Charleston famously played a key role in the Civil War, with the first shots in that conflict fired at Fort Sumter, at the mouth of the harbor in 1861. It took Confederate forces 34 hours to capture the fort from federal troops stationed there, and the war that began with that battle would last four years. It remains to this day the conflict with the greatest number of American casualties. (Almost half of all American soldiers to lose their lives in combat died in the Civil War.) The fort can only be visited by boat, though a number of harbor tours either call at the fort or pass by close enough that you can get a good look at it. Sail by the historic landmarks of Charleston, on one of 12 itineraries created by AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council at AFAR Journeys.