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6 Excellent Reasons Why You Should Visit Boone Hall Plantation

Last updated on February 29th, 2024 at 11:09 am

If you’re planning a trip to Charleston, South Carolina then make time in your itinerary to visit Boone Hall Plantation.

I didn’t think I could travel to Charleston without visiting a plantation. To me, the Low Country and plantation life are inextricably linked and I had to visit at least one plantation. In addition, I have a genuine interest in this era of United States history and wanted to see and learn more.

I chose to visit Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant not just because it’s the most well known, but because I felt that it was offering me a more comprehensive overview of planation life than other, equally interesting, plantations. I was not disappointed.

Here are 6 excellent reasons why you should visit Boone Hall Plantation (in no particular order).

Reason 1 – Boone Hall is a Working Farm

Boone Hall Plantation was founded in 1681 by Major John Boone and his wife Elizabeth, the land having been a gift from her father on their marriage. The Plantation passed through other hands until 1955 when it was purchased by its current owners, the McRae family. Your ticket to Boone Hall Plantation includes a history talk where you can learn about the families that have owned Boone Hall.

The Plantation covers 738 acres and remains a working plantation to this day, having grown crops for over 300 years. Regular rotation of crops takes place in order to rest the soil. Produce grown includes such things as strawberries, watermelon, corn, blueberries, tomatoes etc. depending on the season.

Your ticket includes a plantation tractor tour around the site. It will take 30-40 minutes and includes a narrated history. It’s an excellent way to see the wider Plantation and frankly, in the summer months, it’s lovely to be able to sit down under some shade!

Image showing the plantation tractor tour available to visitors, another excellent reason to visit Boone Hall

Reason 2 – A Stunning Avenue Of Live Oaks

In 1743, the son of Plantation founder Major John Boone planted live oaks, evenly spaced in 2 rows. It took two centuries for the branches to meet overhead and create the stunning avenue you will drive up on arrival at Boone Hall.

The oaks are dripping with Spanish Moss (although this isn’t actually Spanish and isn’t a moss!) and really are a sight to behold. Indeed, you will really feel that you are arriving at a Plantation!

Image showing the avenue of live oaks at Boone Hall Plantation, one of the excellent reasons to visit Boone Hall Plantation.

Reason 3 – Slave History Presentation

One of the most notable features of Boone Hall Plantation are the brick slave quarters that line the left hand side of the Avenue of Live Oaks as you approach the main house. The 9 cabins were built between 1790 and 1810 using bricks made by the enslaved people on the Plantation. Up to 15 people lived in each cabin.

Today, the cabins are each dedicated to a specific time period in American history and show how black Americans worked and lived, from the time of their arrival in America through to the present day. This Black History in America exhibit is included in the ticket price. Tours are self-guided and you are free to wander amongst and within the cabins.

There is also opportunity to watch a Historical Dwelling History Talk where a guide will discuss enslaved life and architectural significance of the cabins. Despite being a working farm, Boone Hall Plantation history is prominent throughout your visit.

Reason 4 – Gullah Culture Presentation

The Gullah people are descended from West and Central Africans who were enslaved and brought to America to work on plantations.

Boone Hall claims it’s the only plantation in the Charleston area to offer a live presentation of the Gullah culture. Through songs, language and stories, descendants of the Gullah people educate visitors. During the presentation you will learn the importance of hymns as code for sharing information. For example, “Wade in the Water” advised runaways to travel in streams/rivers where dogs would lose their scent. “Swing Low” advised that the underground railway was operating and it was time to run.

The presentation runs for about 30 minutes and takes place outside one of the original slave cabins. The presentation is an absolute must see and included in the ticket price.

Image of their in which a presentation of the Gullah culture is held and visitors can see when visiting Boone Hall Plantation

Reason 5 – House Tour

The Plantation house stands in stark contrast to the nearby slave cabins. Although built in 1936, it does show how it would have looked in the 18th century.

A guided tour is included in the ticket price. These tours are, however, limited to the first floor. You do have to reserve your tour time beforehand at the hospitality office on site.

Note that photos/videoing are not permitted inside the Plantation house.

Image showing the plantation house at Boone Hall Plantation. Touring the house is an excellent reason to visit Boone Hall Plantation.

Reason 6 – There’s Something for Everyone!

As if those first 5 excellent reasons weren’t enough, there is more on offer at Boone Hall Plantation. Nature walks, beautiful gardens, stable tours, butterfly pavilion (seasonal), gin house, seasonal events such as the Boone Hall pumpkin patch and corn maze and an on-site café means there is something for everyone!

Essential Visitor Information

Now that we have established the 6 excellent reasons why you should visit Boone Hall Plantation here is the essential information you will need before visiting:

  • Boone Hall Plantation is located about 8 miles from Downtown Charleston
  • If you don’t have access to a vehicle, you will need to join an oganised tour or use a taxi. I booked this tour with Gray Line Charleston which offered transport and entry ticket. Otherwise check these tours offered through Get Your Guide
  • Opening Times are Monday through Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 12pm – 5pm
  • Ticket prices begin at $28 for adults, concessions are available
  • On arrival you are provided with an itinerary sheet detailing what tours are available that day and at what times. There is a simple Boone Hall Plantation map with it.
  • Allow 3-4 hours for your visit (oganised tours will take a little longer)
  • Check the Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens website for up to date visitor information

Tips for Visiting Boone Hall Plantation

Here are my tips for getting the most out of your visit to Boone Hall Plantation:

  • review the itinerary sheet provided on arrival listing all tour times and structure your visit accordingly
  • be sure to reserve your place on a house tour by visiting the hospitality office
  • secure your place on the tractor-pulled wagon Plantation tour by arriving at the departure point early enough
  • in summer it will be hot and humid so dress appropriately and carry water
  • wear sunscreen and bug spray!
  • wear comfortable shoes as there will be a bit of walking
  • buy an ice cream!

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, Boone Hall Plantation offers visitors a reality check. Not only are you presented with the magnificent Avenue of Live Oaks and met at the end by a beautiful Plantation home set amongst lovely gardens, you are also confronted with the fact that much, if not all, of this beauty is built upon an ugly truth, slavery.

The lives and contributions of those enslaved on Boone Hall is certainly remembered and honoured through the presentations available to visitors.

It was this combination of truths and these 6 excellent reasons that made me, and hopefully you, decide to visit Boone Hall Plantation.

In planning your trip to Charleston, SC, do read my posts 12 of the Best Things to Do In Charleston, How to Visit Fort Sumter and 10 Hidden Gems and Unusual Things in Charleston for more ideas, tips and inspiration for your visit.

Disclaimer – Visitor information correct at the time of writing but do check before travelling.

Disclosure – This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you book something using them, I will earn a small commission but you will not pay anything extra. Thank you for supporting my blog.

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