THINGS TO DO AND SEE
Charleston and the surrounding area offers an abundance of attractions, historical sites and activities.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Located only a few miles from the BEST WESTERN Sweetgrass, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is the oldest public tourist site in the Charleston area and the oldest public garden in America. Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, the plantation has stayed within the ownership of the same family for more than 300 years. Guided tours give a glimpse of plantation life in the 19th century as well as lessons in horticulture about the plantation.
An 18th-centrury rice plantation and home to American’s oldest landscaped gardens, Middleton Place offers a walk through history. The gardens originated in 1741 and reflect the elegant symmetry of 17th-century European design. The plantation sits on 65 acres and includes stableyeards, a weaver, cooper, carpenter, potter and blacksmith. Demonstrations accompany the trades to show visitors what an 18th and 19th century working plantation looked like. Guided tours through the Middleton Place House Museum are also available.
Boone Hall Plantation
Located at 1235 Long Point Road in Mt Pleasant. It is an antebellum plantation listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Plantation includes a large Colonial Revival plantation house (1933-35). It is one of America’s oldest still working plantations, continually growing crops for over 320 years. The annual Lowcountry Strawberry Festival caps off the peak of each season and thousands of pounds of strawberries are picked from Boone Hall Farms U-Pick fields Boone Hall Farms Market opened its doors in 2006 as an outlet for crops that come from the farm as well as featuring other fresh local South Caroline grown produce. The market is open throughout the year and offers food products, a market cafe, fresh local seafood, and a floral/gift shop.
This swamp garden was used as a freshwater reserve for a rice plantation, and was then given to the city in 1963. Today, the giant cypress trees draped with Spanish moss provide an unforgettable setting for flat-bottom boats that glide among their knobby roots. Enjoy a walk through the butterfly house. Follow the footpaths in the garden and enjoy the abundance of azaleas, camellias, daffodils, and other colorful blooms. Visitors share the swamp with alligators, woodpeckers, wood ducks, otters, barred owls, and other species. The gardens are worth a visit at any time of year.
Charleston Tea Plantation
Home to the American Classic Tea, Charleston Tea Plantation is located on picturesque Wadmalaw Island in the heart of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The Charleston Tea Plantation is a working Tea Factory on 127 acres. Guests can tour the plantation, enjoy the gift shop as well as an educational Trolley Tour that explores the scenic grounds that produce American Classic Tea.
Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum
Located on historic Charleston Harbor, Patriots Point is home to USS YORKTOWN, the Fighting Lady. The first USS YORKTOWN sank at the battle of Midway on June 7, 1942. Onboard the decks of this famous World War II aircraft carrier, you can relive a momentous time in America’s history. The Fighting Lady contains all the evidence of her past; one can see, touch, feel and smell the past, where young Americans fought and died to turn the fortunes of war in the Pacific. Moored next to her is USS LAFFEY, a World War II destroyer. LAFFEY survived the onslaught of Japanese kamikaze attacks while off Okinawa as Radar Picket Station #1 on April 16, 1945. She became known as “the ship that wouldn’t die.” Also moored alongside are the United States Coast Guard cutter INGHAM, which fought in the convoy battles of the North Atlantic and sank a German U-boat; and the diesel attack submarine USS CLAMAGORE. Onboard YORKTOWN are dozens of displays devoted to maritime and naval history, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s museum and headquarters, and more than two dozen historic military aircraft are on exhibit. Ashore is a full-size Navy Advance Tactical Support Base from the Vietnam era, and our gift shop.