History tends to repeat itself, which means there’s a good chance you’ll get run over by another war elephant. Admire what history has taught us thus far with today’s Groupon: for $68, you get a one-hour private Connoisseur tour for up to five people at Drayton Hall (a $140 value).
Built in 1738 as the centerpiece of a colonial rice plantation, Georgian Palladian–style Drayton Hall is a National Trust Historic Site and one of the only pre-Revolutionary homes that remains in close-to-original condition today, having survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, the earthquake of 1886, and major hurricanes. Take along up to four friends, family members, or newly sentient mannequins and explore this historic abode firsthand with a private, professionally guided Connoisseur tour, which will be led by one of the staff's senior interpreters. During the tour, sight orbs will absorb three centuries’ worth of architecture with trips into Drayton Hall's rooms, including the great hall, the withdrawing room, and the large bedchamber. Each intimate tour is fully customizable to the group's special interests, and each guest is free to pepper the guide with questions, take photos and video, and wear fanny-packs without seizure by undercover Fashion Police. Visitors will also be able to dig to the deepest depths of Drayton Hall's nearly three-century-long storied history by examining rare family photos, historical sketches, and pre–Civil War documents.
When John Drayton broke ground on Drayton Hall in 1738, he had no idea that his estate would survive the American Revolution, the Civil War, an earthquake, and numerous hurricanes. The stories contained in the building’s walls span seven generations of history tied to the Draytons and the Bowens family, an African American family that lived and worked at Drayton Hall before and after emancipation. Since 1974, when Charles and Frank Drayton sold their ancestral home to the National Trust, visitors have been able to transport themselves into the past with more ease than rubbing the beard at the Lincoln Memorial.
The main house, a sweeping example of Georgian Palladian architecture, is the oldest near-original, unrestored colonial home in the United States. Like a helpful ghost, the grand rooms and original fireplaces whisper history into the ears of all visitors, telling tales of British and colonial soldiers who occupied the house during the American Revolution. Views from the portico are filled with drooping trees, spanish moss, and a grand driveway. Surrounding the estate, an undisturbed historic landscape backs up to the Ashley River, and also encompasses A Sacred Place, the oldest African American cemetery in the country still in use.