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Grand Strand Vacation – Brookgreen Gardens, etc.

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I can’t believe my last post here was January! I had tried to keep up with a post a week for my sites for quite a while and managed it, but frankly it’s just too fast a pace with work and everything (and about 10 sites!). So, I won’t be posting as frequently as that in the future. I hope to be putting out a post once a month, but to be honest, it could be every other month, or two or three in a day and then nothing for a month or two. I do try to keep updating the pages behind the scenes so hopefully our resources are getting a bit more complete as time goes by. Hopefully the less ambitious posting will mean that when I have time I will be able to put out better in depth posts and devote more time to the real heart of the site which is our county resource pages.

So, the last few weeks have been quite hectic. To start out with I had a project to work on a web site for a place that does self storage in Greenville, SC and that was closely followed by its sister site that also does self storage in Greenville, SC. I seem to recall several weekends that I worked through with one computer issue after another. including two hard drive replacements over one weekend… then after those projects we started passing a nasty bug around our family and as we recovered, then had to get everything together for our scheduled trip to the beach.

Somewhere in all that I thought about posting here several times. I had done a bit of research of where we were heading and the things we could go and see there. We had a Surfside Beach, SC family vacation during the school’s spring break week. Of course we went to see many things (including the beach) while we were there, but the highlight for the viewers of this site I think would have been Brookgreen Gardens.

Brookgreen Gardens is just a little south of Murrell’s Inlet on highway 17. The property originally was a rice plantation (in fact it was originally 3 rice plantations.) When the civil war ended and the plantation society collapsed the properties eventually were abandoned and a couple (Huntington was their last name) retired to the area purchasing ~9100 acres of three plantations as a showcase for Mrs. Huntingtons sculptures. (*If I heard correctly they paid in the range of $125,000 for the 9100 acres.) The state leases a parcel from the nonprofit that operates Brookgreen Gardens and operates it as Huntington Beach state park.

Brookgreen Gardens though has developed into one of the largest statuary collections as well as taking advantage of some of the original plantation gardens (and live oak alley). They also have done some archaeological work related to the original plantations that stood on the grounds. There are boat tours and there is also a zoo area. All in all, it was a fascinating stop and we could have spent all day (or a couple days) if we hadn’t had a 7 year old and 14 month old to try to keep entertained. (The zoo helped, as did the Children’s Discovery exhibit they had, but frankly it’s hard to entertain a 14 month old unless you’re red, furry and talk like Elmo and even that wears thin after a short time.)

Anyway, the tickets that you buy for Brookgreen Gardens are good for 7 days, so if you’re in that neck of the woods plan on going near the beginning of your visit and plan to go back! It would be well worth it. They also have picnic areas and if you live locally it would be worth being a member to visit anytime and walk, read, paint, etc.

We also passed by Camden on the trip and I would have loved to stop and look around there, but we just didn’t have the time. Maybe another trip we will be able to take more time with some “sidetrips” like that.

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