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Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

The White Bridge at Magnolia Plantation
The White Bridge at Magnolia Plantation All photos © Audra L. Gibson

The Appeal of Magnolia Plantation

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.


Plantation General Admission

Adults (ages 13 and over) $29
Children (ages 6-12) $15
Young Children (under 6) Free of Charge

*Adult pricing is before Traveling Ink discount. Click here for coupon. 

General Admission to Magnolia Plantation includes the Historic Gardens, Zoo, the Conservatory, the Slavery to Freedom slave cabins, 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.

Magnolia Plantation Discount - Coupon for Traveling Ink Guests

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


An alligator slides through one of the ponds at Magnolia Plantation. © 2013 Audra L. Gibson. All Rights Reserved.
An alligator slides through one of the ponds at Magnolia Plantation.



Additional Tours

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 • $15 per guest (children under 6 are free).

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

Nature Train • $10 per guest (children under 6 are free).

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 • $10 per guest (children under 6 are free).

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 • Complimentary with Garden Admission.

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 • $10 per guest (children under 6 are free).

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. 

Historic Garden Walk • $10 per guest (children under 6 are free).

Staff of Magnolia Plantation & Gardens will guide guests on a 45 minute walking tour of the gorgeous gardens onsite. Guests will learn about rice cultivation, Magnolia's role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and the history of various landmarks like historic bridges and statues throughout the gardens. In addition to learning this rich history, your guide will point out various blooms including the famous Magnolia azaleas and camelia gardens. Well-mannered, leashed dogs are welcome to accompany their owners on this tour.


Magnolia Egret 0276 845x311
Egrets in the Audubon Swamp at Magnolia work on nest building.



Need Transportation and Discounted Tickets to Magnolia Plantation?

Guests who do not have transportation available and need more than just a coupon are encouraged to purchase round-trip transportation and entrance into the plantation for one low price. Transportation leaves daily from the Charleston Visitor's Bureau bus pick-up area downtown at 10:30am daily and returns guests from their trip to Magnolia 4.5 hrs later at 3:00pm. Ticket price includes round-trip transportation out to the Charleston plantation in a climate controlled vehicle, General Admission fee, Historic Garden Walk Tour, and Nature Train admission fee. Ticket price does not include lunch, but guests are encouraged to bring money (cash or credit) to purchase lunch or snacks from Magnolia's Peacock Cafe. Purchase transportation and ticketing by clicking below.

Purchase Ticket and Transportation to Magnolia Plantation with our coupon code.
Make use of our Magnolia Plantation coupon code at checkout: travelingink10

Magnolia Plantation Address

Address: 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414

Phone: (843) 571-1266

Plantation Hours

This Charleston plantation, featuring America's only large-scale Romantic Garden, is open 364 days a year. Magnolia Plantation's hours of operation are from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with ticket sales ending at 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve, the plantation closes two hours early at 3:00 p.m. Magnolia is closed Christmas day.



Sometimes the grass really does seem greener on the other side.


Things you May Want To Bring

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 Tuesday, 24 January 2023 15:14

1 comment

  • Susie

    When my family came to visit me in Charleston Magnolia plantation came with the highest recommendation from the locals. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the rich history of plantation life not to mention the beautiful grounds.

    posted by Susie Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:57 Comment Link

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