Located near the popular Murrells Inlet in South Carolina, Brookgreen Gardens is a 15 mile stretch of art collections and wildlife. Between Brookgreen Gardens’ seamless mixture of art, wildlife, and horticulture, it’s easy to understand why they are one of the top gardens to visit in the United States. Photo: Andrew Kazmierski/Fotolia



The current Brookgreen Gardens sits on the site of what used to be known as the following rice plantations: Brookgreen, Laurel Hill, The Oaks, and Springfield. Joshua John Ward, who is regarded as the person who owned the most slaves within America, owned and operated the Brookgreen Plantation. Currently, only a few artifacts remain from the plantations. These relics include the Alston cemetery, which is located on The Oaks grounds, and the Laurel Hill rice mill.

In 1929, Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington visited the property of what would become Brookgreen Gardens. Soon after visiting the property, the Huntingtons fell in love with it and decided to purchase the land. Initially, the land was going to be used to build a vacation home for their family, but Archer and Anna decided the landscape would be the perfect place to display Anna’s sculptures. Things to Do in South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens - Photo: Andrew Kazmierski/Fotolia

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Brookgreen Gardens is known for their diverse display of gardens, sculptures, and mini zoo. While not much information is available about what the exact gardens layout is, prospective visitors can look on the Gardens’ website for information about seasonal blooms. People planning to travel to the Brookgreen Gardens during spring 2017 can expect to see:

· Daffodils

· Columbine

· Iris

· Atamasco Lilly

· Native Azalea

· Banana Shrub

· Rose

· Chinese Fringe Tree

· Grandaddy Graybeard

· Native Wisteria

· Evergreen Clematis Things to Do in South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens - Photo: Andrew Kazmierski/Fotolia

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»More Attractions

More Attractions

Throughout the gardens, visitors can explore a variety of architectural elements, as well as a wide variety of renowned sculptures. Some of the sculptures displayed throughout Brookgreen Gardens include:

· “Griffin” by Paul Howard Manship

· “Reaching” by William EvAngelos Frudakis

· “Tortoise Fountain” by Janet Scudder

· “Diana” by Augustus Saint-Gaudens

After touring the gardens and sculptures, visitors can explore the zoo. Here is a quick overview of the habitats and animals within the zoo:

Native Animals is home to a variety of animals that call the Lowcountry home. These animals include; alligators, bald eagles, owls, and grey foxes.

Dalton and Linda Floyd Domestic Animals is home to an array of animals who are considered “historic rare breeds”. These animals help tell the history of Brookgreen. Some of the animals within this habitat include; marsh tacky horses, tunis sheep, wild turkeys, and Dominique chickens.

Cypress Aviary is home to a variety of wildlife that live around a natural cypress swamp. This exhibit is the only aviary of its kind, as it didn’t have to build a man-made cypress swamp. Some of the animals within this habitat include; egrets, black-crowned night herons, hooded merganser, great blue herons, and ibises. Things to Do in South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens - Photo: Andrew Kazmierski /Fotolia

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»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

Brookgreen Gardens offers a variety of educational opportunities on a daily basis. The educational programs at Brookgreen Gardens are divided among three categories: animals, gardens and sculpture, and history.

Every day, Brookgreen Gardens offers two presentation workshops in which visitors can interact with and learn more about the animals at the Gardens. Mother Nature’s Café is a complete walkthrough of the Zoo, in which a specially trained employee interprets and explains the behaviors of some of the animals within the Zoo, as they give the animals their daily snacks. Right after Mother Nature’s Café, visitors can participate in Meet the Animals, in which they have the opportunity to learn more about a few animals in a close and personal way.

As for gardens and sculptures, garden tours occur on a daily basis. Since garden tours give visitors an opportunity to learn more about the gardens and sculptures, and they are free with admission, every visitor should take advantage of them. Other than garden tours, visitors are encouraged to participate in one of the workshops or classes at the Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. Center for American Sculpture. The classes within this Center are geared for people who are interested in sculpture and art, and want to perfect their skills.

Lastly, visitors can participate in one of the numerous options for learning more about Brookgreen Gardens’ history. Three of the main historical educational opportunities are the; Pontoon Boat Rides, Lowcountry Trail, and Oaks Plantation History and Nature Excursion. Each tour allows visitors to learn more about the history of Brookgreen Gardens, the former plantations it sits on, and Southern history in general.

For more information about any of the educational opportunities at Brookgreen Gardens, visit the Gardens’ official website, or contact them during their hours of operation.

Back to: South Carolina Address: 1931 Brookgreen Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 843-235-6000 Things to Do in South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens - Photo: Andrew Kazmierski/Fotolia

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Things to Do in South Carolina: Brookgreen Gardens

  • History, Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Kazmierski - Fotolia.com
  • Attractions, Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Kazmierski - Fotolia.com
  • More Attractions, Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Kazmierski - Fotolia.com
  • Educational Opportunities, Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Kazmierski - Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Kazmierski - Fotolia.com