Visitors know they have arrived somewhere special as they enter the grounds of Hopsewee Plantation amid ancient, twisting live oaks draped with Spanish moss and colorful gardens of Southern wildflowers. The river flows by as time melts away before your very eyes at this colonial-era homestead.
Hopsewee is a hidden gem on the SC coast — Photo courtesy of Hopsewee Plantation
With the Sun Fun City of Myrtle Beach to the north and the first shot of the Civil War fired just to the south, Hopsewee serves as a bridge between modern vacationers and a different place in history. Located just across the North Santee River from the historic port city of Georgetown, Hopsewee is a living testament to Lowcountry plantation living at a simpler time and in a charming place.
The Hopsewee Plantation house, constructed before the start of the Revolutionary War in 1740, is a preservation rather than a restoration of a typical 18th century plantation home on the South Carolina coast. Because the house has been continuously occupied over the years to this day and has only been owned by five different families during its rich history, Hopsewee remains largely as it did centuries ago and has never fallen into decay. The Lynch, Hume and Lucas families operated it as a rice plantation for over 150 years.
Although modern conveniences have been added and the furnishings are more current, Hopsewee still stands on its original brick foundation and remains framed by the same black cypress woodwork of other plantation homes of the era and area. A lovely staircase and hand-carved molding attest to the outstanding craftsmanship.
Hopsewee House has stood the test of time — Photo courtesy of Hopsewee House
Guests can take a guided tour of the home from the attic to the cellar, learning about the history of the house and its occupants throughout the centuries. Visitors can also see the former rice fields that once produced incredible wealth for the families that called this place home.
To get the full Hopsewee Plantation experience, take a stroll down the wooded trails that run by the river and through the maritime forests to see breath-taking scenes of the Lowcountry wetlands and wildlife. Guests can also take part in basket-weaving using native sweetgrass, a Gullah culture craft that is still practiced. Also make sure to visit the River Oak Cottage Tea Room, where a variety of Lowcountry soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts are served while enjoying a cup of tea in a lovely setting.
Hopsewee Plantation is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm and noon to 4 pm on Saturdays. Admission for adults is $17.50, ages 12-17 for $10.50, and children 5–11 for $7.50. Reservations are recommended and tours are available by appointment only in December and January. For more information or to make a reservation, call 800-979-3370 or visit www.hopsewee.com.