When renowned sculptor Anna Vaughn Hyatt met art enthusiast Archer Milton Huntington in New York in 1921, love quickly blossomed. The couple chose Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, as the location for their winter home and purchased four former rice plantations to combine into one estate. Anna’s sculptures were displayed in the gardens, creating an alfresco gallery, and in the early 1930s, the Huntingtons opened Brookgreen Gardens to the public. It’s now considered a premier attraction by garden lovers, tourists, and locals alike.
A short drive from Myrtle Beach, guided tours or solo strolls are encouraged on Brookgreen’s 9,000-plus acres. Nearly 1,500 works of art by Anna and other American sculptors are on display, interspersed with creative plantings. Anna’s appreciation of animals is reflected in her work with the chisel, and that same kind of esteem is also evident in the gardens’ wildlife preserve.