Nathaniel Russell House
Nathaniel Russell House
4.5
Historic Sites • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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About
A National Historic Landmark, the Nathaniel Russell House Museum was completed in 1808 by merchant Nathaniel Russell. The home’s graceful, free-flying, three-story staircase is an architectural marvel and the elegant interiors with elaborate plasterwork, geometrically shaped rooms, formal gardens and collection of 18th-century decorative and fine art speak to the wealth of Charleston’s elite in the early days of the American Republic. Restored to its original splendor using forensic analysis and cutting-edge conservation technology by our curatorial staff, we ensure the highest standards of old-world expertise to replicate the finishes, fixtures and textiles appropriate for this 200-year old townhouse. The 18 enslaved Africans that lived on and maintained this property are an integral part of its history. Archaeological artifacts, educational panels and ongoing restoration of the enslaved quarters are vital to learning more about the enslaved and telling their important stories.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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  • JessieNoelle
    99 contributions
    The staircase alone is worth the visit
    I bought a combo ticket for Nathaniel Russel house along with the Aiken-Rhett house. I would highly recommend this, as it saves money and gives you a chance to tour both a restoration house and a preservation house. I enjoyed both houses. I took the self-guided audio tour which is excellent for both houses, great history into the family and house. This house has been restored to the time the Russel's lived there, and I quite enjoyed the color of the bedroom that was restored to it's original shade from a tiny piece that was found. It's a sad fact that Nathaniel Russel made his fortune selling human beings and this house was built on enslaved labor. The staircase is certainly the main attraction to this house, it's beautiful and a marvel. The 24k gold leaf in the upper rooms moldings aren't too shabby, either. Archaeologists are uncovering the kitchen, laundry and enslaved quarters at the back of the house, so it would be interesting to revisit in a few years to see what was discovered. The gardens are very nice, you walk thru them to enter and leave the house.
    Visited October 2021
    Written November 7, 2021
  • Arthur S
    Indianapolis, Indiana20 contributions
    Fascinating tour
    My wife and I really enjoyed our tour of the Nathaniel Russell house. Our charming guide, Cheryl, is a retired teacher and was very well versed on the history and stories of the house. The spiral staircase is an architectural marvel and getting a close look at it is worth the price of admission. However, the rest of the house has been scrupulously restored to the way it would have looked when the Russells took residence in 1808. This is tour that is well worth your time.
    Visited February 2020
    Written February 16, 2020
  • bikeKaren440
    52 contributions
    Beautiful restoration in progress
    We walked to the Nathaniel Russell House from the Market, approximately a 15 minute walk. A docent lead tour was starting in 30 minutes but we opted to take the audio tour. The information was good and had the right amount of detail but the chirpy narrator became tiresome. Proceeds from the house tours benefit continued restoration of the house.
    Visited March 2020
    Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
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Excellent
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Very good
656
Average
163
Poor
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Terrible
8

Ms. Salsa
110 contributions
Dec 2020
We bought the combo tickets for the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House. Due to the COVID issue, both tours are self-guided tours downloaded via an app on your phone. Unfortunately, although the intention is a good one, it has to be one of the most problematic ideas currently established. During the walk thru the house, you might find yourself wanting to listen to the same recording someone else already has begun in the same area, hence, you then can't continue until the other party ends their turn. Either that, or find yourself already listening in one area, when someone else comes in and rudely starts their own recording preventing you from listening to your own. Aside from that dilemma, the house is an interesting and very beautiful one to see. Of all the mansions we visited, this one was one of my favorite ones. It captured its original setting as best as it could and it gave you a very close impression of what life was like back then.
Written January 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN3,144 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
There are many historic homes to tour in Charleston and the Nathaniel Russell House was amongst the best. Federal style house built in 1808 by slave trader Nathaniel Russell one of the wealthiest men in Charleston. It has been beautifully restored to it’s original appearance. Excellent 45 minute self guided audio tour takes you in depth through each room of the house. They have only recently began to excavate the slave quarters behind the house and at this point telling the story of the enslaved who worked at the house is not as fully developed as at the Aitkin-Rhett House which is the other historical home you should not miss when visiting Charleston. We purchased the Charleston Heritage Explorer Passport for $49/person which allowed entry to the Nathaniel Russell House and 9 other houses and museums in downtown Charleston over 3 consecutive days and thought this was an excellent value.
Written December 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shannon
South Carolina506 contributions
Jan 2023
It was a rainy day in Charleston and we needed something to do! I decided on visiting the Nathaniel Russell House because it opens at 10 and admission is only $15.
I really enjoyed this visit. It was more than just looking at a historic home. The audio tour combined with the beautifully restored and decorated home was very well-done.
The audio tour, device and headset included, was informative, interesting, easy to use and not too long! The ladies narrating gave just enough information without making you want to skip ahead.
Not only is the home restored to original glory, it's decorated with period pieces so you can really envision the lives of the Russells. The laundry room/enslaved quarters is currently being worked on, so it was very interested to see it in it's primitive state.
As I said, it was raining so we only briefly walked the gardens which are rather small so I didn't feel we missed too much. The whole visit took us about an hour.
Nice job, Historic Charleston Foundation!
Written January 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lmphilly
Philadelphia, PA219 contributions
Feb 2020
We toured both the Nathaniel Russell House and the Aiken House, buying both tickets as a package. the Nathaniel Russell House is beautifully redone from the architechture of the home, the furnishings and the garden. We did not take the house tour due to time constraints but used the recorded guide which was fine. This is a part of Charleston's complex history which is well worth a visit.
Written February 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom V
Augusta, GA210 contributions
Mar 2020
We walked from the visitors center to the Nathaniel Russell house which is just across the street. It's an incredible 1808 house built by Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell. There is an incredible 3 story, free flying spiral staircase that is amazing. The guide that gave us the tour was very good and knew a lot about the house. She had been a part of the crew that was restoring some of the paint on the walls, making sure that they are era colors and by sampling they are able to get most of the original colors. We learned not only the history of the house, but the history of the family that built the house and lived there through the generations. We were able to go up the staircase and see the upstairs as well as ground level. I recommend this tour.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2Birdsfishnfrogs
Little River, SC232 contributions
Apr 2022
We purchased a Passport from the Charleston Heritage Federation for eight historic sites and museums to be toured during three consecutive days. This was one of the eight places.

We chose the self-guided tour option which meant we were given I-pods with headsets to listen and move through the house at our own pace. This worked well for our situation since we were trying to maximize our time utilization. The program can be repeated or skipped depending upon your individual interests.

We had been in the gardens during an earlier visit so we didn't linger there this time. It is a peaceful area and pleasant to sit and relax.

I would suggest going here to our friends, relatives and acquaintances who are interested in the history of Charleston and of the United States.
Written April 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel M
North Grafton, Ma102 contributions
Mar 2022
Highly recommended when in Charleston. This was not in my radar to do; however, my friends suggested it and even though it was a rainy day, I was so glad I did it. I would have enjoyed walking around the gardens more but you can walk in them at any time and we might go back this week when it's sunny. The tour guide was great and really kept a large group organized and under control and gave alot of content in her tour. It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it when those things can be boring at times. We booked the two house special and I look forward to going to the 2nd house tomorrow.
Written March 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Badforever
London, Canada694 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
We just happened to show up when a guided tour was commencing. Otherwise, the tour is self guided with an audio device. Our guide was very knowledgeable speaking about preservation techniques, interior design, architecture, and, of course, history. We learned a lot and the building is quite fantastic. We appreciated that the beneficiary of our admission fee is the Historical Society and funding the ongoing preservation - and not the descendant family of someone who had built their fortune on the backs of slave labour.
Written March 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JeromeSTL
Saint Louis, MO86 contributions
Feb 2020
The house is worth all the accolades. Its restoration was lovingly and remarkably done. We did the audio tour, which was easy to understand and provided a lot of the basic information. Note there are one or more additional clips in every room. We did those and they gave a much fuller level of insight into the home and life there. In late February 2020 they were redoing the kitchen and slave quarters but the rest of the house was accessible.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

floridian6
orlando, fl235 contributions
Mar 2020
The house has been refurbished. The stair case is beautiful and some of the furnishings is interesting. However, The doors inside appear to be beautiful wood and turns out to be painted on fake wood appearance ( not expected). Also some of the border around the ceiling is just wallpaper and not real. The garden has some pretty flowers and is better if you are there when the azaleas are blooming. It was not as interesting as some of the other historical houses I have been in, but something to do in order to see and hear about people in Charlestons history.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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