Brookgreen Gardens is a beautiful Grand Strand attraction on the south end of town that is perfect for an afternoon of fun or an evening out. From the many gardens to the row of live oaks at the entrance, Brookgreen is like a Lowcountry fairytale escape.
The everyday walk through the gardens is nothing short of amazing. Brookgreen is filled to the brim with perfectly maintained landscaping, gorgeous shrubbery and unbelievable floriculture. The botanical gardens and surrounding historical sites total over 9,000 acres and feature more than 2,000 works of art by 430 artists, which includes the largest collection of American figurative sculptures in the country.
Brookgreen Gardens is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $18 for seniors 65 and older, $20 for adults and $10 for children 4-12. Kids three and under are free. All general admission tickets are valid for 7 consecutive days, and many events at Brookgreen are included with general admission.
Annual memberships are available if you and your family plan to visit the Myrtle Beach area more than once this year. An individual membership is $70 and membership for a household (living at the same residence) is $110. A membership to Brookgreen gives you unlimited admission to the gardens during regular hours, a free subscription to Brookgreen publications and e-newsletters, a 10% discount at Keepsakes Museum Shop and all food venues, discounted general admission tickets for your guests and 2 free guest passes good for one-time admission.
There is so much to explore when you visit Brookgreen Gardens. While you could easily get lost in the acres of botanical gardens filled with local blooms and artwork, you don’t want to miss out on the other amazing attractions found at Brookgreen.
Visiting the Lowcountry Zoo, you’ll have the chance to see native animals like owls, alligators, otters, red foxes and many different species of birds. Admission to the zoo is included with your general admission ticket and zoo hours are the same as the gardens. Just outside the zoo is a perfect spot to picnic and admire mother nature. Here are a few fun facts about the Lowcountry Zoo at Brookgreen Gardens:
The Lowcountry Zoo hosts several classes, programs and exhibits throughout the year. For more details on each, please visit the zoo’s webpage.
While you will see hundreds of sculptures throughout the botanical gardens and exhibits at Brookgreen Gardens, you’ll want to make sure you step into the Bleifeld Gallery. Located next to the Brown Sculpture Court, the gallery includes contemporary and historical sculptures created by Stanley Bleifeld and other regional artists. Entry into the Bleifeld Gallery is included with the price of admission.
Located at the Jewell Welcome Center Plaza, The Rosen Galleries houses four smaller galleries including the Portico Gallery, the Mize Gallery, the Hoy Gallery and the Holmes Gallery. These galleries host special exhibits and collections like Wild World: Two Hundred Years of Nature in Art, the National Sculpture Society’s Annual Awards Exhibition and Thomas Schomberg’s Remembering 9/11.
Another incredible permanent collection of sculptures are housed in the Offner Sculpture Learning and Research Center. For more than 50 years, the building was a simple garden shed housing tools and equipment for the garden staff. Today, the building stands as a beautiful home for the smaller, more delicate sculptures found in Brookgreen’s collections. Students, researchers, and the visiting public are invited to visit the gallery filled with works of art by Elliot Offner and Richard McDermott Miller.
Partnering with numerous Sculptors-in-Residence, the Master Sculpture Program at Brookgreen gives visitors the opportunity to watch a master sculptor at work. Artists discuss their creative process while demonstrating on sculptures they are currently working on.
Feeling inspired? Consider booking your next stay at Monterey Bay and signing up for one of the Sculpture Workshops that Brookgreen hosts throughout the year. Most workshops are suitable for beginners and subject matters vary by workshop.
Brookgreen Gardens hosts multiple special exhibits throughout the year but here are a few that are a must-see!
Serving as one of the top winter attractions on the Grand Strand, Nights of a Thousand Candles sees locals and visitors alike returning year after year to experience the beautiful gardens and stunning sculptures with a little added holiday cheer. Attendees will enjoy the beautiful ambiance of the nearly 3,000 hand-lit candles and a seemingly never-ending display of twinkling lights.
Named “Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina” by Travel+Leisure Magazine, Night of a Thousand Candles is a magical event you and your family are sure to remember for years to come. The event also includes live holiday music nightly, Christmas carolers, several dining options and beverage stations throughout the gardens offering beer, wine and homemade hot cocoa. Night of a Thousand Candles starts the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs every weekend evening through the first of the year. Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance online.
Brookgreen Gardens was established in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington on land that was at one time four large rice plantations. Southern rice plantations flourished in colonial times because of the knowledge and skill of the enslaved peoples who worked the land.
If you’ve spent any time in the Lowcountry, you’ve likely heard of the Gullah Geechee people. These descendants of West Africans that were brought to the colonies in the 1700s have a rich and vibrant history and an important story to tell to today’s generations. Don’t miss the opportunity to listen and learn from Ron Daise, VP for Creative Education at Brookgreen and Gullah descendant, about the culture, food, language and history of the Gullah Geechee people.
Also make time to travel The Lowcountry Trail, a quarter-mile boardwalk path that leads guests by the remains of four historical structures that were part of everyday life on the plantation. Brookgreen’s audio tour tells a fictional story of the people who once lived and worked on the land and four stainless steel figures, depicting the Plantation Owner, the Overseer, an Enslaved African Male and an Enslaved African Female, have been placed along the trail to offer a greater understanding of the important role of each on a Lowcountry plantation.
Both the Gullah Geechee program and the Lowcountry Trail are free with garden admission and should not be missed!
Here are a few of the annual events held at Brookgreen Gardens:
If you will be staying at Monterey Bay Suites this year, we highly recommend making the short drive south to Murrells Inlet to experience the stunning gardens of Brookgreen. Located at 1931 Brookgreen Drive, Brookgreen Gardens is approximately 30 minutes from our oceanfront resort.
From Monterey Bay Suites you’ll head south on Ocean Blvd for half of a mile and make a right onto Highland Way. Keep right at the fork then go straight at the traffic signal at Hwy 17 Business. You will now be on 62nd Ave. Follow 62nd Ave. for three-quarters of a mile then make a left onto Hwy 17 Bypass. You’ll follow Hwy 17 Bypass for 22 miles until you reach the entrance of Brookgreen Gardens on your right.