H.L. Hunley Submarine

#18 in Best Things To Do in Charleston, SC
H.L. Hunley Submarine picture
Courtesy Friends of the Hunley

Key Info

1250 Supply St.

Price & Hours

$16 for adults; $8 for kids 6-17
Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.| Sun noon-5 p.m.

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Tours Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.4scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Originally built in 1863 for the Confederate Army, the H.L. Hunley became the world's first successful combat submarine. In 1864, it was suddenly lost at sea until 1995 when it was discovered off the coast of Sullivan's Island. In 2000, the Hunley and the remains of its crew were brought to the surface for a detailed restoration at the old Charleston Naval Base.

Today, you can visit the base and tour the submarine; an experience that many recent visitors said is well worth your time, especially if you're interested in nautical history. The tour is a combination of guided and self-guided, with interactive exhibits and activities, which recent visitors found fascinating. Many also praised the expert guides. After a 20-minute overview, visitors can explore on their own.

The H.L. Hunley Confederate Submarine and the old Charleston Naval Base are located about 7 miles north of downtown Charleston. Half-hour tours are provided on weekends (Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.), but they must be scheduled ahead of your visit. Admission costs $16 for adults and $8 for kids 6 to 17. Tickets can be ordered online or purchased at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. The most efficient way to reach the old Charleston Naval Base is to drive. Once you arrive, you'll find plenty of parking. For more information, check out the submarine's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Charleston, SC

The Battery1 of 20
Charleston Boat Tours2 of 20
Type
Time to Spend
#1 The Battery

Many visitors say you can't leave Charleston without seeing this stretch along the city's southern tip, which they call beautiful and a must-visit. This row of Southern-style mansions overlooking Charleston Harbor was formerly the heart and soul of the city's maritime activity. Today, the area attracts camera-toting tourists from all over the country.

As you explore this picturesque neighborhood, make sure to also spend some time in the nearby White Point Garden, where several Civil War relics and memorials commemorate the city's role in the battle. Start your tour of the Battery at the 12-acre Waterfront Park (home to the giant pineapple fountain featured on many Charleston postcards), then follow the walking paths on East Battery Street for the nearly mile-long stroll to White Point Garden. If you're staying at one of the hotels or bed-and-breakfasts located downtown, you can easily walk along the Battery from your digs. If you're driving to the Battery, you'll find some limited street parking, and some lots closer to Waterfront Park. Bus route No. 211 provides service to Waterfront Park and East Bay Street. Several of the city's best walking tours make stops along the Battery. If you're interested in the history of the mansions or the promenade's role in the Civil War, consider signing up for a tour.

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