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Historic Charleston Foundation's historic home and garden tours

Credit: Courtesy of Historic Charleston Foundation

It’s easy to fall in love with Charleston’s laid-back pace, painted houses, and royal palmetto trees. And for the next few weeks, you can fall a bit deeper as some of the city’s most treasured landmarks open their doors and reveal some secrets.

Charleston’s historic homes are welcoming visitors to the 75th annual Festival of Houses and Gardens this year.

Historic Charleston Foundation's historic home and garden tours

Credit: Courtesy of Historic Charleston Foundation

Since 1947, Charleston’s oldest and best preserved homes have welcomed curious visitors with guided tours and events. And it has rightfully grown to become the Historic Charleston Foundation’s largest fundraiser. (Who wouldn’t love to root around the city’s most historic and impressive buildings?)

The festival offers the chance to explore important cultural and architectural sites in Charleston, some of which have a history stretching back more than 350 years. The hallmark of the event is the daily house and garden tour ($75 per person). There are seven different tours, all of which are rooted by a central street. On each one, visitors will be able to visit private houses, gardens, and notable public buildings dating to the colonial period.

In addition to the daily tours, the festival also hosts events like morning history walks and Food for Thought luncheon lectures. There are also Splendor Tours, which offer guided visits of some of Charleston’s most elaborate and luxurious historic homes. Visitors hoping for an active way to experience the city can join “photography walkabouts” or enjoy “rosé and roses” at a historic garden.

Historic Charleston Foundation's historic home and garden tours

Credit: Courtesy of Historic Charleston Foundation

This year’s festival runs until April 9 and includes events in and around Charleston’s Historic District. For more information on events or how to book a tour, visit the festival website.

If you can’t make it to Charleston before the end of the festival, there will also be virtual activities this year, including lectures on vintage hair work and the revealing secrets of historic houses.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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