H.L. Hunley Submarine

#16 in Best Things To Do in Charleston
H.L. Hunley Submarine
Courtesy Friends of the Hunley

Key Info

1250 Supply Street

Price & Hours

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


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

Originally built in 1864 for the Confederate Army, the H.L. Hunley became the world's first successful combat submarine. Toward the end of the 19th century, 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 say is well worth your time, especially if you're interested in nautical history. However, travelers do point out that a trip to the H.L. Hunley isn't well-suited to children because it's not an interactive museum  it's an ongoing, public restoration project that likely won't capture the attention of young kids.

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 the 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. Tickets for adults cost $16 and 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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