Discover the harmonious merger of art and nature at this botanical sculpture garden, the largest of its kind on the East Coast.
Featuring more than 9,000 acres of scenic South Carolina Lowcountry, Brookgreen Gardens once served as one of the largest rice and indigo plantations in the state before being transformed into an artistic treasure in 1931 by owners Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Their mission to preserve a unique slice of American art and native flora and fauna continues to awe visitors today.
The gardens include an array of flowers, shrubs and trees, including twisting live oaks draped in Spanish moss that predate the founding of the United States. Arranged amid the abundance of blooming plantlife is an impressive collection of statues and sculptures, more than 2,000 works in all that were made by famous American artists. Popular works such as Pegasus, the Alligator Bender and Fighting Stallions, which greets visitors at the main entrance in Murrells Inlet, offer great photo opportunities.
Brookgreen Gardens also offers numerous art galleries spread throughout the property that feature special collections. The Gullah Cultural Center and the Wall Lowcountry Center provide visitors with an educational experience about South Carolina culture, and a guided tour of the former Oaks Plantation, complete with slave quarters, farm buildings and a graveyard, is available at an extra charge. Visitors can also add on a boat tour through the former rice fields and a network creeks and rivers.
Brookgreen Gardens also has lots of fun things to keep the kids entertained. The Lowcountry Zoo features native species, like alligators, otters and various birds of prey, the Butterfly House is home to hundreds of colorful species, and the farm allows the little ones to pet and feed goats, horses and other domesticated animals. Families can take a break to grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurants and snack bars, and a gift shop gives guests a chance to take home a keepsake.
Brookgreen Gardens is open year-round but is particularly spectacular in the spring and at Christmas time for the popular Nights of a Thousand Candles display.