Murrells Inlet, called “The Seafood Capital of South Carolina” and home to “Restaurant Row”, is far more than a great place to eat. Situated just 16 miles south of Myrtle beach, it is home to two of the Myrle Beach area’s greater attractions, Brookgreen gardens and Huntington Beach State park.
Located between Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet, Brookgreen Gardens is an outdoor museum founded in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. The Huntingtons wanted to preserve the native flora and fauna and display objects of art within a natural setting. Brookgreen gardens in now a National historic landmark with the most significant collection of figurative sculpture in an outdoor setting by American artists. Sixty-eight of Anna’s sculptures are also displayed, including the famous “Fighting Stallions” at the entrance. Brookgreen also hosts the only zoo in the coastal Carolinas accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Practically across the street from Brookgreen is another great area attraction, Huntington Beach State park. The oceanfront park encompasses 2,500 acres and three miles of beach, all available for camping, fishing, swimming, hiking… whatever strikes one’s fancy. For birders, the park is recognized as one of the best birding locations along the east Coast with observation decks and trails. The Huntington home, Atalaya, a Spanish castle with 22 fireplaces and 36 rooms, was built where the park now is and is open to visitors.
You won’t find flashing neon signs or roller coasters. In Murrells Inlet, you enter the quaint feel of a true fishing village, unspoiled by concrete and high rises. It’s a place sought out by fisherman and naturists, whispered about by antique collectors, and revered by art lovers and horticulturists. It’s the place where golfers come to relax, families come to dine and snowbirds come to retire.