Charleston is considered a "living museum" with over 3,000 historic buildings gracing our Historic Districts. The best way to learn about Charleston's history is to visit several antebellum homes open to the public. History buffs will also want to visit our fine collection of museums including America's First Museum, Charleston Museum, founded in 1773.
Click on the links below to visit the websites of the Charleston Museum, Gibbes Museum and other recommended Charleston museums.
The Charleston Museum
The Charleston Museum, America's First Museum, was founded in 1773. Its mission is to preserve and interpret the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. The museum includes a main building and two hostroic homes. All are located downtown Charleston
Exhibitions feature objects from our extensive cultural, historic and natural history collections and introduce you to the rich heritage of the Lowcountry, whose social and architectural legacy is reflected in our two premier historic houses. Whether you have an interest in early Southern furniture or in Southeastern birds, The Charleston Museum has something for everyone in your family.
Gibbes Museum of Art
The Gibbes Museum of Art maintains approximately 10,000 objects that directly support its mission to "collect, conserve, and interpret an American fine arts collection with a Charleston perspective." This includes objects that reflect the distinct patronage of this region. The strength of the collection lies in its 18th, 19th and early 20th century paintings, works on paper (prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs), miniature portraits, and sculpture. The objects in each medium reinforce the history of Charleston as an important colonial and antebellum city, and today as a tourist destination.
The Gibbes Museum also offers workshops and classes through it's School of Art.