Amid all the hustle and bustle of the Grand Strand, there are a few places where you can truly relax, away from the crowds, away from the neon, and indulge yourself in nature. These rare and special places are on extreme ends of the Grand Strand; one, Brookgreen Gardens is in Murrells Inlet, about 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, and the other, much smaller, but no less beautiful, is Vereen Gardens in Little River, about 45 minutes north of Myrtle Beach. At both parks, you’ll be able to get out into nature and see native plants and animals. You’ll walk along quiet trails and you may even find you’re the only one, but more likely you’ll pass a few strangers with pleasant smiles on their faces. They’ll nod in appreciation of the shared experience that the vast majority of the 15 million visitors to the Grand Strand miss.
Brookgreen Gardens, opened in 1932, is part of a 9,100-acre wildlife preserve in Murrells Inlet. It is one of the largest and most prestigious American sculpture gardens in the U.S. and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Part of an old rice plantation, the Gardens include indoor and outdoor spaces, special wildlife programs, some 1,500 sculptures, and more breathtaking beauty per square foot than almost anywhere else on the Grand Strand. (Admission required)More Info Visit Website
Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens
In Little River, almost to the North Carolina border on U.S. 17, a small sign welcomes visitors to Vereen Gardens, named for the family that donated the land. Situated waterfront amid creeks, marshes, forested hills, and finally to the Intracoastal Waterway, the Gardens are perfect for a little quiet walk through the woods, a picnic, or just a beautiful change in scenery. (No admission charged)More Info
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