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Charleston Attractions

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Highlighting must see Attractions

Gibbes Museum of Art

The Gibbes Museum of Art maintains approximately 10,000 objects that directly support its mission to "collect, conserve, and interpret an American fine arts collection with a Charleston perspective." This includes objects that reflect the distinct patronage of this region. The strength of the collection lies in its 18th, 19th and early 20th century paintings, works on paper (prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs), miniature portraits, and sculpture. The objects in each medium reinforce the history of Charleston as an important colonial and antebellum city, and today as a tourist destination.

The Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum, America's First Museum, was founded in 1773. Its mission is to preserve and interpret the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. We invite you to explore this rich, varied history at the Museum and its two National Historic Landmark houses. All are located downtown, in America's Most Historic City.

The Citadel

The Citadel was established in 1842 and is one of the last two military state colleges in the nation. The Citadel Museum offers a history of the military college of South Carolina and Corps of Cadets from 1842 to the present.

Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall was begun in 1738 and was completed after four years of construction by European and African American craftsmen. Today, its Georgian-Palladian architecture represents the oldest surviving example of its kind in the American South. Still without running water, electric lighting, or central heating, the preservation of the house extends to its guests a sense of timelessness and continuity. Its mere existence proves its strength against the tests of time and change, disuse and nature.

Fort Sumter National Monument

History provides us with defining moments from which we judge where we are with where we have been. The Civil War provides the United States with one of its critical defining moments that continues to play a vital role in defining ourselves as a Nation. Fort Sumter is the place where it began.

America's most tragic conflict ignited at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, when a chain reaction of social, economic and political events exploded into civil war. At the heart of these events was the issue of states rights versus federal authority flowing over the underlying issue of slavery.

South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium is a self-supporting educational institution dedicated to excellence in its display and interpretation of the aquatic environments of South Carolina. The South Carolina Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for and fosters conservation of those environments for future generations.