1931 Brookgreen Gardens Dr, Pawleys Island, SC, USA
www.brookgreen.org - (843) 235-6000
Brookgreen Gardens Pawleys Island Reviews
Nov 26, 2007
Wanted to share a splendid attraction that my wife and I just discovered this past weekend. We like to escape the weekend after Thanksgiving to explore someplace nearby before the mad holiday rush and were delighted by probing into South Carolina just below Myrtle Beach. The jewel of our explorations was stumbling upon Brookgreen Gardens.
Brookgreen Gardens is touted as the largest collection of “figurative sculpture in an outdoor setting”, and we were initially put off by this somewhat pompous disclaimer. It wasn’t long after entering this wonderland that we suspended our disbelief however. An enormous estate, the location actually houses three distinct attractions.
Foremost is the Sculpture Garden. I feared it would be rather stuffy, but found it utterly delightful. There is an enormous collection of American sculptures spanning a large time frame, and there are a bunch of pieces which if not inspiring, are just plain whimsical. As you weave through the grounds, you learn to peek over your shoulder to glimpse yet another masterpiece gazing at you amidst the greenery and drooping Spanish moss. There are a multitude of fountains and benches, which seemed to beg me to return with a good book and just idle for a bit.
We spent several hours enjoying sculpture before proceeding to the Lowcountry Trail – a completely separate area in the enormous estate. Here you walk next to the former rice paddies (surprisingly, we learned this was once the site of America’s largest rice producer) which have been allowed to be reclaimed by nature and learned how the venture was only profitable while slave labor was legal. No holds are barred in sharing how slaves were treated and exploited in this enterprise.
After this eye-opening historical voyage, we wondered through their impressive wildlife exhibit. Most of the animals housed here are unfortunates who have suffered injuries that would doom them in the wild. We engaged several attendants and it was inspiring to learn that living free was the key motivation – several times their wounded tenants have yielded viable offspring which have been released into the wild.
A really fascinating site and learning experience which I highly recommend!
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