Charleston Forts: A History Lover's Fantasy

The city has a strong historical foundation, and a large portion of attractions and things to do in Charleston are historically based. Chances are that your Charleston Bed and Breakfast is even of historical significance, and has ties with the past. Some of the most prominent examples of this can be seen in the forts throughout the city.

Fort Sumter National Monument
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
(843) 883-3910
http://www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm

Fort Sumter is one of the most visually mesmerising monuments in Charleston. It stands alone on Sullivan Island in Charleston Harbor, with the sturdy fort walls framing the island. If visitors have the opportunity to witness the fortress against the setting sun, it will be a sight that will stay with them forever. Aside from being a beautiful site, Fort Sumter is an interesting place to visit. The fort is only accessible by boat, and ferries leave every 40 minutes from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center or Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center is located in downtown Charleston, and is the primary departure point for Fort Sumter. Patriots Point is commonly less crowded and a wonderful view of the USS Yorktown is an added perk. This departure point is not handicap accessible.

The trip to Fort Sumter is short and scenic. If your Charleston Bed and Breakfast is by the water, you might even be able to view it from the ferry. There is no admission fee to enter the fort; a ferry ticket is the only fee that is needed. Operating times vary depending on the season, but hours are usually between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Once at the for,t you can listen to a 10-minute speech from a tour guide and then explore the fort on your own. Guided tours are normally not available, but if there are not many visitors, guides will occasionally give a tour. History lovers can indulge in the sites where actual cannonballs have crashed into the walls and exhibits that tell of the making of the fort. A visit to Fort Sumter is one of the most popular things to do in Charleston, and while experiencing it, remember to wear comfortable shoes, watch your step on the uneven walkways and plan for at least an hour.

Fort Moultrie National Monument
1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
(843) 883-3910
http://www.nps.gov/fosu/historyculture/fort_moultrie.htm

Fort Moultrie is located near Fort Sumter, but cannot be accessed by the same ferry. It can be reached by car. Using a brochure and wayside exhibits, visitors can easily guide themselves through the fort. The most interesting aspect of Fort Moultrie is that it holds history from the Revolutionary War through WWII. The open layout of the fort makes for an ideal birdwatching spot and avid photographers will have an ample amount of subjects. A 20-minute orientation video is offered every hour and half hour. It explains much of the historical significance of the fort and will help visitors get a better grasp on important features of Fort Moultrie. The bookstore at the fort has a large selection of historical books, which would be a perfect read before you retire for the night at your Charleston Inn. With the exception of holidays, Fort Moultrie is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday.