Drayton Hall
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Reserve Your Trip Today

For reservations and pricing: Contact Debbi Zimmerman at 843-769-2630 or by email.

Everything You Need to Know

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 to get to Drayton Hall. Be sure to leave yourself some extra time to get situated once you arrive – to park, use the restrooms, grab a snack, or visit the Museum Shop.
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 called Connections: From Africa to America, the two self-guided nature walks, the Voices of Drayton Hall, a historic tour of the landscape on DVD with archival images, maps, and documents (includes free rental of DVD and player), entrance to the 18th-century African-American cemetery, and the artisan-inspired Museum Shop.
How much time should we allot for our visit?
House tours last 50 to 60 minutes. Our African-American history program, Connections: From Africa to America, lasts approximately 45 minutes. Each of the self-guided nature walks takes about 30 minutes, and our Voices of Drayton Hall historic tour on DVD is also self-directed so you can 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 30 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. Our "Voices" Tour on DVD and user-friendly DVD player comfortably accommodates two adults or a family of four.
Is there a place to buy food and drinks?
We sell bottled water and snacks at our Museum Shop and there is a soda 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 months.
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. Please note that tripods are not allowed in the house at any time without prior written permission. Contact (843) 769-2600.
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, over 12,000 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 two self-guided nature walks and our self-directed tour on DVD. Others have been known to enjoy a nice nap under the outdoor “Connections” tent while their family attends the program. 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 Friend of Drayton Hall what programs can I participate in during my visit?
The Friends of Drayton Hall and up to four guests receive free admission and participation in Drayton Hall’s acclaimed public tours, programs, and activities: the professionally guided tour of the 1738 house, Connections: From Africa to America, the Voices of Drayton Hall DVD tour of the historic landscape, the 18th-century African-American cemetery, and more. Though discounted tickets are also offered to members to public events and programs, membership does not include participation in our private programming (education programs, group tours, special tours, special events, etc.)

Drayton Hall is no re-creation of history.

It is the real thing.

Program information is valid through 7/31/2014

Pre-visit Information Teachers, please download this PDF which outlines important information related to class visits.

Pre-visit information

Step beyond the classroom

 and discover Drayton Hall, the oldest preserved plantation house in America that is open to the public. Begun in 1738, when George Washington was a boy of six years, the house has stood through the rise and fall of plantation society, survived devastating natural disasters and wars, and remained intact in the face of modernization. Its outstanding original features are testimony to the work and skills of colonial craftsmen, both free and enslaved.

Engage students in creative problem solving

 through interactive learning stations and inquiry tours at Drayton Hall. Curriculum-based programs integrate math, science, geography, art, social studies, physical education, and language arts, while helping to develop analytical skills that enable students to synthesize and evaluate information. Drayton Hall's professional education staff encourages each student to participate and make connections to his or her own experiences.

Students experience

 a classroom without walls. The main house, an outbuilding, landscape features, and archaeological sites provide the setting for students to discover the story of the people who lived and labored on the grounds of what is now Drayton Hall.

How to Book a Program

Programs are by reservation only and should be booked at least one month in advance. Prices vary, based on the program booked. Discounted packages are available for multiple programs. Both small and large school groups can be accommodated. To book a program please contact Debbi Zimmerman at 843-769-2630 or e-mail at debbi_zimmerman@draytonhall.org.

Programs at a Glance

Focused House Tours
African-American History
Archaeology
Colonial Life
From Peace to War
History & Science
Programs in Downtown Charleston
Package Programs: From Plantations to the City

Games & Activities

Our online activities better prepare students to actively participate in our house tour and plantation life programs. Play Now