History Lives: Visit Charleston's Antebellum Plantations to Picnic, Explore and Learn

When touring Charleston, visitors may too often overlook the beautiful and historically meaningful areas located just off the city's small peninsula, including many parks, beaches and centuries-old plantations. Making a visit to the quiet, shady plantation grounds in the surrounding lowcountry can make for the ideal day trip for any traveler, especially families with children. Variety abounds in the historical features, facilities, and types of tours available at each plantation. Come January, visit Boone Hall Plantation alongside hundreds of Charlestonians at the Lowcountry Oyster Festival, or admire the Azaleas in bloom at the oldest unrestored gardens in the U.S. at Magnolia Plantation.

If you're traveling as a family, consider bringing the kids to Charles Towne Landing, home to the original South Carolina colony settlement, and a National Historic Site complete with life size colonial merchant ship and petting zoo. If you're up for a slightly longer road trip, visit Pick Pocket Plantation in Beaufort to enjoy its twice weekly Farmer's Market as well as face painting and pony rides!

Fancy yourself a tea lover? Plan a visit to America's only tea plantation, just a short drive from downtown Charleston. The Charleston Tea Plantation offers factory tours, trolley tours, and all the tea you can drink! Looking for an overnight  romantic escape from the city? Stay in a historic B & B built in the early 1700's to enjoy bird watching, nature walks and plantation breakfasts at Mansfield Plantation in Georgetown. 



Built in the year 1740 before the American Revolution, Hopsewee Plantation originally served as a rice plantation on the North banks of the North Santee River, and on fields across the river on Lynche's Island. This U.S. National Historic...  Read More

Pick Pocket Plantation
Photo courtesy of Pick Pocket Plantation


Built in the mid nineteenth century in present day Beaufort, SC, Pick Pocket Plantation spans 15 acres and is home to nine historical buildings, including its restored plantation house. The property was originally a truck farm, or a farm that...  Read More

Hampton Plantation State Park


The Hampton Plantation Park and Mansion, dating back to circa year 1735, is located about 16 miles south of Georgetown, which is situated just a short drive from Charleston closer to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Once home to Archibald Rutledge,...  Read More



If you're planning to explore the city's sensational gardens and area historical plantations while in Charleston, the Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island is a great place to start. Set against a timeless backdrop of towering oaks, verdant fields...  Read More



Established in 1718 on the banks of the Black River in present day Georgetown, Mansfield Plantation served primarily as a rice plantation, common for lowcountry plantations. This plantation, covering almost 1,000 acres, is on the National...  Read More

Northwest Charleston
Drayton Hall


Plantations were once a common fixture around Charleston, South Carolina, which is home to a wealth of other important United States historic sites and attractions. The sole surviving whole intact Ashley River plantation, Drayton Hall is a...  Read More



Set on land where the Carolinas' first permanent British settlers made their home in 1670, this 664-acre park property offers not only beautiful surroundings but a living history lesson that the whole family can enjoy. Found onsite are extensive...  Read More



Home to the country's oldest public gardens, this 17th-century Charleston lowcountry plantation also boasts one of the largest collections of azaleas and camellias in all of the United States. Take advantage of both the nature train and boat...  Read More

Middleton Place


Middleton Place Plantation is not only a National Historic Landmark, but also America's oldest landscaped gardens, and a great place to spend a day with the family outside the city. Enjoy Middleton Place's Camellias in winter, vibrant Azaleas in...  Read More

Boone Hall Plantation
Photo courtesy of Boone Hall Plantation


An iconic row of ancient live oak trees welcomes you to one of America's oldest living and working plantations, and one of the most famous plantations in the South. Boone Hall Plantation is set on 783 acres and established in 1681, and was...  Read More


Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare is always venturing between traveling abroad and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown Charleston, spending her days...  More About Clare