The South is known for numerous plantations: large estates with farms producing a wide variety of crops. One of the most popular and still functioning plantations is the Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant in South Carolina. Located just 20 minutes outside of historic Charleston, Boone Hall was founded in 1681 on the banks of the Wampacheone Creek by English Major John Boone. For centuries the plantation was known for growing and selling cotton and pecans. Now, the Boone Hall Farms Market also sells various fruits, vegetables, seafood (from the local docks), prepared foods, and gifts. Film buffs will recognize the estate as a setting in the film “The Notebook.”
The plantation offers a wide variety of ways to explore the site and learn from history. All tours are included with the admission fee. I first wrote about Boone Plantation for Kidventurous, but wanted to share some of my favorite parts of our visit and a few nearby bonus stops: (updated for summer 2017)
Ride the plantation coach tour: It’s about 45 minutes and covers the entire plantation (over 700 acres!) in an open air coach. You’ll see the fields of crops (everything from fruits and vegetables to bee boxes), pecan trees, and marshes. The children will appreciate a rest for their feet. (The house tour does not have any place to sit down and strollers are not allowed).
Bonus: Less than a half mile from Boone Plantation is the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, home of Snee Farm, the governor’s plantation in the early 1800s, and operated by the National Parks Service. There is no fee to explore the site, which includes a variety of historical exhibits, three different short films (a bio on Pickney, discrepancies in the Constitution, and the Convention of 1787), and walking trails. My children enjoyed the Junior Ranger program, where they were given a booklet to complete a scavenger hunt to earn their JR badge. Since we’ve visited, they have upped their program schedule, and offer multiple events each week, many of them family friendly. Don’t forget to get your passport stamped!
Eat with the locals: My husband found Jack’s Cosmic Dogs online, searching the Food Network website (one of our to-go search spots for local favorites). Our kids loved the vibe and the hot dogs do live up to their reputation as the “Best in Charleston. “