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“A Must See”
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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
165 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“A Must See”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I have waited to see this sub for many years and I was not disappointed. The staff is super knowledgeable and friendly as they eagerly answer all questions presented by us curious tourists and history buffs alike! The only complaint I have is that we can only view the Hunley from the top and the lights reflecting from the waters surface make viewing a little tricky but still a very exciting piece of our history! The little museum and gift shop had a few hands on things to see and touch as well as viewing rooms where they continuously play "The Hunley" for anybody who wants to watch! No trip to Charleston is complete without seeing the H.L Hunley!!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank mrjahoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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562 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
157 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“True History and Technology Combined”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

View the 1st submarine that sank an enemy ship during the Civil War.
Was the snorkel invented by the Germans? NO
See the boat.
Meet the crew that volunteered to serve on a boat that had already killed two crews.
Learn about the mysteries the Hunley took to the grave with her.

Visited September 2013
Thank RoverToad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
81 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“What an amazing civil war story”
Reviewed September 20, 2013

The Hunley submarine story was totally new to me. When we approached the huge building there was no way to know what an incredible story was inside. The self=guided and then the guided tour were fascinating. After seeing all the artifacts and reading the signage of the Hunley, to finally see the actual submarine in its tank of preservative water was almost speill-binding. It took lots of courage and strong sense of duty for those 8 men to get aboard that new contraption. Our guide was a volunteer and very knowledgeable and interesting. It's a great adventure that might get overlooked.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank JHanlon277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Plata, Maryland
Level Contributor
402 reviews
197 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
“Awesome sight for history lovers.”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

The H.L. Hunley represents an amazing slice of American Civil War history. Although I knew about the loss and recent recovery of this, the first successful attack submarine, I learned so much more by coming here. The "tours" last only about 10-15 minutes, wherein a guide explains the basics while you gaze from a platform into the watery tub holding the vessel. Sadly, we were shuttled off fairly quickly when the next group came in, but it was amazing to behold. Scientific tests are still ongoing, so this is very much a working laboratory.

Nevertheless, for the times that they are open to the public on the weekends, the Hunley is a fascinating stop. There are several artifacts in cases along with good interpretation. There's a recreation of a Confederate submarine that preceded the Hunley, and the recreation of the faces of the men aboard is phenomenal. There are also two theaters for viewing made-for-TV movies and documentaries about the Hunley. There are also some good interactives for kids. Ultimately, the Hunley will be displayed in its own museum downtown when the research is complete.

Currently, the Hunley is located on the old Navy base in North Charleston. Not particularly easy to find, as others have said, but worth the effort!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Tiffy_Bird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seven Springs, NC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very humbling”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

This place was a little hard to find but well worth the trouble. The volunteers are veterans and very knowledgeable. Interesting attraction and very humbling to know the story and the bravery behind it.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank DebPar80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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