Middleton Place#14 in Best Things To Do in Charleston, SC
If there were ever a place to stop and smell the roses, this house would be it. Built in 1755, this mansion was once the home of Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Today, Middleton Place houses an impressive collection of historic furniture and portraits (all originally owned by the Middleton family), plus a stable with heritage-bred animals. Visitors can also watch historical re-enactors demonstrate the skills and technology used on an 18th-century plantation or take a carriage or specialized tour. Just make sure you save time to treat yourself to a bite to eat at the Middleton Place Restaurant, where the menu is inspired by traditional low country cuisine and features items like shrimp and grits and collard greens.
According to most reviewers, however, the real reason to visit Middleton Place is to see the gardens. Modeled after traditional French gardens, the 65-acre grounds are peppered with camellias, azaleas, magnolias and myrtle throughout the year.
Recent visitors agreed this historic home is beautiful, though some cringe at the high cost of admission: $29 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 to 13. General admission includes complimentary guided walking tours and full exploration of the gardens (all 65 acres). Expect to pay additional fees for guided tours of the house museum and carriage tours. Middleton Place is located about 16 miles northwest of downtown Charleston along the Ashley River. It is open every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Middleton Place website.
More Best Things To Do in Charleston, SC
#1 The Battery
Many visitors say you can't leave Charleston without seeing this stretch along the city's southern tip, which they call beautiful and a must-visit. This row of Southern-style mansions overlooking Charleston Harbor was formerly the heart and soul of the city's maritime activity. Today, the area attracts camera-toting tourists from all over the country.
As you explore this picturesque neighborhood, make sure to also spend some time in the nearby White Point Garden, where several Civil War relics and memorials commemorate the city's role in the battle. Start your tour of the Battery at the 12-acre Waterfront Park (home to the giant pineapple fountain featured on many Charleston postcards), then follow the walking paths on East Battery Street for the nearly mile-long stroll to White Point Garden. If you're staying at one of the hotels or bed-and-breakfasts located downtown, you can easily walk along the Battery from your digs. If you're driving to the Battery, you'll find some limited street parking, and some lots closer to Waterfront Park. Bus route No. 211 provides service to Waterfront Park and East Bay Street. Several of the city's best walking tours make stops along the Battery. If you're interested in the history of the mansions or the promenade's role in the Civil War, consider signing up for a tour.
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