Cypress Gardens was built as a fresh water reservoir part of the Dean Hall Plantation in 1750. When the new owner, Benjamin Kittredge, bought the property, he had trails dug around the swamp. His son later on donated the 170-acre preserve to the City of Charleston. With an 80-acre swamp, butterfly house, and beautiful walking trails, Cypress Gardens is now the best place to visit if you want to be one with nature while in Charleston.
Things to Do
- Let your kids see the different stages of a butterfly's life in the Butterfly House. The facility is a large greenhouse filled with butterflies, birds, and an observation beehive.
- Learn more about the original inhabitants of Cypress Gardens at the Heritage Room. An exhibit of the history of Dean Hall Plantation is on display.
- A visit to the Swamparium will rouse your interest in seeing the garden's swamp. The Swamparium is an aquarium/reptile center with different types of animals found in swamps. You will see fish, snakes, and crocodiles including display of species found in swamps in other continents.
- Ride a swamp boat and get to see the wildlife in the area. You can either go on a self guided tour and paddle along the swamp trail or you could get a guide for an additional fee. Guests usually see turtles, ducks, and alligators.
- Another way to see the swamp life is to take the 3.5 miles of walking trail that loops around the swamp. Rest under the shade of cypress and tupelo trees and take photos of beautiful azaleas in full bloom.
Cypress Gardens Insider Tips
- The place is also good to go on a picnic with the family. Bring food or purchase from the gift shop.
- Allot a few hours for your visit. Don't rush.