A plantation is considered to be a large farm on which most of the work was done by slaves.
South Carolina is home to about 2,000 of these plantations, many today are tourist attractions and still serve as family homes and active farms. On our trip to South Carolina, we stopped at a few of these plantations that are considered to be the most popular or the best, depending on who you ask. Boone Hall Plantation, Magnolia Plantation and The Charleston Tea Plantation are three of the most popular in and around Charleston.
Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens may be recognizable by many due to it’s moss-draped 3/4 mile Avenue of Oaks seen on the movie, The Notebook. Many scenes from the movie occurred at the plantation. Remember when Ryan was driving down the driveway and hit the mailbox and wrecked his truck? That happened here, but not on purpose. Fun fact: It was actually by accident and they just wrote it into the storyline.
Also, when the couple were jumping into the lake – this was also filmed at Boone Hall. Another fun fact: It was freezing the day they filmed them jumping into the lake, if you look closely you may see their breathe on screen. Many of these fun facts are mentioned on the tractor carriage ride which takes you around the perimeter of the entire plantation. You are able to see many active crops, gardens, and beautiful oak trees while learning a little history of the plantation.
You can also take a short guided tour through the main building. People still live in this house, so that is why you can only see part of the residence. The parts of the home you actually do tour are probably just as big if not bigger than my own house! You may also tour the slave cabins through a self-guided walking tour. The Plantation is beautiful, but it wasn’t one of our favorites. If we could only recommend one, it would have to be Magnolia Plantation.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens was my favorite plantation that we toured. We spent just about the whole day walking around and seeing all the beautiful plants and nature. We only bought tickets for the garden, but I heard the Audubon Swamp Garden is amazing and I kind of wish we spent the little extra to check it out. The garden is America’s last large-scale romantic garden. It’s just adorable with all it’s little bridges and ponds. It even has a maze that you can have fun walking through!
This plantation was built in 1676 and has survived the American Revolution, The Civil War, and beyond. I don’t believe anyone lives in the house currently, but you may take a walking tour through the home at an extra cost. Also, the gift shop on the lower level is amazing. I bought way more than I had planned.
The Charleston Tea Plantation is America’s only tea garden. Which I never realized until we visited. It’s the home of American Classic Tea and Bigelow Tea. The plantation offers free factory tours or you may pay to take the trolley around the grounds to see the picturesque views and acres of tea plants. The gift shop was fun because you can sample all of their seasonal teas for free. Grab as many samples as you want while you walk around. During the factory tour, I found out how fascinating the process of making tea really is. You never realize how intricate the process is until you actually see it.
Side note: On our way to the Charleston Tea Plantation driving from Summerville, we made a pit stop to see the Angel Oak Tree. This tree was magnificent and breathtaking. Pictures don’t do it justice. You will never see anything like it elsewhere.
*Love & Gratitude
Crystal & Shane