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Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Posted on 13 Jul 2017
Category: Trails, Tours, Parks, Historic Sites, Family Entertainment
Author: Steve Vail

This spectacular and historic plantation with its beautiful gardens is still owned and meticulously preserved by the family that started it over 300 years ago, which is something that sets it apart from other historic plantations of the SC Lowcountry. Overrun and ravaged by enemy troops during both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, Magnolia Gardens has not only survived but has continued to thrive for over 300 years. While the original plantation house may not have survived through the centuries, it's the gardens and natural beauty of Magnolia that have always been the plantation's primary focal point. Many of the plants, trees, and gardens date back to Magnolia Plantation's earliest days.

The House and Gardens of Magnolia Plantation

Without a doubt, this is one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen. Consequently, I'm displaying more pictures with this post than I have with any post prior. The beauty of these gardens is indescribable. I'm just going to have to let the pictures speak for themselves.

The plantation house has undergone many transformations over the years. The current home on location today was the family's summer cottage located in Summerville. Reverand Drayton dismantled and moved the cottage via river barge to Magnolia Plantation in 1865. Additions and renovations to this structure took place in 1895 and 1995. The previous plantation house was constructed in 1811 and was burned during the Civil War by union troop in 1865. The original plantation house was constructed in 1680. It survived the revolutionary war only to be destroyed by an accidental fire in 1811.

Magnolia Gardens Audobon Swamp Walk

This place is amazing! Remnants of the old rice patties and phosphate mining operations have created a natural habitat for some of SC Lowcountry's most notable wildlife. Over 500 acres of this area has been designated as a wildlife refuge. The walkways, trails, and bridges have been constructed in such a way that they enable visitors to obtain a close-up non-invasive view of the swamp's inhabitants. For photography, bird watching, and wildlife observation the Audobon Swamp Walk is a literal paradise.

The Petting Zoo

Usually when I think of a "petting zoo", I think of a neat place for kids to have an opportunity to get closer to some of the animals. Well, this petting zoo is that... and much more. I found myself oohing and aahing as much as any of the kids. The deer walk right up to you with no fear or trepidation as do pretty much all of the animals. The adult male peacocks' attempts to attract the female peacocks put on quite a show for everyone. Like every part of Magnolia Plantation and the zoo is no exception, there is a tranquil wild beauty here that I doubt has been or even can be replicated anywhere else.