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Visitors come from far and wide to experience the natural beauty of the Grand Strand, but most arrive with the Atlantic Ocean’s blue waters and the area’s white-sand beaches at the top of their minds. While these are indeed beautiful features of the Myrtle Beach area’s coastal environment, they can often overshadow the many other stunning natural features of the Grand Strand — such as the area’s gardens and preserves.
On your family’s next visit to the Myrtle Beach area, get out to one of these three expanses of natural beauty to see the Grand Strand’s greener side:
Brookgreen Gardens — Located 20 miles south of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, this 9,100-acre sculpture garden and wildlife preserve features several lush and expansive botanical gardens, each with its own distinct theme. The grounds also showcase the nation’s most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture. In all, the attraction’s indoor and outdoor collections contain 2,000-plus artworks by more than 400 artists. Other on-site attractions include nature trails, a butterfly garden, historic rice plantations, a pontoon boat tour and the Lowcountry Zoo, which houses a range of animals including alligators, bald eagles, foxes, otters and deer. For more information, visit brookgreen.org.
Russell Burgess Coastal Preserve — Created in 2004 and named for the North Myrtle Beach city councilman who fought for the site’s preservation, the Russell Burgess Coastal Preserve provides public access to the picturesque Cherry Grove Marsh. The preserve’s open space, which is located along House Creek just inland from the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier in North Myrtle Beach, offers a paved parking lot, restrooms, a pier and foot access to the wetlands via a wooden boardwalk. Fishing and crabbing are permitted from ground level in the park, but are not allowed from the pier structure. For more information, visit parks.nmb.us.
Vereen Memorial Gardens — Located in Little River, the Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens features more than 155 acres of forest and marshland, with parts of the property situated along the Intracoastal Waterway. Visitors can explore the approximately 3 miles of boardwalks and nature trails that meander through the park’s botanical gardens and wildlife habitat. The on-site C.B. Berry Community Center also offers a range of community events and recreational programming. For more information, visit the park’s Facebook page.
When you and your family are looking to soak in the beauty of the great outdoors, the Grand Strand offers a wealth of outdoor opportunities to pursue — plenty of them beyond the beaches and ocean that the Myrtle Beach area is best known for. And during your visit, Ocean Reef Resort can provide you with the kind of comfortable oceanfront accommodations and wide-ranging amenities that will make you want to keep coming back. Book your Myrtle Beach getaway today, and start making your plans to soak in some of Mother Nature’s splendor on the Grand Strand.