The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
Charleston's Premiere Plantation
By Caelon Reed
So you're planning a get-away and don’t know where to go? Why not somewhere that’s not only beautiful and romantic but informative as well? Drayton Hall in Charleston, South Carolina is just the place you need to be for a good balance between fun and educational.
Located on the Ashley River, Drayton Hall is the only 18th century plantation of Georgian Palladian architecture still intact.
The fact that it is still standing is amazing because it has been through the American Revolution, a series of hurricanes, and a nearby earthquake. Just another reason to get here quickly before it’s too late and something sweeps it away (knock on wood).
What Charles and Frank Drayton originally owned is now property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and has been since 1974. Drayton Hall holds the history of seven generations of Drayton’s and slaves including the Bowens family. A tour of Drayton Hall entails an in-depth history of the plantation and some of the events that took place here. As well you get a firsthand look on a plantation that hasn’t changed much from its original state, as well as artifacts and beautiful landscape.
A general admission ticket to Drayton Hall gets you a guided tour of the interior of the house, where you a free to take as many pictures as you feel fit. The house tours usually last 50 to 60 minutes, just enough time to soak up some great knowledge without falling asleep.
After the tour you can enjoy an interactive program that traces the history of Africans and their journey from the Motherland up until the 20th century. Then you can take a peaceful self-guided nature walk exploring the surrounding land of the house. You’ll be able to see the plantation, slave quarters, marshes, and then reflect on all that awesome history on a river walk. While on your exploration you might want to grab some courage (and your date’s hand) and visit the oldest documented African American cemetery.
Afterwards, you’re going to want some souvenirs for some remembrance of Drayton Hall. You can then stop by the museum shop and pick you up a cookbook, ornaments, replicas of artifacts, or jewelry. Speaking of cookbooks, I’m sure by this time in your trip, you will have worked up quite the appetite, so enjoy a nice picnic under an aged oak tree or along the Ashley River while you're there.
Before you rush off to Drayton Hall, put on some comfortable clothes. Don’t forget to have on flat-soled shoes as well; you want to get the most out of your tour. If you decide to tour in the summer, wear lighter clothes because the house is unrestored it has no climate control. During winter, it’s best to bring a light jacket. Drayton Hall is handicap accessible. If you want to bring your four-legged pal, you can do so as long as your pal is well behaved.
Now that you’re packed with all the details, run along and enjoy the wondrous Drayton Hall.