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“Could be better”
Review of Penn Center

Penn Center
Book In Advance
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and up
Historic Sea Island Plantation and Lowcountry Life Tour
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Civil War Reconstruction Tour of Beaufort by Van
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: A significant African-American institution in the United States, its mission is to preserve the Sea Islands' history, culture and environment.
Collierville, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Could be better”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

The movie and museum were well done and informative, but when it came to walking around the property to see the buildings, I didn't know where to begin or actually if all the buildings I could see were a part of the Center. I wandered into the lobby of another building that looked to be offices and a lady finally came out to ask if she could help. When I asked about a map, she dug around around and found a hand drawn mimeographed map. Fortunately, it also came with an excellent description of the past and present uses of each building so I was able to walk around and peer into the windows of some. I think it would be helpful to have these, or maybe some better quality, maps offered when tickets are purchased.

Visited October 2013
3 Thank n8urgrl2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael C, Penn Center at Penn Center, responded to this review, October 28, 2013
Greetings! I am Michael A. Campi, the new Executive Director here at Penn Center. I want to express my profound gratitude for your candid (on-target!) appraisal of your recent visit. Your objective observations are very valuable to us, as we embark on making demonstrative changes to the "Penn Center Experience."

I invite you to visit our website: www.penncenter.com for updates and alerts about upcoming exhibits, program offerings and enhancements, and special events.

I thank you again for your honest feedback. Please know you have been heard, and we are actively working to improve the experience of our guests.

My email is mcampi@penncenter.com. I am at your disposal if I may be of any service whatsoever.

Sincerely yours,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Awesome Adventure”
Reviewed August 11, 2013

What a well preserved and informative structure. We dd not have high expectations as we were simply taking a day tour and exploring the St. Helena. We were very surprised that the Penn Center was well staffed and FULL of historical content. The Curator and Staff were very knowledgeble with regards to Penn and well as all of the local history. The 20 minute video is well worth watching as you feel the flavor of the times and struggle; which makes you appreciate the experience even more. The gift shop is awesome and full of Gullah/Geechee information and "trinkets" Since we were simply visting for the day, we asked the staff for other places of historical interest and were directed to the "tabby" ruins and Fort Fredmont, which were both just down the street. What an awesome adventure and many kudos to the Penn staff for the historical experience. We were very impressed.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Jay B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Penn Center”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

The buildings are mostly original and restored. Museum is constantly being upgraded. You would be sorry not to have visited.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Ruth196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Penn Center”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Penn Center is one of the oldest schools for former slaves in the country. That warrants a visit. The museum is not great, but if you're searching for some history in South Carolina which gives a African-American perspective, it's worth going to. My daughter and I went to Penn Center before we took the Gullah-N-Geechie Mahn tour on St. Helena Island, and this was a great combination. We spent 40 min. in Penn Center (about all that is necessary) and then took the 2 hour tour. The two together were fantastic! We were staying in Beaufort, so it was only a 10 min. drive. Also, we had stayed in Charleston for 3 days prior and taken a Civil War tour which was so offensive that we eventually left ("Slavery was not so bad.") Going to Penn Center was great after the Charleston tour. I personally really needed to hear a different perspective. Also, I talked to the gift shop personnel and the man who took tickets and they were both very engaging and made the museum experience more full.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank mkj123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Very historical”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is a very interesting place and wonderful to see it being preserved and still in use for classes, exhibits, art etc.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank catofmine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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