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.
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.