Nathaniel Russell House
Nathaniel Russell House
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
A National Historic Landmark, the Nathaniel Russell House Museum was completed in 1808 by merchant Nathaniel Russell. The home’s graceful, free-flying, three-story staircase is an architectural marvel and the elegant interiors with elaborate plasterwork, geometrically shaped rooms, formal gardens and collection of 18th-century decorative and fine art speak to the wealth of Charleston’s elite in the early days of the American Republic. Restored to its original splendor using forensic analysis and cutting-edge conservation technology by our curatorial staff, we ensure the highest standards of old-world expertise to replicate the finishes, fixtures and textiles appropriate for this 200-year old townhouse. The 18 enslaved Africans that lived on and maintained this property are an integral part of its history. Archaeological artifacts, educational panels and ongoing restoration of the enslaved quarters are vital to learning more about the enslaved and telling their important stories.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Charlestowne
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Matt B
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A happy accident
    We had a walking tour cancelled so my wife and I created our own. Came across this place and gave it a shot. Really happy we did. Really informative and insightful, definitely do the guided tour instead of the headphone one. Diane really was a fun guide and answered all of our questions.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 18 July 2023
  • Alf R
    21 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nathaniel Russell House - self Guided Tour
    An excellent self guided audio tour. Informative, with plenty of additional sound bites. History was narrated with clarity and the architecture, especially the cantilevered three flight staircase. High recommended, and the garden is lovely too.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 26 July 2023
  • vichy
    553 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great little house museum
    Very nicely maintained house museum - the place is the size of a normal house so it doesn't take more than 1-2 hours to get through it. Really nice audio guide for the property. It also shows really well the contrast between the owner and slave quarters.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 23 September 2023
  • cdandoy
    Gilbert, Arizona1,257 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice
    Easy to find. I used the audio which is about 45 min long. It was a tad slow in places but the rooms themselves are great! Love the chamber pot chair and the staircase. Used to some rooms having chairs for those that need to sit occasionally but this only had 1 spot for sitting.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 5 October 2023
  • jandaG0lden_C0
    Golden, Colorado88 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historic home to visit
    . One of the highlights of our trip to Charleston. Take a guided tour as the volunteers are so knowledgeable. It is an architectural and history tour of how this wealthy family lived in the early 1800's. We did this instead of a plantation tour due to time restraints and felt that it was just as educational. Also the area around this house is a beautiful area with many great streets and homes.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 February 2024
  • Noraatc
    Sudbury, Massachusetts38,716 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Elegant mansion with spectacular spiral staircase
    The Nathaniel Russell House was free on the day of our visit and surprisingly not crowded at all. We joined the short guided tour, learned about the history of the mansion, admired its magnificent spiral staircase and elegant interior. The small garden looked lovely in February when first camellias and magnolias were blossoming.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 March 2024
  • ArtsyGalBaltimore
    846 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worthwhile Visit to Nathaniel Russell House
    Took a tour with a guide who did a fine job in telling a story of the house and how its residents shaped their image within the Charleston community. Multiple rooms toured each distinct for some aspect of the family life and its social activity. Lovely garden entrance.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 5 June 2024
  • RHmom349
    Mooresville, North Carolina82 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome staircase to heaven!
    Very beautifully restored early 1800’s home. The most impressive thing was the spiral three story staircase - you can just imagine the women in their beautiful long dresses coming down this - very elegant! We took a guided tour that was about 45 minutes long. Definitely worthwhile to visit. If you visit this home and the Aiken-Rhett House, they have a combo ticket that provides a discount. Definitely get the combo ticket since you have 6 months to use them.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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JessieNoelle
Cleveland100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
I bought a combo ticket for Nathaniel Russel house along with the Aiken-Rhett house. I would highly recommend this, as it saves money and gives you a chance to tour both a restoration house and a preservation house. I enjoyed both houses. I took the self-guided audio tour which is excellent for both houses, great history into the family and house. This house has been restored to the time the Russel's lived there, and I quite enjoyed the color of the bedroom that was restored to it's original shade from a tiny piece that was found. It's a sad fact that Nathaniel Russel made his fortune selling human beings and this house was built on enslaved labor. The staircase is certainly the main attraction to this house, it's beautiful and a marvel. The 24k gold leaf in the upper rooms moldings aren't too shabby, either. Archaeologists are uncovering the kitchen, laundry and enslaved quarters at the back of the house, so it would be interesting to revisit in a few years to see what was discovered.
The gardens are very nice, you walk thru them to enter and leave the house.
Written 7 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arthur S
Indianapolis, IN20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
My wife and I really enjoyed our tour of the Nathaniel Russell house. Our charming guide, Cheryl, is a retired teacher and was very well versed on the history and stories of the house. The spiral staircase is an architectural marvel and getting a close look at it is worth the price of admission. However, the rest of the house has been scrupulously restored to the way it would have looked when the Russells took residence in 1808. This is tour that is well worth your time.
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bikeKaren440
Madison50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We walked to the Nathaniel Russell House from the Market, approximately a 15 minute walk. A docent lead tour was starting in 30 minutes but we opted to take the audio tour. The information was good and had the right amount of detail but the chirpy narrator became tiresome.
Proceeds from the house tours benefit continued restoration of the house.
Written 7 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ms. Salsa
115 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
We bought the combo tickets for the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House. Due to the COVID issue, both tours are self-guided tours downloaded via an app on your phone. Unfortunately, although the intention is a good one, it has to be one of the most problematic ideas currently established. During the walk thru the house, you might find yourself wanting to listen to the same recording someone else already has begun in the same area, hence, you then can't continue until the other party ends their turn. Either that, or find yourself already listening in one area, when someone else comes in and rudely starts their own recording preventing you from listening to your own. Aside from that dilemma, the house is an interesting and very beautiful one to see. Of all the mansions we visited, this one was one of my favorite ones. It captured its original setting as best as it could and it gave you a very close impression of what life was like back then.
Written 18 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN5 362 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
There are many historic homes to tour in Charleston and the Nathaniel Russell House was amongst the best. Federal style house built in 1808 by slave trader Nathaniel Russell one of the wealthiest men in Charleston. It has been beautifully restored to it’s original appearance. Excellent 45 minute self guided audio tour takes you in depth through each room of the house. They have only recently began to excavate the slave quarters behind the house and at this point telling the story of the enslaved who worked at the house is not as fully developed as at the Aitkin-Rhett House which is the other historical home you should not miss when visiting Charleston. We purchased the Charleston Heritage Explorer Passport for $49/person which allowed entry to the Nathaniel Russell House and 9 other houses and museums in downtown Charleston over 3 consecutive days and thought this was an excellent value.
Written 7 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shannon
South Carolina513 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
It was a rainy day in Charleston and we needed something to do! I decided on visiting the Nathaniel Russell House because it opens at 10 and admission is only $15.
I really enjoyed this visit. It was more than just looking at a historic home. The audio tour combined with the beautifully restored and decorated home was very well-done.
The audio tour, device and headset included, was informative, interesting, easy to use and not too long! The ladies narrating gave just enough information without making you want to skip ahead.
Not only is the home restored to original glory, it's decorated with period pieces so you can really envision the lives of the Russells. The laundry room/enslaved quarters is currently being worked on, so it was very interested to see it in it's primitive state.
As I said, it was raining so we only briefly walked the gardens which are rather small so I didn't feel we missed too much. The whole visit took us about an hour.
Nice job, Historic Charleston Foundation!
Written 22 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lmphilly
Philadelphia, PA254 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We toured both the Nathaniel Russell House and the Aiken House, buying both tickets as a package. the Nathaniel Russell House is beautifully redone from the architechture of the home, the furnishings and the garden. We did not take the house tour due to time constraints but used the recorded guide which was fine. This is a part of Charleston's complex history which is well worth a visit.
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom V
Augusta, GA205 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We walked from the visitors center to the Nathaniel Russell house which is just across the street. It's an incredible 1808 house built by Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell. There is an incredible 3 story, free flying spiral staircase that is amazing. The guide that gave us the tour was very good and knew a lot about the house. She had been a part of the crew that was restoring some of the paint on the walls, making sure that they are era colors and by sampling they are able to get most of the original colors. We learned not only the history of the house, but the history of the family that built the house and lived there through the generations. We were able to go up the staircase and see the upstairs as well as ground level. I recommend this tour.
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2Birdsfishnfrogs
Little River, SC223 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
We purchased a Passport from the Charleston Heritage Federation for eight historic sites and museums to be toured during three consecutive days. This was one of the eight places.

We chose the self-guided tour option which meant we were given I-pods with headsets to listen and move through the house at our own pace. This worked well for our situation since we were trying to maximize our time utilization. The program can be repeated or skipped depending upon your individual interests.

We had been in the gardens during an earlier visit so we didn't linger there this time. It is a peaceful area and pleasant to sit and relax.

I would suggest going here to our friends, relatives and acquaintances who are interested in the history of Charleston and of the United States.
Written 18 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel M
North Grafton, Ma102 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Highly recommended when in Charleston. This was not in my radar to do; however, my friends suggested it and even though it was a rainy day, I was so glad I did it. I would have enjoyed walking around the gardens more but you can walk in them at any time and we might go back this week when it's sunny. The tour guide was great and really kept a large group organized and under control and gave alot of content in her tour. It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it when those things can be boring at times. We booked the two house special and I look forward to going to the 2nd house tomorrow.
Written 24 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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NATHANIEL RUSSELL HOUSE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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