Visiting the Spectacular Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

I spent four days at Myrtle Beach with my parents over the Independence Day holiday (July 4th). The time near and in the ocean was fantastic (great weather, warm water temperatures, and not as crowded as some beaches I've been to in the past). On our last day, we made our way south to visit Brookgreen Gardens.

I hadn't heard of Brookgreen Gardens before--the place was recommended to us by my parents' neighbors, who frequent the Myrtle Beach area twice a year. Brookgreen Gardens is a massive property on 9,127 acres; it consists of a wildlife park, beautiful gardens, and an awe-inspiring collection of sculpture. To put simply, Brookgreen Gardens is a botanical garden within which you may find wildlife and a spectacular art display.

A bit of history: Brookgreen Gardens was founded by Archer Milton Huntington, stepson of the railroad magnate Collis Potter Huntington, and his wife Anna Hyatt Huntington to feature sculptures by Anna (a talented artist) and her sister Harriet Randolph Hyatt Mayor, along with other American sculptors. Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington first visited the property in 1929 and were captivated by it and the surrounding area, purchasing the 9000+ acres. In 1932, Brookgreen Gardens was opened to the public. Brookgreen Gardens was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Below are a selection of photos I captured at Brookgreen Gardens.

The spectacular Live Oak Allée.

Live Oak Allée. In the background: Edward Francis McCartan's statue of Dionysus.

Trees at Brookgreen Gardens.

Native orchids growing at Brookgreen Gardens.

About 1445 works of American figurative sculpture are displayed at the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden at Brookgreen Gardens. Overall, there are over 2,000 works of sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens, when including certain sculptures that are located indoors

Fighting Stallions by Anna Hyatt Huntington

The Brown Sculpture Court, seen below, is reminiscent of the Moorish architectural designs and reminded me of the interior courtyard of the Alhambra.


Walking the labyrinth:

In addition to the beautiful sculpture, there are plaques with various poems throughout the gardens. Depicted in this section of the Brookgreen Gardens is "The Snare":

A handmade door frame.

Brookgreen Gardens is a spectacular destination and a must-see stop if you're in the Myrtle Beach area. If you get a chance to go on the hourly guided tour, I highly recommend doing so, as you will get an excellent history lesson of the grounds as well as highlights of the top ten to fifteen sculptures within the gardens.


Brookgreen Gardens
1931 Brookgreen Drive
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island
phone: 843-235-6000