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Top Mansions and Plantations in Charleston

Top Mansions and Plantations in Charleston

Get an idea of what life was like in antebellum South Carolina by visiting one of the historical mansions or plantations just outside Charleston Here are the top 18th- and 19th-century homes where you can learn about pre–Civil War history.

 

Joseph Manigault House

Built in 1803, Charleston’s Joseph Manigault House is a US National Historic Landmark and today part of the Charleston Museum. Visit on your own or as part of a historical Charleston tour to gain insight into the city’s heritage from a guide. Inside, admire American, English, and French furniture, and check out the period garden outside. 

Heyward-Washington House

Also part of the Charleston Museum, the 1772 Heyward-Washington House was built in Georgian style and once played host to George Washington. If you plan to visit both this site and the Joseph Manigault House, purchase a 2-site ticket from the Charleston Museum to save money. Alternatively, some historical and cultural walking tours of the city either pass by or enter the house. Inside, see Charleston-made furniture and the 1740s kitchen building.

Aiken-Rhett House

Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, the Aiken-Rhett House was built in 1820 and was once the home of the governor of South Carolina. See it from the outside on a walking tour or horse-drawn carriage tour of the city, or visit on your own by purchasing a ticket from the Historic Charleston Foundation, which also operates the Nathaniel Russell House. The well-preserved slave quarters provide insight into how the enslaved once lived here.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Magnolia Plantation dates back to 1676, when the Drayton family first established its property; Drayton family members continue to control the estate today. Located northwest of Charleston on the Ashley River, the plantation can be visited on a tour or independently. Allot plenty of time for both the plantation house tour and a stroll around the gardens, as well as optional activities like the Nature Train or Slavery to Freedom tour.  

Middleton Place

A US National Historic Landmark District on the Ashley River, Middleton Place was built in 1755. The 65-acre property is known as the home of the oldest landscaped gardens in the country. During a visit, you can also see historical family artifacts inside the house and the stable yards, where costumed staff members demonstrate blacksmithing, weaving, and carpentry.

 

Boone Hall Plantation

Northeast of Charleston, Boone Hall Plantation dates back to 1681 and is known for its avenue of live oak trees that line the entrance to the property. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the plantation can be visited on a tour from Charleston. Learn how the plantation evolved over the centuries, and see the slave quarters for a somber look at this part of history.

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10 Tours and Activities

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Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour

Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour

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4520
Experience more than 300 years of history on this guided carriage tour of Charleston. See the many mansions, churches, and gardens as your horse-drawn carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic Charleston. Belgian and Percheron draft horses will you lead you through the streets while you learn about this “Holy City” and its role in the Civil War.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD50.00
From
USD50.00

Middleton Place All-Access Admission & Guided Tour with Lunch from Charleston

Middleton Place All-Access Admission & Guided Tour with Lunch from Charleston

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206
Middleton Place is one of the most popular plantations in the Charleston area, but getting there can be tricky without a private car. This tour makes it easy by including transportation from downtown Charleston aboard a comfortable, air-conditioned van, plus a guided tour of the house upon arrival. A 3-course lunch is also included for a taste of Lowcountry cuisine.
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  • 5 hours
From
USD120.90
From
USD120.90

Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

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332
Pickup and drop-off from downtown Charleston, South Carolina make it easy to tour Magnolia Plantation, one of the oldest plantations in the South. This 4-in-1 tour includes a narrated drive out to the plantation, a walking tour of the garden, tram tour through the property, and tour of the house itself, providing incredible value.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
From
USD80.79
From
USD80.79

Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Small-Group Walking Tour

Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Small-Group Walking Tour

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1019
Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided small-group walking tour. Explore some of the city’s most enchanting alleys and hidden passages. Visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, a colonial building with a 300-year history; Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; plus historic Philadelphia Alley, and many more.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD30.00
From
USD30.00

Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

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176
Visit Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens on this 4.5-hour tour from Charleston, South Carolina. One of the oldest working plantations in the United States, Boone Hall was founded in 1681 and still grows crops. During your tour led by a guide in period costume, you'll see the plantation's slave quarters and learn about its history and modern-day use. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking. Enjoy a personalized experience on this small-group tour of just 15 people.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
From
USD67.76
From
USD67.76

Boone Hall Plantation All-Access Admission Ticket

Boone Hall Plantation All-Access Admission Ticket

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343
DAYS AND HOURS OF OPERATION Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm Sunday 12pm-5pm Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day Boone Hall Plantation has been recognized as the #1 Plantation In The Charleston Area by USA TODAY 10 BEST and is also touted as a "must see stop on any trip to Charleston, S.C." by NBC Daytime television. One admission price includes all tours.Visitors enter down the world famous Avenue Of Oaks, one of the most spectacular entrances anywhere in the world. See why Boone Hall is "America's Most Photographed Plantation." Our gardens are a showcase of color. "Exploring The Gullah Culture" is the only live presentation of its kind in the Lowcountry and a visitor favorite. Visit the critically acclaimed Black History In America exhibit on display in 9 original slave cabins, tour the plantation home, ride aboard a guided tractor tour across the entire 738 acres, and more. Come enjoy the setting in which many television shows and movies have been filmed.
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  • 2 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD28.00
From
USD28.00

Charleston History Sightseeing Bus Tour with Joseph Manigault House Option

Charleston History Sightseeing Bus Tour with Joseph Manigault House Option

star-4.5
224
Travel back in time to discover one of America’s most historic cities—Charleston, South Carolina—on this guided sightseeing tour. Visit a plethora landmarks including Rainbow Row, the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States; the Old Exchange Building, South Carolina's most historic building; White Point Garden, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, with a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and many more. Upgrade option available to include a tour of the famous Joseph Manigault House, one of Charleston's most exquisite antebellum structures.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD37.97
From
USD37.97

Lost Stories of Black Charleston Walking Tour

Lost Stories of Black Charleston Walking Tour

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148
Get an inside perspective on Charleston's lesser-known black history during this 2-hour walking tour. Listen as your guide tells forgotten folktales and facts about important figures in the city's history.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD32.00
From
USD32.00

Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston

Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston

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60
One of the most popular plantations in the Charleston Area, Drayton Hall is a top choice among visitors—and tickets can go fast. Guarantee entry by booking ahead, and then visit on your own schedule without having to adhere to a tour. This all-access admission ticket includes a narrated home tour, as well as access to the historic grounds, the Gates Gallery, and an interactive educational program.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD26.00
From
USD26.00

Charleston City Walking Tour with Edmondston-Alston House Admission

Charleston City Walking Tour with Edmondston-Alston House Admission

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6
This Charleston walking tour not only takes you to top sights around downtown Charleston such as the Battery and South of Broad Street, but also includes access to the Edmondston-Alston House, a gorgeous 19th century home with unobstructed views of the Charleston Harbor. After learning about Charleston history on a guided walking tour, visit the house for a peek inside the lives of Charleston’s elite class—and an unforgettable view.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD50.00
From
USD50.00