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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


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Lodging Near Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

See all 325 Hotels near Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Amazing Backyard Deck With NEW hot Tub, Boat Dock, Views of the Ashley River

Amazing Backyard Deck With NEW hot Tub, Boat Dock, Views of the Ashley River

5703 St Angela Dr, North Charleston
0.0 out of 5.0
Studio Near the Plantations

Studio Near the Plantations

383 Shadowmoss Parkway, Charleston
5.0
of 5, from 12 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Charleston, this apartment is 1.3 mi (2 km) from Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Drayton Hall. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Citadel Mall are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Charming 2 Bdrm/2 Bath Condo in Gated Community

Charming 2 Bdrm/2 Bath Condo in Gated Community

7945 Timbercreek Ln, Charleston
4.2
of 5, from 4 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in North Charleston, this condo is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Frankie's Fun Park and 1.8 mi (3 km) from United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base. Golf Club at Wescott Plantation and North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Beautiful Four Bedroom Home Located on the River

Beautiful Four Bedroom Home Located on the River

8278 Wild Indigo Bluff, Charleston
4.8
of 5, from 44 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in North Charleston, this vacation home is 1.3 mi (2 km) from Frankie's Fun Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base and Golf Club at Wescott Plantation. Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site and North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$199
The Inn At Middleton Place

The Inn At Middleton Place

4290 Ashley River Rd, Charleston
4.3
of 5, from 289 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

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. Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club and Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$95
Hyatt Place North Charleston

Hyatt Place North Charleston

2455 Prospect Drive, North Charleston
4.4
of 5, from 1,457 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in North Charleston, this hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Northwoods Mall and within 6 mi (10 km) of Frankie's Fun Park and Charleston Southern University. Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark and United States Air Force Charleston Air Force Base are also within 6 mi (10 km).

$116
Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center

Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center

3234 W Montague Ave, North Charleston
4.6
of 5, from 891 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 15-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.

$110
DoubleTree by Hilton North Charleston - Convention Center

DoubleTree by Hilton North Charleston - Convention Center

5264 International Blvd, North Charleston
4.4
of 5, from 480 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center. Charleston Tanger Outlets is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) away.