When you travel to the south there is one destination that is always a must, a plantation. What is a plantation? It is a large estate with usually several hundreds of acres of land, multiple working buildings, beautiful gardens, some type of cash or food crop, and many working animals. Plantations are large enough that they can be an all-day sight-seeing tour, but when you have two little kids a full day looking at flowers and crops is not too exciting. Around Charleston there are several plantations to choose from and they each offer something unique and different to enjoy. One plantation was highly recommended to us by another mother who said she takes her children there and they really enjoy it. If another mother recommends it then it must be good right?
So we planned to spend half a day or up to 6 hours at the Middleton Place. It was about a 25-minute drive outside of Charleston on a 2 lane road that had multiple plantations. We decided on the full experience which included a 45-minute horse drawn carriage ride around the plantation, entrance onto the grounds, and guided tour of the house. There were also additional tours of various parts of the plantation during the day including a tour of the flower gardens. When you are touring a plantation, it is best to get there earlier in the day to try and beat the heat, however, with kids, you get there when you get there. We got there around noon and decided to take the guided garden tour. There were only a few of us on the tour and the lady we had was extremely knowledgeable about the history behind the plantation, but the kids were hot and ready for something different.
After the tour ended, it was time for our horse drawn carriage ride around the plantation. The kids thought this was so much fun because they love horses and with it being so bumpy, they felt like they were on an amusement park ride. As the estate was quite large, this was a great way to get around the grounds and see the different buildings and natural beauty of the property.
After our carriage ride it was time to take our tour of the house. The house was air-conditioned, which gave us nice break from the heat, but it was also dimly light due to the 200-year-old paintings and other valuables. The tour was very interesting for adults as the guide went through a good amount of history, but the kids were bored and unimpressed by the children’s room. I wouldn’t recommend the house tour for children as there are a lot of artifacts that required no touching, and this can be difficult for kids (especially ours!).
After the house tour, we headed over to the barn and blacksmith area. We were able to see the horses being fed, and the kids found out that there were three cats roaming the area so it became a game to find them. At a certain time every day, one of the employees brings Bessy, a cow, up to a special area where she is milked. She was an older cow and very tame, which is why they chose her to milk. The kids all gathered around to see what was happening and to our surprise, they let the kids milk her also. This was a lot of fun for the kids, probably the best part of their day.
We spent 4 and a half hours at the Middleton Plantation and I would say that it was worth taking them, but I would plan next time to get their when they first open to try and beat the heat. We were also careful around any water as there were alligators lounging around on the grassy areas near one of the ponds, and definitely take bug spray because there were a lot of bugs.
Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation. Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs.
When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business. Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!