Voted the Best Place to See by Condé Nast Traveler.

The Most Important Plantation to Visit in Charleston, SC

plantation tours charleston sc

Drayton Hall is Charleston’s finest plantation. The plantations of Charleston which are open to the public are all located about ten miles outside the city area of Charleston, SC. Drayton Hall is the oldest and only preserved and accurate plantation house that can be visited and toured in Charleston. The house, which you can tour daily from 9 am to 3 pm, is c. 1738. Drayton Hall has not been restored and the museums galleries are the best plantation house museums to visit in Charleston.

best plantatioon tours in charleston sc

Unlike other plantations in Charleston, Drayton Hall is the only authentic colonial period home that you can tour. The other plantation homes in Charleston were either burned and no longer have houses or the houses were built in the 20th century. Drayton Hall survived both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and is the only plantation tour in Charleston of a house that survived both wars and legitimately dates to the 18th century. Drayton Hall has remarkable museum galleries and exhibits on both the pre-Civil War and post-Civil War time periods and the role Drayton Hall played in the history of Charleston.

The post-Civil War economy in Charleston caused many plantations to stop operations if the plantations had survived. In the following years, many Charleston plantations were sold off for acreage. The Drayton family considered selling the bricks of the house to ensure the ownership of the land but phosphate was discovered on the former plantation land at Drayton Hall. The plantation property of Drayton Hall being leased for phosphate mining saved the house from being dismantled. Drayton Hall was only ever occupied by one family – the Drayton’s – patriots and signers of the constitution, owned Drayton Hall plantation for seven generations before the National Trust for Historic Preservation took over the management and opened it to the public in 1974. Drayton Hall continues to be an active archaeological site and has so far discovered artifacts from earlier Native American settlers as well as West African ceramic craft dating the pre-Civil War period of enslavement at Drayton Hall. Many of these artifacts are in the museum at Drayton Hall now.

Drayton Hall is one of four plantations open to the public in Charleston, and we believe it is the best plantation tour in Charleston. The plantation visit to Drayton Hall includes the house tour of Drayton Hall as well as a grounds and galleries pass, two museum galleries, and an interactive experience in the Stephen J. Wood Conservation Laboratory, your pass also includes access to the African American Cemetary.  Unlike other plantations and plantation homes in Charleston which you can tour, only Drayton Hall has been preserved and offers the most authentic museum and tourist attraction in Charleston.

A visit to Drayton Hall will take approximately three hours and is the most important thing you will see when you visit Charleston, SC.