Discover Charleston

Charleston Educational Tours

Known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants, and mannerly people, Charleston is bursting with Southern charm and hospitality!

Charleston Overview

An educational tour in Charleston, South Carolina, invites students to step back in time! Trees draped in Spanish moss, spooky cemeteries, centuries-old mansions and grand estates hark back to another era. Here visitors can admire the historic architecture from a horse-drawn carriage tour, learn about military history on a cruise of the harbor, study the environment on an ecological tour, or just soak up the sunshine on the beach. 

Charleston has been painstakingly repaired and preserved time and again by its residents and is one of the best-preserved cities in the country. Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, is a must-see destination for students. The monument features a museum and guided tours of the fort, which sits on an island in the harbor. Another destination of interest is the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, where students can explore three retired military vessels.

Those looking to appreciate the natural beauty of Charleston can take a Barrier Island Ecological Tour. During the tour, the scientific process and inquiry skills are promoted and reinforced throughout the trip as students observe the unique ecosystem of intercostal waterways and salt marshes. Another great natural destination is Magnolia Plantation, a public garden founded by the Drayton family in 1676. Charleston also offers plenty of outdoor activities for students looking to simply relax and have fun. Students can enjoy a day at Folly Beach, a popular beach destination for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing, or stroll along the Battery, a waterfront promenade lined with stunning antebellum mansions and views of Charleston Harbor.

In addition to its attractions and activities, Charleston is known for its delicious food and drink scene. Students can enjoy local specialties like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and sweet tea at one of the city’s many restaurants and cafes. The historic Charleston City Market features a variety of vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to local food and drink.

Fort Sumter

America’s bloodiest war began at Fort Sumter on the evening of April 12th in 1861. Located in the middle of Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter is only accessible by boat. Student groups can catch the ferry from two different pick up locations for the chance to walk the ground where Confederate and Union forces struggled for control of Charleston throughout the Civil War. As a National Historic Site, the fort is officially managed by the National Parks Service. 

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

“In the late 19th century, Magnolia Gardens was recognized in Baedeker’s Guide to the United States as one of the top places to see in the country. Only two other places received such notoriety: Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon.

Magnolia’s story isn’t just about the gardens. It’s about the people who toiled in the rice fields – enslaved men, women and children who lived and worked on the property.

After Emancipation, roughly half of the newly freed African Americans stayed at Magnolia to work as paid gardeners, tour guides, and domestic servants. Descendants of the enslaved as well as other African American families lived on what was called the “Street” until the late 20th century.

Four former slave cabins have been preserved and restored. They now provide a focal point for education and discussion about the history of slavery and African American culture not only in South Carolina, but also the United States.”