If you’re a history buff, you’ll find interest in every cobblestone, every busy street, and every ancient home of Charleston, South Carolina. The area may be known for upscale apartments and beach life, but it has living history all across the region. Explore Downtown Charleston, where you’ll find the Charleston City Market, the Old Slave Mart Museum, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, to the French Quarter, where you’ll discover the almost 300-year-old Doc Street Theatre.
We’re here to help guide you to some of the greatest historical sites in Charleston. You’ll visit plantations, war memorials, and mansions, and you’ll be thrilled, awed, and humbled. Let’s take a look at the great history that Charleston has to offer.
- Charleston City Market
The historic Charleston City Market is the most popular destination in Downtown Charleston. The market was constructed in the early 1800s, and it has always been used as a marketplace. The original market sold meat, vegetables, and seafood. Today, it hosts many unique Charleston vendors who sell crafts and unique goods. Great local food and souvenirs can be found throughout the market.
- Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
The Old Exchange, completed in 1771, is intertwined with the history of the American Revolution. During The Revolution, the ground floor was converted by British forces into a military prison. Better known as Provost Dungeon, the prison held American prisoners of war, private citizens, and slaves. Its brutal history lends to the rumor of ghosts and hauntings.
- Doc Street Theatre
This French Quarter attraction was originally built in 1736 and then said to have burned down in the Great Fire of 1740. It remained in disarray until it was rebuilt in 1937. This beautiful brick building is currently owned by the City of Charleston, and after extensive modernization and remodeling in 2010, is used by the Charleston Stage Company.
- Fort Sumter National Monument
This arrive-by-boat historical experience is a must-attend for any history buff. You’ll experience where the first shots of the Civil War rang out and learn about its vast history. The fort was taken by the Confederacy and held as a southern stronghold in 1861.
- Boone Hall Plantation
This breathtaking plantation, which opened in 1681, is still working today, making it one of America’s oldest plantations. You’re welcomed to the plantation by a gorgeous row of oak trees across a long pathway. The hall offers a carriage tour and has many historic buildings, including old slave quarters, still intact.
- Angel Oak
This natural marvel is a sight to behold. The Angel Oak is believed to be over 1500 years old and its trunk has a 25-foot circumference. At its tallest, it reaches heights as vast as 65 feet. The towering oak occupies a public park owned by the City of Charleston.