Sights & landmarks in Charleston

THE 10 BEST Charleston Sights & Historical Landmarks

Charleston Landmarks

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    Highest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveler reviews.
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What travelers are saying

  • Stacey C
    38 contributions
    Beautiful grounds and very family-friendly. We happened to be there after Christmas 2020, and there were more people than I anticipated. Still very enjoyable.
    Written August 9, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Chris C
    Raleigh, NC1 contribution
    Very nice and relaxing place. 2 fountains nice weather by an art gallery. Very close to the hear of Charleston. Great architecture and beauty
    Written August 14, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Scott D.
    McEwen, TN107 contributions
    A Bridge may just be a bridge, however the Ravenel Bridge is worth driving over and admiring the beauty you can see from both directions. While in Charleston we drove over this bridge was seemed like a 100 times. Each time was just a beautiful as the last. If you have time to walk across the bridge, do it! Otherwise, just enjoy your view while driving over. Check out our blog!
    Written July 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Lillybelle5
    7 contributions
    Very interesting and the park ranger was extremely knowledgeable and he was funny! The ferry that takes you to the fort had restrooms and snacks for purchase.
    Written August 8, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • S S
    1 contribution
    A phenomenal place that tells the plantation story from the perspectives of the slaves. Everyone should hear this. American history in its unvarnished truth
    Written August 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Starla D
    23 contributions
    Learned so much with about an hour long tour of the house--beautifully, painstakingly restored historic home; highly knowledgeable staff.
    Written August 12, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Marty Bielicki
    Jensen Beach, FL14,133 contributions
    This plantation is located about 13 miles southwest along Ashley River Road. It takes a good 30 minutes or so to reach there from downtown. It is regarded as the oldest planation in the south dating back to 1676. This rice plantation has been owned for the majority of those years by the Drayton family from Barbados.

    Nearly 400 acres today, the plantation is quite extensive. The information and ticket kiosk will give you price list for all the tours. You can also go on-line to see the price-list. General Admission (as of August 2022) is $29 for one adult and children from 6-12, $15 dollars. To actually see the Plantation House will cost you $10; a Nature tram $10; a Nature Boat ride along the Ashely River $10; the Audubon Swamp $10 and the Historic Garden Walk $10. Literally, one can spend an entire day at the Magnolia Plantation.

    Besides the General Admission ticket, we decided to also tour the Plantation House. Included with the General Admission ticket is a tour of the slavery cabins. That tour is called “From Slavery to Freedom.” The oldest slave cabin dates back to 1840.

    We walked over to the Cabins, but there is a parking lot close by to the well-constructed bathrooms. On a hot July day, the AC bathrooms was a welcomed relief.

    “Joe” was our guide. An outstanding guide who can date his ancestry to about 1840. For about 30 minutes Joe gave an over-view about slavery. Many people did not know that Africans themselves enslaved other Africans. The main difference to this slavery is that African slaves that remained in Africa were free after 7 years. The Africans purchased by Europeans were “chattel” and always remained as slaves—even their offspring.

    Joe did admit that 6 slaves escaped from this plantation which grew rice. One of the visitors did ask if “any slaves volunteered to come to America?” Joe later thanked us for not laughing. No question is stupid.

    We had enough time before our 11:00AM house tour to walk around the path along Ashley River. I think a boat ride for anyone who does not know about the “Low Country” would be a valuable experience—well worth $10 dollars.

    A large plaque states that the British landed close by during the Revolutionary War. There is, indeed, plenty of history around Charleston.

    There is a café kiosk on property to get drinks and snacks. We indulged in having tea.

    Visiting in July is “warm” but doable. I think the fall and spring would be ideal times.

    There were plenty of people for the 11:00 house tour. We were broken-up into manageable groups. Our tour guide was excellent, filled with passion, telling us about the history of the family and the plantation. There is AC in the house as well as a few fans that I gyrated to.

    We quickly learned that this house was the present home of two other previous homes that burnt down. The Union forces during the Civil War burnt down the Plantation in 1865. The house is filled, though, with interesting original family antiques.

    To make ends meet, the Plantation and its gardens were open to the public in circa 1870’s. The Drayton’s lost all their money by investing into the Confederacy. This family is a good example of being from “money to rags, back to riches.”

    We were not happy to learn that “Photographs are forbidden” in the Plantation house. Not even photos without flash. We have been in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Met in NYC where pictures are allowed. It would have been considerate of management to let us know this policy before purchasing the tickets. We may, though, have still toured this home knowing the photography policy. One of the reasons we give the Magnolia Plantation Four stars, instead of Five.

    If you found this review to be “helpful” in any way, please check “Thumbs-up” to let me know.
    Written August 3, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Aaron S
    Aventura, FL245 contributions
    Enjoyable to see, to get photographed, to lay low and relax while people watching...one thing is for sure, you will not get bored sitting around this cool fountain.
    Written August 15, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jktchorne
    Fort Smith, AR1,066 contributions
    Big open market with a lot of vendors. It covered space but extremely crowed. Tons of basket vendors and souvenirs shops.
    Written July 31, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • CBDurf
    Bethlehem, PA90 contributions
    This house is frozen in time and you feel as if you are walking back through history. It was so interesting to walk through the slave quarters and each room with original furniture and wall coverings.
    Written June 27, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • luv2travel4evermore
    Cypress, TX95 contributions
    Over the years, I've toured at least half a dozen historic plantations, if not more, all in a restored state depicting life during the pre- Civil War era. This was probably my favorite. Rather than restore the building to its previous grandeur, the owners have elected the Historic Preservation approach. There was quite a bit of preservation-related construction going on at the time, but the excellent audio tour and exhibits told the story of the house, its owners, and the people who lived and toiled there in minute detail, and it was so well worth it. Highly recommended!
    Written March 20, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Marie W
    Pendleton, SC108 contributions
    We took our grandson to this site before leaving Charleston for Hilton Head. We found the historic walk very interesting and more attractions had been added since the last time I was there in the 1970s.

    We had started on the animal viewing path but heard thunder and lightning coming in so we headed to the visitors center. A storm broke out after we arrived but there were plenty of interesting static displays to read. They also have a small gift shop on site where I found a cute child's t-shirt for our grandson's little brother.
    Written July 23, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • mgnelu
    Rockville, MD220 contributions
    Take this as a 3.5 rounded up to a 4. The building is outstanding inside and out, but I would not think of it as a cathedral based on its size. There were less than a handful other visitors inside, so we had almost the whole space for ourselves. The light pours in from all sides through beautiful stained glass. Since it is conveniently located (it's not like you have to go out of your way to visit), I would include it in a walking tour of the historic district (it is nice to escape the hot summer temperature for air conditioned environment). We spent about 15 minutes observing and taking pictures, but without learning much about its history.
    Written August 12, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • KManNewYork
    New York244 contributions
    The Charleston Museum does a great job detailing the history of Charleston, including during the Civil War and times of slavery.
    Written August 5, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • 1GiantsMS
    Redwood City, CA1,083 contributions
    The campus was near our hotel and we were able to enjoy a nice walk and experience the beauty of the campus without many people early in the morning. The buildings are all of similar architecture and very impressive. The Mark Clark Memorial is impressive and I loved walking around and examining a Sherman Tank. Other equipment to explore include a USMC transport, a fighter jet, various cannons and a helicopter. The Memorial for the graduates who gave their lives in service is impressive. Would highly recommend.
    Written June 4, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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