AAA Editor Notes
Brookgreen Gardens, 1931 Brookgreen Dr., encompasses more than 9,000 acres that were formerly antebellum rice plantations. More than 1,400 sculptures by 19th-century and contemporary American artists are showcased in landscaped settings and garden rooms of the 35-acre Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden.
A stroll through the gardens is a series of snapshots befitting the storybook South, from massive live oaks festooned with curtains of Spanish moss to the seasonal bursts of color provided by flowering trees, shrubs and perennials. More than 2,000 plant species are used in the landscape; many bloom throughout the year. Depending on when you visit, you’ll see—among many other plantings—masses of azaleas and dogwood and weeping cherry trees in full bloom (spring); a profusion of lilies and huge, saucer-shaped white flowers on the magnolia trees (summer), and chrysanthemums and Confederate roses (fall). Needless to say, the photo opportunities here are endless. The Enchanted Storybook Forest, containing a collection of playhouses based on classic children’s stories, encourages reading and interaction with nature.
Visitors can explore a wildlife preserve in a boat or an overland vehicle, or by walking a nature trail that contains history and animal exhibits. The Native Wildlife Zoo features such native wildlife as deer, foxes and otters, while domesticated animals and birds include chickens, cows, horses and turkeys. A 3,000-square-foot butterfly house is home to hundreds of live butterflies, tropical plants and water features. Programs are given daily.
Guided tours are available. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 3 hours minimum.