Bucket list item #976 – Magnolia Plantation
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
I remember when I was working on an itinerary for our anniversary last year, I told Dave one day we were slated to spend the entire day at Magnolia Plantation. He looked at me like I was a crazy person. “We’re spending all day at a plantation. What on earth would we do at a plantation all day?” To which I replied, “Everything, Dave. Everything.”
When I say everything, I sincerely feel like I’m not exaggerating. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens seemingly has it all. There’s the plantation itself, lots of gardens (they weren’t really in bloom while we were there, so it’s worth doing the research to see when this happens), a nature tram, a rice field boat tour, zoo, swamp gardens, swamp trail, bird walks, a café and a slavery to freedom exhibit which is an informational tour and walk through of former slave quarters. That was the only part I skipped, to be honest. The truth is that I love the beauty of plantations, but the history is painful. If it’s painful for me, I can’t even imagine how people actually effected feel. I always go into plantations or similar historical landmarks with mixed emotions and I can’t get through those kinds of tours without being in tears by the end, as it should be. I chose to skip this one. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t just burn them to the ground. I’m not the right demographic to deserve an opinion in that department. I think it brings up an important point though: while you’re enjoying a place like this, never forget the history. Use it as a time to remind yourself of history and that there are still many Americans who are racist, and many Americans effected by them. The state of our nation is pitiful and we’re still far from equality. Remember to be a good person and be kind and not to be a racist piece of shit.
Let’s chat about the good stuff! What I love about this plantation is the plethora of things to do. My least favorite part was actually the plantation itself! It was your run of the mill plantation house. The grounds around it were very pretty and the structure was nice, but the real bits of fun are all the things to do on the plantation.
Upon entering the grounds, we were greeted by lots of peacocks. They have so many peacocks on the property that they named the restaurant the Peacock Café! It’s so strange, but I find the cawing of peacocks so calming. I think it reminds me of the Denver Zoo and all the fun I had there as a kid. Now peacocks both visually and the sound make me content.
We got there a bit early, so we started our day moseying the property. We met some horses and an employee at the farm gave us little snacks to feed them. Dave was through the roof. He always gravitates to horse. I hope some day we can add a horse to our family for him.
We continued rambling through the property and hit the most beautiful lake. The way the vegetation reflected onto the water was breathtaking. I’ve never seen anything like it and continued to see more imagery like this throughout the south. We also saw our first gators of the day! There were two in the pond. I remember going to the bridge to take some photos and a huge gator swimming right underneath me. It scared me out of my wits! You see, I had taken off my glasses for the photo and couldn’t see properly and this huge shadow moving underneath my feet was just startling. I quickly went back into action, threw on my glasses and ran to Dave. I wasn’t scared; I just wanted the camera to try and get a photo! I’m happy to report it was a success. I also didn’t realize we’d end up seeing gators literally all day long.
We also walked through the gardens, which weren’t quite in bloom. They were still beautiful, and some flowers were, but we weren’t there at the right time of year. It was June.
We hit the zoo, which is really a mini petting zoo. We met some deer that were so nice that they let us pet them. I couldn’t believe it. I’d never touched a deer before!
Back to back we did the tram tour and rice field boat. The two tours were similar, but you get to see different kinds of birds on each one. I wish I could remember what they were all called, but the bird sightings were totally different from one tour to another. We also got to see lots of gators on both tours. If you were going to choose one, I would go with the rice tour. The waters were so cool, and I saw a lot more wildlife. Plus, the swamp trail takes you through a similar area to the tram tour.
Speaking of swamp trails, we had quite a shock with a gator there as well. I remember being on the hunt for some more gator photos (even though I had plenty that day). We were walking along this path right next to the water (it was about a foot away), and out of the corner of Dave’s eye something moves. This gator was about a foot away from us on the water! I mean, he was just chilling, but still. I couldn’t believe how close we were. I didn’t even manage to get a picture because I was too nervous. I wanted to walk by quickly. You don’t realize how hard it is to tell their size until you see them in person. In the water, a lot of the time just their eyes are popping out. I have no idea if it’s a little guy or a mama bear. Nope. Nope. Nope. Too close for comfort!
I also saw a mama duck and her babies in the swamp close by. I’ll never stop worrying about what happened to that little family.
It was a good day. If you have kids this would legit be the perfect day activity, although keep them close on the swamp trail. Lol. It would be so pretty for a wedding, too. Can someone I know please get married here? It’s just proper fun for all ages though. Dave and I had such a good day gator hunting and enjoying the general splendor of Magnolia. It was lovely.
If you love my dress, it’s by Draper James and available to rent via Rent the Runway! I’ve also rounded up some dresses currently available to buy with a similar vibe.