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“Start your tour of Charleston here!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall
3380 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414
843-769-2600
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Ranked #10 of 96 Attractions in Charleston
Type: Historic Sites, Gardens, Cultural
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: This Georgian-Palladian gem, built in 1738, is America's oldest plantation house open to the public.
Kansas City, Missouri
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Start your tour of Charleston here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We started our week in Charleston at Drayton Hall and were mesmerized by all of the history that the docents had to impart. This structure has been preserved "as is" from the 1700's and you literally walk through the paths of the family and its decendants. It has not been restored and this adds to the awe of your visit and imagination. Drayton Hall is absolutely fascinating! Be sure to join the National Trust for Historic Preservation after your tour to help continue the work being done here and get your proper rice spoon.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DraytonHall, Public Relations Manager at Drayton Hall, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
We are so glad that you were so impacted by our site, and thank you for your support of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We are always discovering new and exciting things, so please come back and see what's new!
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Canton, Georgia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Small but packs a punch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Drayton Hall is smaller than Middleton but has as much history and may be even more beautiful. Did not realize that it fallen into disrepair for so long some time ago. I think it's the best of Charleston's historic sites. you got to check it out.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DraytonHall, Public Relations Manager at Drayton Hall, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Wow, what a compliment! We are so glad you enjoyed your time here and hope you return soon!
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Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
268 reviews 268 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“An "Historic Must See"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

A short drive from downtown, and worth a couple of hours to soak in the rich history of the South. We did a tour of the property and you can almost feel the families who lived the still in the fabric of the plantation.

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DraytonHall, Public Relations Manager at Drayton Hall, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
We are so glad you enjoyed your time here! Our preservation professionals are always discovering new and interesting things that we love to share with our guests, so come back soon.
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Bath, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Unaltered graciousness”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

This plantation house has not been altered - so although it is empty of furnishings and fabrics, you see the house as it really was I especially loved the family writing on the wall in one room. T

Visited January 2013
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DraytonHall, Public Relations Manager at Drayton Hall, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
We are so glad you enjoyed your tour- the growth chart on the wall is always a favorite of our guests. There are always new and interesting things to discover here, please come back soon!
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Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
“My second trip here, it is still just a house. Dollar for dollar, go to Middleton instead.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013 via mobile

It was better this time. There was a groupon for locals for very little money. Otherwise I would not have returned. The fact they charge so much confuses me. Middleton is slightly more money but has at least a day of things to see. Drayton is a house tour. If you need to go to Drayton, know this:

1. There is a 45-60 minutes house tour
2. The house is unfurnished, and left in ruin untouched since the 1960. That has both pros and cons, but makes it less interesting as you go room to room.
3. Your value in the tour will depend on your tour guide. Its short because the rooms are pretty much the same. Since time is short, much is skipped about the Drayton past and history of the area. Middleton does a much better job in this and all other areas.
4. Middleton is the best, but Drayton is better than Magnolia. Magnolia is pretty much a tourist trap.
5. There are two short walking trails that are ok.
6. The house is collapsing (google that) after a cheap renovation around WW2. There are parts that are off limits and many parts are pulled back for repair, especially in the front.
7. It would make a decent tour for those in architecture in both how things were built long ago, and bad concrete and rebar rehabs from the last 50-75 years.

I don't so much have a problem with Drayton, its just that I have seen them all and this one is $$$ and will likely cut a visit short somewhere better. Just my opinion.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DraytonHall, Public Relations Manager at Drayton Hall, responded to this review, January 13, 2013
We regret that you were dissatisfied with your experience and found little to enjoy at Drayton Hall, a National Historic Landmark. Since opening to the public in 1974, Drayton Hall has been celebrated for its iconic architecture, house tour, historic landscape with nature walks and self-guided tour on DVD, 1790s African-American cemetery and interactive history program, museum shop, and more.

Despite your interpretation, Drayton Hall is not in a state of ruin. Far from it, it is actually in a rare state of preservation: that is, in nearly original condition as when the first-generation of Draytons moved in when the home was completed in the mid-18th century. Drayton Hall’s Preservation Department is committed to the house's long-term preservation. Our preservation philosophy is to preserve Drayton Hall as it was received from the Drayton family in 1974 by following best practices and applying professional techniques in conservation and stabilization. Working with some of the best craftspeople in the country, we maintain the house at a high level of preservation.

We don’t know where you received your information that the house is collapsing. According to a recent assessment by an independent, contracted structural engineer, the house is not collapsing, nor is there an immediate fear of it doing so. The current investigation by our professional preservation staff in conjunction with the structural engineer is focused on the long-term preservation of the house and its iconic portico. The areas that are off-limits are for your safety while work is being completed. Perhaps you did not remember from your house tour, but the house is quite old – several centuries, in fact. Structures this old require constant work, and we take the job quite seriously. As for your assertion about the bad "concrete and rebar rehabs," concrete has a lifespan of roughly 75 years. We are conducting a structural assessment not because the work was done poorly, but because the components of the work are well over their average lifespan.

Regarding our admissions fee: you should know that at $18 for an all-inclusive adult admission ($8 for youths 12-18; $6 for children 6 to 11; free for children under 5, and an optional $8 grounds-only ticket), the cost is actually quite competitive when you stop and compare it with other sites in the Charleston area – in fact, this is frequently mentioned in our visitor feedback. Even at these reasonable rates, we also offer additional opportunities for our visitors to save even more through year ‘round discounts for AAA members, military, and families with children, as well as free admission for teachers, military, firefighters, police and EMS every summer. We also participate in Smithsonian Museum Day, the last Saturday in September, which provides free admission to all of our visitors. Of course, our nearly 7,000 members in the Friends of Drayton Hall enjoy unlimited free admission throughout the year.

If you would like to discuss any of these points further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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