Numerous plantations and large crop-producing estates can be found across South Carolina. One of the most popular is Boone Hall Plantation, which is located just 20 minutes outside historic Charleston in scenic Mount Pleasant. There are various ways to explore the site and learn its history, but here are five of the best ways to explore Boone Hall Plantation as a family:
1. Take a House Tour. Thirty-minute house tours are offered throughout the day, taking visitors through five different first-floor rooms of the mansion, which was built in 1936. Children will love listening to the guide dressed in period costume and checking out furniture that dates as far back as the 18th century.
2. Ride the Plantation Coach. Little legs can tire quickly, so hop aboard the open-air coach for a motorized tour that takes you around the entire plantation. It’s fun to see crops growing in the fields (Boone Hall is still a working plantation), as well as bee boxes, pecan trees and marshes.
3. Explore the Slave Street Cabins. Start at the top of Slave Street for a look at the nine cabins that were reserved for slaves. Explore on your own or take a guided tour to learn more about the daily lives of slaves that lived and worked on the plantation.
4. Learn About the Gullah Culture. Take time to learn about South Carolina’s Gullah culture by way of a live presentation in an outside theatre at the end of Slave Street. You may find it fascinating to learn about the culture of plantation slaves during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
5. Enjoy Fall Festivities. During the fall, kids will love Boone Hall Fright Nights and the Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch. There’s a huge corn maze (check out the tribute to the Komen Race for the Cure in 2013), pumpkin patches, petting zoos and many activities for children. You won’t want to miss Monster Alley and the haunted hay ride.
While the road leading to the plantation is iconic, lined with 94 evergreen oak trees, don’t get too close as you seek out the perfect photo ops. The Spanish moss that hangs from the trees is filled with red bugs that no one will want as a souvenir (yikes).
On your way out, drive less than half-mile down the road to the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, home of Snee Farm Plantation, the then-governor’s plantation. Plus, don’t forget to get your passport stamped while you are at this national historic site.
About the Author: Jenn Record, a high school English teacher from Trumbull, Connecticut, enjoys exploring the country with her husband and two young children. She received a complimentary VIP pass, which granted her free admission to a number of attractions around Charleston, including Boone Hall Plantation. However, all opinions expressed here are her own.
Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe