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Charleston Sights

Middleton Place

  • 4300 Ashley River Rd. Map It
  • West Ashley
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 10/03/2014

Fodor's Review

This former plantation is home to America's oldest landscaped gardens, begun in 1741 by Henry Middleton, second president of the First Continental Congress. From camellias to roses, blooms of all seasons form floral allées (alleys) along terraced lawns and around a pair of ornamental lakes that are shaped like butterfly wings. As for the house, a large part of the three-building residential complex was destroyed during the Civil War, but the "South flanker" that

contained the gentlemen's guest quarters was restored. It now serves as a house museum, displaying impressive English silver, furniture, original paintings, and historic documents, including an early silk copy of the Declaration of Independence. In the stableyards, historic interpreters use authentic tools to demonstrate spinning, weaving, blacksmithing, and other skills from the plantation era. Heritage-breed farm animals, such as water buffalo and cashmere goats, are housed here, along with peacocks. If all this leaves you feeling peckish, head over to the cozy Middleton Place Restaurant for excellent Lowcountry specialties for lunch and dinner. Dinner guests can walk the gardens and stableyards from 5 until dusk. There is also a high-end (but not overpriced) museum gift shop that carries local arts and crafts, plus a Garden Market and Nursery with a lunch café. You can stay overnight at the contemporary Inn at Middleton Place, where floor-to-ceiling windows splendidly frame the Ashley River. Kayaking excursions depart from the inn, and the Middleton Equestrian Center offers trail rides.

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Sight Information

Address:

4300 Ashley River Rd., Charleston, South Carolina, 29414, United States

Map It

Phone:

800-782–3608; 843-556–6020

Sight Details:

  • General admission $29, house tour $15, carriage tours $18; $49 combination ticket includes Edmonston-Alston House
  • Gardens daily 9–5; house museum Mon. noon–4:30, Tues.–Sun. 10– 4:30

Updated 10/03/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

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Mar 31, 2009

Large plantation with splendid gardens

Big sprawling Ashley River plantation with expansive and somewhat formal gardens. The house (partly rebuilt after the Civil War) is nice enough and has several personal items and furnishings, seen via a tour that's short but informative. The gardens are extensive and splendid (has an allied tour), and there are several out-buildings. House and carriage tours cost extra. Well worth a visit.

By cbr

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Jul 31, 2008

Interesting property

We visited Middleton as part of the Heritage pass. It only allowed the property which was fine since we had seen many homes. It is a beautiful property but very expensive to visit. There were no guides or people in the garden area to ask questions. A few were available in the farm area. With such a high fee we expected more.

By Lesa

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Jul 6, 2005

Beautiful Landscaping

Visited last week with some friends from Boston and had a good time. We had free tickets for the grounds and stable tour so we spent the extra $10 for the house tour. Honestly dont think I would have spent the $10 for the house tour if we had to pay the $20 for the grounds and stable tour. We did eat in the restaurant and enjoyed our lunch&they have a pre-fix menu for $13.95 that includes appetizer, main course and dessert (which is a sampler

of 5 desserts). The artisans in the stable yard were interesting; however, it would have been better if they were in character like you see at Plymouth Plantation and Williamsburg. We did see a small gator sun bathing as we came over the Rice Mill Pond Bridge&a little too close for comfort but pretty cool. The house tour was average&only lasted 30 minutes (a bit short for $10) and focused mainly on the paintings of the family members. The property is quite beautiful and a great place for strolling around and taking pictures.

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By Donna

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Jan 20, 2003

Gardens are Grand

The draw here are the gardens - they are extensive and even in late summer lovely. The wildlife is also wonderful - we saw heron, flying fish, birds - even gators (yes, they come in from the river and small ones were lounging by the ponds!). Lunch at the onsite restaurant was excellent, but pricey. The least impressive part of the grounds is the house. The original house was burnt during the civil war and so the primary residence was changed to

existing offices on the property. The furnishings are fine, but the rooms are dark and for the price, not worth the tour. I would return to the gardens, not the house - you can pay for either or both.

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