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“If you want a place just to relax from Myrtle's faster pace this is the place”
Review of Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A beautiful 9,170-acre green park located 16 miles south of Myrtle Beach.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Brookgreen Gardens is a place that is really hard to describe. From the fighting stallions sculpture at the park entrance on highway 17 to the zoo trail, there is literally something for everyone. The admission was around $14 when I went and that gave you access to the park grounds for a week. At the main entrance there be sure to stop in at the welcome center to pick up a map and to see what all is going on in the park that day. The park gives several different types of tours most free and the staff is very knowledgeable about the grounds. The sculpture garden itself is very beautiful place and is constantly changing throughout the year. The garden has a variety of different flowers and plants that all have their normal growing cycle. As one flower is fading out another is coming in to take it's place. There are several historical trees on the ground One oak tree on the extreme left side of the park past the garden with Diana has been certified to have been living at the time the US Constitution was signed in 1887. The sculpture in the park are all different types - Marble, granite, steel, bronze, brass, copper. There are three protected sculpture centers within the park. The Rainey Sculpture center displays the traveling exhibits and sculpture contest winner exhibits throughout the year. The Brown Sculpture court and the Offner Sculpture Center offers rarer sculptures that the park has deemed needing more protection. The Offner center offers different education videos and lectures about sculpture. There is usually full time staff in the center that will answer any questions you have about the sculpture and about sculpture in general.
The park itself is well designed. Trails wind through open grass areas, by different lakes and ponds, and through different tree areas. I highly recommend the Live Oak Allee. Words can't describe the beauty and traquility of this garden. The Palmento garden also is a unique place. If you are walking on a real windy path towards the backside of the garden look down at your map closely. The area was designed as a butterfly. Portions of one of the old plantations can be seen through the back side of the garden. The plantation foundation now serves as a water reservoir for the park. The only building left standing is the Old Kitchen. It is kind of unique that the kitchens were built separate from the plantation houses because of the fire hazzard of cooking in those days. The old kitchen remains, but the main plantation house was destroyed by fire. The old kitchen serves beverages and refreshments if you need them. When you are in the park make sure you look for the white bird that is roaming around the park somewhere. I think it may be an egret but don't quote me on that. I don't think it is an official garden "pet" but I have seen him each time I have visited the park.

The Trail beyond the Garden wall is also a unique section worth viewing. The trail takes you on a portion of the old plantation grounds that was used for rice production. There are different rice fields along your way. When you get to the river there is an observation deck to view the other rice areas and the river in general with it's unique dark color caused by the rich soil in the area. If you follow the trail completely it will lead you to the Low country center. Along the way you will pass the tree arboretum and a labyrinth path you can to the center and back without repeating your steps.

The low country center is where you can purchase tickets for additional tours not included in the park admission. If you like history I can actually recommend each of the tours. The Boat tour takes you down the river while explaining about plantation life and rice growing. Along the way you will see different locks on the old rice fields used to bring water into the fields when the water turned fresh. You may see alligators, bald eagles, turtles and different wildlife along the way. The northern and southern trek tours take you on tours of the different areas of the original plantations that make up the current garden property. I believe it is the southern trek with the Oaks plantation. This tour was a little bumpy and you were in the all terrain vehicle most of the time, but the guide was very knowledgeable and well worth the tour. He explained about the Alstons family history and tragedy. Their relationships with some of the founding fathers. Along the way tour path you can see the plantation house foundation, where the slave village was located and a long needle pine forest featuring a rare breed of woodpecker. The only stop was a tour of the Alston family cemetery. This cemetery featured different types of graves. The graves were below ground, but they had ornamental coverings such as you would see in New Orleans or somewhere.

At the back of the Low Country Center there is a path you can take over to the zoo. This path is an educational path that takes you through one of the old plantation slave villages that was on the garden grounds. There are different audio station that tells you about slave life and about rice production. You go past a rice field. There is also a portion of an old cypress tree trunk that was discovered in one of the southern rivers and brought to the garden. It shows you the size of the trees the slaves had to tear down to clear the plantation areas for rice production.

Finally there is the zoo. This is a good place for the kids. The otters are quick and the kids will enjoy watching them swim around. The zoo concentrates on different areas of the South Carolina area. You can see farm animals, otters, alligators, fox, deer, water birds, raptors, turkey, and other small animals such as squirrel. Across the road from the tram stop is the butterfly house. I believe it is a couple dollars for admission. The guide takes you through the house and tells you about butterfly life and the different types of butterflies in the house. He gives you ample time for pictures as you go through. It is important to note because of the different types of plants in the sculpture gardens a variety of butterflies can be seen throughout the garden area as well so have a good camera ready. After you are done with the zoo area there is a tram that goes from the zoo area to the low country center and then back to the welcome center/ parking lot.

As you can tell from my description the park can actually be made a day event. There is a picnic area on the grounds you can drive or walk to that has tables and shelters. Close to the park entrance there is also a small cafe that is usually open until about a couple of hour before the park closes. It has a lighter menu that features different salads, sandwiches, and soups for purchase. The Old Kitchen also serves a smaller menu of food and beverages.

Thank alman4869
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"butterfly house"
in 275 reviews
"seven days"
in 103 reviews
"sculpture garden"
in 168 reviews
"welcome center"
in 74 reviews
"zoo area"
in 89 reviews
"rice plantation"
in 118 reviews
"pavilion restaurant"
in 58 reviews
"boat ride"
in 234 reviews
"admission ticket"
in 40 reviews
"myrtle beach"
in 289 reviews
"amazing sculptures"
in 33 reviews
"oak trees"
in 43 reviews
"day pass"
in 38 reviews
"beautiful place"
in 145 reviews
"wear comfortable shoes"
in 35 reviews
"special events"
in 47 reviews
"beautiful grounds"
in 52 reviews
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2,835 - 2,839 of 3,221 reviews

Reviewed September 29, 2012

WOW is all I can say! Top of the line HUGE property full of manicured gardens, butterfly garden, statues and artwork, some of the most amazing trees I have ever, ever seen and certainly much, much more. You have a pass for the whole week so you can come back if you wish. Worth the drive.

Thank sm3700
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012 via mobile

Deffinately a great alternative to the beach. They also give you a chance to come back for a full week if you didnt complete the full tour.

Thank Tiffany H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

There is a lot to see and do at Brookgreen, and one admission lasts for seven days. We went on the second to last day of our trip, and I wish we had gone earlier so we could have visited two or more times.

As mentioned by everyone else, the gardens and sculpture are spectacular. We enjoyed the children's garden area, which provided many fun nooks & crannies for the little ones to explore. It is difficult to keep the kiddos from touching the sculpture, so you do have to keep a close eye on them.

The smallish "zoo" was fun to visit, especially as the volunteer was feeding the animals around 11 am. Would have liked to return for more of the children's programs, but their timing did not line up with nap time for us this visit.

All of the volunteers/staff were very friendly and helpful. It seemed like someone was stationed at every turn to help direct you if you were lost or to point out an area of interest/answer a question.

Thank Camille F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 27, 2012 via mobile

A definite gem south of myrtle beach. If you like art, beautiful landscapes and tranquil settings this place is for you. Great photo opportunities here too!

Thank klay36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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