Plantations were a staple of the economy, culture and lifestyle of the pre-Civil War South. Charleston has a handful of them where you get to explore both their natural beauty and rich history. We only had time to visit one. After chatting with our Airbnb host, the choice came down to two - Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation. The former showcases a bit more history and lifestyle of plantations while the latter has a bit more garden/nature grounds to explore. We decided to go with Magnolia and saved Middleton for a future visit.
Established as a rice plantation in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia today has 60 acres of gardens where flowers bloom year-round and animals roam free. We got up-close-and-personal with a few feathered friends in the Petting Zoo. We also took two tours both of which we loved:
- Rice Field Boat Tour during which we spotted alligators and turtles.
- From Slavery to Freedom Tour during which we learned the history and the contributions of the African-American families at Magnolia from the 1850s to the late 1990s.