Mace Brown Museum of Natural History, Charleston

#24 of 31 in Museums in Charleston
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Natural History Museum

Hours: Daily from 11-4, except for Wednesdays

Admission: Free

Location: 2nd floor, School of Sciences and Mathematics Building, 202 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC

Contact: 843.953.3967 or 843.953.5589

The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences is home to a Paleontology Museum that displays almost 1,000 fossils. The displays includes: dinosaur bones, crinoids, Oligocene mammals of North America, mosasaurs, cave bears, Pleistocene mammals of the Carolinas, ocean life through time and fossil plants. A favorite exhibit for many is the reconstructed jaw which houses real teeth from the giant extinct shark Megalodon.

The Museum is open to the public and manned by geology undergraduates who work as student docents. Groups that would like to schedule a visit to the Museum should call 843.953.3967 (Museum direct line), or email

The academic staff in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences often give their time to delivering talks on their research and teaching specialties to groups visiting the Museum. These tours are ideally suited to 9th grade students and older. Younger age groups are encouraged to visit the Museum, but we currently do not provide staff-led tours. We ask that leaders of younger groups (K-8) provide self-programmed visits, but please still book a time slot with Museum staff, given the space we have is limited.

We ask that all visitors to the Museum, especially large groups, respect the teaching environment of the College of Charleston, given classes take place immediately next door to the Museum. We ask that group leaders visiting the Museum maintain control of their group and restrict each group to no more than ~20 students (with chaperones). If a group is noisy and/or disruptive, they will be politely asked to leave the building.

As the museum continues to grow, your support is greatly appreciated. Please choose "other" when donating and use fund number R548 when you visit the Foundation giving page. If you have unique ways to contribute to this wonderful museum, please contact Professor Phillip Manning (Director/ or Sarah Michalies (Collections Manager/
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Mace Brown Museum of Natural History reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
18 reviews
  • This is a small museum located on the floor of the School Of Science & Mathematics Collage. The exhibits are displayed in two rooms-one medium, one small. Exhibits range from dinosaurs, mammals...  more »
  • Who knew that the Charleston area is a first-class locale for whale fossils! This free museum is packed with other fossils as well from stromatolites through Pleistocene Ice Age animals (think...  more »
  • This small but delightful museum is a great place to take kids! One highlight is the sand box (happily, the sides are high and kids don't seem inclined to climb in) that the staff stock with interesting stones, fossils, and artifacts for kids to dig up and take home. The cave bear and mosasaur exhibits are particularly impressive. The docent on the day we went, Shelley, was knowledgeable, friendly, and had clear respect for the museum and the work of its curators. The museum takes up just two rooms on the second floor of the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building at the College of Charleston, so it's easy to get to everything.
  • This is such a great museum. It's concise, but they have a stellar collection. The students/staff working are eager to offer educational insights and explanations. They always make it extra fun and engaging for my boys.

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