See historic Charleston real estate at Fort Sumter.Take a boat trip to see historic Charleston real estate at Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. The fort is located on a little island in the harbor and is only accessible by boat. The Forest Service contracts with Fort Sumter Tours to bring visitors to the island. On the way, the ferry will go past beautiful waterfront Charleston homes, giving a unique view of Rainbow Row and Battery houses. Once on the island, visitors will get a guided tour of the fort ruins, led by a knowledgeable Park Service Ranger, who will give an outline of the events that led to the shots being fired from the fort, as well as the surrender less than two days later, and the Union Army’s four-year long struggle to recapture the fort.

See Elegant Battery Charleston Homes on the Ferry Ride

History buffs who would like to get more involved in the preservation of Fort Sumter should check out the conservation efforts of The Fort Sumter-Fort Moultrie Historic Trust. One fun way to support their work is to participate in the “adopt a cannon” program. The artillery collection at the two forts is rare and also in desperate need of restoration work.

Visit Fort Sumter to find out about booking a trip to the fort, as well as ways to donate to its preservation.