Major thumbs up to Magnolia Plantation in South Carolina for its amazing gardens, scenic walks and stunning collection of azaleas and camelias.
We started our visit with a ride on the Nature Train pulled by a golf cart. It was a comfortable ride around the 500-acre grounds while the driver provided information about the Drayton family’s long history with the land. Worth $8 each, though I have to laugh at the website’s description of the experience as being “action-packed.” The turtles, ducks and alligators barely moved. The only action we saw were thunderclouds racing us to the main house. Fortunately, we had tickets for the house tour while the rain poured down.
During the House Tour, I was disappointed to learn that the original house had burned to the ground due to lightning. The second house burned to the ground during the Civil War. The current house is actually half of what an heir rebuilt and the other half and second floor was built by his daughter who married a wealthy man from up north. The house was interesting, but I was expecting to see the original house and architecture. (Note: No photography allowed in the house.)
The rain stopped about the time the House Tour ended, so we walked through gardens on the way to the Boat Tour. Alas, no one showed up to lead the Boat Tour. After waiting fifteen minutes with a couple other families, I called the Gift House only to learn the tour was cancelled due to the rain. A lapse in gracious Southern manners.
The ride home in our wet Jeep was going to be less than comfortable, so we stopped at Gene’s Haufbrau for a nibble and craft beer before we hit the road. Try the Buffaotaki wings, a little tangy, a little salty.
During the cold, damp, dark, four-hour ride home, we hit a cloud of bugs. The windshied looked like we lost a day-long booger fight.