Museums in Charleston SC: A front-facing view of the The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, SC.

5 Must-Visit Museums in Charleston, SC, for History Buffs

As the oldest city in South Carolina, it should be no surprise that Charleston is chock full of history and heritage. Plan a getaway with Charleston Coast Vacations and discover the city’s storied history at several museums in Charleston, SC. From America’s First Museum highlighting the expansive history of the Lowcountry to the International African American Museum honoring the untold stories of the African American journey in Charleston. Take a journey into the past at these five Charleston museums:

  1. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

If you are intrigued by naval and maritime history, visiting the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is a must! The museum’s highlight is the USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier you can tour and explore. Your admission includes access to three historic ships, the USS Laffey, 28 historic aircraft, and a three-acre Vietnam Experience.

  1. International African American Museum

The International African American Museum is one of the newest museums in Charleston, SC, opened in 2023 after 20 years of planning. This museum tells the untold stories of the African American journey in Charleston, where an estimated 40% of enslaved people entered the country. They offer several exhibitions that chronicle how slave labor has shaped every aspect of our world through historical objects, works of art, films, and digital interactive experiences. 

  1. The Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum was America’s First Museum, founded in 1773! Discover the rich history of the Lowcountry through the permanent exhibits highlighting the natural history, the first inhabitants, the American Revolution, slavery, historic weaponry, the Civil War, and historic textiles. 

  1. Old Slave Mart Museum

The Old Slave Mart Museum is the last surviving slave auction gallery in South Carolina, and today, it tells the story of Charleston’s role in the slave trade. Learn about the history of this site through first-hand interviews and informative posters. 

  1. The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon was built in 1771 as Charleston’s economic, cultural, and political center. Visit this historical landmark and learn about its significance in the American Revolution, the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and the domestic slave trade.

Book Your Charleston Vacation Rental Today!

Visit one of America’s most historic cities and discover the fascinating exhibits at the museums in Charleston, SC. Book your Charleston vacation rentals with Charleston Coast Vacations today and enjoy complimentary beach gear during your stay. Browse our properties in Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, and Sullivan’s Island, and book your South Carolina getaway today!

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