On my recent trip to Charleston, one place was definitely on my to-visit list- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. It was just a 25 minute drive from our Airbnb and everyone including our host and Google reviews said that this was a must visit place. I definitely agree 🙂
The ancestral home of the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has survived the centuries. Founded in the late 1670s and spread over 500 acres, it’s not just beautiful gardens, but beautiful gardens steeped in Civil War history. Currently owned by the 12th generation of the family who own these since over 300 years, these are also the oldest gardens in the USA which were opened for the public.
This place is pretty big, so plan a whole day trip. Be prepared for a whole lot of walking! There is a huge parking area which is free and very convenient. Every corner is breathtakingly beautiful and we were so lucky to have visited right when the azaleas were in full bloom. Couldn’t have asked for more!
They offer different kinds of tours like the House Tour, Swamp tour, Rice field boat tour, nature train tours and more. It will help you explore the gardens along with learning details about the swamps, rice fields, forests and plantations.
Our 3-hour visit could cover the gardens and the house tour.
There is Peacock Cafe where they offer snacks and refreshments. AND one can easily spot real peacocks beautifully walking in all their glory between the blooming azaleas! We could literally see all shades of pink amongst the host of azaleas! What a sight!
With picturesque landscapes overlooking the Ashley River, Magnolia gardens and plantation has been voted one of the best gardens & tours of South Carolina.
Earlier, in the 1800’s, enslaved workers toiled here on plantations, with constant threats to life- tons of poisonous snakes and alligators, mosquitoes, lack of good food and hygiene. Fragments of dark history do exist in a place of such beauty, such heritage. You can also take a tour of the houses of the enslaved people and know how their life evolved from slavery towards freedom.
If you are travelling with kids, the Petting zoo is really a great way to let them connect with animals and see them up close. Magnolia Gardens and Plantation is habitat to a variety of birds and animals. The gardens cater to the whole family, so one can just spend a whole day in perfect weather, amidst nature, leaving all worries behind.
You will never know what you get to see. We saw some amazingly beautiful birds sitting beside the walking trails and one of them looked so unreal (like a statue or something)! It really was spectacular.
Just like these :
A landmark of ecological prominence, vintage beauty, historical significance, so much to learn and embrace at this beautiful southern charm.
I really wish we had a few more hours to walk around more and do all the tours, but there’s always a next time! Hoping to see you soon Magnolia Gardens, you were magical!
Have you ever visited any historic gardens or plantations?
I would love to read your experiences, comment down below!