Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – Charleston, South Carolina
One of the easiest things to do outside of Charleston is visit one of the many plantations. I will preface that there are so many plantations to pick from – impossible to visit them all in a long weekend trip. I found this blog post very useful in identifying the key differences between the six major plantations. They all have their own characteristics that make them each a unique experience. For this trip, we went with Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a more relaxed morning but it is good to know there is so much more to see on return trips.
Built in 1676, Magnolia Plantation was transformed into an English style garden to lure a Philadelphia bride to the South. Many new plants, trees, and flowers were brought to create beauty all year round including the first azaleas to come to America. In the 1870s, the gardens became open to the public for everyone to enjoy.
We arrived early just after the gardens opened, welcomed by the signature oak trees.
After purchasing our tickets to the gardens, we found an indoor reprieve from the bitter cold morning and watched a documentary video. Many visitors skip this and go directly to the gardens but I would recommend giving this attention during your visit – it was very informative and gave depth to the gardens.
We studied the garden map and began our journey through the property. Even in November, the gardens were lush and expansive. Full of massive trees, beautiful bridges, mirror lakes, hidden gazebos, and decorative statues. Sections really looked stuck in time, completely preserved. One of the benefits to being here so early was the number of untouched areas and perfect landscapes. I will let the photos explain themselves!
After exploring the gardens, we wandered through the rest of the grounds with special attention to finding the hedge maze. Kevin and I raced through the maze, having surprising fun and completely out of breath.
We spent several hours walking through the Magnolia Gardens. I can only imagine what it is like in the spring when all the flowers are in bloom! Visiting here was certainly not like the plantation experience we had in Nashville but we really enjoyed our visit here – so relaxing and serene. If you are looking for a more traditional plantation experience, look into one of the other plantations in the Charleston area.