As the last large-scale Romantic garden left in the United States, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens seek to provide an escape from the struggles and stresses of everyday life. Unlike a formal garden that seeks to “control” nature, a Romantic garden cooperates with nature to create a peaceful landscape where people and nature exist in harmony. Magnolia’s are also the oldest unrestored gardens in the United States, and the historic house is one of the oldest in the South.
A trip to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is full of beauty and history. In fact, it is the only plantation on the Ashley River that survived both the American Revolution and the Civil War. Many sections of the gardens are more than 325 years old. A petting zoo with local animals is one of the family-friendly aspects, as is the Peacock Cafe. There is a nature train and tram tour around the grounds that takes visitors past major sights and around the natural wildlife. There are also swamp tours and nature boat tours available.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Magnolia Plantation is a must-see for history buffs and plant and flower fans.
- Plan to spend a few hours here, with around 45 minutes dedicated to touring the historic gardens.
- While much of the grounds are wheelchair-accessible, the home tour is not.
- Tours often include air-conditioned round-trip transportation from Charleston.
- One ticket allows for access to most of the sights. Tours are available at additional cost.
How to Get There
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens are located about 14 miles from Charleston. You can drive there in just under thirty minutes (ample parking is available) or take a tour that includes transportation from the city.
When to Get There
Magnolia Plantation is open every day of the year, including holidays. Time your visit depending on the individual tours you wish you take.
History at Magnolia
The house at Magnolia Plantation has remained the Drayton family home for generations. It has seen centuries of history since it was established in 1676. Visitors interested in learning more about the house can take the plantation house tour. A tour and free shuttle to the historic slave cabins is another important part of the region’s history that is not to be overlooked.