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Natural Beauty


Spend the afternoon at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

At Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, travel back in time to the oldest public gardens in the country. Conceived in 1676 by husband-and-wife pioneers Thomas and Ann Drayton who originally built a residence and small garden on the site, the grounds later opened to the public in 1870. The idyllic gardens feature the oldest remaining Romantic Gardens in the country (think footbridges, a lake lined with Bald Cypress trees, and 900 varieties of Camellias), and a slew of tours such as a rice field boat tour along the Ashley River, a nature tour, a zoo and nature center, and a swamp garden replete with plant and animal species including turtles, frogs, and egrets.

For a look at life in the 19th century, don’t miss the Drayton house for a half-hour guided tour with ten rooms on display featuring original family items spanning china, furniture, antiques, and quilts. On the way out, bring home a floral-inspired journal or gardening tome from the on-site gift shop. 


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