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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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6 Tours and Activities | All Charleston Tours

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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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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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.00
From
$35.00
Taking safety measures

Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

Magnolia Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston

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Pickup and drop-off from downtown Charleston 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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.77
From
$70.77
Taking safety measures

Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Walking Tour

Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Walking Tour

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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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.65
From
$25.65
Taking safety measures

Charleston History Sightseeing Bus Tour with Optional Joseph Manigault House

Charleston History Sightseeing Bus Tour with Optional Joseph Manigault House

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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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.00
From
$25.00
Taking safety measures

Lost Stories of Black Charleston Walking Tour

Lost Stories of Black Charleston Walking Tour

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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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.48
From
$29.48
Taking safety measures

Historic Sea Island Plantation and Lowcountry Life Tour

Historic Sea Island Plantation and Lowcountry Life Tour

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You only need a day to learn about Lowcountry history and culture with this comprehensive Beaufort van tour. As you head to locations such as the historic Penn Center, a large cotton plantation, and a classic allée of oaks, learn about the area’s rich history and cultures, including Gullah culture. This tour takes you outside the city limits for an authentic travel experience in the Lowcountry.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$61.54
From
$61.54