Charleston is known as much for its history as it is for its beauty. Many of the contemporary locations in my novels
are loosely set on some of the private plantations in the area. Tourists from all around the world come to take in
the unique flavor of local plantations.
One of your first stops should be some of our historic, stately plantations. My favorite is Middleton Plantation. The
grounds and gardens are peaceful and tranquil. The plantation has working stables and exhibits. The plantation's
restaurant is one of my favorite places to dine, so make a reservation early!
A few miles down the road from Middleton is Magnolia. It is usually a bit more busy...or it may just seem that way
with all the peacocks and chickens making noise. My grandchildren love this place...but were a little afraid of the
animals when they were little. Be sure to take a tour of the former rice fields when you are there.
Drayton Hall is lovely, as well, but there are fewer exhibits and things to do there. It is also just down the road from
Boone Hall Plantation is picturesque and has quite a lot to offer. They actually produce products that are sold nearby. Many times throughout the year, Boone Hall hosts various events--like wine tastings and the Oyster Festival--so you may want to plan your visit accordingly.
If you like rustic plantations, visit Hampton Plantation State Historic Site. The grounds and garden are free for guests to roam, and the house requires a nominal admission fee and comes with a guided tour from a park ranger. It's a good place to plan a casual picnic.
My new favorite private plantation is Mansfield Plantation in Georgetown, South Carolina. It is an old rice plantation turned bed and breakfast. I stayed in a cottage on the grounds and LOVED it. From my bedroom window, I watched the sun rise in a glorious burst over the old rice fields. Enchanting!
You must visit our beaches. Each has a different flavor and vibe. Isle of Palm Beach is most popular, but it can get a little crowded. But there you can find lots of beach shops and restaurants.
Folly Beach is on a hippy-chic island and is more "chill;" however, the beach can get pretty small at high tide.
Edisto Beach is very quaint and the island is off the beaten path.
My personal favorite, however, is Kiawah Island Beach. You must travel through an area laden with live oak
trees and dotted with palms. The beach is wide and the public area has lifeguards and facilities.
Photo Gallery of Favorite Lowcountry Places
When I write, I love to use the backdrop of the South Carolina Lowcountry as an anchor to my stories, and in some cases, the setting even becomes character.