During your visit to Brookgreen Gardens you can explore the sculpture gardens offering many horticultural surprises and delights. In Brookgreen’s Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve you will discover native plants and animals of the South Carolina Lowcountry as well as the rice plantations on which Brookgreen Gardens was built. Wild species including snakes and alligators can be found in the Garden’s Lowcountry Zoo.
Start your visit to Brookgreen Gardens in the Welcome Center. Here you can pick up a current schedule of all the activities taking place in the gardens. A short video in the Welcome Center will orient you with Brookgreen Gardens.
The Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Gardens
The Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Gardens were designed by Anna Huntington in the shape of a spread wing butterfly in 1931. As you enter the Sculpture Gardens through the Diana Garden, the breadth of this magnificent place becomes evident. Visit The Live Oak Allée Garden and admire 300 year-old live oak trees planted in the early 1700s when Brookgreen Gardens was a thriving rice plantation. The Dorothy P. Peace Garden Room for Children, located in the lower right wing and the Kitchen Garden, in the lower left wing, are the most notable gardens at Brookgreen. In the Brenda W. Rosen Carolina Terrace Garden, you will find perennials, roses, shrubs and mature trees. Gardens separate from the butterfly design include the Palmetto Garden named after the Sabal palmetto, South Carolina’s state tree, and The Fountain of the Muses Garden, featuring the sculpture of the same name by Carl Milles.
The Labyrinth at Brookgreen
Brookgreen Garden’s Labyrinth, located along the north end of the Trail Beyond the Garden Wall, is a medieval, seven circuit Chartres style labyrinth of shell and natural grass overlooking a tributary creek of the Waccamaw River. Explore surrounding interpretive panels that describe its history and purpose, or relax on one of the welcoming benches nearby as you take in the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
The Arboretum at Brookgreen Gardens serves as the transition between the original sculpture gardens and the E. Craig Wall, Jr. Lowcountry Center. Stroll beneath the canopy of trees leading to the E. Craig Wall, Jr. Lowcountry Center, the gateway to the Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve. Along the way you can marvel at sculptures and plants native to the southeastern region.
Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve
The Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve is comprised of thousands of acres rich with evidence of the native plants and animals of the South Carolina Lowcountry as well as the rice plantations of the 1800s. Discover Brookgreen Garden’s Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve through programs at the Lowcountry Center or by exploring the Lowcountry Trail. Brookgreen’s Lowcountry Trail is a beautiful boardwalk that crosses the hillside overlooking Mainfield, a restored rice field of the former Brookgreen Plantation. As you wander the trail interpretive panels describe life on a rice plantation, and four stainless figures illustrate the various roles of the economic and social system of a Lowcountry plantation.
Lowcountry Zoo at Brookgreen Gardens is the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the coast of North and South Carolina with all of its native animals either bred or raised in captivity, or animals that have sustained a major disability due to injury. Keep an eye out for native animals such as alligators, bald eagles, grey and red foxes, owls, river otters and white-tailed deer living in the woods, swamps and waters of the Lowcountry. Domestic animals include chickens, horses, mules, cows, sheep, goats and turkeys. Lowcountry Zoo also features Cypress Aviary, the only known aviary built over an existing cypress swamp. Stroll through on an elevated boardwalk and observe black-crowned night herons, egrets, great blue herons, hooded merganser and ibises.
Dining at Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen Gardens offers several dining options. Pavilion Restaurant serves freshly made soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Near the end of The Live Oak Allée, the Old Kitchen’s menu features desserts, beverages, deli-wraps and soup. Courtyard Café, located in the Lowcountry Center Courtyard, offers a variety of snacks, deli sandwiches, hot dogs and cold beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine.
Shopping at Keepsakes Gift Shop
Be sure to stop by Keepsakes Gift Shop featuring art works and jewelry made by local and national artists. Additional items available for purchase include a wide range of books related to South Carolina’s history, gardening, art and culture; educational toys; and garden wares.
- Brookgreen Gardens offers several sculpture exhibitions throughout the year.
- During your visit to Brookgreen Garden’s Lowcountry Zoo remember that while the animals are fun to look at you should not approach them.