Archer and Anna Huntington established Brookgreen Gardens in 1931 as a non-profit museum. It has since become a National Historic Landmark. The garden’s purpose was to preserve native plants and animals as well as displaying art work within a natural setting. Many of the sculptures throughout the grounds were done by Mrs. Huntington; she was a nationally recognized sculptor during the Great Depression.
The Gardens boast one of the largest collections of sculptures in an outdoor setting but American artists. These sculptures are enjoyed by walking one of the many trails, taking an overland vehicle tour or boat tour. There are thousands of acres to explore. The Low Country Zoo located on the grounds is the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) on the coast of the Carolinas. The most recent addition to the zoo is the butterfly house that has dozens of species available. The house is named for its inhabitants, Whispering Wings. The goal is for the butterfly house to eventually be home to over sixty-six different species of butterflies. Most inhabitants were born and bred in captivity at an AZA approved facility or they were obtained from a wildlife rehabilitation center after receiving major disabling injuries that would no longer allow them to live in the wild safely and disease free.
The “floral jewel of South Carolina’s coastal community” are the gardens of Brookgreen. The 9,200 acre property is a blend of salt marsh, sandy ridges, forested swamps and fresh tidal swamps. The design was created to keep the natural terrain of the landscape intact. Three are specialty gardens throughout the property including the “The Live Oak Allee” comprised of 250 year old live oak trees that were planted in the 1700s when it was a thriving rice plantation.
A variety of festivals and events are scheduled throughout the year with a special series called Cool Summer Evenings. It lasts for nine weeks in during the summer and provides a series of musical and theatrical shows. Group and educational tours are available and must be pre-arranged. Weddings, holiday parties and business luncheons can be arranged. Brookgreen Gardens offers a variety of party packages. Old Kitchen, The Pavilion Restaurant and Courtyard Café are perfect places to dine while visiting the Gardens. There are also a variety of places to picnic.
Brookgreen Gardens is located just past Murrells Inlet off of Highway 17, a short trip from Myrtle Beach.
Web Site: http://www.brookgreen.org/
Address: 1931 Brookgreen Gardens Dr
City: Murrells inlet