Saturday, August 23, 2008

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC

Shortly after discovering Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, I decided to set my fourth novel in that charming little town. As way of researching this unfamiliar location, I contacted the Chamber of Commerce to get a list of recommended books on the area. The woman I spoke to directed me to Genevieve Chandler Peterkin's Heaven is a Beautiful Place, and that led me to Brookgreen Gardens.



A former rice plantation, the land that is now Brookgreen Gardens is a sweeping meadow accented with walled and open gardens, pools, and fabulous bronze and marble sculptures. This outdoor museum also has hiking and walking trails, an archaeological dig site, a zoo, and an arboretum which we couldn't find. A pontoon creek excursion and an off-road trek are also available for an extra price each. However, both attractions will take you to areas you won't see walking around on foot. Fortunately, the entrance ticket is good for seven consecutive days, so if you can't explore everything on your first visit (and you can't) you can return anytime within the next week to see the rest.

But spend as much time as you can at the Gardens. Picnicking is permitted in designated areas, or dine at the cafe, the small "kitchen" (dine under magnolia trees!), or the restaurant that serves lunch.

My husband and I meandered through several gardens to the Trail Behind the Gardens where one can see remnants of old rice fields. Then we strolled over to the Lowcountry Trail, stopping to take photos of sculptures, two small alligators, and a blue heron as we went. Soon after, we discovered we'd reached the Lowcountry Center. The archaeological dig was a bit further, as was the zoo. Our time was limited, so we took a trolley (which runs between the attractions) and headed back to our car.

Overall, we had a fabulous time at this Lowcountry attraction. Brookgreen Gardens is located off Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet. Ticket prices as of August 2008 are $12.00 per adult, $5.00 for children 6-12, and $10 for Seniors 65 and older. Check their website for changes before you go, and for operating hours.

For more information on Brookgreen Gardens, go to www.brookgreen.org/index.cfm or read Heaven is a Beautiful Place. For a map of Brookgreen Gardens, go to www.brookgreen.org/map.cfm

Photos are on our Smugmug Album. Click on the link (not the photo) to view the gallery.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a state park across the street form the gardens. It is a nice get away with beach access. There is an abundant view of Wildlife especially Alligators spread out all over the area. There are hiking trails as well as piers build all over the swamp area. If you are there again be sure to take this in.
Price Wildlife Gallery. See ya the kids got a kick out of your article.

Kimberli said...

Hello again! I think you're talking about Huntington State Park? We made a short visit there during our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary trip, but an injury prevented us from staying. Click on the Huntington State Park label for more information.

I'm glad your boys enjoyed the Pink Beds article. We got a kick out of it as well. They probably don't remember us, but tell them we said hello. Thanks for stopping by!

Julie said...

Kimberli, this is absolutely beautiful!!! I wish I could be there right now. I love the picture of the statue. Your Smugmug gallery is fantastic. The moss covered trees are my favorite! The statue of the horses at night is also lovely. Very dramatic lighting. I wish I could take pictures like these.

Now you have also made me want to research the job market there. If I could afford to live there, I'd do it tomorrow. Thanks for another wonderful post!

Kimberli said...

Hi Julie, and thanks for the nice comments. Good to see you online again. Your fans miss you!

Brookgreen Gardens is lovely, and we saw only about half of it. I love Murrells Inlet, and the more I learn about it, the more I love it. I recently found out Huntington State Park belongs to Brookgreen Gardens, but is on long-term lease to the state parks system. The Huntington's owned both properties, and their home, Atalaya, is still in the park area. I love exploring these places, but I wish we had days to do it. There's so much to see.

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