Historic Homes in Downtown Charleston, SC

Charleston’s rich history is one of its most lovable qualities, and is one of the reasons why so many visitors decide to move here. Taking a walk down a quaint South of Broad street can easily turn into a self-guided history lesson if you stop and look around. Here are some of the historic sites in the Downtown area that shouldn’t be missed on your next Charleston trip.

1. The Aiken-Rhett House

Virtually unchanged since the 1850s, the Aiken-Rhett house is nationally known as one of the best preserved townhouse complexes in the nation. The house and its surviving furnishings offer a glimpse into what urban life might have been like in antebellum Charleston. The house spent nearly 150 years in the Aiken family’s hands before opening as a museum house in 1975. The Aiken-Rhett house is worth a walk-through the next time you have the opportunity.

2. The Nathaniel Russell House

An architectural marvel in Downtown Charleston, the Nathaniel Russell House is known for its meticulous details including the geometrically shaped rooms, elaborate plasterwork ornamentation and formal gardens. Perhaps the most compelling feature though is the three-story flying staircase. Restored to its original 1808 appearance with conservation efforts still underway, touring this house is an ongoing educational experience for all.

3. The Edmondston-Alston House

This High-Battery home is as commanding as it is historic, witnessing and withstanding countless moments in Charleston history such as the American Civil War, the Earthquake of 1886 and numerous hurricanes. The homes collection of original furniture, silver and decorative art help paint the picture of what life might have been like for those who lived and labored in this property.

4. Heyward-Washington House

Constructed in 1772, this historically significant home stands proud over its meticulously manicured gardens, offering a glimpse into what 18th century gardening looked like in Charleston. The Georgian-style property was once home to Thomas Heyward, Jr. who was one of four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence. Hosting many a famous house guest, George Washington being one, this home was the first in the city to become a museum.

There are many ways to experience Charleston’s rich history for yourself. For information on booking a historic Charleston carriage tour, click here.