3640 Dorchester Road
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: (843) 554-4140
Fax: (843) 554-4148
Arts & Museums
Located on the former Charleston Naval Base in memory of the thousands of military and civilian personnel who served when the base was open and active, this beautiful park on the west side of the Cooper River is well worth a trip off the beaten tourist path. Steel plate photographs of the Navy Yard from 1901 to 1996 are exhibited against a wall that resembles one side of an aircraft carrier. There are plaques, statues of the Lone Sailor and the Homecoming as well as models of the different ships that were built here (256) or called North Charleston home. Visitors can walk the boardwalk along the river, see the modern art exhibits around the park or let their children play on the playground nearby. Admission is free. Free parking is in a nearby lot. Many festivals and community celebrations are held here. - Natasha Lawrence
After a successful attack on the USS Housatonic, a Confederate enemy ship, on the night of February 17, 1864, this US submarine mysteriously disappeared four miles off Charleston Harbor along with her eight crewmen. The HL Hunley Submarine was discovered over 135 years later with the help of modern technology. It has since been raised and is in the process of conservation in a 90,000-gallon tank at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center on the grounds of the former US Navy Base. The crew was ceremoniously buried at Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery. Visitors can view the actual submarine, artifacts and documentaries. There is a small gift shop.
The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum is dedicated to teaching children about the science of fire and fire fighting. There are a number of interactive exhibits, which are designed to teach about fire safety and fire prevention. They also have a large collection of antique fire fighting gear, including old uniforms and a whole fleet of vintage firetrucks.
This 25,000 square-foot museum and interactive exhibit/educational playground provides a wealth of information on the history of fire fighting equipment and vehicles, as well as safety and fire prevention programs, assisted by staff dressed as firemen. Adults and children will have plenty to see, touch and hear. Considered one of the finest fire museums in the United States, visitors can view 18 fire trucks from 1857 to 1969, slide down a fire pole, or test one's knowledge, strength and skill at using fire fighting equipment. Located near the Tanger Shopping Outlet Center off Interstate 26, the museum also features a small gift shop and a Charleston Visitor Center information booth. - Natasha Lawrence
Located in downtown Charleston, Alterman Studios Gallery was founded in 1980 and measures 6,000 square-feet, making it the largest photography complex. This complex has the Alterman Gallery, Jack Alterman's professional photography services, and the Charleston Center for Photography and Custom Services of Black & White, Copy, and Digital services. They also promote and teach the craft of photography and offer instruction for photographers at all levels of expertise. They also hold workshops on special topics like digital printing, wedding photography and studio lighting that helps add to a photographers skills.
You'd never expect to find a museum in a mall, but that's where you'll find The American Military Museum. Located in the Citadel Mall in West Ashley, they boast a huge collection of military gear from American conflicts dating all the way back to the Revolution. They have uniforms, headgear, weapons, flags, patches and more, from all branches of the military. Come see real pieces of American history!
The Karpeles library is the world's largest repository of original manuscripts and documents. David and Marsha Karpeles founded the institution in 1983 to encourage children to learn. It is one of nine branches nationwide. It is housed in a building dating back to 1791 and served as a Methodist church and a Confederate hospital. In addition to historical manuscripts, the museum in Charleston makes space available for school programs, art exhibits and community service. All library services are free.
Managed by The Medical University of South Carolina, Macaulay Museum of Dental History highlights the history of oral care. The collections featured at the museum were possessions of Dr. Neill Macaulay who donated it to the university in 1976. The exhibits on display include a dentist's apparatus as well as a replication of a dentist's office from the early 20th Century. Though the museum is located next to the The Waring Historical Library, it doesn't have a separate entrance and can only be accessed though the library.
'Art extravaganza' would be the perfect way to describe Redux Contemporary Art Center. This non-profit gallery provides a spotlight for budding artists from all streams of creativity. Exhibitions, artist and curator lecture series, film screenings, classes and workshops, community outreach, are just a few of the activities organized by this center. This vast space provides studio rentals, 24 hour access to a professional darkroom and even print studio facilities. The exhibition space and music venue are equipped with modern amenities that are ideal for any event, be it corporate or private. To witness fine art or to plan an event, this place is an appropriate pick. Street or garage parking.
Open since 2003 in what was once part of Charleston's 19th Century railroad station complex, The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry now serves as a magnet to curious children aged 3 months to 12 years (and the adults who accompany them) to "explore, play, discover, learn and create." With eight interactive exhibits, the museum's aim is to develop a child's thinking, motor and problem solving skills. There is also a special area for infants and toddlers. Children's classes include science, nature, cooking, gardening, history, drama and art. There's even story time, camps and field trips. It's great fun for the whole family.
This is perhaps the most remarkable home on Charleston's downtown waterfront. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Aiken-Rhett House is a revealing architectural portrait of the antebellum South. Owned at one time by wealthy planter and former South Carolina governor William Aiken, the house is decorated with fine examples of classical art and sculpture. Around the home, the original servants quarters, sheds, kitchens and stables reveal a fuller view of Charleston life in the 1800s. The courtyard adjoining the house is used for a variety of events and programs as well.
Founded in 1773, The Charleston Museum is America's first public museum. The museum focuses on local history and culture and natural history. Permanent exhibits include artifacts from 18th and 19th centuries, including slave tags and firearms from the Civil War. They also feature an impressive silver collection which includes the christening cup of George Washington. For those who like natural history, check out the bird collection and skeletons of local prehistoric animals. The museum also books tours with two nearby historic homes, the Joseph Manigualt House and the Heyward-Washington House. You can save money by buying tickets for the museum and the houses together. Check the website for further details.