Settled by colonists in 1670, Charleston, South Carolina, has experienced some of the most notable moments in American history. From the Revolutionary War to Restoration, the city has been at the heart of many of our country’s conflicts. Because of its heavy involvement in the Civil War and its position as a major port, the city has countless pieces of history left behind. If you’re visiting the area for the first time, these are some of the historic Charleston landmarks you must see during your stay.
As you plan your visit to the Holy City, be sure to request access to our complimentary Destination Guide. Created by local Charlestonians, this guide is filled with the insider information on the best activities and restaurants in the area. You’ll also learn more about annual events and other intriguing Charleston historic landmarks you can explore during your stay.
Uncover the Stories of These Historic Charleston Landmarks
One of the first places history buffs are interested in touring, Fort Sumter is known as the location where the initial shots of the Civil War were fired. To visit this unique island fort, you must take a ferry out into the harbor. Once you’ve reached Fort Sumter, you’ll have time to explore the grounds, which are still covered in rubble and original cannons used during the war. If you visit this site in the evening, you can watch or participate in the nightly routine of lowering the flag.
Charleston City Market
Perhaps one of the most frequented parts of the downtown peninsula, the City Market was originally built in 1790 as a place for farmers and vendors to sell their produce and goods. Now stretching the length of four city blocks, the market still performs the same function with many local artisans offering their items for sale. When you walk through the market area, you can marvel at the architecture of the Market Hall, added to the structure in the 1840s, and watch the talented sweetgrass basket weavers at work.
Dock Street Theatre
Known as America’s first theater built solely for performances, the Dock Street Theatre was established in 1736, though it’s believed that the original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1740. It was rebuilt in the 1800s as the Planter’s Hotel but was abandoned after the Civil War caused much destruction throughout the city. In 1935, the property became part of a city project to build the current theater inside the remains of the former hotel. Now, you can witness the beautiful architecture of the structure or spend the evening watching a show in the historic theater.
Immerse Yourself in Charleston’s History at the Hotel Bella Grace
When you stay at the Hotel Bella Grace, you’ll be within walking distance of most of the historic landmarks in Charleston as well as restaurants, bars, and parks. Our boutique downtown hotel is the perfect blend of old and new, embracing the history of the neighborhood while incorporating modern amenities, including our personal concierge service Tick Tock. Our Queen Rooms are perfect for business travelers or families with two beds, a large living area, complimentary breakfast, and an optional nightly turndown service.
Browse our other options for rooms and suites and start planning your escape to Charleston!