Beautiful gardens and rich history join together at Magnolia Gardens
Magnolia Gardens, founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America. Visitors were welcome to explore the Magnolia Plantations and Gardens since 1870. There’s defintiely no shortage of the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants within these historical gardens.
The romantic-style gardens include some sections that are more than 325 years old! Among the abundance of flowers that are found at this site, some popular flowers include camellias, daffodils, and azaleas. Once you visit the gardens, you’ll learn that The Romantic Garden movement has its roots in the industrial revolution in Europe.
Exploring the gardens isn’t the only thing to do at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Ther are guided tour of the Drayton family home. The current main House was built prior to the Revolutionary War near Summerville, South Carolina and floated down the Ashley River to Magnolia after the Civil War. Visitors have access to ten rooms that furnished with early-American antiques, porcelain, quilts, and other Drayton family heirlooms. Quick Fact: William Posey Silva (1859-1948) was a Charleston Renaissance artist. He referred to Magnolia as “The Garden of Dreams” in his paintings of the gardens. Original paintings by Silva can be seen in the main House.
Ever been on a tram tour? Well, you might just get to experience a tram tour of the plantation’s wetlands, lakes, forests, and marshes. Naturalist guides help you spot alligators, turtles, egrets, and herons in native habitats. Be on the lookout for the guide to help you spot an alligator sliding off a bank or a great blue heron spearing a fish.
Rice Field Boat Tours at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens will take you back into history and glide you through Magnolia’s old flooded ricefield along the Ashley River. Make sure to grab your binoculars and cameras because you’ll get to see Lowcountry animals like alligators, stalking fish, frogs, a flock of wood ducks or even catch a grackle in the process of building its nest.
Other tours and attractions at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens include The Magnolia Cabin Project Tour, the Zoo and Nature Center, Swamp Garden, Peacock Cafe, Bird Walks, and of course the gift shop (memories are important)!
Plan your next experience at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens by checking out their site!
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
3550 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414