Plan a romantic weekend getaway to Charleston, South Carolina and stay at one of these beautiful inns and B&Bs that cater to couples with attentive service, unique décor and privacy. Check into a room with scenic harbor views, stay in pre-revolutionary National Historic Landmark or enjoy the tranquil surroundings of a former rice plantation in Charleston.
1. HarbourView Inn
© HarbourView Inn
The HarbourView Inn is a newly refreshed, modern, elegant establishment whose lobby features original artwork and a cozy fireplace. Guests can pick from a traditional room, HarbourSide Room, Historic Room, HarbourView Room, or the suite on the top floor; there are 52 options in total. Traditional rooms have lightweight bathrobes, make-up mirrors, iHome docking stations, mini-fridges, in-room safes, HDTVs, and wireless Internet. You can also pick a room with a view of the harbor, private balconies, or one that has French doors that open out onto the Waterfront Park.
The Historic Rooms, naturally located in the historic wing, have 14-foot ceilings and plantation shutters with either walk-in showers or soaking tubs. The suite also has a working fireplace and fold out bed in the living room as well as access to complimentary drinks and snacks.
The inn gives guests a great view of the pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park and the Charleston harbor. It has the perfect location for a walk to the market, a shopping trip, or a visit to one of the nearby restaurants. Daily Portside Breakfast is served in the Atrium Lobby, Rooftop Terrace, or in your room, while flavored ice tea, snacks, and fresh coffee are available all day in the lobby. There are milk and cookies at night and a complimentary Skyline Tour twice a week.
2 Vendue Range, 843-853-8439
2. The Inn at Middleton Place
© The Inn at Middleton Place
The Inn at Middleton Place provides guests with the perfect opportunity to take advantage of all of the activities at Middleton Place. The inn was a former rice plantation, but it was repurposed; today, it is a stunning property with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer expansive views.
There are 35 rooms available, each with a rustic decor that is designed to complement the natural surroundings. The rooms have hardwood floors, braided rugs, and handcrafted furniture while some also have garden tubs. There also suites available as well as rooms with fireplaces and/or patios.
Middleton Place includes the House Museum (from 1755) and the Gardens (established in 1741). There are also tours to learn more about Arthur Middleton, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and his home. The tours cover the Plantation stable yards, and there is also a Beyond the Fields tour as well as carriage tours available. Every Monday night, the inn plays a classic movie and serves a special dinner. You can also schedule a guided horse trail ride or rent a kayak. The complimentary breakfast includes fresh fruit, cereal, and pastries, or you can buy a hot breakfast. Evening refreshments includes wine, beer, and appetizers.
4290 Ashley River Rd, 843-556-0500
3. Planters Inn
© Planters Inn
The award-winning Planters Inn is located in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, where it perfectly combines Southern charm and elegant sophistication. The inn is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group of privately-owned fine boutique hotels and restaurants located in some of the most romantic corners of the planet. Planters Inn is proud that each of its’ luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites has been individually designed and equipped to offer the pinnacle of luxury and romance. Each room has a beautiful 4-poster bed, fine linens and extravagant bathroom. The grounds are equally appealing featuring several outdoor spaces for relaxation and the Grill Room offers outstanding dining. More Charleston, SC beaches
112 North Market Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 722 2345
4. Jasmine House Inn
© Jasmine House Inn
Jasmine House Inn gives guests a chance to relax in an 1843 Creek Revival mansion conveniently located in the Ansonborough area of the city. You can easily walk to City Market and various fascinating historic sights. The inn is filled with reproductions as well as period antiques, and each room has been individually arranged and decorated You can pick a room with a private piazza, gas fireplace, full kitchen, 14-foot ceiling, and/or double whirlpool.
There are a total of 11 rooms available, including a walk-up flat and several carriage house rooms. Some rooms open right onto the courtyard and have small balconies.
For guests who want to do more than simply relax during their stay, there are also several activity packages available, including a golf package and seasonal packages. Throughout the house, you will notice ornate iron and woodwork, 15-foot ceilings, plaster entablatures, and hardwood floors. The building was renovated to its former glory in 1982 before becoming an inn.
64 Hassell St, 888-913-0488
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5. The Spectator Hotel
© The Spectator Hotel
An opulent and luxurious hotel, The Spectator is located on a quiet street between the thriving French Quarter and City Market and only a short walk from Waterfront Park. The hotel draws inspiration from the Roaring Twenties. The elegant rooms and suites have marble bathrooms, smart TVs, desks, Nespresso machines, iPod docks, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. Upgraded rooms also have views of the city and/or balconies, while suites have cozy living areas. Butler service is complimentary. Guests enjoy a beautiful speakeasy-style bar and lounge and complimentary breakfast.
67 State Street, Charleston, SC 29401, Tel. 843-724-4326
6. Battery Carriage House
© Battery Carriage House
The Battery Carriage House Inn dates back to 1843, giving guests the opportunity to stay in a historic building with modern amenities and upscale accommodations. Each of the eleven rooms has unique decorations that create a romantic ambience replete with historic influences. Every room has a private entrance along the brick-lined carriageway.
There are three king rooms with large king beds and whirlpool tubs as well as outdoor patio access. The suite has a relaxing and elegant sitting room. There are also rooms with four-poster queen beds, traditional queen beds, and/or romantic canopies.
You will pass through picturesque iron gates as you enter the property, at which point you will see the grounds, which offer perfect views of sailboats in Charleston Harbor. There is wine in the lobby as well as several chairs perfect for relaxing.
The continental breakfast is light and healthy, and you can enjoy it either in the garden while listening to songbirds or from a silver tray right in the comfort of your room. In the afternoon, tea and sweets are provided. The Battery, also known as White Point Gardens, is a short distance from the inn.
20 S. Battery, 843-727-3100
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7. John Rutledge House Inn
© John Rutledge House Inn
If staying in a bed and breakfast that was the former home of someone who signed the United States Constitution sounds appealing to you, then the John Rutledge House Inn is the place to go. The building, designated a National Historic Landmark, has striking architectural details, period decor, and modern amenities.
Guests can stay in the main house or carriage house in a regular room, deluxe room, mini suite, or grand suite. Amenities vary based on room type, but all have private bathrooms, period antiques, and reproduction furniture as well as Tempur-Pedic beds, TVs and DVD players, refrigerators, and cozy robes. Some rooms are pet-friendly and others include bathtubs, Italian marble fireplaces, canopy beds, 12-foot ceilings, whirlpool tubs, and walk-in showers.
There is wireless Internet throughout the building and 24-hour concierge service. Guests also have access to a nearby athletic club. The day begins with a complimentary breakfast that you can enjoy in the courtyard, in the ballroom, or in your own room. You have the option of a cooked breakfast or a continental breakfast. Afternoon tea is served in the piazza or ballroom, and you can also savor evening brandy, sherry, and port and nightly chocolates with the turndown service.
116 Broad St, 800-476-9741
8. Fulton Lane Inn
© Fulton Lane Inn
The Fulton Lane Inn is right off of King Street, and it is known for its relaxing atmosphere with Southern hospitality and modern comforts. There are 45 rooms and suites, each of which has its own unique furnishings and accommodations.
You can pick from two-room suites, romantic deluxe kings, petite suites, and more. Possible amenities include tubs, two-person whirlpool tubs, canopied beds, fireplaces, cozy robes, sleeper sofas, microwaves, and separate showers. All rooms have refrigerators as well as wireless Internet.
Guests have access to the common areas, a nearby athletic club, and 24-hour concierge service. Complimentary breakfast is served in your room, and there is an evening cheese and wine reception right next door at a sister property. You can also savor an evening sherry, the perfect way to unwind. Families will enjoy the two-room suites while couples will love staying in one of the romantic rooms with a two-person whirlpool tub.
202 King St, 800-720-2688
9. Andrew Pinckney Inn
© Andrew Pinckney Inn
This boutique hotel, located in a refined historic building, has 41 elegant, welcoming rooms that call to mind traditional Southern hospitality. The inn is decorated in calming greens and blues with cream and rich chocolate accents.
You can choose from one of the 37 guest rooms, 3 townhouse suites, or St. Philip’s Suite. You can select a room with atrium views and queen, king, or double beds. There are also suites with sitting areas, sleeper sofas, and dressing areas. The townhouse suites cover two stories and have a full bath, while the St. Philip’s Suite has Market Street views, arched glass doors, and a Juliet balcony. All rooms have heavenly down comforters and pillows, wireless Internet, a safe deposit box, luxurious bathroom amenities, HDTVs, and iHome docking stations.
The hotel has wireless Internet access throughout as well as umbrellas, concierge service, and a relaxing rooftop. Guests can also access the nearby Eco Fitness. The complimentary continental breakfast is served daily on the rooftop terrace, where you can also enjoy the seasonal afternoon welcome reception. The inn serves gourmet tea and coffee and cookies in the afternoon.
40 Pinckney St, 843-937-8800
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10. 1837 Bed & Breakfast
© 1837 Bed & Breakfast
The historic 1837 Bed & Breakfast is a warm and inviting establishment located in a restored home that has been serving guests since 1984. There are nine rooms that are the embodiment of southern hospitality; they feature a joggling board, rocking chairs, and open piazzas.
Guests also have the option of staying in a brick carriage/kitchen house. There is complimentary Wi-Fi and parking on-site. There are six guest rooms in the main house and two rooms plus a suite in the carriage house. The amenities range from room to room, some featuring queen canopy rice beds and extra twin beds. Other amenities include private baths, glass and marble showers, bathtubs, clawfoot tubs, and twin sleigh beds. All rooms have cable TVs, fridges, private entrances, and private baths.
The main house also has common rooms such as a parlor, dining room, and kitchen. Breakfast is served every morning on the piazza or in the dining room. It includes tea or coffee and homemade bread like monkey bread, pineapple inside-down cake, blueberry muffins, and banana bread. This is followed with a hot entree and fresh fruit and juice.
126 Wentworth St, 843-723-7166
11. The Ashley Inn
© The Ashley Inn
The Ashley Inn was built around 1832 and features stately federal-style architecture. There are six guest rooms as well as one suite, each of which has a canopy, pencil-post, or four-poster bed. Each room has a private bathroom en-suite, original heart pine woodwork and floors, crown molding, and 12-foot ceilings.
There are also modern amenities such as air conditioning and heating, irons and ironing boards, iPod docking stations in the clock radio, flat screen TVs, and digital cable TV. Some rooms also have direct access to the piazzas and sitting rooms and feature comfortable sofas and gorgeous oriental carpets.
Guests can also relax in the piazzas, dining room, or spacious parlor. The gardens have a sitting area and gorgeous fountain. If you want ideas of what to do in the area, you can talk to the innkeepers and take advantage of their concierge service. Guests also have access to an ice machine, refrigerator, wireless Internet, off-street parking, and touring bicycles. The inn offers gourmet breakfast as well as afternoon tea with homemade treats and wine. Breakfast includes a breakfast parfait or a hot dish along with fresh fruit, fruit juice, coffee, and tea.
201 Ashley Ave, 843-723-1848
Located in a building which has been a landmark in historic downtown Charleston for many generations, Emeline oozes Southern charm and modern elegance. Each of the guestrooms has been individually designed and decorated to provide an oasis of tranquility within bustling Charleston. Your room is fitted with monogrammed fine linens, signature bath amenities, plush spa robes and even a vintage turntable and vinyl to set the scene for romance. They also provide a wonderful concierge service to help you make the most of every moment in Charleston. There are 2 on-site restaurants and Clerk’s Coffee Company to ensure your culinary needs are met.
181 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 577 2644
Belvedere is a friendly inn that strives to give guests a stress-free place to unwind after exploring historic Charleston. The Queen Residence includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms along the south side with wrought iron gates. The rooms have private baths, luxurious bedding, laundry facilities, and in-room safes as well as air conditioning and cable TV.
The building has two columned porticos and double piazzas and is conveniently located right across from Colonial Lake, where you will find a ball field, tennis courts, and lush gardens. In the morning, you can enjoy a continental breakfast or choose from the offerings in the well-stocked kitchen.
There is also a private dining room, living room, and kitchen. You will have convenient access to wireless Internet. There is typically a minimum required stay of at least a few nights, and the requirement varies based on the season. The Queen Residence can host up to four adults, and there is maid service every several days.
40 Rutledge Ave, 843-277-1113
14. 21 East Battery Bed & Breakfast
© 21 East Battery Bed & Breakfast
This privately owned bed and breakfast is located within the Edmondston-Alston House, which dates back to 1825. Many of the Greek Revival details were added in 1838 during extensive remodeling projects.
Today, the building faces Charleston Harbor, and it provides you with the opportunity to stay in a private residence with inn amenities. You can stay in the Private Quarters or Carriage House. Either option has a private entrance and comes with fresh breakfast as well as complimentary access to an Edmondston-Alston House Tour, off-street parking, daily housekeeping, and a well-stocked kitchen. The Carriage House is ideal for one couple, but it can accommodate up to four people. The Quarters has two bedrooms as well. Depending on where you stay, you can also enjoy a second-floor balcony or gas-burning fireplaces.
The back area of the property was originally a livery and stable, while the Quarters once served as home to the servants. The High Battery is just a short walk away, giving guests easy access to restaurants, attractions, shopping, and more.
21 East Battery, 843-556-0500
15. The Dewberry Charleston
© The Dewberry Charleston
Overlooking Charleston’s Marion Square, The Dewberry is a luxury hotel located in the former mid-century Mendell Rivers Federal building, a short walk to the Charleston Museum, American Theater, Charleston Farmers Market, and the South Carolina Aquarium. The chic, elegant rooms feature custom furniture and original local art, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, mini-bars, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Suites add marble bathrooms, separate living rooms, and four-poster beds. Guests enjoy an upscale brasserie and tea room, a trendy cocktail bar, a rooftop terrace with a bar, a spa, a library, a gym, and fitness classes in the open air. The large indoor/outdoor event space includes a spectacular glass-enclosed rooftop space.
334 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403, Phone: 843-558-8000
16. Market Pavilion Hotel
© Market Pavilion Hotel
Taking the art of Southern hospitality to the next level, the historic Market Pavilion Hotel has been welcoming visitors for more than 85 years. The hotel is perfectly located in the heart of historic downtown, just steps from many of the city’s tourist attractions. The guestrooms and suites are luxuriously appointed and provide a wonderful backdrop to a romantic getaway. Amenities include fabulous bathrooms with deep soaking tubs (some rooms have a whirlpool) and large walk-in showers, Hermes toiletries and many other little luxuries. The on-site Grill 225 restaurant serves award-winning prime steaks, freshly-caught sea food and wonderful artisan cocktails.
225 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 723 0500
17. Zero George
© Zero George
The graceful Zero George hotel is set in beautifully restored historic buildings which date back to 1804. The 16 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites are spread across 3 buildings which all retain their historic charm while providing guests will all the modern luxuries you could desire. Most of the rooms enjoy shared outdoor verandas or open onto the courtyard where you can enjoy early morning coffee or continental breakfast. Every evening guests are invited to a cheese and wine pairing prior to dinner. To complete your experience you must dine at the acclaimed Zero Restaurant which has won several awards for its outstanding gourmet cuisine.
0 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 817 1864
18. The Elliott House Inn
© The Elliott House Inn
In a city where there are many beautiful and romantic hotels to choose from, the Elliott House Inn is a great option for a weekend of indulgence. The building was originally a private home built from salvaged materials after a massive fire swept through Charleston in 1861. Today the inn has been most sympathetically restored to offer the perfect intimate base from which to explore all the city has to offer. The rooms and suites are elegant and sophisticated, brimming with southern charm and flair. To add something extra special to your romantic getaway you can choose their Romance Package which includes bubbles, chocolates, a dining voucher and a late check-out.
78 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 518 6500
19. Church Street Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection
© Church Street Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection
Another of Charleston’s beautiful centrally-located boutique hotels, the Church Street Inn is an excellent choice for a romantic getaway. The hotel is perfectly positioned for exploring Charleston and boasts spacious town-house style suites with full kitchens, a separate living room and a comfortable and well-equipped bedroom. There is a lovely outdoor courtyard where you can relax with a coffee or a drink and if you do not feel like cooking you can dine at one of several restaurants located very close by. There is an on-site fitness room, a concierge desk and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. There is a parking garage close by and valet parking is available.
177 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 722 3420
20. Indigo Inn
© Indigo Inn
Located in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, the Indigo Inn is a perfect choice for a romantic getaway. The inn surrounds a European-style inner courtyard where you can relax after a busy day of exploring. All the gracious guestrooms have been beautifully furnished with Queen or King Beds – several feature romantic four-poster beds – and attractive period furniture. The Indigo offers couples a special Romance Package which includes a bottle of bubbly and chocolates. Guests also enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast and an evening cheese and wine reception. Although there is no on-site restaurant, Indigo Inn is located just steps from some of Charleston’s most popular restaurants. More day trips from Charleston, SC
1 Maiden Lane, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 577 5900
21. The Loutrel
© The Loutrel
You can spoil your partner with a weekend of extravagant luxury and romance when you book a guestroom or suite at the Loutrel, one of Charleston’s most carefully curated boutique hotels. All the rooms and suites have been furnished with special little luxuries to ensure a memorable getaway – it starts with fabulous Matouk luxury linens, your favorite Lavazza coffee, Deep Steep bath amenities and a Dyson hairdryer. You will also get to enjoy special locally-sourced snacks and beverages in your mini-fridge. After a busy day of exploring all Charleston has to offer, you can sip artisan cocktails on the fabulous roof-top terrace overlooking the city.
61 State Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 872 9600
22. Kings Courtyard Inn
© Kings Courtyard Inn
Kings Courtyard Inn occupies one of the oldest buildings on Charleston’s famous King Street. The inn retains its Greek Revival style architecture and combines the intimacy of a B&B with the style and amenities of a boutique hotel, perfectly setting the scene for a romantic getaway. There is a choice of 42 beautifully presented guest rooms, several of which feature original working fire places, romantic 4-poster beds and quiet views over one of the three interior courtyards. Guests are invited to enjoy a continental breakfast in the courtyard (or delivered to your guestroom) every morning and a cheese and wine (or sherry) reception every evening.
198 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 723 7000
23. French Quarter Inn
© French Quarter Inn
Consistently ranked as one of the best hotels in Charleston, the French Quarter Inn is a perfect choice for a luxurious romantic getaway. Here you will find the perfect blend of historic and contemporary design in each and every luxurious guestroom or suite. The Queen or King Size beds are fitted with the finest European bed linens and you have a choice of 7 different pillows to ensure restorative sleep. All the rooms feature over-sized marble bathrooms and up-market shower amenities. To add to your experience you can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast, the use of complimentary bikes for exploring and all-day complimentary teas, coffees, waters and snacks in the lobby.
166 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 722 1900
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More Ideas: South Carolina Aquarium
Located in Charleston, South Carolina, the South Carolina Aquarium is the premier location in historic Charleston to explore marine life. With a variety of marine life to explore and learn about, the South Carolina Aquarium has an array of attractions to make it easy for visitors to immerse themselves within the Aquarium.
Founded on May 19, 2000, the South Carolina Aquarium has over 10,000 marine life on display for visitors to explore and learn about. This non-profit organization provides an exceptional experience for everyone by spending critical time conserving and learning about the animals within their exhibits. Through exceptional education and research, the South Carolina Aquarium is able to successfully house and take for a variety of marine animals that the general public should be informed about.
Mountain Forest is a unique exhibit that displays a variety of animals. If you gaze beyond the waterfalls you can see a bald eagle, and if you look below, you’ll be able to see a variety of fish swimming. You can also catch a glimpse of a few of the otters playing.
Piedmont showcases smaller marine life in their natural environments. Visitors can see suckers and bass in this exhibit.
Coastal Plain allows visitors to explore a swamp during twilight hours and explore the various animals in the swamp. This exhibit also displays how severe weather conditions, such as a hurricane, can effect terrain and ecosystems.
Saltmarsh Aviary is a combination of the 6,000 gallon tank that houses stingrays and a separate area for marine life, such as puffer fish and herons. Visitors can purchase a $3 shrimp cup to feed the stingrays in this exhibit.
Touch Tank allows visitors to get up close and personal with marine invertebrates and stingrays. This exhibit is supervised by South Carolina Aquarium staff who can tell you information and fun facts about the animals you’re exploring.
Coast shows you the variety of animals that live in the coast of Charleston.
Ocean is the largest exhibit in the South Carolina Aquarium. This exhibit is two stories and occupies a tank of approximately 385,000 gallons of water. Visitors can expect to see a variety of animals, including a loggerhead sea turtle that weighs around 220 pounds! There are also daily dive shows that occur in this exhibit.
Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery is a living and interactive exhibit that enables visitors to learn about the process of rescuing, rehabilitating, and eventually releasing sea turtles who need help.
BricksALIVE is located on the second floor of the South Carolina Aquarium and is a collection of marine animal sculptures made out of colorful LEGOs. Over 250,000 LEGOs are used to make this magnificent animal sculptures.
Carolina Seas is the first exhibit in the South Carolina Aquarium and has a 15,000 gallon tank that is home to a variety of colorful fish that can be found off the South Carolina coast.
Backyard Habitat showcases a variety of displays that you can easily replicate for your own home.
Shark Shallows allows visitors to touch the top rays of sharks with their fingertips. It’s important to note that the sharks within this exhibit have been plagued by a naturally-occurring parasite. That being said, the South Carolina Aquarium is currently taking care of the sharks to ensure they are safe and healthy. The South Carolina Aquarium has not released an exact date for when the sharks will return to Shark Shallows. For more information about Shark Shallows, and any other attraction at the South Carolina Aquarium, head over to the Aquarium’s official website.
Since the South Carolina Aquarium regularly stresses the importance of education, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Aquarium has an array of education opportunities. The educational opportunities at the South Carolina Aquarium include field trips, activities, and internship opportunities.
Field trips at the South Carolina Aquarium are the most popular educational opportunity. Schools have the choice of a self-guided field trip or following a specially trained tour guide around the South Carolina Aquarium. One of the fun features of the field trips at the South Carolina Aquarium is the extra facts and activities students have the opportunity to participate in.
One of the fun activities that is free and accessible to everyone visiting the South Carolina Aquarium is the scavenger hunt. In order to access the scavenger hunt, all you have to do is print it out from the Aquarium’s official website. Then, you can spend your time at the Aquarium learning about various marine animals and looking for the items on the scavenger hunt.
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100 Aquarium Whrf, Charleston, SC 29401, Phone: 843-720-1990
More Ideas: Middleton Place
Located in historic Charleston, Middleton Place is a former rice plantation that is located along the Ashley River. Middleton Place is divided among the following attractions: Plantation Stableyards, Gardens, and Museum. The Plantation Stableyards are where slaves used to carry out basic chores and take care of the animals. Touring the Stableyards gives people a glimpse of what life was like for enslaved people during the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the 1730s, planter John Williams began building his house at Middleton Place. Williams passed away shortly after construction, and the plantation was passed down to his daughter Mary Williams. In 1741, around the same time when the main house was finished, Mary married Henry Middleton. Immediately, Henry became intrigued by Middleton Place and wanted to make some adjustments to the house and land.
In an effort to have the most magnificent home and gardens in the neighborhood, Middleton hired Simms, a gardener from England. Together, Middleton and Simms created a luxurious garden with “Butterfly Lakes” and a twist of classic designs from Dezallier d’Argenville.
When Mary passed away in 1761, Henry passed down Middleton Place to Arthur, his son, and moved towards northern South Carolina. Arthur was active in the American Revolution in the sense that he signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In 1780, British troops invaded Charleston, and robbed Middleton Place. They even captured and imprisoned Arthur, and destroyed many of the architectural elements. After one year of imprisonment, Arthur was released, and in 1783, the British troops signed a surrender agreement at Middleton Place.
Throughout Arthur’s ownership of Middleton Place, he achieved many accomplishments. The first being the importation of water buffalo. These water buffalo came from Constantinople and are thought to be the first water buffalo that were imported into the United States. Those water buffalo were used as an effort to find the most efficient draft animal. Then, in 17866 Arthur and his friend Andre Michaux, planted the first camellias in a home garden in the United States.
When Arthur passed away in 1846, he gave the acreage to his son Williams. Fourteen years later, Williams agreed and even signed the Ordinance of Secession, which was South Carolina’s way of seceding from the United States. This ultimately led to the Civil War and infamous Fort Sumter attack. Towards the end of the Civil War, Union forces came into Charleston, found Middleton Place, and burned it to the ground. As for the animals, the troops used approximately half of the water buffalo for food, and took the other half to what became the famous Central Park Zoo.
A few years after Middleton Place had been destroyed, Williams began restoring part of it. Since Williams had insufficient funds and limited resources, he decided to use the south flanker as his main residence. When Williams passed away in 1883, the home and gardens were given to his wife Susan. But, three years after Williams’ death, the infamous Charleston earthquake occurred and completely destroyed the home and gardens, as well as any hope of quickly restoring the land.
Minor restorations began in 1900, when Williams’ daughter Elizabeth was given Middleton Place. Majority of the restorations were made possible by John Julius Pringle Smith and his wife Heningham. Smith inherited the plantation when Elizabeth passed away in 1915. Together, John and Heningham replanted and reworked the entire structure and layout of the gardens, as well as revamp the home to be a suitable winter home. By the late 1920s, the Smiths officially opened the gardens as a public garden. A decade later, the Smiths steered away from the gardens, and began focusing on replenishing the historic charm of the house.
In 1971, Middleton Place as officially recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, and was even awarded as a historic landmark for its district. Currently, the former plantation is operated by the Middleton Place Foundation.
The Gardens are regarded as the oldest landscaped gardens in America. Visitors can explore the variety of walkways, sculptures, architectural elements, canals, and horticulture. Lastly, visitors have an opportunity to learn about the people who lived and built Middleton Place by touring the House Museum.
Middleton Place offers a select number of educational opportunities. Since touring the former plantation is an educational opportunity within itself, majority of the educational opportunities offered at Middleton Place are guided tours. Middleton Place offers a variety of guided tours, which focus on different themes and areas within the former plantation.
For more information about any of the educational opportunities at Middleton Place, as well as the attractions, visit their official website or contact them during their hours of operation.
Back to: Things to Do in Charleston
4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414, Phone: 800-783-3608