THINGS TO DO IN MYRTLE BEACH – BROOKGREEN GARDENS

If you are looking for things to do in Myrtle Beach beyond the beach, Brookgreen Gardens is the answer. Never heard of them? You are not alone. Hard to imagine but, these fascinating gardens managed to stay under the radar of South Carolina’s beachgoers, despite ranking among the ten top gardens in the USA. What can you expect there? Nine thousand acres of beautiful natural scenery, 2000 amazing sculptures, fountains, ponds, garden rooms, stunning flowers, and two hundred years old oak trees. Read on to learn why Brookgreen Gardens is a must-see attraction when visiting Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach - things to do. Beautiful lily pond at Brookgreen Gardens.
Take a break from the sun and sand of Myrtle Beach and visit the magnificent Brookgreen Garden.

THINGS TO DO IN MYRTLE BEACH – BROOKGREEN GARDENS

I love gardens and have seen many of the most magnificent gardens in Europe and North America, but I can honestly say that Brookgreen Gardens are my favorite. I can’t even pinpoint why. They simply spelled magic on me. Less formal than most of the famous gardens, they invite visitors to be a part of the scene.

You will find there beautiful alleys, numerous water features, lilies covered ponds, and incredible sculptures. Each section of the park takes you to a different page of a storybook.

Myrtle Beach what to it. Brookgreen Garden deliver beauty and shade.
No crowds in Brookgreen Gardens even in high season.

Brookgreen Gardens – History

History of Brookgreen Garden goes back to the year of 1931 when Archer Milton Huntington, one of the wealthiest men in America, purchased the land to build a retreat for his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington who was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Anna was an established sculptor. Her initial vision was to showcase only her art. From there, the couple took it into the first public sculpture garden in America, and eventually one of the finest outdoor museums of its type in the world.

Myrtle Beach -things to do. Escaping to nature in Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.
The Live Oak Allée comprised of 250-year-old  Live Oak trees that were planted in the early 1700s when today’s Brookgreen Gardens was four thriving rice plantations.

Location of Brookgreen Gardens

The gardens are located off Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet, half an hour south from Myrtle Beach. The entrance is marked by the sculpture Fighting Stallions by founder Anna Hyatt Huntington.

1931 Brookgreen Drive

Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island

843-235-6000

Myrtle Beach - what to do.Ponds and sculptures at its best in Brookgreen Gardens.
Multiple ponds and sculptures give Brookgreen Gardens one of a kind ambiance. 

How much does it cost to enter the Brookgreen Gardens

General Admission Tickets

According to current official information, admission to Brookgreen Gardens is valid for seven consecutive days. Please verify this before you visit. During my visit, the tickets were valid for 2 days. Open every day but Christmas, Brookgreen Gardens welcomes visitors from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm with extended hours in the summer and for special events.

Keep in mind that general admission ticket does not include special events. 

Children 3 and under, free
Children 4-12, $10
Adults 13-64. $18
Young adults and seniors over 65, $16
 
Myrtle Beach, what to do. You can spend days discovering gems of Brookgreen Gardens.
You can spend days discovering gems of Brookgreen Gardens.

How long does it take to tour Brookgreen Gardens

I spent one full day in the gardens and felt that I completely miscalculated the time needed there. The gardens consist of three main sections, the Sculpture Garden, the Lowcountry Center, and the Native Wildlife Zoo. You need a day just to walk through the parks’ major attraction, the magnificent Sculpture Garden. I suggest at least two days to get a broader experience.

One of many magnificent pools you can find in Brookgreen Gardens.
One of the many magnificent pools you can find in Brookgreen Gardens.

If on limited time, start at the welcome center. Take a  free guided tour of the gardens if available. You will learn about the history of Brookgreen Gardens and the sculptures of Anna Hyatt Huntington and other artists. If you prefer visiting on your own, get a map and prioritize the places you want to see.

Start with the Sculpture Garden located close to the welcome center then take advantage of a free shuttle to reach other parts of the park.

Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina. Outdoors art galery.
I much more prefer the outdoor art gallery over museums.

In case you are spending a week-long vacation in Myrtle Beach, use your multiple-day pass to take a break from the beach. Come to enjoy the art and to cool off under the beautiful oaks trees. You will find plenty of open green spaces to walk or lay back and relax. Have a picnic at one of the designated areas or visit onsite restaurants.

Another scene straight from a storybook in Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.
Another scene straight from a storybook in Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.

Brookgreen Gardens – a great option for thing to do in Myrtle Beach with kids

If you are looking for things to do in Myrtle Beach with children, Brookgreen Gardens certainly delivers. Young children will enjoy the Butterfly Garden and the Enchanted Storybook Forest. Additionally, the small Lowcountry Zoo welcomes young visitors with native animals of South Carolina’s swamps and woods—alligators, red foxes, river otters, and white-tailed deer living in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats.

Many sculptures in Brookgreen Gardens will spark children's interest.
Many sculptures in Brookgreen Gardens will spark children’s interest.

From March through November, for an additional fee, you can take Creek Excursion Boat Rides. This experience includes an interpreter who talks about the tidal creeks, surrounding land, and history of the colonial rice plantations that once made up Brookgreen Gardens. Chances are you will see alligators basking in the sun.

Nature's creation at Brookgreen Gardens., South Carolina.
Nature’s creation at Brookgreen Gardens.

How many sculptures are displayed in Brookgreen Gardens

With some 2,000 sculptures by 425 artists, the Brookgreen Gardens collection represents the largest and most comprehensive American figurative sculpture collection in the United States. The gardens are true heaven for art lovers.

Myrtle Beach - what to do. Fountain.
If you love fountains, you will love Brookgreen Gardens.

Events at Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Garden hosts a variety of holiday and cultural events, like Harvest Home Weekend in October and Nights of a Thousand Candles in December. Check the garden’s website for summer events. Events are not covered under general admission. 

Nights of a Thousand Candles in December

Among Brookgreen Gardens’ events, Night of a Thousand Candles, South Carolina’s major Christmas attraction, draws the most crowds. The gardens come to life with 2,700 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights. Xmas carols play over loudspeakers throughout the park.

You can enjoy hot chocolate, wine, or beer during your visit. Additionally, kids can meet Santa Clause and share their Christmas wishes.

The Fountain of the Muses - my favorite part of Brookgreen Gardens,
The Fountain of the Muses – my favorite part of Brookgreen Gardens.

Restaurants at Brookgreen Garden

Brookgreen Gardens offers three dining options.

Azalea

This restaurant, located by the Rainey Galleries, is open from February through November, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. It offers freshly prepared sandwiches, salads, soups, appetizers, and desserts.

Dionysus by Edward Francis McCartan Modeled in 1923 in small size, Dionysus was enlarged specifically for Brookgreen Gardens in 1936
Dionysus by Edward Francis McCartan Modeled in 1923 in small size, Dionysus was enlarged specifically for Brookgreen Gardens in 1936.

The Courtyard Cafe

Located in the Wall Lowcountry Center Courtyard, the restaurant is open daily and offers a variety of snacks, deli sandwiches, salads, hot dogs, and cold beverages including beer, wine, and soft drinks. The Courtyard Cafe is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Old Kitchen

Look for Old Kitchen at the end of Live Oak Alleé where you will find sandwiches, salads, desserts, beverages, and light refreshments. The Old Kitchen is open 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Dogs in Brookgreen Gardens

Dogs are not allowed in the gardens.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Brookgreen Gardens.
Make Brookgreen Gardens a must stop when visiting Myrtle Beach.

You may also like

Amazing driftwood beaches of the East Coast 

The Ultimate Itinerary for Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

Hiking the Narrows at Zion National Park 

Why Utah is the Best State for Nature Lovers 

A Day Trip to Monet Gardens from Paris

2 thoughts on “THINGS TO DO IN MYRTLE BEACH – BROOKGREEN GARDENS

Comments