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“Wonderful if somewhat expensive experience”

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
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$56.18*
and up
Historic Magnolia Plantation Tour with Transportation
Ranked #17 of 241 things to do in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: South Carolina's Most Visited Plantation and Gardens. National Registry of Historic Places. Ancient Oak Avenue. Tours full of History. World Famous Gardens of the 19th Century "Romantic Style". Selected by Travel + Leisure (2014) as the only South Carolina garden deemed one of "America's Most Beautiful Gardens". Reconstruction Period Plantation Home Tour. Award Winning Slave Cabin Tour. Very popular Nature-Train Tour. Rice Field Boat Tour. Family Oriented. Petting Zoo and Nature Center. Audubon Swamp Self-Guided Tour. Amazing Nesting Rookery. If you have only one Plantation to see, don't miss us!
Manorville, New York
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful if somewhat expensive experience”
Reviewed March 30, 2014

Magnolia Plantation is an amazing place if you have the time and money. The basic admission only gets you access to the grounds and lame petting zoo. It's ok, but not too exciting. We also went for a boat ride around the swamp, which was great as we got up close to a large number of alligators and for a walk around the swamp where there were no end of wildlife spotting opportunities. The nesting cormorants and egrets were worth the price of admission. The trees were full of them and sitting above a misty swamp made me think I had inadvertently stepped into a 1970s horror movie. But the cost for this was over $30 a person, and we didn't have time to do the trolley tour or house which would have put it up to $50 a head. It's steep, but you could easily spend most of the day there and see stuff you won't anywhere else.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank JackMor11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Walnut Creek, California
Level 6 Contributor
180 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Somewhat Disappointing”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

Maybe I've seen too many grand old homes and beautiful gardens. Maybe my expectations were too high.
The house itself was nice but not very fancy. I can live with that but I would have expected the tour guide to provide more than just a robotic overview of the home and it's history of residents. He was just plain boring.
After the house tour we took the garden walk. The maps were poorly done and didn't provide any level of detail. The signage throughout the paths was poor at best. The gardens were very unimpressive, mainly looked like overgrowth that they couldn't keep up with the maintenance.
We did enjoy the petting zoo, however. There were plenty of deer, peacock, bunnies, ducks, etc. for anyone to enjoy. We also had a positive experience walking through the swamp. We came across a 3 foot gator on the tram pathway then walked a bit further to see a 6 footer perched on top of a few turtles on a structure in the water. As we looked a bit further, to a small island, we saw what must have been a 12'-15' monster. We didn't really expect to see any gators, figuring it was just their way of creating excitement, but we really did see them. Pretty exciting for someone that has never seen them in the wild before.
Overall, I would recommend this attraction if you want a bit of American history, just don't expect too much.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank khub79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“White-washed history”
Reviewed March 24, 2014 via mobile

We took the house tour and "slave cabin" tour as part of a package out of Charleston. The trolley ride through the plantation grounds was informative as to wildlife and flowering plants. We arrived at the slave cabins and drove on past them, with only a hearty and slightly cheerful, "can you believe that one family with 18 children lived in that cabin?" There was no mention of the conditions or of slave labor. It seems eerily bizarre. Next was the house tour, which was also informative as the the white people who lived there and when, whom they married, and when various rooms were added (including a wrap around covered porch in 1995 for all the weddings they do there these days). The house tour made no mention of slavery. I find this omission shocking and irresponsible. What did I purchase today? A tour of La La Land? I wish I knew how to figure out who is telling the whole story around here.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
8 Thank Lisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Add this to any trip to Charleston”
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I really loved visiting the plantation. The gardens are marvelous and the houses tour was super interesting. But our favorite part was the swamp! it's a must. We saw alligators and slider turtles as well as lots of egrets and Great blue heron. kids would really enjoy this too. We came away with a better understanding of the history and ecology of the Low Country.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ConkL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Love this place”
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Great at all times of the year but certainly azalea season is the peak time - first week in April should be exquisite this year. The ticket is pricey but you can choose individual portions. We choose the garden and nature tram tours. Others were slave cabins, boat tour, Audubon swamp walk, and house tour. The garden tour is walking and is accessible. Our biologist tour guide on the nature tram was informative and stopped to point out various wildlife and waterfowl. We saw alligators, various birds and ducks and turtles. We even saw a bald eagle. Wonderful way to spend the day. There is a cafe for light snacks. A good orientation film, and gift shop.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Travelfreaks12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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