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History of the Charleston Harbor

May 3rd, 2016

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Whether you are visiting Charleston or are a long time resident, there are many amazing areas to explore all year round. The Charleston Harbor is rich in culture and the history reaches as far back as the American Civil War and beyond. While in Charleston, SC take time to visit the local areas of Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, Morris Island and the USS Yorktown.

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse

Located on the ever popular beach of Sullivan’s Island, the lighthouse is a guiding source for Atlantic vessels and a trademark local landmark that beach goers and residents enjoy every day.

While most lighthouses are commonly known for the round structures, the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse was built with a more modern take. The lighthouse features a slim and triangular structure made up of white and black blocks.

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse is not open to the public, but visitors are encouraged to peruse the surrounding grounds for exterior photos and viewing.

The lighthouse is located at the end of Station 18 half Street. There is a nearby public beach access that is a good spot to see the lighthouse up close.

The lighthouse itself is fenced off and is not open to the public, however visitors are welcome to explore the surrounding grounds during the day to snap photos, and look up and admire the towering structure. Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, which is located at the end of Station 18 half Street, also features a public beach access so strollers can capture some up-close shots of the structure towering over the sea oat-lined sand dunes.

USS Yorktown

The USS Yorktown is a sight to see. The ship was decommissioned shortly after World War II and brought up to modernization in the 1950s. After being used in the Vietnam War and earning 5 battle stars the ship was later used as a recovery vessel for the Apollo 8. It has been featured in movies like Tora! Tora! Tora! and The Philadelphia Experiment. With such a long wrap sheet, the USS Yorktown is a remarkable ship that makes the folks of Charleston, SC proud to house her.

When visiting the USS Yorktown you have several options to select from. The ship offers self guided audio and group tours as well as overnight accommodations. When planning a visit make sure to allow yourself plenty of time visit every inch of the ship.

Morris Island

If your in the mood for a boat ride visit Morris Island. The island consists of 840 uninhabited acres and is only accessible by boat. Although Morris Island to this day is uninhabited it was a critical location in the Civil war. It was used to defend the Charleston Harbor and is most known for the assault by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

Feel free to charter your own boat or select a tour from Sandlapper Water Tours. Many visitors of the island become fascinated with its history and tend to take home a seashell or two as a souvenir.

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie are historic battle sites from the Civil War. For Sumter is open to the public for tours and is operated by the National Park Service. It saw 2 major battles in the Civil War before ultimately being evacuated in 1829 after being reduced to ruble. Fort Moultrie has a rich history in Charleston and was named after the Colonel who saved the fort after a long 9 hour battle.

While Fort Moultrie is a sea based fort and available to view from boat tours it is a bit harder on foot. Fort Sumter on the hand is available for tours and offers an educational center to learn about the entire history of the fort. Either one would be an ideal choice for a history buff, class trip, or a day trip just to learn more about the Charleston, SC history.

Sandlapper Water Tours provides visitors and residents many Charleston Harbor tour options and would love to have you on board soon!