Built circa 1740, some 40 years before the American Revolutionary War, Hopsewee Plantation was one of the South's major rice plantations and the birthplace of Thomas Lynch Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Now a private residence, the National Historic Landmark is located along the Hammock Coast region in Georgetown County – half way between Myrtle Beach and Charleston on Highway 17 (Ocean Highway) in the heart of South Carolina's Lowcountry. It is located 12 miles south of the city of Georgetown. Tours are provided on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Tours begin at 11 a.m. on Saturdays. (The plantation is closed on Sundays and Mondays, as well as the months of December and January. Dining is available Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults; $18.50 for seniors ages 65 and over; $12.50 for students ages 12 to 17; and $8.50 for children ages 6 to 11. Special half-hour Gullah-Geechee tours are also available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for an additional charge for $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for youth and $2.50 for children.
Hopsewee may close for weddings and other special events, so be sure to check its online calendar for availability.
The newest jewel on this gracious property is the River Oak Cottage. Named one of the state’s top tearooms, its English tea service is flavored with Hopsewee’s southern charm along with a delectable assortment of sweet and savory treats. A full lunch menu includes recipes created by Raejean Beattie, a gourmet cook, to reflect the tastes and traditions of the Lowcountry region. The cottage’s well-appointed interior creates an inviting atmosphere for any dining experience and makes a perfect setting for private events and wedding ceremonies. Dining at River Oak Cottage is open to the public and available Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
A sweetgrass basket workshops is also available at Hopsewe. The baskets are a Lowcountry tradition dating back to the 1700s, when they were brought to the United States by West African slaves. Handmade of tightly coiled strands of bundled grass, these strong yet supple baskets played an important role on southern rice plantations and today are treasured for their artistry and cultural significance. Discover more about sweetgrass baskets and learn this unique craft in a hands-on class with instructor Vera Manigault. An eighth-generation weaver and Gullah descendant, Manigault is from Mount Pleasant, SC, the only area where baskets are still made, and has been featured in national magazines and television shows.
Group discounts for Hopsewee are available. Tour and dining reservations may be made on the plantation's website.