Middleton Place is a living history museum where visitors can learn about life in the South during the Colonial, Revolutionary War, and Civil War eras. This former rice plantation along the Ashley River is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States, the Middleton family’s residence and stables, an organic farm, and a restaurant. If you want to stay overnight, you can check in at The Inn at Middleton Place, a 3-star hotel on the grounds.
Construction of the country estate began in the early 18th century. Henry Middleton, the son-in-law of the original owner and an important political figure, expanded the residence and added the formal gardens. Henry’s son, Arthur, was born at Middleton Place and returned in 1763 after being educated in England and traveling throughout Europe. He took over his father’s seat in the Continental Congress and was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Subsequent generations of Middletons transitioned the property from a family residence to an active rice plantation. The house was gutted by fire during the Civil War and damaged further by an earthquake in 1886.
Get a bird's-eye view of Middleton Place today:
After being lovingly restored by descendants of the Middletons, the property was honored with a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Middleton Place is owned by a not-for-profit foundation that welcomes visitors who come to see the gardens, hear the stories of the plantation owners and slaves, and enjoy the view of the Ashley River.
Cover image courtesy of the Middleton Place Foundation