The Top 6 Historic Sites in Charleston, SC That You Need to Visit

Calling all history buffs! If exploring Southern plantations, Antebellum homes, old churches, and Civil War forts is your idea of the perfect vacation, you will love Charleston. Only a 35-minute drive from Isle of Palms, the bustling city center has plenty of amazing tours, unbelievable culinary gems, and historic sights in Charleston, SC that make for a world-class sample of Southern culture and hospitality unlike any other in the country. For more insider information on the best places to eat, things to see, and activities in and around Charleston, request access to our free Vacation Guide!

Request Your Isle of Palms Vacation Guide!

The Top Historic Sites in Charleston, SC

Charleston City Market

Once the center of commerce in the Holy City, the vibrant and lively Charleston City Market radiates Southern culture and is the perfect place to start your walking tour of downtown. The stalls lining the long stretch of the Market Hall feature vendors selling all kinds of unique and handcrafted goods, including traditional sweetgrass baskets.

St. Philip’s Church

St. Philip’s Church is the oldest religious congregation in South Carolina. While the current beautiful and stately building on Church Street is not the original one built in 1681, this National Historic Landmark is still an unbelievable site and carries plenty of historical importance. If you step back and look at the steeple, you will notice that it tilts to one side as a result of an earthquake in 1886.

Boone Hall Plantation

There is a long list of famous and historical plantation homes around Charleston, but Boone Hall Plantation is the most breathtaking. Tucked away on Mount Pleasant and bordering Horlbeck Creek, this plantation rolls beauty and history into one stunning package. From the towering oak trees draped over the road to the picturesque Antebellum home, this is a must-see during your visit to Charleston.

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is arguably the most famous landmark in Chucktown. Known as the location of the first shots of the Civil War, this fort standing at the mouth of Charleston’s harbor is a great site to visit if you want an in-depth look at American military history. It is only accessible by boat tour and provides excellent views of the harbor, Sullivan’s Island, and the city.

The Battery

A stroll around the breathtaking Battery is a must if you are in Charleston. This landmark defensive system on the southeastern point of the city looks out across the meeting point of the Ashley and Cooper River towards Fort Sumter and the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. Walk around and gaze at the gorgeous historic homes lining the streets like the Edmondston-Alston House and the Calhoun Mansion.

Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum

Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum highlights a different part of history from the rest of Charleston. This area of land on Mount Pleasant at the mouth of the Cooper River showcases three World War II naval vessels: the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, the USS Laffey destroyer, and the USS Clamagore submarine. Tour all three and learn about the critical roles each played on the European and Pacific fronts during the war.

Stay With East Islands RentalsBeach view from an East Islands Rentals vacation home

Your luxurious and comfortable East Islands Vacation Rentals property awaits you after a day of exploring all of Charleston’s incredible history. Our selection of top-of-the-line accommodations features properties with private pools, elevators, and oceanfront locations.

If you’d like to learn more about an East Islands Rentals vacation, check out our guest services and our list of IOP luxury properties. Don’t forget to request access to our free Isle of Palms Vacation Guide!