Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
- Type: Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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While Middleton Place's gardens attract those who like trimmed hedges and flower-lined paths, the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is the place to go if you're more of an avid nature lover. Yes, the house is worth an hour of your time -- it's a less ornate version of other Charleston plantation homes, but the interior is just as beautiful -- but most visitors come here to enjoy the wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for gators, otters and turtles in the Audubon Swamp Garden, grab your binoculars and look for local birds at the waterfowl refuge, don your helmet and bike one of the several trails or get lost in the horticultural maze. Recent travelers also agree that the petting zoo makes this a great place to bring the kids.
There are also several guided tours offered here, each one detailing a different aspect of the plantation's history or its natural surroundings. Recent visitors specifically recommend the Slavery to Freedom tour. As one traveler tells TripAdvisor: "That was our favorite tour of all the ones we took in Charleston."
The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens are located just south of Middleton Place along the banks of the Ashley River. The house and the gardens are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the summer, but winter hours vary, so make sure to check before heading out. General admission to the grounds is $15 for adults and $10 for children, but entry to the house and tour participation costs extra. For more information, visit the home's website.