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“Living History”
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, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed May 15, 2014

The Hunley is one of the most unique pieces of living history in existence: the first submarine to successfully sink an enemy warship, and she did it more than fifty years before the event was successfully replicated! The sub currently resides at a research lab in North Charleston, SC, on what was previously the Naval Station. The sub is only open to visitors on weekends as it is an active lab during the week. Admission is currently $12. A few caveats: due to the tank the sub is immersed in, it is difficult to photograph. The tank is also surrounded by clear partitions that cause reflections that make photography even more difficult. And the sub is currently soaking in a chemical bath intended to loosen the concretion around the hull, making visibility even more daunting. And North Charleston is not the best part of town to viist.
However, the tour guides are energetic and informative, the exhibits outside the tank include replicas built for the TV movie about the sub, which allow you to see just how cramped and dark it really was for the crews. The Hunley continues to slowly give up her secrets, and perhaps one day her complete story will be known. Until then go see this piece of living history up close, and marvel not just that they were able to use this tiny submersible to sink an enemy warship, but that they even had the courage to try.

4  Thank Ussafs3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 10, 2014 via mobile

I'm a big fan of author Clive Cussler and his real life version of NUMA that discovered the Civil War era submarine CSS Hunley in the waters off Charleston. To now get to see it during its ongoing professional restoration is a real treat. The building in the former Charleston Navy Yard in North Charleston is only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Volunteer guides do a good job describing both the history of the sub as well as its restoration process. Tours require a ticket that can be bought by phone before the day of visit and the tours are by specific timed appointment. If you like Civil War history and/or naval history, you shouldn't miss this.

1  Thank Gary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2014

The submarine Hunley was not the first submarine invented, but the first sub to blow up an enemy ship. It is interesting to see the sub, although you cannot actually see the entire sub since it is in a big tank of water, but you can see the top of the sub. The tour will explain the history and the signifcance of the sub during the civil war. Well worth the visit if you have an interest in naval warfare.

1  Thank f16addict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2014

This is a most fasinating piece of history ever. I won't say anymore to give it away. Please go and see this frighting yet awesome sub.

Thank Trixi01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2014

History is for everyone!
I traveled on a sail boat to watch them raise the Hunley! Everyone in Charleston must have taken the day off! There were lots of boats and what a Parade there was going back into the harbor.
So many stories have been published since the Hunley has been housed in the old Navy base building.
I have been 3 times and still can not get over how a 6 ft. man would get into, let alone move around inside!!
I know some of the people that discovered the Hunley and to see the excitement on their faces when they talk about the find and listen to the stories is amazing.
You will have a great time inside, while waiting to see the Hunley just looking at pictures and taking pictures of you and your family standing in front of the Model of the Hunley.
There is also a gift shop that has souveniers for sale.
Remember this is actual history in motion, with them still researching the Hunley each week to find more clues to why it sank.

1  Thank sparky1013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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