Travel guide to Angel Oak Tree, South Carolina. Everything you’ll want to know before you visit this beautiful, old, lowcountry treasure.
If you’re visiting South Carolina, then you’ve most likely seen Angel Oak Tree on everyone’s list of must see destinations.
A top tourist attraction. In fact, according to Charleston-SC.gov, over 400,000 people visit this tree every year!
And with good reason. With large branches twisting in every direction, Spanish moss tangled along its limbs, and one of the largest and oldest trees east of the Mississippi, this quick stop is a treasure to see in person.
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But when you’re packing everything into a quick vacation, you really want to know everything you can before you start your journey. Things like what makes this tree so special? How old is it? and what to expect while visiting Angel Oak Park.
Angel Oak Tree South Carolina
Located on Johns Island, Angel Oak Tree is one of the oldest trees east of the Mississippi. This tree is a Southern Live Oak and is estimated to be anywhere between 400-500 years old and has a life expectancy of 700 to 1000 years.
Now owned by the city of Charleston, this tree once belonged to Abraham Waight as part of a land grant in 1771. It stayed in the family for four generations until it was given to Justus Angel as part of a marriage settlement between him and Martha W.T.
Angel Oak has withheld the test of time. For centuries it’s survived against hurricanes, floods, and in 2012, developers hoping to turn nearby lands into apparent buildings.
It now sits on 17 aches of protected lands so that the groundwater that keeps this tree healthy, won’t be compromised.
How Big Is Angel Oak Tree
Angel Oak Tree is 65 feet high with a circumference of 31.5. It’s area of shade is 17,000 square feet and it’s longest limb is 89 feet in length!
Fun fact- Oak trees rot from the inside out, making them more fragile with age.
Angel Oak Tree is located on Johns Island, South Carolina. It’s a 30 minute drive from downtown Charleston, but be sure to keep traffic patterns in mind.
Angel Oak Tree Park- 3688 Angel Oak Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455
How Much Does It Cost To Visit
Visiting Angel Oak tree is free to all visitors. There is a gift shop on site where you can purchase souvenirs, post cards, books ect.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm. Sunday 1pm-5pm. Closed on holidays.
Parking: There is free parking on the side of the dirt road that leads to the park entrance. It can be a bit tight so take your time.
What to expect while visiting Angel Oak Tree
After parking on the dirt road you walk into the park through a tall chainlink fence. Continuing past the gift shop you’ll find a walkway that leads to Angel Oak Tree.
As you make your way around the tree, take your time to admire what it really is. The thick branches that twist and dip at different angles. How they half disappear into the earth and come up again, strong and steady.
How a tall man standing next to it’s trunk looks so small in comparison. How it seems to topple to one side depending on how you look at it. And the other people around you all admiring this breathtaking piece of nature.
Take your time. Go around once and then back again the other way. Photos alone can’t do this lowcountry treasure, justice.
Is it worth visiting Angel Oak Tree- I think the important thing to remember is that this tree won’t always be here. With hurricanes, floods and even age, this tree will one day fall. Weather or not you find it worth visiting is up to you.
Rules around the tree:
- No blankets
- No drinks
- No food
- No props
- No tripods
- Pets only allows in designated areas.
Picnic tables available nearby to enjoy a picnic lunch.
A Few Things Nearby
- McLoyd Plantation Historical Site
- Terrace Oaks Antique Mall
- Charleston Aqua Park (seasonal)
- Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park
It’s clear to see why visiting Angel Oak Tree is on the top of everyones list of things to do. Although it’s a quick stop it is one you’ll want to admire in person. Bring a picnic to enjoy inside the park in the designated picnic area, take photos along side it’s massive tree trunk and be sure to purchase a postcard from the gift shop on site.
We’ll see you around Charleston on our next family adventure.
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