Geo: 33.6936, -78.8827
My last day of course had the best weather of the entire trip. Sunny and warm with not a cloud in the sky! Now if the whole trip could have been like this...
I left the hotel and headed north on Hwy 17. I stopped at the Visitor Center on the Mt. Pleasant side to take a picture of the Ravenel Bridge which looked so nice in the sun! Then continued on my way towards Myrtle Beach. My stop for the day was Brookgreen Gardens. This is one of the top 10 public gardens in the US according to Trip Advisor. The entrance fee is $14 and is good for 7 days. I think you get your moneys worth in one day (I spent 4 hours here), but if you like to spend a lot of time wandering, then you might need more time.
Brookgreen Gardens was the site of Brookgreen Plantation back in the day and was turned into a non-profit museum in the 1930s by the Huntingtons, who also were involved with Huntington Beach, which is just across Hwy 17 from Brookgreen. The gardens is comprised of beautiful gardens (of course) full of various sculptures and a small zoo
that is the only AZA zoo on the Carolina coast. There were lots of large oak trees providing shade in the hot afternoon and many flowers still blooming.
I ate lunch at the Pavilion Restaurant and had delicious meal of She-Crab soup and Spinach Salad. There are tables inside and outside and the outside tables are under an overhang if you are worried about sitting in the direct sun.
After lunch, I wandered through the gardens and looked at the sculptures. One of the buildings had an exhibit of bronzed horses, which of course was my favorite part of the whole place! There is a nature walk that goes outside of the garden, but it was closed due to the heavy rain the last few days. You wind your way through the various gardens and then follow a trail along what was once a rice field. This trail has information signs about the life of the slaves on the plantation and how they prepared the fields and harvested the rice. At the end of this path, is the small zoo.
The zoo houses animals that were found in the area at the time of the plantations. There are farm animals,
an aviary, otters, alligators, goats, deer etc. I walked through the zoo and then joined a presentation where the guide talks about the animals and also feeds them. It was fine until she headed into the aviary and got out a bag of fish for the birds. Then it was a free for all with birds diving to get the fish, narrowly missing your head. I decided I did not want to stay for that as I was bound to get pooped on and didn't want that in my hair for the rest of the day!
It had really warmed up so I stopped to get an iced tea and found a little lizard sitting on the deck by me. How cute! I still had some time to kill before heading to the airport so I stopped at Huntington Beach. The beach was much different on an 80 degree day than a 50 degree day! It was nice to sit in the sun without a jacket. Several people were in the water enjoying the waves and there were lots of dogs out for a walk.
All good things must come to an end and I got back in the car,
One of my favorites from the horse exhibit
headed to Myrtle Beach, returned my rental car and into the airport to wait several hours for my flight. I love Charleston and it was a great vacation even though the weather was not as nice as I was hoping for. This area has so much to offer from history to parks to culture. If you can't find something of interest to you, then you are not looking hard enough!
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