Located on historic Wadmalaw Island, about twenty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina sits the gorgeous Charleston Tea Plantation, a true piece of American history. The only working tea plantation in North America and owned by the Bigelow Tea Company, the Charleston Tea Plantation is the ideal spot for a tea farm with its rich soil, sub-tropical climate, and plentiful rainfall.
The plantation uses the Camellia sinensis plant, which is used to produce over 300 varieties of both black tea and green tea and covers 127 acres of the Charleston Tea Plantation. Employees at the plantation work extremely hard to keep the bushes well-kept and in straight rows to harvest properly. They're also making sure to keep every plant grown on the plantation exactly the same in order to produce a consistent product. This ensures that the tea tastes the same each season.
When you arrive for your visit to the Charleston Tea Plantation, you'll be in awe by the beautiful scenery, especially the towering oak trees and blooming flowers. Since Wadmalaw Island cannot be commercially developed, the natural beauty will take you back in time and give you a taste of Southern culture.
Open seven days a week, with the exception of a few holidays, the Charleston Tea Plantation is the perfect spot for tea lovers. Take a day trip to the plantation, pack a lunch, and enjoy a relaxing time under an oak tree.
There are a variety of tours to take at the plantation, however, for no charge take a factory tour and look through America's only tea factory where you'll learn how tea is made. It's an educational tour and you're sure to learn all there is about the teamaking process. For larger parties, the plantation also offers group tours. Just be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
If you don't mind spending a few dollars while you're at the Charleston Tea Plantation, then don't miss out on the trolley tour. It's absolutely worth the extra charge. Sit back and relax on the 40-minute scenic ride in the trolley where you'll be able to see acres and acres of tea fields and tea bushes while listening to the trolley guide give you even more history and information about the plantation.
You and your group will even make a pit stop at the greenhouse where you can walk around and take a look through the windows at some of the tea plants. Some visitors even mentioned they were able to watch the experts examine the tea leaves. Once you get back, be sure to make a stop at the gift shop before you leave for all of your tea needs.
Take a look through their many items and be sure to purchase anything you need for the perfect cup of tea. Pick up a new tea set, tea infuser, a pretty tea mug, you name it. It's also a very good idea to grab a few boxes of your favorite tea bags or tins of loose leaf tea. And if you're unsure about which tea to buy, check out the free samples at the Tea Bar for some inspiration.
On your way out, don't forget to snap a few pictures with the giant, tea-loving frog known as Waddy. Custom made for the plantation, Waddy the frog is loved by visitors of all ages and always takes a good picture. Oh, and it's dog-friendly!
Like mentioned before, the Charleston Tea Plantation is open seven days a week for visitors and tours and is a stop you don't want to miss out on during your stay in Charleston, South Carolina.