Plantations & Gardens
The Angel Oak is a live oak, a native tree found throughout the lowcountry, but especially on sea islands. The "Angel Oak" is rumored to be 1,400 years old although this age has never been substantiated. Determining the exact age will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, because the tendency of live oaks toward heart rot makes core samples unusable. The huge size and age of the Angel Oak has been recognized locally for at least a century. The tree stands 65 feet tall and has a circumference of 25.5 feet, and its largest limb is 89 feet long and has a circumference of 11.25 feet. For more information call (843) 559-3496.
Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantation, a magnificent estate of 738 acres, is located just six miles north of Charleston on US Highway 17. The plantation mansion rebuilt in 1935 with respect for the lines of the original house, circa 1750, is one of Georgian architecture and is flanked by formal gardens of camellias and azaleas. The property also houses a fabulous avenue of oaks that was planted in 1743 and a slave street that consists of nine original slave cabins. For more information call (843) 884-4371.
Cypress Gardens was created by owner Benjamin R. Kittredge in the late 1920's. Early one spring, as the story goes, Mr. Kittredge saw a red maple reflecting in the black water swamp. From this inspiration, "he created the beauty of these surrounding Cypress gardens." Since then, the colorful gardens have thrilled thousands each spring reflecting a profusion of azaleas, dogwoods, daffodils, and wisteria in the mirror-like inky waters. Visitors can enjoy the lovely surroundings from almost three miles of footpaths or the unique vantage point of a flat bottom boat. Phone (843) 353-0515 for more information.
In the world of historic houses, this place stands apart. Even after two centuries, it remains little changed by man or nature. Unfurnished, it speaks in a way no other house can. A survivor, it will provide an experience unlike all others. Built between 1738 and 1742, Drayton Hall is considered one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in America and is the only plantation house left on the Ashley River that survived the Civil War intact. Guided tours are available. 3380 Ashley River Road. Call (843) 766-0188 for more information.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the US Dept. of the Interior, stately Magnolia has, for over three centuries, been the original ancestral home of the Drayton family, whose many sons have played important roles throughout American history. It is believed that no other plantation in this state is still under original family ownership from that early date. Besides offering the oldest major public garden in America, it is also America's oldest man-made attraction, having been open to the public annually since the late 1860's. Magnolia also features the Audubon Swamp Garden made up of sixty acre of black cypress and tupelo swamp. Route 4, Highway 61. Call (843) 571-1266 for more information.
As the oldest as perhaps finest landscaped garden in America, Middleton Place epitomizes the grace and grandeur of the Southern Lowcountry Plantation. Sweeping Vistas, intimate garden rooms adorned with status, formal allées and ornamental waters highlight the design of the garden. A tour of the Middleton Place House interprets the important role played by the Middleton family in America's history, while the Plantation Stableyards bring to life the rice and cotton eras. A National Historic Landmark. Located on Ashley River Road. Call (843) 556-6020 for more information.