charleston historic houses

Historic Homes, Gardens, Museums, Things to Do in Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Tour Historical Homes and Buildings


Drayton Hall

3380 Ashley River Road - Charleston, SC
Completed in 1742, the historic plantation house stands majestically on a 630-acre site and is one of the finest examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in America. Through seven generations of Drayton family ownership, the plantation house has remained in nearly original condition and offers an opportunity to experience history, to imagine the people—white and black—who lived and worked in a far different time.

Magnolia Plantation and Its Gardens

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the U. S. Department of the Interior, stately Magnolia Plantation has, for over three centuries, been the original ancestral home of the Drayton family, whose many sons have played important roles throughout American history. It is believed that no other plantation in South Carolina is still under original family ownership from that early date, thirteen generations of the present-owning family having enjoyed it.

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Joseph Manigault House

Rice was South Carolina's economic base in the early 19th century. Profits from growing and trading it made possible the buildings which comprise Charleston's noted architectural heritage. Among the most elegant of these is The Charleston Museum's Joseph Manigault House, a National Historic Landmark, located in downtown Charleston close to the Museum and the City Visitor Center.

Middleton Place

Ashley River Rd. (Hwy 61), 14 miles NW of Charleston, SC
A National Historic Landmark and a carefully preserved 18th-century plantation that has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. It was the home of four important generations of Middletons, beginning with Henry Middleton, President of the First Continental Congress; Arthur, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; Henry, Governor of South Carolina and an American Minister to Russia; and Williams, a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. Tour the Gardens, the House Museum, and the Plantation Stableyards.


Aiken Rhett House

48 Elizabeth Street - Charleston, SC
Few houses in the American South provide a more complete document of antebellum life than the Aiken-Rhett House. Built by merchant John Robinson in 1818 and greatly expanded and redecorated by Governor and Mrs. William Aiken Jr. in the 1830s and 1850s, the property has survived virtually unaltered since 1858.


calhoun mansion

Calhoun Mansion

14-16 Meeting Street - Charleston, SC
The story of the Calhoun Mansion actually starts almost a century before it was built, when the ground on which George Walton Williams would build his home was hallowed in the tradition of optimistic patriotism. The land that would later become 14-16 Meeting Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, was originally part of the plot of the Lowndes house, the property of Governor Charles Pinckney, who hosted George Washington three times in May of 1791

The Charleston Museum

360 Meeting Street - Charleston, SC
America's First Museum, founded in 1773. Its mission is to preserve and interpret the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. We invite you to explore this rich, varied history at the Museum and its two National Historic Landmark houses. All are located downtown, in America's Most Historic City.  


A few "Must Sees"

Biking Through the Park

Plantations & Gardens
Middleton Place Gardens and House

Cypress Gardens

Magnolia Plantation


Attractions & Tours

Schooner Pride harbor cruise

Palmetto Carriage Works

Old South Carriage

Ghost Walk


waterfront park fountain



Golf courses in Charleston

Traffic Cams

SCDOT Interstate Traffic Cams


waterfront park

Area Municipalities

Charleston County
North Charleston
Mt. Pleasant
Isle of Palms
Kiawah Island
Goose Creek

Sullivan's Island
Seabrook Island

Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
South Carolina National Heritage Corridor-Region 4


Convention and Visitors Bureau
City of Charleston Events Calendar

Museums & History

Charleston Museum - America's first museum
Drayton Hall - A National Trust Historic Site
Fort Sumter and Walking Tour
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
Old Santee Canal Park
The South Carolina Historical Society
Genealogical and historical resources
The Avery Research Center for African
Civil War at Charleston


Charleston Convention Center

Charleston County Parks
South Carolina Aquarium
The H. L. Hunley


Citadel Museum, The

The Citadel Museum represents the history of The Military College of South Carolina from its founding in 1842 to the present. Arranged chronologically, the permanent exhibits feature the military, academic, athletic and social aspects of cadet life. There are over three hundred collections in the Archives which pertain to the history of The Citadel or have military significance. The time span of the collections is from 1842 to the present. Holdings include personal papers, letters, diaries, reports, minutes, speeches, Citadel publications. Visual images include photographs, postcards, engravings, films and videotapes.

City Gallery at Waterfront Park

Charleston's City Hall building was constructed between 1800 and 1804 in the Adamesque style. In 1800 the City Council conveyed this parcel to the Federal government for the purpose of erecting "an elegant building" that would serve as a branch of The First Bank of the United States. Charleston's branch was one of eight in the country, serving as the Office of Discount and Deposit.

College of Charleston

Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of South Carolina and the thirteenth oldest in the United States. The founders of the College, who sought "to encourage and institute youth in the several branches of liberal education," included three signers of the Declaration of Independence and three fathers of the United States Constitution.

Confederate Museum, The

188 Meeting Street - Charleston, SC

Dock Street Theatre, The
An essential part of the streetscape of Church Street, the Dock Street Theatre is Charleston's last surviving hotel from the antebellum period. The silhouette of its wrought iron balcony against the spire of St. Philip's church may be the single most photographed spot in the city. The main portion of the building was constructed around 1809 as Planter's Hotel. The hotel was built by Alexander Calder and his wife, who did so by renovating several pre-existing buildings at the site. The main entrance may not have been built until 1855 by J.W. Gamble.

Edmondston-Alston House
4300 Ashley River Road - Charleston, SC
The stately Edmondston-Alston House was built in 1825 on Charleston's High Battery and is one of the city's most splendid dwellings. A witness to many dramatic events in Charleston's history, the Edmondston-Alston House is a classic example of the city's changing and sophisticated taste in architecture and decorative arts. Guided tours of the house give visitors an insight into the lifestyle of merchant Charles Edmondston, who first built the house in 1825, and Georgetown County rice planter Charles Alston, who later bought the house in 1838.

Heyward-Washington House

"Charleston's Revolutionary War House"
Located in the downtown Historic District, within the area of the original walled city, this brick double house was built in 1772 by rice planter Daniel Heyward as a town-house for his son, Thomas Heyward, Jr. The City rented it for George Washington's use during the President's week-long Charleston stay, in May 1791, and it has traditionally been called the "Heyward-Washington House. Thomas Heyward, Jr. (1746-1809) was a patriot leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and artillery officer with the South Carolina militia during the American Revolution.

The Nathaniel Russell House

Since the early 1800s, visitors have admired the townhouse of Nathaniel and Sarah Russell, completed in 1808. Set amid spacious gardens, the mansion is recognized as one of America's most important neoclassical dwellings. The graceful interiors with elaborate plasterwork ornamentation, geometrically shaped rooms and a magnificent free-flying staircase are among the most exuberant ever created in early America. Furnished with period antiques and works of art, many of Charleston origin, the house evokes the gracious lifestyle of the city's merchant elite.

Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Few buildings reflect Charleston, South Carolina's early history as effectively as the Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon. Considered to be one of the three most historically significant Colonial buildings in the United States, the Old Exhange Building is a "must see" when visiting Charleston.




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