Visit Brookgreen Gardens, a unique botanical garden with over 400 sculptures. Stroll among moss draped oak trees, blooming flora and fauna.
It depends on the time of year you visit as to what you will be able to experience. Spring blooms or Fall colors and even the summer sun bouncing off the surface of the lake. Every season has something different to offer when you visit Brookgreen Gardens.
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Table of Contents
- Botanical Gardens
- Low Country Zoo
- Excursions at Brookgreen Gardens
- Christmas at Brookgreen
- Dining at Brookgreen Botanical Gardens
- Tips for Visiting Brookgreen Gardens
- More Things To See and Do at Myrtle Beach S.C.
- Books about life during slave times in America
Brookgreen Gardens was founded in 1931 as a cultural center for the local community. The founders, Archer and Anna Huntington, are known for supporting many women sculptors whose works are on display at the gardens.
The 9,100 acre property was recently named one of the Top 10 Best Botanical Gardens in America. Brookgreen is truly worth a visit. Because they are located in the beautiful southeastern U.S., there is always something in bloom year round.
Live Oak Allee is where you will find the 250 year old moss covered Oak trees originally planted back in the 1700’s when this property consisted of four rice plantations.
If those Oak trees are not spectacular enough to wow you then keep walking as you pass shrubs, flowering trees and gorgeous flowers for every season.
Brookgreen boasts the largest and most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture in the United States of America. More than 2,700 works by 425 artists are displayed in a gorgeous garden setting as well as three galleries and a research facility.
The sculptures are all sizes and shapes. They depict everything from people to animals and both. Some of the sculptures were even made by one of the founders of Brookgreen.
Low Country Zoo
You can see animals native to the woods, swamps and waters of South Carolina. An accredited Zoo, most of the animals on display could not survive in the wild. Many animals have sustained an injury and are living at Brookgreen now.
When you buy your tickets, inquire about a guided tour with a zookeeper.
Excursions at Brookgreen Gardens
There are multiple excursions to choose from. Because there are only so many hours in a day, it is good to know that when you buy a ticket to visit Brookgreen, your ticket is good for seven days. You can’t do it all in one day, just come back another day.
There is an additional ticket needed for the Creek Excursion. You get to cruise the creek on a pontoon boat in a guided tour of the old rice plantation. You might even see an alligator or an osprey. Your tour guide will recite the history of the area going back to slave days. These tours sell out fast so get your tickets when you arrive as they are not available online.
Buy Creek Excursion tickets at the Gardener’s Cottage Information Center and the Lowcountry Center Auditorium.
A guided tour aboard a bus that will take you to see the Live Oaks, a plantation cemetery, a Civil war fort site, a historic rice mill chimney and a panoramic view of the Waccamaw River from one of the areas highest bluff’s.
Purchase tickets at the Wall Lowcountry Center. Be sure to inquire about the tickets when you buy your entry tickets to the gardens.
The Oaks Excursion
A fascinating tour via a mini-bus to the site of the Oaks Plantation. You will learn the family history during the colonial and antebellum eras. You will also get to visit the family cemetery and grounds of the slave village.
More Excursions and special tours
Brookgreen Gardens offers a variety of special events throughout the year. There is a Cemetery tour in the winter, special events on summer nights and many classes, concerts and seasonal festivals. Check the website for their current events schedule prior to your visit.
Christmas at Brookgreen
Night of a Thousand Candles is an annual magical event at Brookgreen held in during the holiday season. More than one thousand hand-lit candles and millions of sparkling lights create a magical trek along the pathways.
Live bands perform each night and there is even strolling bagpipers. You can have dinner at the Harvest Restaurant and make an evening of it but reservations are required because this is a popular event.
This annual event has been named “Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina” by Travel+Leisure Magazine.
Dining at Brookgreen Botanical Gardens
There are three places to take a break and dine or rest and buy a beverage.
- The Courtyard Café located in the Lowcountry Center. Currently serving; sandwiches, chips and beverages.
- The Old Kitchen located in Live Oak Allee currently serving; sandwiches, wraps, salads, quiche, desserts and beverages.
- Harvest Restaurant located by the Rainey Galleries currently serving a full service menu with inside and patio dining. Reservations are recommended.
Visit Brookgreen Gardens at Murrell’s Inlet about 20 miles south off Myrtle Beach of the U.S. Hwy 17 Bypass. The address for your GPS is 1931 Brookgreen Drive Murrells Inlet, SC 29576. Their entrance is grand and quite beautiful.
If you plan to visit the Hammock Shoppes, they are nearby. You can possibly do both in the same day.
We visited Brookgreen Gardens in early July when it was blazing hot outside. I’d like to return in the Fall or Spring when the weather is nice. My favorite thing to see was all of those hundreds of years old Live Oak trees covered in moss.
We stopped for a break and enjoyed a most delicious smoothie from the Courtyard Café. I highly recommend their smoothie. Also, we took advantage of the shuttle ride back to the parking lot when we were ready to leave.
If I had one complaint about Brookgreen, it would be a need for directional signs along the pathways. As you stroll along taking in all of the natural beauty, it is easy to lose your way. There is no signage to tell you where you are or point you to where you are going. You can use the map they provide upon entrance and find the nearest identified sculpture but those are not all listed on the map.
Tips for Visiting Brookgreen Gardens
- Dress comfortable for the weather. You will be outdoors and walking
- Wear comfortable shoes for walking, preferably closed toed shoes as you will walk across different terrains
- Bring water in your reusable water bottle
- Wear sunscreen
- Bring spray on insect repellant, like this one
- There are two designated picnic areas
- No pets are allowed
- There is designated parking for RV’s
- Your general admission ticket includes all gardens and galleries, the Lowcountry Zoo, and exhibits in the Lowcountry History Center. Your ticket is good for 7 consecutive days
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- 21 Fun Things To Do at Myrtle Beach
- 13 Best Places To Shop at Myrtle Beach
- Hollywood Wax Museum Myrtle Beach S.C.
- Baywatch Resort Review Myrtle Beach S.C.
- 10 Haunted Places To Visit in South Carolina
Books about life during slave times in America
Visiting the plantation at Brookgreen Gardens makes me want to read more about that time in our history. Author Lynn Austin’s novella, The Refiner’s Fire series is an enlightening read for those interested in this particular time in American history. This fiction series begins with one side of the story but book 3 has another compelling view.
Fire By Night, Book 2