We visited the Magnolia Plantation on a Saturday morning. It is about 12 miles or 25 minutes from the Charleston historic market area. The drive is very easy but we did encounter some construction on the road to the plantation for about 4 or 5 miles.
Magnolia Plantation is open summer hours of 8 – 5:30 and winter hours of 9 – 4:30. They offer a tiered admission so you can pick what you want to visit and pay for those items only. We went with a basic admission ($15) and added on the Audubon Swamp ($8).
Its a five minute thing even if you have children to pop into the petting zoo area. There are not many animals and we did not return to the area after my husband cut his head open on the roof of the snake cage. If you are tall be very careful when you look at the snakes!
Basic admission includes the petting zoo, historic gardens, conservatory, orientation theater, peacock cafe and gift shop.