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Visit the gorgeous gardens at Middleton Place in South Carolina

Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina
Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina
Keely L. Herrick

If you're looking to have an adventure into the past on your next trip to Charleston, South Carolina, consider heading out to Middleton Place. Fans of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens will love strolling through the grounds at this gorgeous historic landmark. The gardens are known as the oldest landscaped gardens in the U.S., and the tour (included in the admission price) is delivered in a lively, informative style.

If you're expecting heaps of roses and other types of flowers, be advised that this isn't that type of garden, although if you visit in April you will see some impressive azaleas and cameilias. Instead, these gardens were created by Henry Middleton in 1741 in the style of European gardens he had seen during his grand tour. You will see echoes of Versailles and other majestic, elegant creations in the highly organized layout of the grounds. Take care to notice the symmetry and mathematical precision of the arrangements as you gaze over the butterfly-inspired lawn. At least one of the Middletons was a noted botanist, and the family cultivated several species of plants that were new to the country at the time.

You can tour the gardens on your own speed, but it's also recommended to take the tour provided by one of the knowledgeable guides on site. You can also visit the main house and the stables and freed slave quarters on site to learn more about the history of the area. General admission tickets range from $28 for adults, to $15 for students, and $10 for children 6-13.