Featured Image Credit: Brookgreen Gardens Facebook
Are you looking for somewhere to go near Myrtle Beach to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet and the beautiful natural environment of South Carolina? We’ve got just the place for you! Brookgreen Gardens is in Murrells Inlet, just a short drive south from Myrtle Beach proper. And it’s worth that drive to wander the gardens and take in the sculptures. Let us give you a little peek into what you can expect when you visit Brookgreen Gardens.
Brookgreen Gardens is a National Historic Landmark and it is home to the most significant collection of figurative sculpture in an outdoor setting by American artists in the world. It also has the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the coast of the Carolinas. The 9,127-acre property preserves both natural and cultivated landscapes, so you’ll see nature as it is on its own and as it can be with human care.
There are several different areas of the botanical gardens that you’ll want to explore during your visit. The Live Oak Allée is made up of 250 year-old Live Oak trees that were planted in the early 1700s when what is now Brookgreen Gardens were four rice plantations. Wandering through the majestic oaks will take you back in time.
Another major area you’ll want to see is the butterfly garden and it’s four wings. These wings include the Huntington Sculpture Garden, the Dorothy P. Peace Garden Room for Children, the Kitchen Garden, and the Brenda W. Rosen Carolina Terrace Garden. Additional major gardens depart from the butterfly design and are more formal than the others. There is the Palmetto Garden (named for the use of the South Carolina state tree, Sabal palmetto), and the Fountain of the Muses Garden.
And if plants aren’t your thing, there is plenty of American sculpture to catch your fancy. The sculpture collection at Brookgreen Gardens contains over 2,000 pieces by 425 artists. Sculptures are visible throughout the gardens and also displayed in indoor galleries like the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion. Those displayed inside are smaller than the pieces displayed outdoors. You might also find paintings, etchings and other works by world-renowned artists. At times there are pieces on loan from museums and private collections.
Another great attraction at Brookgreen Gardens is the Lowcountry Zoo. Species native to South Carolina are kept in habitats that are maintained to be as close as possible to those they’d have in nature. All of the animals at the Brookgreen Garden zoo were born in captivity or were injured and unable to survive in the wild. You can see alligators, bald eagles, foxes, owls, waterfowl, river otters, white tailed deer and more.
So whether you’re in it for the plants, the animals, or the sculpture, Brookgreen Gardens is sure to have something to entertain and delight you!