Fort Sumter

Approaching Fort Sumter

Of course you know the story of the first shots of the Civil War, which were fired upon Fort Sumter from Fort Johnson. This island fortress is now a National Parks site accessible to tourists via the SpiritlineTour Boat, leaving regularly from the Fort Sumter Visitors Center located downtown near the Maritime Center and Aquarium.

Visitors can explore the grounds of Fort Sumter, and also visit the museum and gift shop that are located inside the fort..

Fort Sumter Interior

There is also a large, free-to-the-public exhibition inside the Visitors Center. Highlights include original flags from the Confederate era.


Middle of the harbor!
Type of Attraction
Area Location
Charles' Review

January 2010
We had been putting off a return trip to Fort Sumter for a while, but decided to venture out during the New Years Trip. It was very cold on the water, but we came prepared! Always be aware that it will be much cooler on the water versus land side. I make it a point to bring at least a windbreaker.

I think I do still prefer Fort Moutrie on Sullivan's Island for the most part, but I think Fort Sumter is still a significant Civil War site to see at least once.

I also never feel like there is enough time to really explore and appreciate the Fort. It's difficult to read all of the plaques, explore the grounds and museum, and the gift shop, before it's time to leave. For most people it will probably take at least two trips to Fort Sumter to take in the entire site properly.

November 2007
Although it is a very interesting place to visit, I felt that one hour was not enough time to properly explore the fort.

I didn't find anything truly remarkable about the site other than some historical background given by the on-site park rangers.

Steven's Review

I prefer visiting Fort Moultrie to visiting Fort Sumter, because you can see more history at Fort Moultrie... Construction on Sumter began half a century after Moultrie. That being said, Sumter is still an unavoidable attraction, of course due to its prominence in American history. 

While the limited time at Fort Sumter (due to reliance on the schedule of the tour boats) means you don't have as much time to explore as you do at Fort Moultrie, it is still worth a visit to see the commanding views of the harbor and surrounding lands. Also, the ferry trip over on the tour boat is an added bonus...

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