Museums in Charleston

Art & Culture Sightseeing

Museums in Charleston | Charleston Museums | Museums of Charleston

America’s most historic city, Charleston, SC is suffused with military heritage and rich culture. It is impossible to find a better spot for knowing about Charleston’s story and its cultural heritage (Read More) than its museums. Read about the top 20 museums in Charleston which can drive you to a cultural memory lane of the city and pick your favourite among them.

Here is the list of 15 Museums in Charleston

1. Charleston Museum, Charleston

Charleston Museum, Charleston

Nestled along the Meeting Street, Charleston Museum is “America’s First Museum” and houses various artefacts depicting colonial and agricultural past of the city. Cultivation tools, sweetgrass baskets, tribal pottery, decorative items, quilts etc. showcases the traditional fringe of Charleston. With two historical houses, The Heyward Washington House and Joseph Manigault House, Charleston Museum leaves no stone unturned to fantasize visitors with its furniture, exhibits and badges.

Founded in : 1773

Timings : 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Sunday)

Entry Fee : USD 12 (For single site)
USD 18 (For two sites)
USD 25 (For three sites)

Collections : Charleston silver, South Carolina ceramics, Egyptian artefacts, Archives, Low country textiles, firearms, rocks and minerals etc.

Exhibits : Bunting Natural History Gallery, Lowcountry History Hall, The Armory, Kid Story, Historic Textiles, Designers & Artisans etc.

Parking : Free Street Parking available

Accessibility : Manual and Electric Wheelchairs available

Location : 360 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

2. Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston

Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston

Gibbes Museum of Art is a colourful exhibition with an extensive collection of decorative arts, sculpture, paintings depicting the Charleston Renaissance sprawled over Meeting Street of the city. Take a walk through Charleston history with 10,000 massive portraits, miniatures and contemporary art by local artists connecting artistic past and vibrant modern art scene.

Founded in : 1905

Timings : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Sunday)

Entry Fee : USD 12 (Adult)
USD 6 (Children)
USD 10 (College Student, Senior and Military)

Collections : Henriette Charlotte Chastaigner, James Reid Pringle, Eliza Izard, April: The Green gown, Turtle and Wave, Magnolia Gardens etc.

Exhibits : 18th century American Paintings and Sculpture, 20th century American regionalism, Betwixt and Between, Miniature Portraits, Modern and Contemporary etc.

Parking : Free Street Parking available

Accessibility : Manual and Electric Wheelchairs available

Location : 135 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

3. Old Slave Mart, Charleston

Old Slave Mart, Charleston

Once a part of Ryan’s Mart, Old Slave Mart is a complex with old brick enclosed yard, morgue, slave jail located on the Chalmers to Queen Streets. Old Slave Mart is a must visit museum to explore African art, slave trade illustrations, artifacts and Charleston historic timeline.

Founded in : 1859

Timings : 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)

Entry Fee : Free Entry

Exhibits : African Art gallery, Slave trade exhibit, etc.

Accessibility : Wheelchair, Electric Scooters

Location : 6 Chalmers St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

4. Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Charleston

Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Charleston

Karpeles Manuscript Museum is a perfect destination for avid readers as it can take you down to the time of millions of manuscripts and hand written documents about religion, science, political history and art. From constitutional documents to historical coin collection, museum houses “World’s largest private collection of historic manuscripts” making it a reading heaven.

Founded in : 1980

Timings : 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Tuesday to Sunday)

Entry Fee : Free Entry

Exhibits : Aerodrome, Airships Dirigibles, Rozier’s Death, The birth of the Age of Flight, Vincent Lunardi, Otto Lilienthal study of bird flight etc.

Parking : USD 4.50 for an hour at North Hall Parking
Free Street Parking available

Accessibility : Wheelchair

Location : 68 Spring St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

5. American LaFrance Fire Museum, Charleston

American LaFrance Fire Museum, Charleston

American LaFrance Fire Museum is entirely dedicated to the fire fighting trucks and apparatus stored at the proximity of Interstate 26, to North Charleston making it the nation’s largest fire museum. Exploring shiny engines, horse drawn fire wagons, and fire fighter’s ladder along with interactive exhibits which challenge you to lift 100 pounds fire fighter’s equipment makes the museum more fun.

Founded in : 2007

Timings : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Sunday)

Entry Fee : USD 6 (Adults)

Collection : Richard Mason Hand Fire “Enijin”, Type 12 Pumper, Ford Model T Chemical Car, 500 Series Pumper, Type 40 combination, GMC Snorkel etc.

Parking : Free Parking

Location : 4975 Centre Pointe Dr, North Charleston, SC 29418, United States

6. Nathaniel Russell House Museum, Charleston

Nathaniel Russell House Museum, Charleston

Erected in 1808, Nathaniel Russell House Museum embraces the “neoclassical dwellings” for paying the homage to Nathaniel Russell, Charleston trader. It enjoys the status of National Historic landmark as it shows a glimpse of the elite merchants of the early Federal period.

Founded in : 1808

Timings : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : USD 12 (Adults), USD 5 (Children)

Parking : Free Parking

Accessibility : Wheelchair accessible

Location : 51 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

7. Confederate Museum, Charleston

Confederate Museum, Charleston

Reviving Greek-style architecture since 1899, Confederate Museum is located in Historic Downtown District. A reference library, exhibits with swords, flags, uniforms and war artifacts are ensemble in the premises giving a taste of antiquarian relics. There is an open-air market for a shopping spree where one can find antiques, produce, restaurants etc.

Founded in : 1841

Timings : 11:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Entry Fee : USD 5 (Adults), USD 3 (Children)

Parking : Free Parking

Accessibility : Wheelchair accessible

Location : 188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

8. Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, Charleston

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, Charleston

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon is the most historical building in South Carolina which talks about patriots and constitutional ratification during colonial era. Built in Georgian architecture, the building focuses on the colonial Charleston and American Revolution with its structure and décor.

Founded in : 1771

Timings : 9:00 AM –5:00 PM

Entry Fee : USD 10 (Adults), USD 5 (Children)

Parking : Free Parking

Accessibility : Wheelchair Accessible

Location : 122 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

9. Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Charleston

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Charleston

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is a recreational museum for unlimited learning and adventure of children though educational exhibits, miniature art pieces, and interactive video features. Be it basic science, environment or art, children can spark their imaginations in the play area and media room of the museum.

Timings : 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Saturday)
12:30 PM – 5:00 PM (Sunday)

Entry Fee : USD 10

Time Requirement : 2 hours

Parking charges : USD 2 per hour

Accessibility : Baby Strollers, Wheelchair

10. Postal Museum, Charleston

Postal Museum, Charleston

Small yet interesting museum in Charleston, Postal Museum equips with mannequins, postal museums, stamps, antique furniture etc. in a carved wood building. Apart from its historical postal memorabilia, Postal Museum is famous for its beautiful décor of brass and silver.

Timings : 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM (Monday - Friday)

Entry Fee : Free Entry

Time Requirement : Half an hour

Parking Charges : Free Street Parking Available

Accessibility : Wheelchair

Location : 77 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

11. South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston

South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston

Celebrating marine life in South Carolina, the South Carolina Museum is a one-stop destination for all the visitors who want to explore about the aquatic flora and fauna including alligators, otters, rattlesnakes, river otters etc. Sea turtles, puffer fish, herons, hermit crab, sea urchins, stingrays along with its interactive great ocean tank make the museum more exciting.

Timings : 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : USD 29.95 (Adults) USD 22.95 (Children)

Time Requirement : 2 hours

Parking charges : Free Parking at Aquarium Garage

Accessibility : Wheelchair, Strollers, Nursing Room, Changing tables, Personal Care Attendants etc.

Exhibits : Carolina Sea, The Saltmarsh, The coast, Backyard Habitat, The Shallows, Salt Marsh, The Piedmont, The Ocean, Touch Tank, Mountain Forest etc.

Location : 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

12. Heyward Washington House, Charleston

Heyward Washington House, Charleston

Established in 1772, Heyward Washington House is a Georgian style double house which captures the colonial era of America excellently. It houses finest historical furniture, kitchen equipment, formal gardens in the beautiful architectural mansion makes up this museum even more informative.

Timings : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : USD 12

Time Requirement : 2 hours

Parking Charges : Free Parking at Aquarium Garage

Accessibility : Wheelchair, Strollers

Location : 87 Church St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

13. Robert Lange Studios, Charleston

Robert Lange Studios, Charleston

Robert Lange Studios is a vintage art gallery with brick walled interiors which features various paintings by visual artists of the city. Sprawled over 6000 square feet, the building houses different paintings and sculptures together with music, crafts, home décor, and modern photography.

Timings : 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Time Requirements : 2 hours

Parking Spot : At Cumberland St. Parking

Accessibility : Wheelchair

Exhibits : Reflex Geography, Inner Landscapes, Process, Let’s Pretend, Summer Duet, Red Ribbon, Migratory etc.

Location : 2 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

14. The Best Friend Train Museum, Charleston

The Best Friend Train Museum, Charleston

Originally built in 1820, Best Friend Train was converted into a museum with four sections, stand up locomotive engine, wood burning car, and wooden passenger cars in . The museum is decorated with wall posters, paintings and train miniatures from the 1820 era making it interesting for kids.

15. South Carolina Historical Society Museum, Charleston

South Carolina Historical Society Museum, Charleston

South Carolina Historical Society Museum is an architectural museum which equips various interactive exhibits about places and historical movements of Charleston revolution. With 6 interactive galleries, museum is a historical landmark capturing the beauty and style of South Carolina in its sculptures, paintings and miniatures.

Timings : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Tuesday to Saturday)

Ticket Price : USD 12 (Adult) USD 5 (Children)

Time Requirement : 2 hours

Accessibility : Wheelchair, elevators etc.

Exhibits : Cultures Converge, Expanding Horizons, Division and Strife, Charleston Recovers, Celebrating Diversity, The Abundant Land etc.

Location : 100 Meeting St. Charleston, SC 29401

Go on a historical journey of Charleston by visiting its museums and let us know your favourite in the comments section below

This post was published by Kadambini Sharma

Share this post on social media
Google +

Top Hotels In Charleston

Comments on this post