Although Fort Sumter is part of the National Park Service, there was not an admission fee. However, the only way to get to the fort is by boat, and the ferry ride does cost money.
The boat ride was similar to other boat tours we had taken. They pointed out other sites and talked about the history of Fort Sumter. There was a Park volunteer on the ride to and from that handed out maps and the Junior Ranger programs and badges.
We had a windy, cold, drizzly kind of day, so the water was a little rougher. Once we were docked, there was a ranger led talk that lasted about 15 minutes and went over the history of why Fort Sumter was built and its role in the Civil War. Even after the Civil War, they upgraded the Battery to keep it as a coastal defense. After the talk, we were free to read all the signs and explore around the fort. However, we only had an hour once we docked before the ship left again. It definitely felt rushed. We definitely could have spent a little more time reading and learning, at least another 1/2 hour to an hour would have been nice.
- TICKETS: Fort Sumter, $0. Boat rides were $30/adults, $18 ages 4-11. (Our total for 4 adults was $127.20, as there was an additional $7.20 fee on the online booking receipt.) COVID Restrictions: masks required
- HOURS: Visitor Center 9:00am-5:00pm (in Charleston). Boat rides vary per season and per location When we went boats departed Liberty Square (Charleston, SC) at 9:30am, 12:15pm, 3:00pm, and Patriots Point (Mount Pleasant, SC) at 10:45 am and 1:45 pm.
- PARKING: Pay parking on street or nearby lots. It was $5 for the day at Patriot’s Point, which was where we departed from.
- BATHROOM: Yes
- TIME RECOMMENDED: 1-2 hours
- *Details correct at the time of posting, but please double check before you go.