|Adult -||1 site||$8|
|Adult -||2 site||$15|
|Adult -||3 site||$20|
|Child -||per site||$4|
School groups please click here for student rates and available programs
- Minimum of 10 adults to qualify for the group discount
- Reservations are required, please call (843) 722-2996 ext. 264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Register online. Please call (843) 722-2996 ext. 264 to arrange a Signature Series or package tour.
- The Charleston Museum operates the Joseph Manigault House , the Heyward- Washington House and the Dill Sanctuary. Your group can visit one or any combination of our four sites.
The Charleston Museum's collections and exhibitions offer a wide variety of artifacts, documents and specimens illustrating the South Carolina Lowcountry's cultural and natural history. Accordingly, the Museum, our two historic houses and our curators can offer unlimited topics for your group's focused tours. Please note: some Signature Series tours involve additional curator preparation; these programs may have an additional fee. Please check with Museum staff about specific program pricing. The following offerings are just a few of possible tours we can offer; we welcome your suggestions.
Signature Tour of temporary exhibits with a Museum curator
Signature Tour at the Heyward-Washington House, Charleston's Revolutionary War House. The 1772 townhouse belonged to Thomas Heyward, Jr., signer of the Declaration of Independence. Learn about this patriot's role in the Revolution, as well as the courageous stand taken by Heyward's wife Elizabeth. The house was later owned by another patriot, John Grimke, the father of abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke. Following the Revolution, the house served as George Washington's temporary residence during his southern tour of 1791. 10-25 guests.
From King to Country: Charleston in the American Revolution. Begin your voyage into Charleston's Revolutionary past at Drayton Hall, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Drayton Hall's Revolutionary War focus tour lets visitors walk through rooms once occupied by British generals, American partisans and founding fathers. Tours discuss the causes of the American Revolution and chart the Drayton family's own journey from loyal participants in the Royal government to enthusiastic supporters of American liberty. Then, visit the Museum's Heyward-Washington House at 87 Church Street. The townhouse belonged to Thomas Heyward, Jr., signer of the Declaration of Independence. Learn about this patriot's role in the Revolution, as well as the courageous stand taken by Heyward's wife Elizabeth. The house was later owned by another patriot John Grimke, the father of abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke. Following the Revolution, the house served as George Washingtones temporary residence during his southern tour of 1791. An optional guided walk through Charleston's historic district is available for an additional fee. 10-20 guests. Please contact us for pricing.
Signature Tour at the Dill Sanctuary's Confederate Fortifications with a Museum curator. Battery Pringle is one of three fortifications located at the Museum's Dill Sanctuary on James Island. Battery Pringle was part of a defense line designed to protect Charleston from Union invasion. The battery is one of the best-preserved examples of Confederate earthworks extant today. The Confederacy repulsed a Union effort to take James Island in 1862 and research indicates large numbers of troops remained stationed at these fortifications throughout much of the Civil War. 10-50 guests.
Signature Tour at the Dill Sanctuary with Revolutionary War focus with a Museum curator. Much of the area which is now the Dill Wildlife Sanctuary was a plantation which was owned by a loyalist, Paul Hamilton. Hamilton, like many loyalists, was forced to flee the area when the patriots took control of the government in South Carolina. Learn how the war took its toll not only on the soldiers who fought in the war but also on civilians and African American slaves who had the misfortune to find themselves in the way of the competing armies.10-50 guests.
Signature Tour of City Under Siege: Charleston in the Civil War with a Museum curator. This permanent exhibition provides a rich overview of events in and around Charleston from secession to 1865. Including the Federal naval blockade, Union bombardment, social dislocations, privations and five major Union attempts to capture the "Queen City of the South," the war and its effects changed the lives of Charleston's residents forever. Their story - one of suffering, sacrifice, initiative and tenacity - is told with extensive images and artifacts from the Museum's collections. These include uniforms, artillery shells, firearms, "gunboat china," the watch of a fallen South Carolina soldier, and the prosthesis of Colonel Peter Gaillard, who lost his hand in action against Union forces on Morris Island. 10-50 guests.
Signature Tour of the Firearms Collection with a Museum curator. The Charleston Museum has collected firearms and edged weapons since the early 1890's. This exhibition area is representative of the collection, showing various examples of historical weaponry from 1750 into the twentieth century whose uses range from warfare to the more personal for sport or dueling. Learn about the work of local gunsmiths from Charleston and other regions of South Carolina working at various periods since the early 1800's. 10-50 guests.
Signature Tour of the Museum's permanent exhibitions with a Museum curator will focus on African and African American contributions to Lowcountry history. Learn about the plantation system, particularly rice and cotton producers, and discover artifacts such as slave badges and slave-made pottery unique to this area. 10-50 guests.
Signature Tour of the Museum furniture collections at one of our two National Historic Landmark houses. A Museum curator or chief interpreter will give an in-depth tour of the 18th century American and English furniture collection at the Heyward-Washington House or the 18th and 19th century American, English and French furniture at the Joseph Manigault House. Learn about the significant works of Charleston cabinetmakers from Thomas Elfe to Robert Walker. Discover what influenced Charlestonians' taste in furniture and how it was used in their homes. 10-25 guests.
Signature Tour of the Loeblein Silver Gallery with a Museum curator. The Loeblein Gallery boasts a rich and dramatic range of historic silver from the workshops of Charleston's celebrated 18th and 19th century silversmiths. Explore this exquisite collection of Charleston, American and English silver, considered by many to be the finest in the South. 10-50 guests
Signature Tour of the Chinese exportware collection with a Museum curator. Although England and other European countries produced a small amount of porcelain in the 18th century, the majority of the wares - and the best quality wares - came from China through the East Indian trade. Many prosperous Charlestonians ordered Chinese porcelain in table wares, tea wares, and household decorations. The Museum maintains an active collection of all Chinese export wares from the 18th and 19th centuries, including Famille Rose, Rose Medallion, Fitzhugh, Nanking, Armorial, and Rice patterns. The collections also delve into the intricacies of Chinoiserie, Chinese exportwares made specifically for western markets. 10-50 guests.
Signature Tour of the Museum Ceramics collection with a Museum curator. Explore the Museum's large ceramics collection, including its significant Edgefield pottery section. The alkaline-glazing process remarkable to the old Edgefield district of South Carolina evolved during the early 19th century and has long remained a key feature in early southern pottery. Primarily used for food processing and storage, these products were quintessential items for use in both urban and rural settings. Learn about Dave, a literate slave who produced beautiful, large-scale pottery often inscribed with brief poems, and other important South Carolina potters. Also explore the extraordinary "voodoo jugs," "grotesques" and other effigy vessels on which slaves applied facial features to their works. 10-50 guests.
Signature Tours of the Textile collection. This series allows groups to meet the Museum's curator of textiles for tours tailored to suit the interests of the group. The curator will give guests an exclusive look at delicate textiles not often on exhibition. 10 or more guests. Larger groups may need to be divided.
Signature tours relating to textiles include, but are not limited to: - Quilts
- Historic Clothing
- Fashion Accessories
Porticos and Piazzas: Drayton Hall and The Joseph Manigault House Package. The Charleston Museum and Drayton Hall have teamed up to create a unique program centering around Charlotte Drayton Manigault. Born at Drayton Hall during the American Revolution, the second daughter of Charles Drayton and Hester Middleton, she married Joseph Manigault in the early days of the Republic, and they moved into what is today called the Joseph Manigault House. Charlotte grew up in one of the most significant Georgian-Palladian buildings in America and moved to one of the most important Federal-style homes in America. Charlotte's life comes to represent the period not only through her family connections, but through her diary entries, paintings, and homes. Guests can access this same world, long passed out of our own view. While touring both homes, you will learn about the philosophies and functions that informed house design and decoration, compare and contrast the city grounds to those in the country, and further explore the connections among families - both free and enslaved - at each property. 10-25 guests. Please contact us for pricing.
Signature Tour of the Heyward-Washington House with the chief interpreter focusing on the women who inhabited this 1772 house. From Elizabeth Heyward's acts of defiance during the American Revolution to the Grimke sisters' crusade against slavery, the history of the women who lived in the house will come alive. 10-25 guests.
Signature Tour at the Heyward-Washington House focusing on the 18th century culinary and entertaining traditions with the chief interpreter. Guests will see elaborate table settings and period appropriate faux food throughout the various entertaining spaces within the house. Tour the c. 1740 kitchen building and learn about open hearth cooking, as well as the laundry area, servants' quarters, and auxilary kitchen herb garden. 10-25 guests.
Wining and Dining in 18th & 19th century Charleston package. Guests start their tour at the Heyward-Washington House, where the focus is on 18th century culinary and entertaining traditions. See elaborate table settings and period appropriate faux food throughout the various entertaining spaces within the house. Tour the c. 1740 kitchen building and learn about open hearth cooking. Visit the laundry area, servants' quarters, and auxiliary kitchen herb garden. Next, travel to Drayton Hall. Family letters, entries from Charles Drayton II's diaries and photographs open the doors to a world where a "ballet" took place in the upper great hall and where guests withdrew into smaller chambers for cards and conversation after dinner. Find out where festivities took place and what activities were customary in each of Drayton Hall's public, entertaining spaces. Please contact us for pricing.>
Holiday Decorations at the Joseph Manigault House The Joseph Manigault House will be decorated for Christmas by the Garden Club of Charleston. The ladies of the club will use design typical of the period, and plant materials available at the time the Manigault family resided there (1803-1852). The Joseph Manigault House, built in 1803, is a premier example of Adam-style, or Federal, architecture. Designed by gentleman architect Gabriel Manigault for his brother Joseph, the house is one of the most distinguished in the city, capturing the lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family. The interior reflects an outstanding collection of American, English and French furnishings of the period. A charming Gate Temple is the focus of the period Garden. Available the first Saturday in December through December 31 of each year. 10-25 guests. Regular group rate of $8 applies.
Signature Tours of the Natural History collection with a Museum curator. This series allows groups to meet the Museum's curator of natural sciences for a tour tailored to suit the interests of the group. The curator will give guests an exclusive look at collection items not often on exhibition or discuss in-depth specimens on exhibit. 10-30 guests.
Signature tours relating to natural history include, but are not limited to:
- Charleston Naturalists
- Amphibians & Reptiles
- Natural History collection storage
This special Signature Series tour takes guests behind-the-scenes at The Charleston Museum. Explore our collections storage areas with natural history, history, or textile curators. Guests will be able to view artifacts rarely on public display due to their sensitive nature. Then, slip into the curatorial work area to view exhibit prep space, artifact conservation, and more. 10-25 guests. $20/person.