Frequently Asked Questions

Fort Sumter

How do I visit Fort Sumter?

Tour boats to Fort Sumter are provided by Fort Sumter Tours, the authorized concessioner of Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park. There are two departure locations: one at Liberty Square (340 Concord St., Charleston) and one at Patriots Point (40 Patriots Point Rd., Mount Pleasant). Each tour lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Find ferry schedules and ticket prices.

When is the site open?

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

What is the entrance fee?

There is no federal entrance fee to visit Fort Sumter. However, ferry tickets must be purchased through the park's authorized concessioner, Fort Sumter Tours. Ferry ticket rates apply

What kinds of activities are there at Fort Sumter?

The first and final ferries of the day offer the opportunity for visitors to assist rangers in raising and lowering our national colors above Fort Sumter. Every ferry is offered an optional ranger program. Visitors to Fort Sumter also experience a harbor cruise aboard a Fort Sumter Tours ferry in which you are likely to see dolphins, pelicans, and other local wildlife.

Which force fired the first shots of the American Civil War? When was the first shot fired? By whom?

A Confederate 10-inch mortar, commanded by Captain George S. James, fired the first shot of the American Civil War from Fort Johnson on James Island at Fort Sumter's Union garrison at 4:30 a.m. on April 12, 1861.

Fort Moultrie

How do I visit Fort Moultrie?

Fort Moultrie is located at 1214 Middle Street on Sullivan's Island and accessible by car. This is a recreational fee area that allows park visitors an opportunity to visit the park, enjoy the facilities, and discover 171 years of American seacoast defense.

When is the site open?

Fort Moultrie's historic fort and Visitor Center are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The parking lot closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. The site is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

What is the entrance fee?

There is a site fee at Fort Moultrie. Learn more about fees at Fort Moultrie.

What kinds of activities are there at Fort Moultrie?

Visitors to Fort Moultrie can view exhibits in the Visitor Center, watch the park film, take a self-guided tour, and/or enjoy daily ranger programs.

During which wars did Fort Moultrie see service?

There have been three versions of Fort Moultrie. A sand and palmetto log fortification, initially called Fort Sullivan, protected Charleston against the attacking British Royal Navy in June 1776. Renamed Fort Moultrie, it was later captured by the British in 1780 and renamed Fort Arbuthnot. After the Revolution, Fort Moultrie was neglected, and by 1791 little of this fortification remained. A second Fort Moultrie, one of twenty new forts along the Atlantic coast, was completed in 1798. It too suffered from neglect and was finally destroyed by a hurricane in 1804.

In 1809, a brick and mortar fortification was finished. Fort Moultrie III, still standing today, saw service in the American Civil War. It was an active US Army installation until its deactivation in 1947.

If you have a specific question that you cannot find the answer to email us!

Last updated: July 1, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482


(843) 883-3123

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