Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get to Drayton Hall from downtown Charleston?

Traffic can cause travel times to vary, but it usually takes between 25–30 minutes. Be sure to leave yourself some extra time to get situated once you arrive—for ticket transaction, parking, restrooms, and to check-in at the exhibit center.

What’s included with admission?

General admission is all inclusive and includes the professionally guided tour of the main house, the African-American history program Connections: From Africa to America, self-guided landscape and nature walks, entrance to the 18th-century African-American cemetery, and our exhibit center—formerly an African American dwelling, it houses changing exhibits, a members area, and museum shop.

How much time should we allot for our visit?

House tours last about 50 minutes. Our African-American history program, Connections: From Africa to America, lasts 30 minutes. The self-guided landscape and nature walks take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, but you are welcome to spend as little or as long as your time allows. Whether for an hour or a day, we look forward to making your visit a memorable one.

How big are the tours?

Tour sizes vary, but we never take more than 25 people on a house tour so that there is enough space to observe the extraordinary architectural elements and to absorb the many colorful stories and historic details provided by your professional guide. There are no space limits for the self-guided nature walks, the African-American cemetery, or for our Connections: From Africa to America program.

Is there a place to buy food and drinks?

We sell snacks at our Museum Shop and there is a beverage machine nearby the parking area. During warmer months we’ll have complimentary water available for you at coolers located where your tour begins and ends and throughout the grounds.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing so that you can enjoy both the house tour and grounds; shirts and shoes must be worn at all times—we recommend wearing flat-soled shoes. Remember, Drayton Hall is unrestored, so there is no heating or air-conditioning to regulate the indoor temperature in the main house. However, Charleston has a pleasant climate, our winters aren’t too cold during the day (though you’ll want to bring a jacket), and there is often a cooling breeze during the summer.

Is Drayton Hall handicap accessible?

Accessibility is important to everyone at Drayton Hall, and we look forward to making your trip as easy and comfortable as possible. The grounds, restrooms, Museum Shop, raised English basement of the Main House, and the “Connections: From Africa to America” program are all accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. In addition, a video tour is available for those who are unable or prefer not to join the tour; written tours are available for the hearing impaired.

What should I bring
when I come to Drayton Hall?

Make sure to bring a camera. We welcome pictures of the house—both inside and outside—and if you’d like, you can use your video camera too. During summer months, it’s a good idea to have some water with you so that you don’t get dehydrated. During cooler months, make sure to have a jacket.

May I take pictures?

We hope that Drayton Hall will inspire you the way that it inspires us every day. You’re welcome to take photographs and videos of the house—both inside and outside—and of the grounds and nature walks. We hope you’ll post your favorite ones for your friends and family to enjoy. Please note that tripods are not allowed in the house at any time without prior written permission. Contact 843-769-2600.

May I fly a drone?

Drayton Hall prohibits the flying of drones or related aircraft on Drayton Hall property to protect our historic resources, staff and guests. Special circumstances allow for the use of drones, but prior written approval must be issued by Drayton Hall administration.

May I bring food or drinks on the house tours?

Think of the main house not as a structure of brick and limestone but as a rare artifact—one of just a handful of pre-Revolutionary houses that remain in near original condition. Because of Drayton Hall’s special unrestored state, we ask you to take special care. Please do not bring food or beverages inside the main house at any time. Also, you can help prevent original finishes and delicate layers of time from being brushed away or damaged by not leaning against or touching the interior walls, woodwork, or windows. Your grandchildren’s grandchildren will thank you.

Is Drayton Hall family-friendly?

We welcome children of all ages to Drayton Hall—in fact, 10,000 students take part in our education programs each year. Our guides will do their best to make sure that the children in your party feel included—often, it’s our youngest visitors who ask some of the most intriguing questions. Please help us protect this American treasure for future generations by leaving your strollers outside of the main house and by keeping young visitors by your side during tours.

Can I bring my pet to Drayton Hall?

Well-behaved pets on leashes are welcome—in fact, we actually have a few four-legged members enrolled as Friends of Drayton Hall. Pets especially like our self-guided nature walks. We do ask, however, that pets not be part of our house tours and, for the safety and comfort of other visitors, that pets be kept under control at all times and that you pick up after your pet.

As a Friend of Drayton Hall, what programs can I participate in during my visit?

The Friends of Drayton Hall and their guests receive free admission and participation in Drayton Hall’s acclaimed public tours, programs, and activities: the professionally guided tour of the main house, Connections: From Africa to America, self-guided nature walks, the 18th-century African-American cemetery, changing exhibits at our exhibit center located in the museum shop, and more. A series of members-only events are offered throughout the year as well as discounted tickets to public events and programs. Membership does not include participation in private programs, such as education programs, group tours, special tours, special events, etc.

Is Drayton Hall on social media?

We’re glad you asked! We love to keep in touch with our friends and fans about all things Drayton Hall–everything from our latest big discoveries to the everyday activities of our staff. Please join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, & YouTube. You can also check out our blog, the Drayton Hall Diaries and our TripAdvisor page, and subscribe to our monthly e-Newsletter, Circa.

Don’t see what you’re looking for?

Please call our main number at 843-769-2600 for assistance.

Please note that Drayton Hall is closed for the five following holidays: New Year’s Eve and Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Eve and Day.
We are also closed during the first week in February for our annual site maintenance.

 

Photo credit: John Apsey, entrance to Drayton Hall, April 2014

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