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Heritage Pass lets you explore Charleston history sites at a discount

History buffs can dig into a cultural weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, with a Heritage Passport. The Heritage Passport gives you access to eight historic, architectural and cultural sites.

The Gibbes Museum of Art is an 111-year-old museum housing more than 10,000 pieces of American art. There are two special exhibitions on display through Oct. 9, 2016: Beyond Catfish Row: The Art of Porgy and Bess and The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South. The Gibbes has recently reopened after a major two-year renovation.

Founded in 1773, the Charleston Museum is America's first museum. There you'll find historic houses and cultural collections that give you a peek inside the history of the Lowcountry.

The Heritage Passport also gives you access to five house museums that date back to the 1770s, showcasing early American architecture and design. The Heyward-Washington House was home to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and George Washington's temporary residence. The Aiken-Rhett House showcases life in Antebellum Charleston. The Nathaniel Russell House is considered one of America's most important neoclassical dwellings. The Edmonston-Alston House is the site where Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard watched the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The Joseph Manigault House is an example of Adam-style or Federal architecture.

Drayton Hall is the oldest preserved plantation house in America that is open to the public. Its African American cemetery is one of the oldest in the nation, documented and still in use. Surrounded by live oaks and bordered by the historic Ashley River, Drayton Hall offers daily guided house tours and programs, customized private tours.

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Middleton Place was home to Henry Middleton, a President of the First Continental Congress and his son, Arthur, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. There's more than 300 years of history on this property. The gardens at Middleton Place are 270 years old and are considered America's first formal gardens.

The Heritage Passport is available at the Charleston Visitor Center for $52.95, saving visitors nearly 40 percent off regular admission to all of the sites. Visit www.charlestoncvb.com/charlestonheritagefederation or call 843-853-8000.

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