on February 20, 2005
Fort Sumter is probably Charleston's best-known attraction. Events that took place here in April 1860 inaugurated what we South Carolinians know as "the war between the states". Fort Sumter sits on a man-made island (basically a big pile of rocks), so it is only accessible by boat. Tours leave from the South Carolina Aquarium or from Patriots Points. The boat trip out to the fort is very nice and provides a panoramic view of the harbor and the city. It gives a nice perspective on what invading armies from the harbor saw and why Charleston was so hard to overtake. Once you reach the fort itself, you have about 1 hour to tour the fort, check out the visitors center, or listen to a ranger-led talk. The visitors center has several exhibits and a gift shop.
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