Visitors start their journey to Fort Sumter at the education center on Liberty Square, where the first battle of the Civil War, fought on April 12 and 13, 1861, is brought to life through exhibits on both the battle and the larger issues that led to the war. A ferry then takes guests to Fort Sumter, which is on an island at the mouth of the harbor; a 10-minute introduction here by a ranger precedes self-guided tours of the site. In addition to offering a fascinating excursion for armchair historians, the trip supplies water views of Charleston's Rainbow Row, homes along the Battery and the many steeples of the Holy City.
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Rain or Shine
Fort Sumter is located in Charleston Harbor...like in the middle of Charleston Harbor, so you have to take a ferry out to it. It's best known as the spot where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired at the Battle of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861.
The day I went with my family, it was raining... and cold. Not exactly ideal sightseeing weather, but this really didn't matter at Fort Sumter. In fact, I think a benefit for us was it kept the crowds down—we almost had the place to ourselves.