Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

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3550 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC, USA

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Charleston Reviews

Vikram Vikram
248 reviews
A wonderful living display of colonial times: Britain meets tropical! Sep 24, 2016
I wasn't really expecting anything lesser than what I got - a quick search for tourist attractions in and around Charleston and this is usually one of the first hits. Magnolia Gardens is an expansive plot of land - a living working museum and plantation that has an estate that's a popular wedding destination as well. It's about 20 miles from downtown, and easily reachable by car.

I found the history fascinating: it was originally a British settlement, and the founder, some Drayton did his best to build a British style garden with local plants to lure his bride. Several British dignitaries pre Independence would also visit - this was popular for those that wanted a Caribbean style holiday but didn't want to go as far.

Back to today - there are several things on offer - one can purchase a jumbo ticket that includes all the attractions or pay individually for them. The default is a walk around the beautifully maintained gardens and the famous "red bridge", known as a newly married couple's photo stop.

I bought tickets for a 45 minute tour on a "train" (wasn't really a train, more like a big golf caddy!) that takes you through the swamps (we got to see aligators!) and the plantation's trademark azalea. It was quite informative, and it was cool seeing aligators up close (granted, they weren't more than 2 ft).

There was a wedding going on at the House and hence closed for visitors - not that i was going to visit.

There are several short walks across the plantation, some which are into alligator territory as well, so visitors are warned not to get too close to them (much less pet them!).

Highly informative, very enjoyable and a standing testimony to how it was in the days when British heritage and royalty met the more humble tropical Southern lowlands. Worth the visit!
Drive to the estate - this sets th…
The entrance
Clock by the ticket office, restau…
European themed gardens
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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simsing says:
Beautiful place!
Posted on: Oct 22, 2016
monkeymia79 says:
What a beautiful place to visit. I can see why its popular for weddings, it is beautiful and romantic.
Posted on: Oct 22, 2016
Cho says:
I visited a plantation in Mount Pleasant which is across the river from Charleston. It's called Boone Hall Plantation. Looking at your photos, it looked very similar to Boone Hall. Thanks for sharing!
Posted on: Oct 22, 2016
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Liney722 Liney722
2 reviews
Magnolia Plantation Apr 26, 2011
Go visit Magnolia! It is not as crowded as Boone Hall and much more beautiful. Magnolia has plenty of entertainment for the whole family, you could spend the entire day getting lost inside. There are animals, a trolley, gardens, and beautiful oak trees. Go see it!
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diaryofadink diaryofa…
6 reviews
Lovely plantation, swamp and gardens all in one Sep 06, 2008
This former "golden rice" plantation was a treat on our trip to Charleston. We spent 2 days there (the all-inclusive pass allows you to enjoy every tour they offer and to return free of charge one time within the next 7 days) enjoying all that this plantation had to offer.

The house tour is a nice introduction to the family and showcases some of the memorabilia from their time there (currently the 12th generation owns but does not occupy the house on the plantation). There are also replicas of authentic slave houses and a "slave talk" at 1 pm daily. The gardens are lovely and the swamp was used as the canvas for much of Audubon's work over the years. The family owns 4 of the (is it 150 books?) books from his collection. The swamp tour is one of the smoothest boat rides I've ever taken and most visitors are treated to a number of birds, alligators, and insects while on this ride. The tour operators are friendly, knowledgeable, and generous with their time before and after the tour should visitors have questions.

While there we toured the gardens on our own and played in the live garden maze. IT is a beautiful setting for pictures of both the wildlife and family and friends in beautiful surroundings. We're sure to treasure our pictures there for years to come.

The gift shop is extremely expensive and it's my opinion that there are significant markups on many items that can be found elsewhere in Charleston for a lot less money. We did purchase a print because my husband enjoyed it so much to place in our home.

At roughly $35 per person for the all-inclusive pass it's an expensive one day trip or a very affordable 2 day tour considering all that is offered there! A 1 hour walking tour in Charleston is generally $20. So, for 3 guided tours (house, plantation, and jitney ride) as well as 2 days access to the gardens, audubon swamp, and trails it's a great value!
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photo by: denisx