Middleton Place exists because of slavery—a stark reality that’s acknowledged in exhibits throughout the sprawling plantation. Today, however, the site is a beautiful place to spend a day or a weekend. Just stroll through the 65 acres of landscaped gardens (the oldest in the nation) and you’ll quickly understand why this is one of the South’s most sought-after wedding venues. During your visit, tour the house museum and learn from costumed actors who teach the crafts once practiced here by slaves, including pottery, blacksmithing, and weaving. Then, head to the on-site restaurant, which serves upscale Southern cuisine, or the adjacent inn, where you can escape the modern world in view of the Ashley River.
By Stratton Lawrence, AFAR Local Expert
Camellias, azaleas, and wisteria
Middleton Place is a former plantation turned museum and landmark. Visitors can tour the main house and gawk at antiques, or visit the outbuildings and learn about the lives and culture of the former plantation's enslaved men and women. The gardens and grounds alone, lush with camellias and roses and designed in the 1700s, merit a visit.
Much of Gullah culture developed on Charleston’s plantations (the earliest evidence of sweetgrass baskets being made is at Boone Hall). Among the historic plantations in the greater Charleston area, Middleton Place, stands out for its historic gardens where you can learn about the ecology and flora of the region, and the horticultural practices of the slaves who worked these plantations. Other highlights of a visit include the South Flanker House Museum and ruins of buildings that were destroyed in the Civil War. Whether your interest is culture, history, cuisine or some other passion, one of the 12 itineraries to Charleston, created by the AFAR Travel Advisory Council will speak to you. Check them out at AFAR Journeys.
Sponsored by Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
4300 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, USA
Sun - Sat 9am - 5pm