Whenever we go anywhere we’re usually on a quest for two things: sweet treats and teatime.Needless to say our trip to Charleston, South Carolina did not disappoint. Between the boutique bakeries, coffee shops and southern belle atmosphere we got our fill of treats.
Wanting to add some history to the mix, we were quite sure any (and every) plantation around the south would surely be hosting a teatime at sometime. Alas, I fear I may watch too many Gone with the Wind-like films because Magnolia didn’t have tea time. Thankfully they did have an abundance of gardens, a plantation and a gift shop, which for the afternoon would have to suffice.
Upon entering Magnolia, visitors are ushered into a small building right at the entrance to watch the official history film. While very interesting the film is a little longer and not a great add to your day if you’re hoping to save time or have little ones.
You can watch the video here if you’re interested in the history but don’t have the half hour. It truly is an interesting watch.
A classic Romantic Garden you’ll find sculptured gardens, wild flowers, and winding paths. The Drayton family has owned this property for more than 300 years and has a lovely rich history you’ll want to learn.
Be sure to grab a map. The plantation gardens are expansive and many of the areas are numbered so that you can follow along on the map or at least keep track of where you’ve been or at least parked your car.
Filled with statues and bridges the plantation runs alongside a river that used to act as a trade route and allow rafts to pull up right alongside the grounds with goods. This means that you will see the occasional alligator swimming along so be aware of your marsh-like surroundings.
We love the Spanish moss that hangs from so many of the trees we see in the south and while we did get our fill of the scenery it was a nice surprise to see a Japanese section of the gardens. A nod to the trends coming over from Europe and Asia the bamboo reaches tall and bends over walkways, steps down into the waters and is littered with little Japanese statues.
One of the many showstoppers in the garden is the large white bridge that crosses the pond. Directly to the left of the back entrance of the plantation it’s an ideal spot for photos.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the southern United States you have plenty of time before temperatures drop to take a stroll through Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. A leisurely way to spend an afternoon you can plan for about 3 hours of meandering.