Charleston Sights

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Drayton Hall

Stariway

Fodorite Reviews

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Drayton Hall Review

Considered the nation's finest example of unspoiled Palladian-inspired architecture, this mansion is the only plantation house on the Ashley River to have survived the Civil War intact. A National Trust Historic Site built between 1738 and 1742, it's an invaluable lesson in history as well as in architecture. The home has been left unfurnished to highlight the original plaster moldings, opulent hand-carved woodwork, and other ornamental details. Regular tours, with guides known for their in-depth knowledge, depart on the half hour and give wonderful insight into the people who once inhabited and built this fabled house. Visitors can also see the African-American graveyard and even take part in the 45-minute "Connections" program that uses maps, historic documents, and artifacts to trace the story of Africans from their journey to America, through slavery, and into the 20th century.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 3380 Ashley River Rd., West Ashley, Charleston, SC, 29414 | Map It
  • Phone: 843/769–2600
  • Cost: $18 (combination ticket with Magnolia Plantation, $24)
  • Hours: Mon.–Sat. 9–3:30, Sun. 11–3:30
  • Website:
  • Location: West of the Ashley River
Updated: 11-19-2012

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Perfect for history buffs

    This tour was part of the Heritage pass but was on the list anyway. The tour guide was informative and this home gave us the most insight into the area.

    by cbr, 7/31/08
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    Good value, pure history

    Drayton Hall is less expensive than the surrounding plantations, and more authentic, with the original house still standing. Guides are friendly and informative, providing a nice mix of history and culture, with amusing anecdotes of the family history. There are also picnic tables and two walks to explore.

    by emarie22, 9/25/08
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    Best area plantation house

    This is the only Charleston-area plantation house to survive the Civil War. It's a stunner to visit, not refurbished at all, but shown in its striking, raw glory. Gorgeous outside and still containing much of its interior architectural ornament. The tour is very informative and nicely done. There's not much else here (no gardens to speak of, two modest trails), but the house needs no extras to make its impression. This and the other Ashley River plantations can now be visited via a shuttle service, allowing an "Ease" rating of 5 for those without a car. An absolute must, and the plantation to see if you can only see one.

    by bachslunch, 3/31/09

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