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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 904 Properties near Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
The Inn At Middleton Place ¥8,641
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).

      Aloft Charleston Airport & Convention Center ¥10,140
      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 ¥12,000
        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).

          DoubleTree by Hilton North Charleston - Convention Center ¥11,577
          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).

            Wingate by Wyndham Charleston Airport Coliseum ¥8,373
            Wingate by Wyndham Charleston Airport Coliseum

            Wingate by Wyndham Charleston Airport Coliseum

            4701 Saul White Blvd, 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. North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) away.

              SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charleston N./Ashley Phosphate ¥7,111
              SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charleston N./Ashley Phosphate

              SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charleston N./Ashley Phosphate

              7535 N Forest Drive, North Charleston, SC
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in North Charleston, this hotel is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Northwoods Mall and within 6 mi (10 km) of Charleston Tanger Outlets and North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. Frankie's Fun Park and Charleston Southern University are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Home2 Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport/Convention Center ¥9,209
                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 near the airport, 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).