Birthday Recap @ Boone Hall Plantation

April 20, 2015
Last Friday was my birthday, and I was pretty stoked because I got the day off since my school is still on spring break.  Better yet, it also landed on a payday!! I knew that I wanted to go on a fun, little day trip so I thought about heading back to Charleston. Two people had recently recommended Boone Hall Plantation to me, so I decided that's where I'd like to visit.  Of course I spent the day with my bestie, Everett.  Ev invited his aunt to come with us, and the three of us had an awesome in and around Charleston.


Our first stop was for an early lunch at Stono Market and Tomato Shed Cafe.  Ev's aunt suggested the place because she discovered it on one of her past trips to the area.  When Ev and I don't know where to eat, I always tell him to ask his aunt because every place she talks about is usually to-die-for good!  I mean, she hit the nail on the head when she suggested The 5 Spot, Green Truck Pub, and Lulu's Chocolate Bar.  Sure enough, the Tomato Shed Cafe had delicious food, not to mention affordable prices.  It's a casual place where you get your own silverware and drinks, although someone still comes to take your order and bring it to you.  A lot of the ingredients used to make the food are locally grown and organic.  What caught my eye right away was the long list of side items that were available to order.  There were about thirty different options, and almost every one was made with fresh veggies or fruit.  I decided to just go ahead get their Veggie Plate, which is four side items for $9.95.  I went with the eggplant bake, Waldorf apple salad, sweet potato casserole topped with apples, raisins, and pecans, and sauteed zucchini, squash, and onions.


 After our lunch, Ev's aunt suggested that we stop and look at the Angel Oak Tree since it was so close to where we were.  The tree is located on Johns Island, and it's not something that I would make a special trip out to see, but it is worth seeing if you're already staying somewhere near Charleston.  What's impressive about the tree is that it is around 400-500 years old.  One of the signs posted at the location stated that it is the oldest tree east of the Mississippi.  It is pretty incredible to see how long some of the branches have become!



Our next stop was Boone Hall Plantation, which was the "main event" of the day.  Boone Hall is one of America's oldest working plantations.  It is famous for its Avenue of Oaks that leads up to the plantation.  Basically, there is a road lined with live oaks on each side.  On the tour we were told that the son of Major John Boone planted these in 1743, but apparently some claim that they were in fact planted the Horlbecks about a century later when they owned the plantation.



After paying the $20.00 entrance fee, visitors can walk around to the different parts of the plantation and also opt to take some guided tours which are included.  While we were waiting to tour the house, we meandered along some paths in the garden and admired some of the antique roses. Next, we walked along the slave quarters.  There are eight original brick slave cabins that were pretty close to the house.  To have slave houses made out of brick is pretty rare, so many presume that the owner was trying to show off his wealth.  Speaking of bricks, later there was a brickyard on Boone Hall plantation and there are homes in Charleston today that are made of the bricks produced at Boone Hall.





The current house on the plantation is not the original home and was constructed in the 1930's.  On the tour of the house we were taken to three rooms and learned a bit about the history of the plantation and about the various owners.  Next, we went on a coach tour of the whole plantation.  For me, this was the highlight!  Our guide told us that Hollywood loves Boone Hall plantation and it is a popular venue for weddings.  In fact, this is where Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds recently tied the knot.  In case you are wondering why the house looks familiar, it was the summer home of Allie's family in the movie The Notebook.  Queen, a mini-series, starring Halle Berry was also shot here.

On the tour we also got to see some of the entrenchments dug by Confederate soldiers.  The entrenchments were ordered by Robert E. Lee in order to slow down Union troops and make it easier to attack them as they were advancing.  Our guide told us that Lee earned the nickname "The King of Spades" because of this.

We were told that Boone Hall plantation used to produce cotton and pecans. There is still a small area where cotton is grown, but our guide told us that is just for show.  There are some remaining pecan trees, but Boone Hall plantation is currently known for its strawberries, and there is a U-pick area.  A local tradition is for parents and grandparents to take kids strawberry picking.  Of course, we stopped to pick some, too!  We left with a bunch of huge, juicy, not to mention tasty strawberries that are far better than the ones for sale in the supermarkets near me.



Afterwards, we went to Kaminsky's Baking Co. located in downtown Charleston since I wanted a piece of cake for my birthday.  It reminded Ev, his aunt, and I of Lulu's Chocolate Bar in Savannah, which is not a bad thing!  Kaminsky's is a dessert cafe, but they also had martinis.  Since it ended up being happy hour, I went with a Curious George martini.  The description of it on the menu is as follows: "Godiva white chocolate, Irish creme liquer, banana syrup, chocolate graham cracker rim."  Delicious!! I also got a slice of Snickerdoodle cake which they brought out with a candle in it, and told me that it was free of charge because it was my birthday.  


The last place we stopped was at a restaurant called Sesame, which specializes in gourmet burgers. We couldn't help but compare it to Green Truck Pub in Savannah.  Charleston and Savannah have had a rivalry for centuries, so I guess it's only natural that we're constantly comparing the two cities.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday.  I had a wonderful day trip doing one of the things I love most (exploring) in the company of two great people!

How did you spend your last birthday? 
19 comments on "Birthday Recap @ Boone Hall Plantation"
  1. I am loving your posts about Charleston, my fiance and I went to Boone Hall on our trip south as well :)

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  2. That sounds like an awesome birthday! Happy birthday lady!

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  3. Happy Birthday! It landing on payday and a day off it was meant to be a good day! I've always wanted to go to Charleston. Quaint and picturesque. Your pictures just cemented those thoughts. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

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  4. Happy Birthday!! These pictures are so gorgeous, I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time. You deserve it!

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  5. It sounds like an awesome way to spend your birthday! Happy birthday gal:)

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  6. Oh yeah, I love Vinnie's pizza, although I usually get it to go since there is almost always a wait when I try to sit down and eat. I'm glad they have their pizza by the slice to go option for sure!

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  7. It was!! I'm sooo glad that I ended up having it off. That does not always happen!!

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  8. It really is a neat place to visit! I love living not too far from Charleston and Savannah. And, thanks for the b-day wishes again. :)

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  9. I know--they're gorgeous with the Spanish moss. You're right--it was a birthday to remember. :)

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  10. Charleston does not disappoint! I've been there three times now and feel like I'm just getting started.

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  11. I probably won't get to go again until school is out, but next time I'd like to go to Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. Have you been there?

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  12. No, I haven't, but I actually looked into it before deciding on Boone Hall! Boone was a little more budget friendly (at least based on website prices) but Magnolia looks so gorgeous!!

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  13. We do the same thing- get it all to go and then go sit on one of the benches nearby :)

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  14. Aw I'm so glad that you had a great birthday! You definitely deserve it!

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  15. Sounds like a great birthday, love your photos!

    http://www.mintnotion.com

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  16. Thank you!! It was wonderful. :)

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  17. Thanks! It was the perfect day!

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  18. Your photos are always so beautiful!! Happy belated birthday!

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