Fortunately, staying in one of our beach house rentals Charleston SC in the so-called “off-season” – aka winter – doesn’t mean you can’t see some world-class gardens in bloom.

In fact, there’s one flower in particular that really shows off during the very months when snow blankets much of the rest of the country.

There are many things that draw people to the Charleston area…the culture, the natural beauty, the history… and all these come together beautifully at area plantations and their gardens. And right now, the beloved camellia is the star of the show. February is considered peak time for camellias to show their bountiful blooms and vibrant colors.

If you are here staying in one of our rental homes South Carolina, be it a luxury house on Isle of Palms or one of the many Folly Beach rentals Charleston, a trip to a local plantation is a great addition to your Lowcountry to-do list. And no matter what the season when you’re in a beach house Charleston, something will be in bloom.

One of the best known and most beloved is Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. This Lowcountry treasure has been around for 300 years and was named by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the 17 most beautiful gardens in America – the only one in South Carolina to make the list.

Magnolia bridge, not far from our beach house rentals Charleston SC

Magnolia bridge, not far from our beach house rentals Charleston SC

Also, right now through February and into April, their world-famous camellias are in bloom. It’s the oldest and largest collection of camellias (and azaleas) in United States… and it’s been named an International Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society – one of only a handful of gardens in the world to be so honored.

Right now the Camellia japonicas are in bloom. Magnolia has over 1,000 cultivars of japonicas, more than any other garden in the United States. These gardens are famous for their so-called “Ancient Camellias,” meaning they are date to before the year 1900.

Even before the Civil War, Magnolia’s camellia gardens were already the largest in the land.
As the Rev. John Grimke-Drayton wrote In 1854: “I have discovered that there were a hundred and twenty double varieties there. How many singles, semi-doubles, peony forms and others, I do not pretend to know. I can only describe their number as Legion.”

And it’s only grown since then. So while much of the country is mired in winter weather and pelted with ice and snow, you can be strolling through one of the world’s best collections of a gorgeous southern flowers – yet another reason to come to a Charleston beach house in the so-called “off-season.”

Magnolia Plantation is open 365 days of the year, and it’s located at 3550 Ashley River Road in Charleston, a pleasant drive from all our luxury beach house rentals SC.

This is their website with more about the gardens, the house, and their schedule of events:
Here’s more about their camellias:

Camellias galore near our beach house rentals Charleston SC

Camellias galore near our beach house rentals Charleston SC

Another one of Charleston’s historic plantations, Middleton Place, is also home to another famous collection of camellias. Middleton’s original gardens were designed in 1741, according to the landscaper André Le Nôtre’s guidelines that shaped the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. The famous French botanist André Michaux gifted the Middleton family with four camellias in 1786, one of which still blooms today near the Butterfly Lakes near the banks of the Ashley River.

From February 7th through March 8th, Middleton Plantation will be offering guided camellia walks on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning at 11:00 a.m. This is included with regular admission to the plantation, although advanced registration is required for the walk.

Middleton Plantation is located at 4300 Ashley River Road in Charleston. It, too, is a doable drive from all our SC vacation rentals, be they Isle of Palms vacation rentals or especially Folly Beach house rentals Charleston SC. For more information, call (843) 556-6020, or visit the website:

As always, remember to call EP when you are in the market for beach house rentals Charleston SC. Our collection of Isle of Palms luxury rentals is without peer.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger