I attended school in Savannah, Georgia which is only two and a half hours from Charleston, South Carolina where they perfectly preserved plantations from the 17th century. I always tell my parents if I could, I would live on an old plantation. It has everything I love, the old house, the history and the large land. Middleton Place is an amazing adventure to see.
My mother and I arrived to the plantation and [after getting tickets and such] we are greeted with the main house, long driveway and sheep. They were so playful it was adorable. We decided to do the self guided tour so with a map in hand, we decided to just get wonderfully lost along the trails.
The grounds are so beautiful. The gardens were created in 1741 by the original owner, Henry Middleton. His idea was to make everything symmetrical and balanced. The plantation is very well known for their Butterfly Gardens, which resemble butterfly wings with the ponds on the property.
There are other buildings besides the main house. There was an old slave living space, a chapel and a building that looks like a house but is actually where the pumps and such in order for the ponds and lake to stay clean. Now it is obviously updated with new technology but the big wooden circulation wheel is still on the side of the house to keep things moving.
In the back, there are stables and active artisans creating a variety of products that were developed on the original property, back in the 1700s. There is a blacksmith, a potter, cooper & carpenter, and a spinner & weaver. The products are amazing and sold in the store. I, of course, wanted to buy everything but I settled on a hand painted bowl.
There is also a restaurant on premises and if you do get to go, get the pecan pie. It was the most magnificent pecan pie I ever had and I was in the south for 2 years eating a lot of pecan pie.
I loved it here and I recommend Charleston to everyone I meet. It is my favorite place in the world. There is an inn on premises too if you would like a real, old fashioned southern stay.
August 2017 UPDATE:
I revisited the plantation, this time I went in the house! Although we were not allowed to take pictures, the house is amazing. Definitely worth it and I took some new pictures for your viewing pleasure! Check them out: