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Trip Planner: USA / South Carolina / Coastal South Carolina / Charleston / Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
One of the country's oldest plantations, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens dates back to 1676, when locals Thomas and Ann Drayton built a house and a small formal garden on this site. The family owned the rice plantation for the next 15 generations, utilizing slave labor to build a network of irrigation dams and dikes. Today, the estate operates as a museum, offering an interpretive program designed to teach visitors about the history of both slave and free black workers at this site. Explore the plantation's natural setting by taking a marsh boat tour or strolling through the gardens, where you can see centenarian cypress trees and camellias dating from the 1840s. Work out when and for how long to visit Magnolia Plantation & Gardens and other Charleston attractions using our handy Charleston attractions planner.
Tours to Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
$75 BOOK WITH VIATOR Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
Tours from $75 ›
$121 BOOK WITH VIATOR Middleton Place Admission with Self Guided Tour and Lunch Middleton Place Admission with Self Guided Tour and Lunch
Duration: 5 hours
Tours from $121 ›
$135 BOOK WITH VIATOR Get Out of Town! Visit 12 Lowcountry Stops with the Complete Charleston Tour! Get Out of Town! Visit 12 Lowcountry Stops with the Complete Charleston Tour!
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
Tours from $135 ›
$95 BOOK WITH VIATOR Plantation Extravaganza! See 5 historic destinations of Charleston's Lowcountry Plantation Extravaganza! See 5 historic destinations of Charleston's Lowcountry
Duration: 4 hours
Tours from $95 ›
$850 BOOK WITH VIATOR Private Chauffeur & Admission to Middleton & Magnolia Plantation + Box Lunch Private Chauffeur & Admission to Middleton & Magnolia Plantation + Box Lunch
Duration: 4 to 6 hours
Tours from $850 ›
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens reviews
I have waited for a few years to visit Magnolia Plantation. I was so excited to finally be able to visit. I can't adequately express how disappointed I was. We went when the azalea were supposed...
I have waited for a few years to visit Magnolia Plantation. I was so excited to finally be able to visit. I can't adequately express how disappointed I was. We went when the azalea were supposed... more »
The gardens were simply amazing. Unseasonably early, the azaleas were in full bloom. Incredible. The facility is a perfect mix of tour, attraction, history and house... even a zoo/animal rescue! A...
The gardens were simply amazing. Unseasonably early, the azaleas were in full bloom. Incredible. The facility is a perfect mix of tour, attraction, history and house... even a zoo/animal rescue! A... more »
Spent an amazing full day at Magnolia. If I had only one excursion during Charleston visit this would be my choice. Ultimate plantation/nature experience with so much to see and do. The grounds are..... more
Spent an amazing full day at Magnolia. If I had only one excursion during Charleston visit this would be my choice. Ultimate plantation/nature experience with so much to see and do. The grounds are..... more »
My family had a lovely visit to Magnolia Plantation. We came early on a Wednesday, and were able to quickly purchase tickets and get started with exploring the grounds. The plantation’s massive Live Oak trees are picturesque, and the house itself is well maintained. While waiting for our tour, we visited the conservatory which was lovely. We ended our tour in the gift shop which had a wide assortment of lovely items. We chose to pay for the Nature Tram since we had folks in our group who couldn’t walk far. It was a great choice since we were able to see the grounds and gain some historical perspective without walking a lot. On the tram we were able to see the slave houses, several rice fields, and many wild animals including alligators, birds, and turtles! Although we didn’t go into the house or take the From Slavery to Freedom tour, I imagine these are as well done as the Nature Tram and well worth their money!
Had a nice afternoon here with the family. It wasn't peak bloom for anything in late September but there were still plenty of flowers and the overall scenery with the Spanish moss draped trees was stunning. We did the rice field boat tour, which was very informative. The rice fields were given back to nature and are now just wetlands with a few remnants of the old farm. We saw tons of beautiful birds and alligators. The pontoon boat had a roof, so we were out of the sun. Definitely should be on your Charleston list. If you are a local, call ahead to learn about what's in bloom and what time of year is best to visit.
Our family had a great time here! It was so nice to get up close to so many animals. We enjoyed our train tour and learned a lot! I only wish it was easier to take pictures during the tour. The cafe had great options for food. The gardens were lovely! We didn’t have time to do the silvery to freedom tour, but we will definitely be back to do it.
We came to Magnolia in late Sept. 2022. The weather was unseasonably cool and cloudy, but late Sept is probably not the ideal time to visit anyway. Little was in bloom, although it was still fun to see. We did a lot of walking on self-guided tours. There’s a convenient bathroom across from the cafe when you first arrive. The grounds are a little more natural than other plantations but still well-kept. We didn’t see any animals or take any tours.
This was such a lovely day trip. We did the general admission and signed up for the Slave to Freedom Tour as well (which was free). We visited the petting zoo, where peacocks, deer and a pig were walking amongst us (that were apparently rescues, according to one of the staff). We walked in the Conservatory, then around the Ashley River trail. This was a very beautiful place, and you can only imagine how much work goes into landscaping such a place. The Slave to Freedom tour was about 30 minutes, where we sat on benches near some restored cottages that used to be slave quarters before the Civil War. They were restored to 4 different time periods. These cottages were actually lived in until the 1990s by workers of the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The tour guide for this part was excellent, interesting and informative. There was also a little shop in the middle of the campus to buy various drinks and lunches (sandwiches, salads, etc.) The shop was usually very packed and had a very long line. Overall, I thought the place was beautiful and I enjoyed walking around. We did see a woman with a walker who was struggling to walk around the gravel paths. For those who are handicapped, getting to the Slave to Freedom tour may have been rather challenging. Some other tours will drive you around the campus with a “tram” of sorts. I can certainly see this setup to be limiting for some folks with disabilities.
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