The Charleston area is home to several historic plantations. All the plantations in and around Charleston are beautiful and worth a visit, but we know it might not be possible to visit all of them so we’ve broken down the differences to help you determine which plantation suits your interest.
Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantation is located in the town of Mount Pleasant off Long Point Road. It is about a 25 minute drive from downtown Charleston. As you drive into the plantation you will notice the dramatic line of overhanging oak trees. The plantation home is straight ahead, and, to the left, are the old slave quarters. Boone Hall is known for its Gullah presentations and history. And the plantation hosts yearly events, such as the Taste of Charleston, an oyster roast, Boone Hall Fright Nights and many more (note that the special events do require a separate admission). Boone Hall is also home to the Cotton Dock, which is a beautiful event space for weddings and parties. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were married there in 2012. Located right on the marsh, this location has a stunning view and is highly photographed. In the summer, visitors can pick strawberries and, in the fall, visit the Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch – creating great family memories. You will certainly get some breathtaking photos of horses, oak trees and marsh when you visit Boone Hall Plantation.
Drayton Hall is a beautiful plantation home right on the Ashley River. It’s actually the only plantation to survive intact to the present day, despite the fact Colonial and British forces used it as a staging ground during the Revolution. The home stands in much the same way as it did in the 18th century. It is a National Historic Landmark, so the plantation’s top priority is preservation. There are some grounds around the home to walk and some dirt trails in the nearby woods. You can walk right up to the Ashley River behind the home and enjoy the view. For the most part though, this plantation revolves around the home, so a tour of it is a must-see.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Many people think of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens as being untamed, wild and diverse. The majestic bridges hidden amongst cypress knees in swamp-like ponds are perfectly placed throughout the gardens. The beauty climaxes in the spring, but year-round there are blooms of camellias, daffodils, azaleas and countless other flowers. Visitors can take a house tour, a nature tram tour and a boat tour. Visit the slave cabins for a history lesson and stop by the nature center and petting zoo where you can feed the deer and goats. Get lost in the winding trails around the gardens and catch a glimpse of wildlife. There’s incredible beauty with every tree, bush or flower that has been strategically placed, but then left to grow independently at its own devices. Visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a real walk on the wild side.
Think contoured and landscaped. Think rational order, geometry and balance. Middleton Place has been planned meticulously so plants are blooming year-round. The gardens are a spectacular mix of grand classic design with statue surprises at every corner. Visit the home of the Middleton family who lived there for three generations. View the original furniture, silver, portraits and documents that have been carefully preserved for guests of the plantation to see to this day. On the grounds guests can catch a glimpse of the resident animals, such as water buffalo, goats, horses and pigs. Workers wear period clothing and demonstrate what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries. The restaurant is also a wonderful place to dine. Try the she-crab soup for a taste of the Lowcountry you won’t soon forget. Visit Middleton Place to get a sense of the grand lifestyle that the Middleton family enjoyed in a time when life was not so easy.