Charleston, SC -- Plantations

Aug 25th, 2009, 01:00 PM
  #1  
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Charleston, SC -- Plantations

I am planning a trip to Charleston with my sister and grown daughter. We will have one day with a rented car to see sights outside the downtown historical district and are looking forward to the plantations (Middleton, Drayton Hall, Magnolia and Boone). Can all four be seen in one day? Is it overkill to see all four? Which ones are the best to do if we need to narrow it down? Is there anything else that we should do/see while we have a car? Thanks for the help!
anneht is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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If it were me, I would see two. The two I would choose are Drayton Hall and Middleton Place. Drayton Hall has a fantastic tour, as well as the oldest Georgian style house in the US. Middleton Place has the oldest planned gardens in the US and they are spectacular in the spring, but still worth seeing the rest of the year. Both of these are very close together and you could easily see them in a day.
BetsyinKY is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 01:16 PM
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Depending on how much time you want to spend, you could see all but Boone Hall in a day -- I did so.

Drayton Hall, Middleton Place, and Magnolia Plantation are not far from each other on Ashley River Road, though if you see and do everything at just the last two of these, you could easily spend a full day (Drayton takes less time, as its grounds are not as extensive). I liked all three very much, but if I had to omit one of these three, it would be Magnolia. Drayton has arguably the most interesting house, while Middleton arguably has the best grounds and gardens.

Am guessing adding in Boone Hall to the other three would definitely be rushed overkill, even with a car.
bachslunch is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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One fun thing at Middleton is the carriage ride through the marsh. During warm months you will see gaters.
suewoo is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 07:12 AM
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We managed to do 2, but didn't have our own car and relied on a shuttle service. We spent about 2 hours at Drayton Hall, from 9:30-11:30, spending somne time walking around the grounds, and an hour on the house tour. This is very worthwhile, and I highly recommend including Drayton if you are picking and choosing. It's a very short drive from here to Middleton, where we spent a couple more hours, taking the house tour, having lunch, and walking in the gardens. We left around 2. I could have definitely spent another hour here, as I would have liked to take the carriage ride through the grounds.

It would be possible to squeeze in a little time at Magnolia too, as bachslunch did as it is close by. But I'm not sure it would be worth it as you wouldn't have much time and the admission is expensive. Plus, it's a lot of walking time if you really want to see the grounds. On the other hand, if the gardens don't really interest you as much, it could be done.

I was very happy with my choice of Drayton and Middleton, much of which was based on advice I got here. But if I had another half a day, I would have gone to Magnolia if only to take the boat tour in the swamp!
china_cat is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 10:25 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for all the help -- thinking we will just do Drayton and Middleton. Are there any interesting (meaning not too touristy) places in the area to eat lunch?
anneht is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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We just returned from Charleston and had a wonderful time.We also had the problem of which plantation to choose. I kept viewing over and over again the website for Boone Plantation and really wanted to see those oak trees with the spanish moss. So we did pick Boone for our first plantation. The drive alone is worth the trip. I couldn't get over how impressive it was seeing those trees. Being from NJ, you don't really see anything like that here up 'north'. They did have a house tour which was okay (only allowed in first floor), slave cabins to explore, a butterfly conservatory (kind of small but nice) and the gullah tour (which we heard rave reviews for but didn't have time to stay for the next tour).

The next day we did head out to Magnolia's. I was more or less set on doing the self guided gardens tour. It was a long walk but very interesting. We did see an alligator and some wildlife. It was a nice change up. We didn't get a chance to stop at Drayton or Middleton, but I am sure which ever you choose you will be fine. Just keep in mind that some of these plantations charge 'a la carte' so you will pay an entrance fee, but if you want to do additional tours, they may cost extra. Visiting their websites ahead of time helped - so I wasn't sticker shocked when we got there.

It was our first time to Charleston and we will definitely go back! - Susan
SSypniewski is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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There's a restaurant on the grounds at Middleton. It will be full of tourists visiting the grounds, but it's nice enough. At least it was when I was there. That's way across town for me so I don't have current info on the restaurants on Ashley River Road.
suewoo is offline  

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