Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Charleston SC is one of the oldest and largest Romantic gardens in America. The property was first added to by the Drayton family in 1676 as a rice plantation and has since been passed down for twelve generations.
Guests can explore on their own or take a guided tour. Guided tours cost an additional fee to basic admission. Read on for some ideas.
The Main House
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Charleston SC is a breathtaking botanical garden that offers a range of tours and experiences. This historic plantation is one of America’s oldest and features a variety of flowering plants, trees, shrubs, and blossoms. The gardens are divided into a number of sections, including an indoor Barbados Tropical Garden, Biblical Garden, Camellia Collection, Cattail Wildlife Refuge, and English Maze. The grounds are also home to a number of ponds, lakes, and wooded pathways that wind around the property.
The paths at Magnolia Plantation are not paved with concrete, but rather, lined with tiny gravels that crunch beneath visitors’ feet. The pathways crisscross, wind around lakes and ponds, and lead to secret alcoves. Massive oak trees cast a blanket of shade over flower beds and bushes where something new blooms each month. One of the most visited spots at Magnolia is The White Bridge, which spans a lake near the plantation house. This iconic structure is a popular backdrop for wedding photos and selfies, but actually walking across the bridge is even more exciting.
Founded in 1676, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of the oldest plantations in the country. The property was first settled by Thomas and Ann Drayton, and 15 generations later their descendants still own the land. The property includes seven wooden slave cabins and the plantation house, along with a wide range of botanical gardens and a nursery.
The gardens include the Tropical Conservatory, a fun horticultural maze, and a children’s educational garden. For an extra fee, you can take guided tours of the historic gardens and the plantation house.
The property also hosts many events and programs that focus on the history of slavery in Charleston and the South. This can be a difficult and painful part of your visit, but it is important to remember the experiences of enslaved people as you walk through the historic grounds. There are also several exhibits and displays, including one on the experience of enslaved people as they were transported from Africa to Charleston and the United States. Explore more!
The Slavery to Freedom Tour
For those interested in learning more about the history of Magnolia Plantation, a 45-minute tour called the Slavery to Freedom Tour is available. This includes a visit to the log cabins that once housed the enslaved people on the grounds and a presentation by a guide. It’s complimentary with garden admission and does not include a tour of the house.
McGill says it’s been the most popular tour since she started giving it in 2011, and she credits recent events with bringing more interest to the topic of slavery. Other plantations may mention slavery in passing on other tours, but Magnolia is one of the few that devotes time to discussing the 350-year history of black people on their property.
Magnolia is home to the oldest African-American cemetery in Charleston, and the site also offers a zoo and nature center that are included with general admission tickets. For an additional fee, visitors can take a guided tour of the historic house or a ride on the garden tram.
The Nature Train
The property is famous for its huge horticultural collections. The camellia and azalea gardens are the highlights, but you’ll also find a variety of other vibrant flowers. You can stroll around the historic gardens or take a 45-minute Nature Tram tour to see it all.
The basic admission ticket includes access to the historic gardens, petting zoo, conservatory, orientation theater, The Peacock Cafe, and Gilliard Garden Center. Additional guided tours are an extra charge. These include the Plantation House Tour, Audubon Swamp Tour, and the award-winning Slavery to Freedom Tour.
Like many plantations in the South, Magnolia has a history that is closely tied to slavery. The Drayton family held hundreds of enslaved Africans and African Americans over the years to work on the backbreaking production of rice and indigo.
The property has been a hotbed for paranormal activity. The crew from the TV show Ghost Hunters investigated and documented the presence of a spirit, music, a young girl’s voice, and growling. Continue reading the next article.
Driving directions from Ambassador Window Cleaning & Maintenance to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Driving directions from Magnolia Plantation and Gardens to Gahagan Park