Fodor's Expert Review Drayton Hall
Considered the nation's finest example of Palladian-inspired architecture, Drayton Hall 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 paint a vivid picture of the people who once inhabited this fabled house. Visitors can also see the African American cemetery and even take part in the 45-minute "Connections" program that uses maps and historic documents to trace the story of Africans from their journey to America, through slavery, and into the 20th century.