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Low Country History

Lowcountry History

The thousands of acres in Brookgreen's Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve are rich with evidence of the native plants and animals of the South Carolina Lowcountry as well as the rice plantations of the 1800's. 

Explore these places through the programs at the Lowcountry Center, by walking the Lowcountry Trail, and by taking an excursion on our boat or overland vehicle deep into the Preserve.

The Creek Excursion
March 5 - November 26

Cruise the creeks on a 48-foot pontoon boat along historic ricefields now home to alligators, waterfowl, and osprey as an interpreter helps you see the distinctive landscape of the rice plantations and understand the role of enslaved Africans in the cultivation of the rice crop and the shaping of the history of the lowcountry. Boat rides last approximately 45 minutes.

Tickets are $8 adults and $4 children, in addition to garden admission. Boat rides often sell out and we strongly recommend purchasing tickets as soon as possible when you arrive at the gardens. Tickets are only available at the Lowcountry Center ticket center for same-day purchase. Boat tickets are not sold online or by telephone. 
Daily at 11 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. & 3 p.m.

Rice Mill Chimney - Brookgreen GardensThe Trekker Excursion/ Laurel Hill and Springfield Plantations
March 5 - November 26

Ride with an interpreter along an avenue of historic Live Oaks to a plantation cemetery, a Civil War earthen fort site, and a historic rice mill chimney. From the top of one of the area's highest bluffs, see a panoramic view of the Waccamaw River.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children in addition to the garden admission and must be purchased at the Wall Lowcountry Center at least 10 minutes before tour time. Excursions last approximately 50 minutes. Not recommended for children under six years of age. Daily at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m.

(Important Note: the Trekker travels over dirt roads which are quite bumpy in places. If you have a physical condition that may be affected by riding over rough terrain, we suggest you consider an alternate excursion such as the pontoon boat cruise.) 

The Oaks Plantation Excursion
(This Excursion does not run in December)
Walk with an interpreter and hear about the history of the prominent Alston family here in colonial and antebellum eras. Visit the location of the plantation house, the Alston family cemetery, grounds of the slave village, and other archaeological sites. Along the trail, you will also see the natural beauty of a protected Long Leaf Pine forest. Due to its remote location transportation is by mini-bus. Daily at 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children, in addition to garden admission. Purchase tickets at the Wall Lowcountry Center at least 10 minutes before tour time. Excursions last approximately 1.5 hours.

The Oaks Plantation History and Nature Trail
(Not available in December)

Winner of the South Carolina's Heritage Tourism Award, The Oaks Plantation History and Nature Trail brings to life an important element of history. Along a 1.5 mile natural walking trail, read interpretive panels and learn about the story of The Oaks Plantation. See archaeological sites of the plantation house and slave areas.Transportation to The Oaks Plantation History and Nature Trail is only by mini-bus and departs daily at 11 am outside the Wall Lowcountry Center. Tickets are $8 per person, in addition to garden admission, and must be purchased at the Lowcountry Center at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

Brookgreen Gardens is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is part of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and the Eastern South Carolina Heritage Region.



Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  During Nights of a Thousand Candles, the Gardens are only open from 3:00 p.m.  - 10:00 p.m. Regular general admission tickets are not valid for these days. Nov. 30, Dec 1-2; Dec 7-9; Dec 14-17.
Closed Christmas Day

Please note: For their safety and the safety of our animal collection, pets are not allowed in Brookgreen Gardens, nor can they be left in vehicles inside Brookgreen.
Service animals are welcome.


Under 4
Children 4-12
Adults 13-64
Seniors 65 & Over


1931 Brookgreen Drive

Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island