If walls could talk, they would certainly have a story to tell in Charleston, South Carolina. Our streets are steeped in history, and you can learn all about it during your stay with Charleston Coast Vacations. One of the most popular things to do here is to visit one of the best Charleston plantations in the area. Here are some of our favorites!
Start planning your Charleston getaway today when you access our complimentary Destination Guide. Inside, you’ll find a local list of our favorite things to see and do!
4 of the Best Charleston Plantations
1. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Magnolia Plantation has been a Charleston landmark since the 1670s. After the plantation was founded in the 17th century by the Drayton family, Rev. John Grimké Drayton added gardens to the property in the 1840s, and they have been maintained for almost 200 years. The gardens opened to the public following the Civil War in the early 1870s. The property’s history gives visitors a glimpse into the lives of enslaved African Americans who lived and worked there. Four restored former slave cabins serve as a point of discussion of the history of African American culture. The history of Magnolia Plantation tells an important piece of the American story.
You can easily spend the entire day at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. You can go on a plantation house tour here, but the gardens are what really shine. This is the last large-scale, romantic-style garden left in the country. That means that the plants are left to grow as they would in nature without being controlled by any formal gardening. You can spend hours walking through the trails, embarking on their nature tour, learning about history, and even going to their petting zoo!
2. Boone Hall Plantation
Founded in 1681, Boone Hall Plantation is one of Charleston’s most beautiful places to visit! The history of this plantation tells the story of South Carolina’s earliest days when enslaved people worked the land and cultivated cash crops that powered the colonial South Carolina economy. Tours are offered to explore the plantation’s past and present as a working farm. There is even a live Gullah culture presentation that can only be experienced here. Exploring the plantation offers an educational, moving, and exciting experience. Come here and see where some of America’s earliest moments took place!
Boone Hall Plantation is a Lowcountry staple. You’ve probably seen it without knowing– many movies and TV shows have been filmed here, one of the most popular being The Notebook. Located in Mount Pleasant, it is very convenient to visit! You can tour their slave cabins, plantation home, and grounds. This plantation also hosts many special events that you won’t want to miss such as January’s famous Lowcountry Oyster Festival.
3. Middleton Place Plantation
Middleton Place is one of the best places in the Lowcountry to explore the history of South Carolina and the United States. The plantation began in the 1740s when Mary Williams inherited Middleton Place. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the plantation saw the history of early South Carolinians, from wealthy landowners to enslaved African Americans who lived on and worked the land. Visitors can explore the grounds and beautiful gardens that wind through the property. Middleton Place Foundation is dedicated to telling the stories of the people that made Middleton Place, South Carolina, and the United States possible. Experience the history, beauty, and stories that make this place special!
Middleton Place Plantation was once home to Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Situated perfectly on the Ashley River, this plantation has some stunning views. They offer multiple tours here including the Beyond the Fields Tour that focuses on the lives of the slaves that lived here.
4. Drayton Hall
Another excellent site to visit is Drayton Hall! Located just down the street from Middleton Place, this plantation gives even more insight into the area’s history. Founded in 1738 by, the plantation became home to thousands of enslaved people who worked the land. Historical documents mention day-to-day life, and visiting the site brings these stories to life! Explore the history here and learn more about the South Carolina story.
Drayton Hall is special because it is both the country’s earliest example of Palladian architecture and the oldest preserved plantation house in America still open to the public. Instead of being remodeled like many of the other old homes in the area, it has been continuously kept up and restored. It is truly like stepping back in time!
Book Your Charleston Coast Vacation Today
Are you ready to experience all that Charleston has to offer? From these best Charleston plantations to an incredible culinary scene, you’ll never run out of things to do here. Start planning your getaway with Charleston Coast Vacations. Our rental properties are located all over the coast, so we’re sure we have the right one for you! Browse our rentals to pick your favorite, then book your getaway. We can’t wait to host you!