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“A MUST for any Civil War Enthusiasts”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of H. L. Hunley

H. L. Hunley
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Hunley became the world's first successful combat submarine in 1864 with the sinking of the USS Housatonic. After making world history, she mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, she was finally found in 1995 and then raised from the ocean floor in 2000. Since then, scientists have been at work to conserve the legendary submarine and solve the mystery of her disappearance. Tours of the Hunley include viewing the Hunley in her 75,000 conservation tank, facial reconstructions of the crew, and interactive exhibits that tell the submarine's fascinating tale throughout the centuries.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Level Contributor
109 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“A MUST for any Civil War Enthusiasts”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Well... I don’t want to berate folks as per their experiences but with all respect - I do not believe this attraction warrants a 1-star reviews only because someone showed up late for the LAST tour of the day and couldn't get in or because "the place was hard to find" (in THIS day & age - with Google directions and GPS that is practically inexcusable)
I had NO PROBLEM finding the place punching the address into my GPS unit. My wife and I drove up to the Lab (yes it IS a functional LABORATORY not a "museum" per se!) on a Saturday morning shortly before the place opened up. yes the overall area looked a bit rundown but we didn't feel that our lives were in any danger and there is a parking lot right by the place (and again to be fair - I've been in places a lot worse than THAT; sometimes when you are on the quest for historical attractions - that’s what happens)
We had, perhaps a 10-15 mins wait and afterwards got in with no problems after paying the entry fee (about $12.00 I think)
The volunteer guide took us up on the platform to see the sub (we could not believe how small it was) and we spent may be 20-25 mins up there. Yes there are no chairs available - deal with it!
Afterwards we went down and saw all the other exhibits arranged on the 1st floor incl. the famous $20.00-gold piece that saved Lt. Dixon's life at Sharpsburg. Educational experience abound and we even got to play as we sat in the life size model from the TNT movie "The Hunley" (see my avatar picture).
There are various souvenirs and clothing articles for sale if one is interested.
If you are a Civil War NUT, like I am - it’s a MUST! if you are a faithful CW scholar - you can't go wrong... I mean you are looking at THE HUNLEY for crying out loud!!! Everyone else have to make their own decisions but as with many other attractions, my humble suggestion is do your "homework" before hands and decide it this one is for you and what are you planning to get out of the experience.
All in all - it was worth the time, money and effort for us.
P.S. Those who suggested to skip the place and see the "full size replica model" in front of the Visitor's Center on Meeting St in Charleston instead - I guess the same mentality will compel one to go to EPCOT or Vegas to claim that one "saw the Eiffel Tower" or "been to Venice". NOT!!! :)

Visited August 2012
2 Thank CWBuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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551 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
48 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“History unfolds before you!”
Reviewed March 12, 2013

We visited the Hunley research center 2 years ago and were amazed how much more they have discovered. Viewing the submarine and hearing from the historical volunteers was like watching a documentary in the making. Allow about an hour. The facility is a big hanger-like warehouse. Someday soon they will be in a home where the exhibits can be displayed better but for now it is fine. Reservations are needed. My husband and I also traveled to the nearby cemetery where the Hunley crews are all buried along with other Civil War area soldiers. It was really cool to see and is only a very short drive away. This exhibit for the Hunley is only open on weekends so make sure you plan.

Visited March 2013
Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallassee, Alabama
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Very interesting and moving”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

Our guide was very knowledgeable but it was tiring standing the entire time. Would have been nice to be able to sit down for that part of the tour.
Loved the interactive parts of the museum. They had the best gift shop of all the places we went.
We joined the Friends of the Hunley group and can't wait to go back for a members only tour.
We stayed for 2 hours but could have stayed much longer.
It's an amazing thing to see.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank CarrieH_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
59 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Best tour/museum in the Charleston area! Make sure you ask what tour BILL is leading....best presenter/guide I've listened to in years. 1 hour tour went by like that.....actually wanted to make sure you got to ask questions and stuff other guides wont share! Thank you for your amazing presentation!

Visited February 2013
5 Thank doc0205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome, awesome, and even more awesome!”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

For a great view into a personal history lesson this is the way to go! Wow...the presentation of the historical material associated with this little piece of history is just awe inspiring! The way that the material is presented makes one feel a personal connection to the brave souls that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the pursuit of freedom that we all enjoy today! Bravo!!!! It moved me to tears. This is a must see when coming into the area for the young and old. Don't miss this!

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Lee R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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