Fort Sumter National Monument


The Civil War provides the United States with one of its critical defining moments that continues to play a vital role in defining ourselves as a Nation. Fort Sumter is the place where it began. America's most tragic conflict ignited at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, when a chain reaction of social, economic and political events exploded into civil war. A powerful symbol to both the South and the North, Fort Sumter remains a memorial to all that fought to hold it.


Seasonality / Weather

Fort Sumter is open year-round except for New Year's, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.



From I-26
Take I-26 E to Charleston. Take the Meeting Street exit. Turn right onto Meeting Street. Pass the Charleston Visitor Center on the right. Proceed through one traffic light at John Street. Turn left at next light onto Calhoun Street. Proceed through two traffic lights at East Bay Street and Washington Street. The visitor center is straight ahead. Parking is on the left in the garage (7' clearance) or on Concord Street by meter. (Note: Most meters have a two-hour limit. The trip to Fort Sumter takes at least 2.5 hours.)
You cannot get to Fort Sumter from Sullivan's Island and Fort Moultrie.

Public Transport: 

Airlines, bus, train and major highways service the local area. Additionally, the Charleston Area Rapid Transit Authority serves all the park sites.