History is like Frankenstein's monster: all it takes to make it come alive is the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $10, you get a three-site adult ticket to the Charleston Museum, the Joseph Manigault House, and the Heyward-Washington House (up to a $22 value).
Billed as America’s first museum, the Charleston Museum offers guests a comprehensive understanding of the history behind both the city and the region, with permanent exhibits exploring natural history, American weaponry, historic textiles, and more. The South Carolina Lowcountry History Hall focuses on the evolution of the area from its early societies through European colonization, and the Charleston Silver gallery lures guests with sundry shiny objects, including George Washington’s christening cup, not to be confused with George Clooney's silvery scalp cup. Special exhibitions, such as Threads of War: Clothing and Textiles of the Civil War (through October 30, 2011) further the head-filling fact flood, and the Kidstory exhibit shrinks information to a scale small enough for children to digest without ruining their appetites for dinner.
This Groupon also grants admission to the early 19th century Joseph Manigault House and the brick 18th century Heyward-Washington House, each designated National Historic Landmarks notable for their rich historical significance and striking architecture. Individuals not able to stop by all three sites in one visit can show their original ticket to gain access on another day.
When the Charleston Museum was founded in 1773, South Carolina was still a British colony. Today, the museum is itself a historical gem, surviving both the American Revolution and Civil War and acquiring an astounding collection of South Carolinian artifacts along the way. Nine permanent exhibits include the Armory, brimming with antique weaponry, and the Lowcountry History Hall, which chronicles the land's metamorphosis from a tribal society into an agricultural empire, telling the story with early trading goods, slave badges, and pottery. Temporary exhibits change regularly, keeping visitors on their toes in the same way changing cell phone numbers every 24 hours does.
The museum extends its history-preserving mission to two area homes: the 19th-century Joseph Manigault House, once home to a wealthy rice plantation owner, and the Heyward-Washington House, where George Washington once stayed during a weeklong visit to the city. Restored rooms, period pieces, and loudly snoring grandfather clocks await guests during scheduled tours.