Charles Towne Landing

Charles Towne Landing

Charles Towne Landing Park is located on the original site where English settlers landed in 1670 and set up the first permanent European settlement in South Carolina. The park boasts a 12-room exhibit hall with interactive exhibits, a replica of a 17th-century sailing ship, and an Animal Forest natural habitat zoo. Visitors can tour the ship, take a peek at otters, bears, bison and more, or take an audio tour on the self-guided history trail. Bicycles can be rented by the hour or by the day for use on the 7 miles of paved and unpaved trails. The park has a small gift shop and offers free WiFi at the Visitors Center. Paid Admission is required to enter the park. 

Charles Towne Landing Photos

Click Photos to Enlarge

Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing

Click Photos to Enlarge

Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing

Charles Towne Landing Hours and Admission

Park Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm
Animal Forest Daily 10 am - 4:30 pm
Closed Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day

Adult (16+) $12
Seniors $7.50

Youth (6-15) $7
Children (5 and under) Free

Charles Towne Landing Address and Map

Charles Towne Landing
1500 Old Towne Rd
Charleston SC 29407
(843) 852-4200
Charles Towne Landing Website

Features and Amenities of Charles Towne Landing

  • Animal Forest (only zoo in Charleston area)
  • Walking and Biking Trails
  • Park gardens
  • Free WiFi
  • Archaeology Exhibits
  • Museum
  • Park Store/Gift Shop
  • 17th Century replica sailing ship
  • Picnic Area
  • Historic Cemeteries
  • Bicycle Rentals

Current and Upcoming Events
at Charles Towne Landing

What: Goods Fit to Make a Cargo: Trade in Early Carolina
When: May 2 - 8, May 23 - 29, June 6 - 12, June 27 - 30, 2022
Time: 10 am - 12 pm & 2 pm - 4 pm 
Where: Adventure Wharf at Charles Towne Landing

Admission: Regular Admission

Trade – the act of buying, selling, or bartering goods and services – is the basis of any economy, and the success of the Carolina colony hinged on it. The colonists traded both by land and by sea, establishing commercial ties with various Native peoples, as well as other English colonies, such as Barbados in the West Indies and New York on the mainland. Join a park educator to learn more about the types of goods that the colonists imported and exported, and the trade networks they established in pursuit of wealth and provisions.

What: There's Always a Ketch
When: May 9 - 15, 2022
Time: 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
Where: Adventure wharf area
Admission: Regular Admission

Join a park educator onboard the Ketch Adventure for an introduction to the types of sailing vessels that the Carolina colonists used to transport cargo to and from the fledgling port of Charles Towne.

What: Know your Knots
When: May 16 - 22, 2022
Time: 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
Where: Charlest Towne Landing

Admission: Regular Admission

Are you a sailor? If knot, terms like line, hitch, bend, tail or splice may sound odd when talking about rope. We will focus on a few basic knots, like the bowline, sheet bend, square knot and clove hitch. Even if you don’t sail, these simple knots may be beneficial.

What: Keeper's Choice
When: May 7, May 9 - 14, May 26 - 28, May 31, 2022
Time: 2 pm - 2:30 pm 
Where: Outdoor Classroom in the Animal Forest

Admission: Regular Admission

A zookeeper's day is never the same - and neither is this program! Some days the bear will be the star, or it might be the bobcat or otters. You just never know who'll be there until you are. Depending on staff schedules and animal needs, this program may discuss topics like animal behavior and biology, demonstrate training techniques that help keepers take care of the animals, or include enrichment activities that bring out natural behaviors and exercise the animals. Join us regularly to see how diverse and fun a day in the zoo is! Please allow at least 15 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the Animal Forest outdoor classroom.

What: Bald Eagle: Symbol of Survival
When: May 4, 2022 (Every 1st Wednesday of each month)
Time: 11 am - 12 pm
Where: Bald Eagle Habitat
Admission: Regular Admission

Come see our bald eagle and listen to a harrowing tale of survival. Thanks to the combined efforts of lawmakers, conservationists, biologists, and scientists, the bald eagle population rebounded, and they were taken off the threatened and endangered list in 2007. The bald eagle story is exemplary of success in conservation efforts.

What: Great Guns on the Ashley
When: May 7, 2022 
Time: 1 pm, 2 pm & 3 pm
Where: The Gun Platform along the History Trail
Admission: Regular Admission

Feel the ground shake beneath your feet and smell the brimstone as the Charles Towne Militia fires replica, 17th-century cannons. Charles Towne, established on the edge of England’s North American empire, faced many threats, especially from England’s longstanding rival: Spain. Wary of a Spanish attack, the English colonists came heavily armed and formed a provincial militia for the defense of Carolina. This 20-minute program explores the Spanish threat, Charles Towne’s fortifications, and the citizen-soldiers who protected the early colony.

What: A Defensive Posture
When: May 21, 2022 
Time: 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm
Where: Along the History Trail inside the Palisade Wall
Admission: Regular Admission

Cock your firelock. Present. Fire! The proprietors of England’s Carolina colony spent a small fortune outfitting the expedition that founded Charles Towne in 1670. The 200 flintlock muskets they purchased for the provincial militia ranked third on the list of most-expensive items. Learn why they thought muskets were necessary for Carolina’s defense, and experience the smoke and fire of historic weapons as educators dressed in period attire demonstrate reproduction, 17th-century small arms.

What: Toddler Time at the Animal Forest
When: Every Tuesday (May 10 - May 31, 2022) 
Time: 11 am - 11:30 am
Where: Outdoor Classroom of the Animal Forest 
Admission: Regular Admission

Zoos are great learning environments for young minds. Bring your toddler to the Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing for "Toddler Time" and watch their eyes light up when they see the animals! We'll read a story, talk about animals, and then take a walk to a habitat to actually see what we talked about. This program is designed for ages 2-4. Please allow at least 15 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the Animal Forest outdoor classroom.

What: Charles Towne Underground: An Archaeological Perspective
When: Fridays (May 6 - 27, 2022) 
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm 
Where: Visitor Center
Admission: Regular Admission

History is not only recorded in documents, but also in the land itself, where evidence exists underground in terms of features and artifacts. Join a park ranger on a 45-minute walking tour that focuses on CTL’s 17th-century archaeological resources and how they have enriched our understanding of the Carolina colony’s first capital, Charles Towne. The tour includes a stop at the site of an impermanent, post-in-ground building that archaeologists surveyed in the early 2000s, before moving on to the location of a former crop field that yielded significant horticultural discoveries. Finally, the tour culminates with a visit to the park’s current excavation, where evidence has been unearthed that has altered our interpretation of Charles Towne. Program starts at the visitor center.

What: From the Ground Up: Charles Towne's Architecture
When: May 20, 2022 
Time: 10 am - 4 pm 
Where: Common House
Admission: Regular Admission

You need a roof over your head as quickly as possible. Where do you begin? Find out how the colonists built Charles Towne’s first houses as you interact with a park educator inside the Common House. Learn about earthfast construction, mortise-and-tenon joints, and other curious aspects of Charles Towne’s architectural history.

What: Meet the Archaeologist
When: May 1 - 29, 2022 
Time: 9 am - 11 am 
Where: Structure 2 Excavation Site along Charles Towne Landing’s History Trail near the Palisade Wall entrance

Admission: Regular Admission

Dig into history at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site and talk with an archaeologist to discover how we are using science to uncover the mysteries of this complex site. Discover how archaeologists illuminate written records and learn about past cultures based on artifacts left behind.

What: Life and Leisure: Colonial Pastimes 
When: May 28, 2022 
Time: 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
Common House in the Fortified Area
Admission: Regular Admission

Founding a new colony on the edge of an empire was hard work. The colonists, nevertheless, found time for recreation and played a variety of games. Join costumed educators at the Common House and test your gaming skills, 17th-century style.

What: The Open Hearth: Historic English Foodways 
When: May 14, 2022 
Time: 11 am - 3 pm 
The Common House inside the Palisade Wall.

Admission: Regular Admission

The cuisine of a given culture comes from a host of variables, from climate to tradition to the availability of certain ingredients. Our tastes, too, may change over time, as some foods fall out of fashion and new ones are adopted. If you opened an English cookbook from the 17th century, do you think you would find the cuisine familiar? See what’s on the menu at the Common House, and savor the aroma of open-hearth cooking as educators dressed in period attire prepare authentic, 17th-century recipes. Food is for demonstration purposes only.

What: Catesby at Charles Towne Landing
When: May 21, 2022 
Time: 10 am - 4 pm 
Where: Charles Towne Landing

Admission: Regular Admission

In May 1722, Mark Catesby, an English naturalist and explorer, landed in Charleston, South Carolina, keen on examining the natural world of the region. Several years later, he published the celebrated book The Natural History of Carolina, Georgia, and the Bahamas, in which he included illustrations and descriptions of the plants and wildlife he encountered in the new world. This special event commemorates the 300th anniversary of Catesby's arrival and his famous treks across South Carolina in search of native flora and fauna. Join Jennifer Tyrrell of Audubon Society South Carolina on a bird walk to learn about the species that Catesby observed. Also, try your hand at writing with a quill pen, enjoy a Catesby bird coloring activity (with prizes!), and explore an exhibit on colonial toys. This event is free with paid park admission.

What: The "Bear" Necessities of Camping
When: May 21 - 22, 2022 
Time: 2 pm - 3 pm 
Bear habitat in the Animal Forest
Admission: Regular Admission

Let's go camping! Tent - check... Sleeping bag - check... bear bag - huh? Even if you don't camp in bear country, you could still have a better camping experience by following some simple "bear-proofing" practices. Join the Animal Forest keepers to learn how to make your campsite less attractive to wildlife like raccoons and bears. But don't take our word for it; our bears will demonstrate what happens when you don't follow good camping practices!

What: Navigating a New World: Maritime History
When: May 27, 2022

Time: 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
Where: Near the Adventure on the History Trail
Admission: Regular Admission

From the first days of the settlement, sailing ships were vital to the colonists at Charles Towne. Trade with Barbados, Virginia and England kept the colonists supplied with manufactured goods and gave them a market for raw materials, leaving Carolina. Board the “Adventure,” Charleston’s only reproduction 17th-century wooden vessel. Learn to tie knots, use a backstaff or a sounding lead.

What: A Maritime "Adventure"
When: May 28, 2022
Time: 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
Where: The Ketch Adventure at Albemarle Point.
Admission: Regular Admission

Board the tall ship Adventure, a replica of a 17th-century trading ketch, and explore the nautical history of the early Carolina colony. Learn about the importance of maritime trade with other English colonies, such as Barbados, Virginia, and New York, and discover what life at sea was like for merchant mariners during the age of sail.

Hotels Near Charles Towne Landing

Find top-rated hotels at the lowest prices on TripAdvisor. Check rates now!

You might like these

More things to do in Charleston

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how... Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?Click on the HTML link code below.Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable. var l = window.location.href, d = document; document.write('<form action="#"><div style="text-align:center"><textarea cols="50" rows="2" onclick=";"><a href="'+l+'">'+d.title+'</a></textarea></div></form>');

Back to the Top

Copyright © 2009-2022