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South Carolina’s Fort Sumter National Monument is located in Charleston Harbor. Spread across 34 acres, the historic site is easily accessible by ferry or via a tour boat. You may also reach the site using a canoe, kayak or jet ski if you anchor on the west side between James Island and the fort. The site is significant as the scene of a Civil War battle between North and South Carolina in 1861. The historic battle marked the beginning of the Civil War. The National Park Service provides a recorded historical overview that will help prepare you for a self-guided tour. The monument is famous for its impressive collection of 19th century seacoast artillery. Many exhibits also detail events leading up to the battle.
Entrance to Fort Sumter is free but several guided tours charge a nominal admission fee that includes the boat ride to the site. Sunset tours of Fort Sumter are offered from March-October. Other tour departure sites are Liberty Square in Charleston and Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square offers additional exhibits on the Fort and The Civil War.