At least once a year, we like to visit my aunt and uncle outside Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where they work as marine biologists. Visiting them is always an adventure, and my family and I get to see a lot of the beautiful flora and fauna of the South Carolina coast through a very unique (and well-narrated) lens.
Usually we’ll go out in their boat, tour the estuary, and stop for a little fun, fishing, and shelling on one of the local beaches. This time, however, we decided to explore something new – Brookgreen Gardens.
Now, you know by now I am a huge fan of Longwood Gardens near my home in Pennsylvania, but Brookgreen was just too fascinating and unique not to share with you. Not only is it a huge garden, but it includes sculptures, a zoo, boat rides, and a butterfly garden. The place is so massive that we only got through about a third of its attractions, but Brookgreen is generous enough to make their tickets good for 7 days (you might need all that time to see everything, I’m serious!)
We started the day at the “zoo”. Zoo is obviously used loosely here, because it was more of a wonderful, biological park than a zoo with “caged” animals on display. You wander through these trails to the various exhibits of local animals and birds…after seeing this sign, we decided to make sure we stayed on the designated pathways.
Here was one of the fellows we came across enjoying a large, natural area to explore. We saw that many of the animals are there for rehabilitation which was a pleasant surprise.
There were two aviaries set up in the zoo, where you were able to walk through and visit with the animals. One of these owls below swooped so low over my uncle that he almost lost his hat! Little Guy loved the domestic “hore-hees” (horses) on display, while Buddy was enthralled with the river otters and their playful antics.
We stopped in the butterfly garden for a beautiful display of various butterfly species. Buddy was thrilled when one landed on his shoulder and even more thrilled when the volunteers allowed him to assist in releasing the newest hatchlings into the room.
As a literacy lover, my favorite area was the Enchanted Storybook Forest, a series of playhouses decorated to depict various storybooks (e.g., Hansel and Gretel; Treasure Island; Cinderella’s Castle; Snow White; Rapunzel; the Crooked Man; the Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and teepees from various native American tales.)
This place is a must see if you are in the Myrtle Beach area! Let us know if you make a visit and tell us what you think!
Note: This post is not sponsored by Brookgreen Gardens. I just had to share this southern gem of a location that I found in my travels!