Avenue of Oaks
Beautiful entrance to Boone Hall
Geo: 32.7812, -79.9316
Today I visited places I had not been to in my previous two trips to Charleston, Boone Hall Plantation and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.
The morning started off a bit brisk. It was in the low 40s when I ventured out to the car, but no snow so a positive sign! Both sites I planned to visit are located off Highway 17, a little north of Charleston in Mt Pleasant. I took the less congested route of I-526, which goes around the city and has several nice high bridges over marshes and portions of the Charleston port. Once back on Highway 17, the turn for Boone Hall is a left at a light and there is a sign shortly before letting you know the turn is coming up.
The admission price is $20 ($18 if you have AAA like me!) and includes everything on the grounds. It pays to get there early as you want to have the spectacular Avenue of Oaks drive all to yourself for pictures and just to enjoy for a few moments. These oak trees are several hundred years old and are beautifully covered with tons of Spanish moss. It's beautiful! After you park,
the next stop is the Hospitality Center to book your house tour time. I was able to get on the first tour at 9:30. Photos are not allowed in the house itself as it is a private residence and you only see 2 rooms and a covered breezeway. The present home dates from the 1930s, but Boone Hall has been a working farm since the late 1600s. The major crop was cotton up until sometime in the 1800s when the boll weevil arrived. Then the farm had the largest pecan tree grove in North America. Today the farm grows all kinds of produce. It's currently strawberry picking season and boy did they look good!
While at Boone Hall, you are able to tour the 9 remaining brick slave cabins, each of which has an audio presentation about different aspects of the residents lives. There is also a short history talk and a presentation on Gullah Culture. There is also a Plantation Coach Tour which goes around the entire 738 acres of the farm (at it's peak it was over 4,000 acres!) and the driver points out various sites of importance. That ride was quite chilly as the coach is open air
This is almost the end of the season for the Azalea and I'm glad some are still blooming
and the breeze was blowing! I stopped for hot chocolate when I got off of that!
I ate lunch at Boone Hall Farms, which is a little north of the plantation on Highway 17. The market has a cafe with delicious salads, probably delicious sandwiches and delicious sides like fried green tomatoes! You can also purchase a variety of jams, preserves, wines and produce.
Next stop, Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. The site is small and there is no entrance fee. Charles Pinckney was one of the signers of the Constitution and this site has a replica of what his home may have looked like. There is a short walking path around the property and the house has lots of information about the Pinckney family. If you don't like history, this is probably not the place for you as there is little else. But you can get a stamp for your National Park Passport!
By this time, it had warmed up so I headed for a beach. The Isle of Palms was the closest and I stopped at the County Park. It costs $7 to park in the parking lot and the beach is then just a short walk away. This is another
A small cotton crop is planted each year to show visitors what the plant looks like.
beautiful beach stretching as far as you can see in both directions. There is also a long pier going out into the ocean. I got my feet wet and then sat on the soft white sand for awhile. It was pretty windy and I got sand everywhere but it was so nice to sit and enjoy the sounds of the ocean and the warm sun!
Last stop of the day was dinner at mine and Renee's favorite place from the last trip, Hubee Ds. Delicious buttermilk cornbread, chicken tenders and fries. What a great end to the day.
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