- Type: Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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According to Fodor's, Drayton Hall is "considered the nation's finest example of unspoiled Georgian-Palladian architecture." While many flock to the replica of Boone Hall Plantation -- known for the picturesque Oak Alley -- for a taste of plantation life, many say Drayton Hall is a more authentic glimpse at Southern history. Built in 1738, it is one of the oldest surviving plantations left in the South. Take your time exploring the massive red-brick main house, which hasn't changed all that much from when it was originally built (be aware that there is no air conditioning, electricity or heat). Afterward, you can wander along the two walking trails, which follow the Ashley River and the marsh, or pay your respects at the on-site African American Cemetery.
If you're looking for all the bells and whistles of a normal house museum, you might be disappointed. However, as one satisfied visitor tells TripAdvisor: "When you see Drayton Hall from a distance you think 'restored to its pre-Civil War splendor'. Been there, done that. But you're in for a surprise … The rooms are empty, the guide's voice echoes, and your imagination takes over. Even the kids in our group seemed fascinated."
Drayton Hall is located several miles northwest of downtown, along the Ashley River. The house is open every day (hours vary depending on the season), and guided tours are offered every hour. Admission is $15 for adults and $6 to $8 for children, depending on their age. For more information, check out the house's website.