There are several antebellum plantations one can tour just outside Charleston along the Ashley River Road. We decided on the Magnolia Plantation because it was the only one with a petting zoo.
The tour, including transportation, cost $51.00 each, but was worth it. Along with 2 other groups from our hotel, we were bused to a central spot where a few other people joined us, and then another 10 or 15 miles to the plantation.
First off, we walked the beautiful grounds around the house.
The red bloom on the swamp will turn green later in the year.
Don't touch the hanging moss -- it's full of chiggers.
Bridal parties can pay $300 to get married here . . . or they can come for pictures for free if the bride will scoot into a bush to put on and take off her wedding dress so that she isn’t seen at the entrance.
Then, we took the Nature Train for a 45 minute tour of the wildlife refuges of the plantation. There were lots of alligators!
Next was a tour of the house – its most impressive feature for me was the incredibly wide balcony running all the way around. However, the original plantation house was burned during the Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression as some Southerners prefer to term it).
Nicole and I actually skipped out on the house tour, and went into the small biblical garden. The plantation owner was a minister who broke the law by setting up a school for his slaves.
It was past time for lunch so we went for a tuna sandwich and beer.
When Bryan finally caught up with us and put up his feet for a couple of minutes, Kepler and I offered bright green grass to the ponies.
From there, we went to the Petting Zoo.