Our adventure this past weekend was to explore Magnolia Plantation, just across the Ashley River from our rental condo. We’ve been excited about this visit since we arrived in town and had planned to go for Annabeth’s birthday. The grounds did not disappoint! I was unimpressed by the plantation house but maybe I was spoiled by the ones in Louisiana.
The property has been in the same family since 1676 and is still managed by their descendants. The gardens have been open to the public since 1870, making it the oldest public garden in America. You could easily spend all day walking the gardens and taking tours. They offer a river boat tour of the rice fields, a tour of the plantation house, the swamp tour, the nature tram, and the award winning slavery to freedom tour.
We were there for over 3 hours and did not nearly see everything. We chose to tour the plantation house because this was TJ’s first ever visit to a plantation! We also did half of the Swamp walk and got to see several alligators, two babies were sunbathing along the path. They offer plenty to do even without the tours.
The petting zoo was adorable! Goats, geese, ducks, peacocks, and deer freely roamed the area. Quarter machines were at the entry with food for them. A small room housed some snakes and there was even a display of poison ivy! I was so excited for Annabeth to see the pasture with 3 mini horses but she could care less. There was a replica of a cargo boat that would have been used at the time to transfer goods down river to the port. The boat was a research project done by a local university using construction methods and materials of that time. We even found a small cemetery that had someone buried as recently as the 90s.
We will be getting a membership, as soon as we are official residents of South Carolina. Please come visit us and we’ll take you! Plus, they’re doing a ladybug release party in July that I cannot wait to take Annabeth to. She gets a box of ladybugs and brings them to her own special place in the garden, then all the kids set them free at the same time! There also doing a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party this coming Saturday… Complete with life-sized chess and flamingo croquet.