Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Spring Azalea Bloom Spring Azalea Bloom © 2014 Audra L. Gibson


Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a favorite of many Charleston locals, including quite a few Charleston tour guides, for good reason. It is a delight for history and nature lovers alike. It is the oldest public gardens site in America and the oldest tourist site in the Lowcountry, opening to visitors in 1870. It has a rich history having witnessed and survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, and beyond. It's richness of history may only be surpassed by the natural free-flowing beauty of this place. Award winning gardens, excellent bird watching, a unique Audubon Swamp, historic house tour, zoo and nature center are only some of its highlights.  



$15 Adult Tickets • $10 Kids Tickets (age 6-12) • Children under 6 enter free.

General Admission to Magnolia Plantation includes the Historic Gardens, Zoo, the Conservatory, Orientation Theater, and old African American Cabin, as well as the gift shop and Peacok Cafe. You may want to allow an hour or more to enjoy the maze and the gardens which are extensive. The zoo will give visitors an introduction to Lowcountry animals and includes some local rescues such as white-tailed deer and foxes. The zoo also includes goats and a variety of other animals and birds including beautiful peacocks. The Orientation Theater will give guests an overview of the plantation's rich history and runs continuously during the plantation's operating hours. 



Traveling Ink guests are eligible for a discount on general admission. Click here for a coupon for Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.


Sometimes the grass really does seem greener on the other side.                   © 2013 Audra L. Gibson



Guests can also enjoy additional aspects of the plantation including tours of the historic home and other tours which give more access and insight to different parts of the plantation. Offerings include the following:

Plantation House Tour • $8 per guest

A 30 minute guided tour giving a history of plantation life and Drayton family ownership.

Nature Train • $8 per guest

A 45 minute tram tour of the plantation's diverse landscapes, lakes, woodlands, marshes, and rivers with a guided description of plantation history and wildlife.

Nature Boat • $8 per guest

A 45 minute boat ride that explores the plantation's expansive rice fields and marsh land. This tour offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities including guest appearances by local alligators.

Slavery to Freedom • $8 per guest

A 45 minute tour that discusses Magnolia's unique row of slave cabins that were occupied well into the 20th century and have been carefully preserved and restored. Each cabin reflects a different period of the African-American experience at Magnolia, from slavery to Reconstruction on through the 1920s and the Civil Rights era.

Audubon Swamp Garden • $8 per guest

A black water cypress and tupelo swamp home to turtles, herons, egrets, bald eagles, otters, and alligators. Once a freshwater reservoir used for rice cultivation, the 60 acres is traversed by boardwalks and bridges enabling guests to enjoy the variety of local mammals, birds, and reptiles. Guests should allow at least an hour to explore the swamp on this self-guided walk. 


Egret in Audubon Swamp, Magnolia Gardens, Charleston SC

Egrets in the Audubon Swamp at Magnolia work on nest building.                  © 2014 Audra L. Gibson



Address: 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414

Phone: (843) 571-1266



This Charleston plantation is open 365 days a year including major holidays. From November through February, the plantation is open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with ticket sales ending at 4:00 p.m. The first week of March through October, operating hours extend from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.



Comfortable shoes, a camera, bug repellent during warmer afternoons, and sunscreen or hat for those with sensitive skin.


source: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 12:51


Magnolia Plantation Testimony

Lovely spot. The tram tour was so interesting. The guide was very knowledgeable. We saw a lot of wildlife - gators of all sizes. It was well worth the money.

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Traveling Ink is a website dedicated to the great city of Charleston, SC, the surrounding area, and those who love travel. It is part travel writing venture and part online concierge service. When it comes to travel, it is not just about the amazing places we explore, the summits we may climb, or the things we learn along the way, but who we share those adventures with. Let us know how we can help/inform/inspire/serve you today.

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