Charleston enjoys a rich history dating back to the 1600s. Shortly following the restoration of Charles II of England to the British throne, King Charles granted a group of eight loyalists, known as the Lords Proprietor, a chartered territory in Carolina in 1663. Seven years later, the "Charlestowne" colony was settled along the banks of the Ashley River, just 6 miles northwest of the present city of Charleston. Sited as a prime port, the settlement soon became a bustling port town despite continued attacks from the French and Spanish. Today, many of the city’s finest historic homes and sites can still be toured and enjoyed including the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Aiken-Rhett House, H.L. Hunley Confederate Submarine and famed Civil War site Fort Sumter.
The Charleston Museum:
The Charleston Museum was founded in 1773 and is America's first and oldest museum. The Charleston Museum contains exhibits devoted to Charleston and all of South Carolina’s cultural and natural history. The Charleston Museum’s landmark Downtown Charleston facilities include two National Historic Landmark houses.
To learn more about touring the historic sites of the Charleston Museum and current exhibits at America’s first museum, go to www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site:
The Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site marks the exact place where the first English settlers landed in Charleston in 1670. These English settlers started the Carolinas colony. The Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site includes many interesting places for visitors to explore with a natural habitat zoo, working archaeological site, plus 80 acres of gardens.
To learn more about seeing the historic sites of the Charles Towne Landing in Charleston, SC, visit www.southcarolinaparks.com.
Charleston's finest historic tours include the legendary Fort Sumter. Built to protect the United States after the War of 1812, the fort is a five-sided fortification. Fort Sumter was built to be a massive fortress with five-foot thick walls capable of housing up to 650 fighters. Today, Fort Sumter is best remembered as the site of the opening conflict of the Civil War.
For more information about one of the most important historical attractions in South Carolina, visit www.nps.gov/fosu.
H.L. Hunley Confederate Submarine:
The H.L. Hunley Confederate Submarine ranks as the first submarine in history to sink another boat in battle. The Hunley was also sunk in the same battle leading modern-day treasure hunters to spend years hunting for the Hunley. Led by a crew that included famed writer Clive Cussler, the H.L. Hunley Confederate Submarine was finally discovered by a crew, after many years of searching.
To learn more about a tour of the historic H.L. Hunley Submarine in Charleston, South Carolina, visit www.hunley.org.