If you really want to be transported back to the Charleston of old, a trip to the Middleton Plantation will do it. This is not your typical old Southern Plantation with the big white columns out front. The home that stood during the Civil War is just rubble. But the beautiful garden, recognized as America’s oldest landscaped Gardens, created over several decades, are still around and just as stunning. There’s an oak at the Middleton Place, based on the Ashley River, that’s said to be more than eight centuries old. 800 years! And there are all kinds of surprises as you weave your way around the grounds. I let myself get a little lost on the grounds and happened upon a beautiful statue that I was later told was only saved during the Civil War because the brush had grown up around it enough to keep it hidden from the Union troops. The mausoleum which holds the remains of multiple generations still stands on the grounds with a special plaque outlining the importance of those within. They include Henry Middleton, President of the first Continental Congress, and his son, Arthur, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. You’ll have to be sure to stop by the stables, too, and take a tour of the home that is still standing, originally built as a gentleman’s wing.
Want to explore other parts of Charleston? Be sure to read this review of the Explorer’s Club to help families plan fun in Charleston.