Museums in Charleston
One great way to immerse yourself in Charleston’s rich history is by visiting one or more of its wonderful museums. There are a variety of museums in Charleston to choose from depending on your area of interest. Below is a list of our favorite museums to help guide you.
Address: 360 Meeting Street
The Charleston Museum is hailed as “America’s First Museum,” as it was established by the Charleston Library Society on the eve of the American Revolution. The museum closed temporarily due to the Civil War but opened again shortly after. Today, the Museum contains the most comprehensive collection of South Carolina materials in the US.
Address: 25 Ann Street
Charleston’s children’s museum can keep little ones, from toddlers to age 10, occupied for hours. There are nine exhibits including a Creation Station where kids can make things out of recycled material and a Kids Garden where kids can play in seven different organic beds.
*Must be with a child (10 and under) to be admitted
Address: 188 Meeting Street
Market Hall was built in 1841 after the original building, occupied by a Masonic Hall, was destroyed by fire in 1838. It is a copy of the Temple of the Wingless Victory in Athens, Greece. Its original purpose was to be the u0022head buildingu0022 or front entrance to the six blocks of roofed market space attached. This was a farmer’s market where fruits, meats, vegetables, and fish were sold.
Address: 79 Cumberland Street
The Powder Magazine was built in 1713 and is South Carolina’s oldest government building. It was used for gunpowder storage from 1713-1748 and during the American Revolution. It was retired after 1780 and privately owned by the early 19th century. During this time, it served as a print shop, livery stable, wine cellar, and carriage house. In 1902, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of South Carolina purchased the building, saving it from demolition. Within a year, it was opened to the public.
Address: Chalmers Street
The Mart was built in 1859 and has operated as a museum since 1938. It is considered the last surviving slave auction gallery in South Carolina. In 1975, the Old Slave Mart was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its role in Charleston’s African-American history. Plan on spending at least an hour reading the very informative posters and soaking in the environment. Because of all the reading, this museum may not be entertaining for children.
The South Carolina Historical Society Museum is the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the History of South Carolina. The museum is housed in a National Historic Landmark building and features interactive exhibits on the people, places, and movements that shaped the state and nation.
There are also several historic home tours throughout Charleston. Click here to see the list!