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Charleston: Magnolia Plantation

Let’s talk about Charleston some more, hmmmm?

We did so much while we were there and by the end of the week we were tired. It was a lot of go-go-go and Dale said to me on Thursday night, do you want to just go to the beach tomorrow? He knows I love the beach and his offer was very very tempting. But when I got up Friday morning I thought, NO. We can go to the beach at home but you know what we can’t do at home? Visit a plantation. So off we went to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

In some ways Magnolia is similar to Boone Hall. There is a big, beautiful mansion. Seriously. Would ya look at that porch? And it goes all.the.way.around. I could picture myself sitting there, drinking a lovely glass of wine and reading a book. Oh yes.

Also like Boone Hall, there are live oaks. And slave cabins. But unlike Boone Hall, admission at Magnolia is sort of a la carte. General admission gets you in the door and you can stroll the grounds and look at the gardens and wildlife all you want. But if you want to see the slave cabins it’s an extra charge and, while I would have liked to have gotten closer for pictures, we didn’t think we’d learn much new so we passed on that part. All of this is just a really long way of saying this is as close as we got to the slave cabins.

Honestly, though, that a la carte pricing is pretty good. We chose to do the nature tram and the nature boat in addition to our general admission. We had to wait a bit for our time on those two rides so we walked the gardens and they are beautiful.

There are several ponds and a couple of bridges. The flowers are plentiful and gorgeous and, even though we missed the camellias and we were too early for the azaleas there was still plenty of things in bloom. Including, although I’m not sharing a photo today, amaryllis. That’s right – amaryllis growing outdoors in the ground. I thought of all of my amaryllis loving blog friends when I saw those!

The gardens at Magnolia cover a lot of acreage and they aren’t as formal as the ones at Boone Hall. They are more free form and wild and I really enjoyed walking the paths and seeing all of the scenery.

There is also lots of wildlife at Magnolia. This is an Anhinga and there were several of those on the property. We also saw a Little Blue Heron, lots of Egrets and a Black Crowned Night Heron, too.

There are peacocks just strolling around. That blue is gorgeous and was so vibrant in the sunshine.

And this Great Blue Heron posed for me for quite a while. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten as close to one as I have to this guy. (Don’t forget to click on the pictures today and see them full sized. It’s much better.)

Finally, the other thing that is abundant at Magnolia is alligators. We saw quite a few although we never saw one completely out of the water. Honestly, that eye ball staring at me was enough.

And the portion of this one’s back right there? I can only imagine how much more of him is below the water. Shudder.

The guides at Magnolia were really informative and talked a lot about the alligators and the life cycle of all of the wildlife there. We saw turtles and ducklings and so much more. We had a great lunch from their cafe – I had a pimento cheese sandwich and three bean salad because, you know, when in the south . . . and it was a really great day.

Would the beach have been more relaxing? Absolutely. But was going to Magnolia Plantation the best decision? You bet.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Magnolia is a gorgeous place! As part of their a la carte pricing, I would pay plenty to sit on that porch and knit (with rocking chair and iced tea included)!

  2. When in the South…good job of taking in the local scenery and attractions. That’s quite a porch! I’d love to join Bonny and anyone else willing to sit with us.

  3. I have never seen an alligator, despite multiple visits to Florida state parks. Lucky? you.

  4. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos. I am enjoying being an “armchair traveler” with the both of you.

  5. I think it’s ALWAYS best to tour the gardens! 🙂
    When we used to stay on Kiawah, we saw LOTS of alligators. At first, they really freaked me out. But after a few years, they just seemed like a normal part of the scenery. Amazing.
    What a wonderful travelogue! Thanks for taking us along. XO

  6. What a beautiful day – I’m really intrigued by all the birds and flowers … and that there are no other people in your photos; I always imagine those places being packed with tourists! and who would imagine alligator sightings on both our blogs 😉

  7. Can’t believe I missed this post–where did yesterday go? The plantation is amazing–it makes you want to put on a corset (for that tiny waist)’ grab your parasol and just glide around enjoying the setting!

  8. I went to a wedding held at that plantation a few years back… it was simply breath-taking!

  9. Never smile at a crocodile! I’m now very intrigued by other Charleston offerings, your trip gives me other ideas of where to go next time I go there. My next business trip is to Baltimore where I plan to eat my weight in crab unless you have better ideas!.

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