Magnolia Plantation and Gardens has been open to the public since 1870, making it the oldest public gardens in the US. People from all over the world have visited the gardens to admire and marvel at their beauty.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens was originally established in 1676 by the Drayton family. The property is still owned by the Drayton family, and the plantation has survived many conflicts, including the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Its main focus has always been to provide a kind of Eden for the family, and later on to its visitors. Below you’ll see why it’s one of the best plantations in Charleston to visit.
During our visit, we spent about an hour walking around the gardens. It was very peaceful and we took our time wandering along the different paths and walking beside the river. Eventually we made our way to the Magnolia Plantation House which was nicely decorated for the holidays. We didn’t go inside, however we did stop into the gift shop which was in the basement. There were lots of cute antiques and decorations.
Basic admission is $15 and includes the gardens, the petting zoo, the conservatory, a small theater (which continuously plays a 30 minute video about the history of the plantation), and an old African American cabin.
Magnolia Plantation Tours
There are 5 additional tours that you can purchase at $8 each, or you can get an all-inclusive pass for $47 which would save you $8. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on the property.
- Plantation House Tour – Visitors are guided through ten rooms of the Drayton family home and learn the history of the family and the previous two family homes.
- Nature Train Tour – Visitors ride a tram through acres of amazing landscapes and have the opportunity to see local wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and heron.
- Field Boat Tour – Visitors glide along the Ashley River and learn about the wetlands and former rice fields of the area.
- From Slavery to Freedom – Visitors can explore five cabins that document African American life on the plantation, from slavery to the Civil Rights Era.
- The Audubon Swamp Garden – Visitors can traverse over 60 acres of black water cypress by crossing boardwalks and bridges, and will likely see lots of local animals.
I would have loved to have spent more time at the plantation. Sadly, this was a morning trip I was able to squeeze in before I had to head to the airport. But even though I only had time for the basic tour, I really was quiet impressed with the layout of the gardens and the variety of flowers. I would recommend that anyone visiting Charleston stop by and spend a few hours at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
3550 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414
Have you ever visited Magnolia Plantation and Gardens? Do you like visiting gardens when you travel? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂