If you love history and nature then you must make Magnolia Plantation and Gardens a stop on your Charleston tour.
In fact, the garden are considered one of "America's Most Beautiful Gardens"!
Magnolia Plantation itself was founded back in 1676 by the Drayton family, and has since survived the centuries and numerous key events in US history, from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond.
In fact, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and it's also the oldest public gardens in the entire USA after opening its doors back in 1870.
Your admission to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens offers access to those historic gardens that lie along the Ashley River, as well as a Children's Educational Garden plus (always a favorite with the kids) a petting zoo and nature center! You can also enjoy strolling around the Tropical Convervatory, as well as a fun horticultural maze.
For those active families, take those walking shoes because there are hiking and biking trails ready for your use that can take you through woods, swamps, and former rice impoundments.
Also included in your admission is the "Slavery to Freedom Tour", however you do need to book your spot on this ahead of time. During this tour you can see four original slave cabins and learn about the families who lived there. The cabins were built in the 1850s and even inhabited until the late 20th century.
Each cabin has now been preserved and restored to reflect a different era which is significant to both African-American history as well as the history of Magnolia.
If you want to exhance your experience at Magnolia Plantation, you can add on extras such as a 45-minute Nature Boat ride exploring the 125 acres of rice fields.
There is also a Historic Garden Walk tour lasting 45 minutes that takee you along the paths first laid out by Reverend John Drayton along with his enslaved superintendent Adam Bennett back in the 1840s.
Also during this tour you'll be introduced to vistas and scenery that have made this garden a must-see in Charleston for over 150 years! You can also learn about rice cultivation, as well as Magnolia Plantation’s role in both the Civil and the Revolutionary Wars.
You can also select the 30-minute guided Plantation House Tour offering an insight into the plantation life of 12 generations who lived there since 1676, and a 45-minute Nature Tram tour of the diverse landscapes.
Finally, you can also choose the Audubon Swamp tour which is great for wildlife spotting - and yes, that includes alligators! Make sure you allow 45 minutes for the self guided walk.
History, flora, fauna, and really learning about Charleston's past - it's all waiting to be experienced at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
$15 (Ages 6 to 12)
You may want to allow 45 minutes or more to enjoy the Gardens. The front avenue and Maze are located near the House.
The "From Slavery to Freedom" is included in the admission but you still need to reserve your spot!
The Peacock Cafe is where you can stop to enjoy some delicious drinks and food and make friends with their peacocks and sweet mini-horses!
From downtown Charleston - Take Highway 17 south across the Ashley River, and follow the signs to Highway 61. Follow Highway 61 north for approximately 9 miles. Watch for the "Historical Plantations and Gardens" signs and the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens signs. Magnolia Plantation will be on your right.
The Gift Shop is a great place to visit! It's located directly underneath the House and worth a stop to pick up some historic and educational items before you leave!
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Open daily 9am - 5pm (3pm close Christmas Eve). Last ticket sales 4pm
Open year round but closed on Christmas Day!
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Magnolia Plantation and Gardens