Charleston, SC: Plantation Exploration & Angelic Trees

Guillaume and I rented “Gone with the Wind” when we arrived in Charleston for two reasons: 1). Because, like so many movies, Guillaume had never seen it. And 2).The character Rhett Butler was a Charleston man.  We watched it in two sittings, because the film is very long. A few days later, as we were walking down rainbow row, I turned to Guillaume and asked: 

“Which one of these vibrant beauties do you think would have been Rhett’s family home?”

He cocked his head, and considered his answer for a moment. Then he puffed up his chest and smirked, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” 

Speaking of family homes, our tiny house was parked in Summerville, just twenty minutes from downtown Charleston. This time we were hosted by the Castro family, who were extremely generous. They even gifted our dog a new reflective collar!

Salies’s new embroidered reflective collar by Fancy K9s

We spent three full days in Charleston, exploring the bustling old city market and drooling over a delicious slices of Charleston sugar pie. One experience I’d recommend is the Old Slave Mart Museum, even though the museum is tiny and there are only a few artifacts. In fact, I was able to experience the entire museum in thirty minutes, but the video and audio displays were very well done. I learned a lot about what life was like for a Charleston slave.

Guillaume and I continued our history lesson at the Magnolia Plantation, an old rice plantation that was opened to the public after the Civil War. We entered the property through a tunnel of oaks, which parted to reveal an enormous victorian-style home with a wrap around porch. A breath caught in my throat…It’s just like the movie…

THGJ Magnolia Plantation

THGJ Magnolia Plantation - 0024

The Magnolia Plantation has a lot to offer their visitors. We could have easily spent the entire day just exploring the gardens.

After a serene walk through the British-style gardens, we did three tours: the slave house tour, the plantation home tour and a self-guided swamp tour. Our tour guides were extremely knowledgable and happily answered all of our questions.

Slave Tour:

During the early 1800s, the slaves at Magnolia were sharing a space half the size of our home, with eight children and no running water or electricity. No doubt, they would have considered our tiny home a palace.

Swamp Tour:

The swamp tour was beautiful and eerie. The water looked like a thick pea soup. “Duckweed,” they call it – the smallest blooming plant int he world. I like small things, so I decided I like duckweed.

Once again Guillaume was eyeballing the murky water for an alligator, but just like in Columbia, he walked away disappointed.

Plantation Home Tour:

We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the house, and once we found out the glamorous plantation home was rebuilt years after the Civil War, it wasn’t all that impressive. Still, I have to admit that it was fun to hear about the lives of the aristocrats who lived there in the 1900s.

Our final day in Charleston was spent looking at a tree. That’s right, a tree. We drove at least an hour to see this particular shrub. And it was worth it.

THGJ Angel Oak - 0002
The Angel Oak

This is the Angel Oak – a gargantuan tree, estimated to be between 400-1400 years old, no one really knows. Its twisting giant biceps have gotten so long that they’ve actually surrendered to gravity and dug themselves into the ground. But a little dirt didn’t stop them growing. I could see that the relentless branches had resurfaced a few feet later, and continued to reach skyward.

Next up we head south and tour a bright, victorian-style tiny home!





  1. Justin Salvetti
    December 26, 2016 / 5:32 pm

    Hello! I love your post about Charleston, and have followed your blog for over a year. The information you give us future tiny housers is priceless, so thank you!
    My Fiancé and I are living in the Charleston area, and are going to have our tiny house completed in April of 2017. I was wondering how you always seem to find parking on your adventures? We will be staying in the Charleston area after our home is complete for about a year before we can begin our travels, but are running into trouble with finding parking. I was just wondering if you had any tips for that?

    Thank you again for all the great information! We hope the Tiny Life continues to treat you well.


    • December 27, 2016 / 3:23 pm

      Hi Justin. First of all, thanks for reading my blog. Finding parking was easy for me in 2014 and 2015 when I was traveling full time. I can’t really say what the situation is nowadays. I was lucky enough to be at the forefront of the movement. I would call up RV parks and tell them about my Tiny House, and they were usually ecstatic to have me stay. Other times, members of the tiny house community who followed my blog would offer me parking in their driveways. That is what happened in Charleston for instance. My advice would be to do the same – either call RV parks or reach out to the local tiny house community in your area. Good luck!

  2. January 14, 2015 / 3:17 pm

    I am so glad I’ve stumbled on your blog! My husband + I are in the early stages of planning our Tiny House. We are (ironically) from the Charleston area, and so desire to travel with it (much like ya’ll do!). Maybe one day when our house is complete and stellar, we can connect. 😉 Definitely excited to see what else life has in store for you!

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