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Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Turtles, alligators and birds abound in this former plantation, now swampland, gardens, lakes and forest.

The Magnolia Plantations and Gardens feature 600 acres (243 hectares) of gardens, lakes, forest and old, flooded rice fields. Tour historic buildings or take a boat ride through the wetlands. An interesting array of animals are found in the nature center.

The plantation was bought by the Drayton family in 1676. Thomas and Ann Drayton built a house and small formal garden. Dams and dykes were built in fields along the river to irrigate the land. The property has remained in the Drayton family for more than three centuries.  

The restored plantation house that visitors see today is the third built by the Draytons at Magnolia Plantation. The core of the house was built in nearby Summerville, and dates prior to the American Revolution. After the Civil War it was floated along the Ashley River and installed in its current location.

On a tour of the house you’ll see rooms furnished with antiques and heirlooms, providing a glimpse into the lives of wealthy plantation families.

From Slavery to Freedom is an award-winning 45-minute interactive tour of the plantation’s five other historic dwellings, such as the kitchen and stables. These date back as far as 1850 and have been restored to reflect various periods of occupation by African-American workers.

The plantation’s gardens have been open to the public since 1870. They are the oldest unrestored gardens in America. Wander through several themed gardens and along the 14 miles (23 kilometers) of pathways.

Take a Nature Train or Marsh Boat tour of the plantation’s gardens and wetlands to see alligators, turtles, egrets and herons in their native habitats.  

The Nature Center has domestic species and those native to the area, including the gray fox, beaver, bobcat, snakes and birds of prey. There is also a petting zoo.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is about 30-minutes’ drive northwest of downtown Charleston, near the Ashley River. Car is the easiest way to get to the plantation, which is open every day of the year. The admission fee includes entry to the gardens; tours and entry to the zoo are extra.


Guide to Exploring around Magnolia Plantation and Gardens


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

See all 706 Properties near Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
The Inn At Middleton Place ¥11,595
The Inn At Middleton Place

The Inn At Middleton Place

4290 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Middleton Place and within 6 mi (10 km) of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Drayton Hall. Rosebrock Park and Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club are also within 6 mi (10 km).

    Beach Chic Budget Price Pets Ok
    Beach Chic Budget Price Pets Ok

    Beach Chic Budget Price Pets Ok

    2752 Hunt St, Charleston, SC
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Charleston, this vacation home is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Drayton Hall and within 6 mi (10 km) of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Citadel Mall. North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center and Medical University of South Carolina are also within 9 mi (15 km).

      DoubleTree by Hilton North Charleston - Convention Center ¥12,076
      DoubleTree by Hilton North Charleston - Convention Center

      DoubleTree by Hilton North Charleston - Convention Center

      5264 International Blvd, North Charleston, SC
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Charleston Area Convention Center, North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, and Charleston Tanger Outlets. Riverfront Park and The Citadel are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Aloft Charleston Airport & Convention Center ¥10,760
        Aloft Charleston Airport & Convention Center

        Aloft Charleston Airport & Convention Center

        4875 Tanger Outlet Blvd, North Charleston, SC
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center. United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base and The Citadel are also within 9 mi (15 km).

          Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport ¥11,665
          Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport

          Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Airport

          5265 International Blvd, North Charleston, SC
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in North Charleston, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Charleston Area Convention Center, North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, and Charleston Tanger Outlets. Riverfront Park and The Citadel are also within 9 mi (15 km).

            Extended Stay America - Charleston - Airport ¥7,658
            Extended Stay America - Charleston - Airport

            Extended Stay America - Charleston - Airport

            5045 N Arco Ln, North Charleston, SC
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Charleston Area Convention Center, North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, and Charleston Tanger Outlets. United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base and United States Navy Naval Support Activity Charleston are also within 16 mi (25 km). Charleston Station is 28 minutes by foot.

              Home2 Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport/Convention Center ¥12,569
              Home2 Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport/Convention Center

              Home2 Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport/Convention Center

              3401 W. Montague Avenue, North Charleston, SC
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in North Charleston, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Charleston Area Convention Center, North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, and Charleston Tanger Outlets. Riverfront Park and United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center ¥11,212
                Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center

                Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center

                3234 W Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Charleston Area Convention Center and North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. Charleston Tanger Outlets is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away.