Magnolia can without doubt be on the expensive side but it doesn't have to be. Spring and summer offer a beautiful garden with end of March beginning of April as the usual peak bloom time (if weather corporates), you will see color everywhere with azaleas galore, wisteria, dogwoods, lady banks rose, as well as other spring blooming plants, not to mention the gators are coming out of hibernation and sunning themselves.
Summers are hot and humid here but there are many summer blooming plants to enjoy throughout the plantation. During summer months you may not see as many gators because they usually go deep in the swamp to stay cool. Trust me they are there.
Winter is well winter so don't expect much and fall can be nice but again things are slowing down.
The original house was burned to the ground during the civil war. It's a nice house but save your money. The boat tour can easily be walked to save money...note: my sister and I walked this 2 mile path with the Ashley River on one side and the pond/swamp on the other and a mile in was easily a 13-15 ft gator stretched out across the only path to continue. It scared the fire out of us and we started screaming...the gator crawled off into the swamp and we ran as fast as we could the rest of the mile out with other large gators in the water right along the path. So walking may be at your own risk lol but you can bike it! Even if you don't take the boat tour there are plenty more gators to be seen in various parts of the plantation depending on the time of year you come. We have seen right along the waters edge a momma and all her babies in the water. Gators are aggressive during this time so be careful...that momma opened her mouth and growled (well similar too anyway) at us to stay away.
The tram is the best thing to buy especially in the summer.
Their are miles and miles of paced trails too that are easy to get too and offer a very nice trail to walk or bike....this is mainly where me and my family go. Mostly covered by trees so even in the summer it is nice and it is also quiet. It is an 8 mile figure 8 loop.
The petting zoo is nice and my kids always enjoyed it when they were younger.
So come enjoy the day, pack your own picnic lunch and don't forget your camera!!