On our last visit to Charleston, SC we had such a great time just had to go back! We like to go when things aren’t real busy with tourist traffic, or when it it’s too hot, so we went there the beginning of February. I guess the weather could have been a little better, a little warmer temperatures would have been welcomed, but overall, it was a nice vacation. On the last trip we went to the Aquarium, Patriots Point and Battery Park and the Waterfront Park. The kids and adults all had a fabulous time. If you haven’t had a chance to read about that trip, here’s a link to that article.
We only had a few days to spend sightseeing but we managed to find some great places everyone just loved! I think everyone’s favorite was Middleton Place Gardens. Although the kids weren’t too excited to be going to a garden in the winter, we were all pleasantly surprised how beautiful it was and there were camellias blooming. Because it is a formal garden, even without flowers, the trees with the hanging Spanish moss and the ponds and all the statues makes for a peaceful place to spend some time. We only had time to go through the garden and stable area, but there are horse drawn carriage rides, a home tour available for an additional fee, and a restaurant. I think we spent three hours just exploring the grounds.
Of course the kids liked the stable area the best. Our first stop was at the textile room. A woman was there explaining how the textiles were made. They have sheep that they sheer and get the wool, and angora goats that they also get material from to weave into cloth. The woman was great and answered all the questions the kids had about how she used the resources that were available to make things.
On our way to the barn, we stopped to talk to a volunteer who began telling us all about the tools that the slaves used in their everyday jobs. The coolest thing was the corn grinder: two very large stones stacked on top of each other, with a hole in the center where you put the corn. You use a wooden pole to turn the stones, which grinds the corn. Of course you can’t just put the corn through the grinder one time, NO, you have to do this several time to get a fine grind. When I tried to do some grinding, I could hardly move the stones. Just imagine a slave doing this all day long!
Once we had some corn ground, the guide used some of it to coax two female peacocks out of the rafters to the ground. They were really cool to see, fanning out their feathers and gobbling up the corn.
Our next stop along the way was at the potters shop. He was very informative about all the different pieces of pottery that he had found on the property. The kids loved the arrowheads and the pieces of pipes that he had found. They even guessed what the pieces of small white tubes were. (They were the stems of an old pipe.) The potter encouraged the kids to pick up and look at different pieces of old pottery. They really enjoyed that.
There were horses that the kids got to pet, a pig, goats that were close enough for them to pet too, along with cows and water buffalo. We stayed quite a distance from the cows and the water buffalo, though.
After checking out all the animals, we went exploring more of the grounds. They used to grow rice there and you can see a little area where they still grow some. It is quite fascinating all that is involved with growing rice.
This place must be just gorgeous in the spring. They have one hillside that is planted with thousands of azaleas. I would love to go back and see that.
So, with all the beautiful gardens, the wonderful animals, we all enjoyed Middleton Place. And I haven’t even touched on the history of the place. So much to see and do and so little time!
If you are ever in the area with your family and looking for something fun to do, be sure to consider taking a tour at Middleton Place.
I have more fun things to tell you about our time in Charleston, but you will just have to check back for my next installment. There’s even more things to keep you and your family busy when you are in the area.
NOTE: We had more adventures on this trip and you can read about them here.