in on Liberty Square in downtown Charleston and is open daily to the public. Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan’s Island, is accessible only by driving.

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Trip ideas

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When to Get There

Because the Fort Sumter National Monument is largely outdoors, it’s best to avoid the hot and humid summer months, roughly June through September. Spring and fall bring mild climates that make exploring more pleasant.

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Fort Sumter’s Three Wars

Though famous for its role in the Civil War, Fort Sumter was actually named after an American Revolutionary War General and built as a response to the War of 1812.

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