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).
They also offer a historic home tour for $8, this is the old guest house. (The original plantation home is not standing.) You can add a nature train ride for $8. A nature boat ride for $8 and a slavery to freedom tour/talk for $8. An all inclusive pass is $47 for adults and $42 for children 6 to 12 years old. http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/admissioninfo.html
We were driving from Charleston to Savannah in the afternoon so I really only wanted to see the gardens and the swamp.
We intended to start first with the orientation movie in the theater. But the movie was not going to start to run until 10:30. That was two and a half hours after the plantation opened.
After a visit to the petting zoo we found the walkway for the garden path. You are given a numbered map to follow but ended up just walking in no real order. If we came to a split in the walkway we took whichever side looked interesting. I wouldn’t say things were well marked on the trail. The trail was wide and easy to follow so you could not become lost, just not well marked to find some of the locations.
I found pansies an odd choice with the heat. It was in the 80’s the morning we visited.
We spent an hour and a half exploring the gardens. There were lots of bridges and ponds along the way. I think we just missed the real beauty by a couple of weeks. Most of the Azalea were done blooming and the Magnolias were pretty much done also. I would love to visit again in late March or early April. We would come back again for the basic $15 admission. I think that is very reasonable for everything we walked through.
We did walk over to the slave cabins to take some pictures. We were told since we did not pay the extra $8 for the tour we could not come any closer to them. We saw what we wanted to see from the driveway really.
The above home is the duplex built in the 1850s to house two families.
If you want to see the inside of the buildings either pay the $8 or check here on the website by hovering over the pictures… http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/slaverytofreedom.html