Fort Sumter is located in the middle of the Charleston Harbor and is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired and the American Civil War started on April 12, 1861. The fort spans over an area of 200 acres and can be accessed only by a ferry. This coastal fortification was begun in 1829, but was not completed by the time of the Civil War. After the war, Fort Sumter was renovated but never reconstructed to its original height.
You can take a ferry to the fort where you can explore on your own. You can see the original gun turrets here and visit the museum at Fort Sumter. There are park rangers and volunteers who can answer any of your questions. You will see where the first shot was fired and also see the thick stone caverns that house several Civil War cannons. Fort Sumter National Monument is perched on a small island in Charleston Harbor several miles southwest of the city.
Ferry rides depart form both Liberty Square Visitors Center and Patriot's Point. Hours vary depending on the season. While it is free to explore Sumter itself, the ferry ride costs $22 for adults, seniors/military $20 and $14 for children, children ages under 3 free. Prices as of May 10, 2018.