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“An "Historic Must See"”
Review of Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall
Ranked #19 of 244 things to do in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Circa 1738, Drayton Hall is the oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public.
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.

Thank Richard J
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 reviewResponded 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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1,263 - 1,267 of 1,696 reviews

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

Thank PJaneS
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 reviewResponded 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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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.

4  Thank CharlestonResident
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 reviewResponded 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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Reviewed January 6, 2013

The plantation has been restored differently to the others. Rather than restoring to a particular era, the restoration has been done to the best of the particular period for each area of the house. Very interesting, and well worth the visit.

Thank Glen A
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 reviewResponded January 8, 2013

We're so glad that you enjoyed your time here and hope that you come back and visit. We're also glad you enjoyed and appreciated our preservation philosophy. Rather than restoring the house to reflect a single period of grandeur we made the decision to preserve the site as it was received from the Draytons in 1974 in order to provide a time line showing change and continuity through three centuries of American history. We're so glad that you and others like you appreciate this decision with your continued support of Drayton Hall.

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Reviewed January 6, 2013

Tour guide was very informed, had great tour, very interesting. Recommend for all ages. There are stairs to climb, a big property to walk.

Thank warmsonoma
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 reviewResponded January 8, 2013

We're so glad you enjoyed your trip to Drayton Hall- please come back and visit again, there is always something new and interesting to learn here!

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