Visiting South Carolina plantations is an increasingly popular activity in South Carolina and throughout the south. Not only are the homes and buildings quite elaborate, but often the grounds of plantations in South Carolina are excellent places for touring and enjoying. There are quite a number of South Carolina plantations open for tours and viewing in South Carolina, and in fact the state was spared some of the more dire destruction visited on plantations further south during the American Civil War. Most plantations in South Carolina charge a fee for guest viewing.
Middleton Place Plantation
Middleton Place Plantation is located just north of Charleston, about 15 minutes outside of town. This famous home was once inhabited by the Middleton Family. Arthur Middleton signed the Declaration of Independence, and today Middleton Place Plantation is on the list of National Historic Landmarks. The plantation is surrounded by one of Charleston’s most beautiful gardens and grounds, and the house is also well-maintained. Admission to the gardens and the house are priced separately; the cost is around $20 to enter the garden and an additional $10 to tour the house. Adjacent to the house is a small restaurant which features its own restaurant, a popular place to stop and grab lunch, especially during the summer months. Although the Middleton Place Plantation house was partially burned during the Civil War, it was restored and the house is in great shape for guests.
Once inhabited by the Gibbes family of Charleston, Ashtabula Plantation is still one of the most popular South Carolina plantations to visit outside the city. The Ashtabula Plantation house dates to the early 19th century and was fully restored in the 1960s when it was donated to the Foundation for Historic Restoration. Cost of entry is around $5 for adults and $2 for children. The plantation is open during the spring and summer daily and during the winter by appointment only.
The Magnolia Plantation is one of the busiest South Carolina plantations outside the city of Charleston. Not only is Magnolia still owned and occupied by its original family, who has lived there since the 17th century, but the grounds are the site of numerous weddings, a large swamp garden for touring and some of the most exquisite antique furniture available for viewing. As such, young children (under age 6) are not allowed to tour the house, but are allowed in the gardens. Cost for admission is around $13 for adults and $7 for children. The plantation is open to the public from 10am until 5pm daily in the winter and from 8am until 5:30pm daily in the summer.
Walnut Grove Plantation
The Walnut Grove Plantation is located just south of Spartanburg. This is one of the best plantations in South Carolina to visit if you want to see a colonial-style house. The home was built in the 18th century and contains pieces from the 18th and 19th century, and has been totally restored. Admission prices are under $5 per person, and the plantation is open to the public from 11am until 5pm during the week, and from 2pm until 5pm on Sundays.