Magnolia Plantation and Gardens has been recognized as one of America’s most beautiful gardens. It is one of the few in the world to be designated an International Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society. They also offer FREE PARKING for visitors.
Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia is the oldest garden in America. As one of the parks and nature preserves on the Ashley River, it is the oldest public attraction in the South Carolina Lowcountry, opening its gates in the 1870s for Charleston tours as the top “Things to Do.” Magnolia’s horticultural collections include more than 1,100 species of camellias with 35,000 plants in the ground. Equally outstanding is the azalea collection, splashing acres of color across a long season of springtime blooms. Summer, fall, winter and spring, there is always something blooming at Magnolia.
A diverse offering of tours at Magnolia include the Main House, consisting of the personal possession of one of Charleston’s founding families. Boehm porcelain and prints by Catesby and Audubon (who collected on the grounds) is represented in a house tour. Other tours at this historical site include the Audubon Swamp, nature boat cruise, tram ride around the nature preserves and an award-winning “Slavery to Freedom” presentation in African-American history.