Fort Sumter is an iconic name in US history, for it was here that Confederates fired the first shots of the Civil War in 1861. The fort was reduced to rubble by shelling over the ensuing years of war.
The Fort Sumter Visitor & Education Center is located at the ferry terminal for trips out to Fort Sumter. It’s well worth taking some time to learn more about the Civil War and the role Fort Sumter played, before catching your ferry to the fort.
Rangers can answer questions, and visual displays put the history into context.
Ferries to Fort Sumter depart from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center in downtown Charleston, next to the aquarium. Ferries that can handle RVs depart from Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. The ferry trip takes 30 minutes one way.
Fort Sumter is 4 miles (6.5 km) southeast of Charleston on Sullivan’s Island in Charleston Harbor.