Well, my husband and I have the unique problem of comparing every place we go to our home town of San Diego, CA. We hail from the home of the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Seaport Village and so many other amazing places.
We've never found another zoo that compares, and places like the Atlanta Botanical garden (we live in Atlanta now) are contenders to Balboa Park....but just don't quite measure up.
I didn't expect Brookgreen Gardens to knock Balboa Park and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens WAY out of the park! This place is simply stunning. The only advice I have for you is make sure you take your allergy medication!
First off, this is one of the less expensive attractions in Myrtle Beach. It's nothing like the other tourist traps in Myrtle Beach-it's not kitchy, it's not themed. It's a non-profit run park, which was my first draw. The tickets are $12 per adult, but here's a tip-there is a state park about 1/4 of a mile up the road from Brookgreen Gardens that we accidently turned into (actually, our GPS lead us there instead of Brookgreen Gardens). My husband asked the very nice park ranger for directions and he gave them to us-along with a coupon for $2 off admission to the park. So, our little minor detour saved us a few bucks. I can't complain about that!
You pay to get into the main park. The parking is included in your admission. There are a few smaller attractions within the park that are additional admission prices, individually.
Upon walking in, stop and get a map and some more visitor information at the visitor center. There are volunteers working here, and each one seems to passionately love the park and their job-they are more than happy to answer questions, give you valuable tips and more.
Keep in mind, this is a huge place. Wear comfy shoes and bring sun block.
So, we ventured in. Almost immediately you are greeted with amazing sculpture and some of the most stunning plays of water and florals and greenery that I've every experienced. Being a HUGE fan of the book "Secret Garden", this place just called out to me. There are gardens upon gardens woven into this park, at every turn you are peering into the gates and walkways of more gardens. It's so beautiful.
We went on a Sunday afternoon. There were lots of other people there but we never once felt crowded. The environment stays quiet and you can almost escape the busy tourist city outside it's walls.
The sculpture in this park is breathtaking. Each piece is more beautiful than the last. There really are no words.
There are a couple of small little places to eat inside if you get hungry. We stopped for some drinks and I had a yummy lemonade. We didn't eat, but the food looked very fresh and gourmet. Yumm...
The highlight of this place for me is the park's newest attraction, the butterfly house. I have an emotional attachment to butterflies, so I was super excited. It was $2 each for my husband and I. The ticket gives you and a small group of other viewers 30 minutes in the butterfly house. It's small, but jam packed with beautiful "flys". They are all native species, which I found interesting. The 2 docents who gave us our orientation were also volunteers and just as passionate as the visitor center workers. They gave us picture guides to each butterfly in the house and explained how they are birthed, what they eat and more. You can view pupae emerging from the cocoon in the back of the house. That was just amazing.
To say the least, this was my favorite outing in Myrtle Beach. It's a hidden gem, a great value, a relaxing outing. Visually stunning, a treat for all your senses. This should not be missed.
Oh, and side note: the bathrooms are super clean, there are vending machines full of organic snacks, the place is very child friendly and there is a small zoo that is part of the park! Check out my eagle picture!!! They were so close to us!
I've included a couple of my own photographs I took in the park. My camera is not great, but these pictures came out so beautifully. The butterflies are really the ones in the butterfly house!!!
DON'T Miss it!
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