Thanks to the surprise wedding of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, who held their nuptials at South Carolina's Boone Hall Plantation, these grand historic houses are having a moment.
Throughout the South, and even in Hawaii and the Caribbean, there are countless former plantations, in various states of preservation. Only some are open to the public, and some are still inhabited. It was hard to narrow it down to a few favorites, but we've picked some that stand out for historic reasons, or just for being darn pretty.
Here are 12 of our favorite plantations that anyone can visit. Do you have a favorite historic plantation to visit? Share a photo in the slideshow below!
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boone_Hall" target="_hplink">Boone Hall</a>, located in Mount Pleasant, SC is the location Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds chose for their wedding. It has appeared in <em>Days Of Our Lives</em>, <em>North and South</em>, <em>Queen</em> and <em>The Notebook</em>.
Nearby <a href="https://www.middletonplace.org/" target="_hplink">Middleton Place</a> is an 18th century plantation, home to Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The <a href="http://www.sciway.net/movies/sc-movie-patriot.html" target="_hplink">Britisher's ball scene from <em>The Patriot</em> was shot here</a>.
This home, built in 1790 in Louisville, Kentucky,<a href="http://www.locustgrove.org/" target="_hplink">is the only verified remaining structure west of the Appalachian Mountains known as a stopping point for Lewis and Clark</a>.
<a href="http://www.sotterley.com/" target="_hplink">Sotterley</a>, circa 1703, is located in St. Mary's County, Maryland.
This <a href="http://www.dunleith.com/" target="_hplink">26-room antebellum mansion</a> is located in Natchez, Mississippi.
Also in Natchez is this <a href="http://www.natchezpilgrimage.com/dailylongwood.php" target="_hplink">six-story octagonal mansion</a>. When the Civil War began, construction workers abandoned the project, which was never fully finished. The wife of the owner lived in the finished first floor, but the other five stories are still a work in progress, and remain as they were left in 1861.
Founded in 1613, <a href="http://www.shirleyplantation.com/shirley's_history.html" target="_hplink">Virginia's oldest plantation</a> is also the oldest family-owned business in North America. The business dates back to Edward Hill I establishing a farm in 1638, and the home is still owned, operated, and resided in by direct descendants.
There are a number of presidential homes to visit in Virginia, like George Washington's <a href="http://www.mountvernon.org/" target="_hplink">Mount Vernon</a> or James Madison's <a href="http://www.montpelier.org/" target="_hplink">Montpelier</a>. But, <a href="http://www.monticello.org/" target="_hplink">Monticello</a>, home to Thomas Jefferson and his inventions is our favorite. In case he needed a break from this plantation, though, TJ had another plantation at <a href="http://www.poplarforest.org/" target="_hplink">Poplar Forest</a>.
<a href="http://www.nottoway.com/" target="_hplink">Nottoway</a>, the South's largest remaining antebellum mansion, is located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. It has been restored into a resort, so it's a great place to live out those <em>Gone With the Wind</em> fantasies.
Located in Vacherie, Louisiana, <a href="http://www.lauraplantation.com/" target="_hplink">Laura</a> is noteworthy for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Plantation" target="_hplink">its early 19th-century Créole-style raised big house, which is one of only 15 complete examples in the state</a>. Construction of the house began in 1804, and it's painted in the vibrant colors of ochre, warm red, dark green, cool gray and mauve.
Nashville, Tennessee's Federal-style, two-story brick <a href="http://www.thehermitage.com/" target="_hplink">Hermitage</a> was the home of Andrew Jackson, who owned the property from 1804 until his death in 1845. The house was constructed from 1819 to 1821.
<a href="http://www.nps.gov/timu/historyculture/kp.htm" target="_hplink">Kingsley Plantation</a> is located on Fort George Island, outside Jacksonville, Florida. Zephaniah Kingsley moved to the island in 1814 with his wife, a free slave from Senegal. He was against restrictive slave laws.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/khtpearson"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/twitter_profile_img/3881692.png" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/khtpearson">khtpearson</a>:<br />Mt. Airy Tayloe Family Warsaw, Virginia
Magnolia Plantation near Charleston
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/J_P_McMahon"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/J_P_McMahon">J P McMahon</a>:<br />Take a whole day if you are going to visit Magnolia. It is surrounded by a huge, English style decorative garden, and there are several different tours, including African American, and wetlands trails.