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“Heartbroken...”
Review of Swannanoa Palace

Swannanoa Palace
Juliette, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Heartbroken...”
Reviewed July 3, 2014

My husband & I honeymooned at Afton in August 1974 & met Mrs. Lao Russell when we toured Swannanoa Palace. We bought her book "Love" & she signed it for us! The tour guide there that day was quite surprised when Mrs. Russell appeared & spoke with us as she later told us she rarely made appearances during tour hours from where she lived upstairs. I treasured it & when we left Virginia for our new station in Hawaii (my husband is retired Air Force), they lost our household goods & our book! I've been searching for it all these years & have yet to find it! We wanted to go back this year for our 40th anniversary & this is SO sad to see this magnificent place in such condition. We realize it's a huge mansion to care for, but, couldn't it be sold & included somehow in the National Registry for Historic Places & cared for? This just made me cry as we remember how beautiful it once was - - - "heaven on the mountain" is what we always called it.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
11 Thank Dianna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manassas, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Haunting Glory”
Reviewed May 26, 2014

I waited 5 months until spring and then traveled 2.5 hours to see Swannanoa Palace and it did not disappoint. The entrance is rather obscure and is marked by both a "No Trespassing" sign and an entrance sign to the estate. This only added to the mystique. Thankfully there were admission price ($6 for adults, free for kids) signs posted along the way however, and after verifying the entrance with a local, my son and I drove up the steep driveway to the mansion above. We are historical home enthusiasts and visit them whenever possible. This home was unlike any we had seen before because it was not "done up" like many other homes open for tours. As other Trip Advisors have posted, parts of the home and grounds are in sad disrepair, but as the brocheur says, some efforts have been made to fix the roof and marble exterior. Inside the walls, mosaics, frescoes and Tiffany window speak of bygone opulence, and made us so grateful to have seen it at all. It is an architectural dream. The owner was sitting at the entrance taking tickets the day we went and I personally thanked him for opening its doors. The home is only open certain weekends per year, but is definitely worth visiting before it's too late. If any millionaires are reading this, can you please rescue this magnificent home?

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank CarolTCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Sad "Palace"”
Reviewed May 26, 2014

My goodness it was something in its day! VERY little is being done to save the once grand home. You can tell it has a problem with vandals. It might not be worth the $6.00 per person fee. If you like wandering around derelict manor homes you will love this. Any one have about 50 million to put it right?! (Make sure you make a potty stop before going--you would not want to use the port-a-john that is never refreshed.)

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Elaine N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

My girlfriend and I went here in hopes of spooky adventures, and we weren't disappointed. The palace was surrounded by fog and the grounds were gorgeous. We are probably going to have our wedding here.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Such Grandeur”
Reviewed May 4, 2014

My son, who lives in the area, took us up to the "castle" to check it out. What a beautiful place from a bygone era. Great place for photos. Some of it spooky (especially the doll looking out the window at what appears to be the cottage for guests?)

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ps429 .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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