10 Beautiful Botanical Gardens in South Carolina!

If you find it difficult to grow flowers in your own garden, imagine the work it would take to grow a whole public garden’s worth! Keeping a garden involves planned layouts, hardscaping, maintenance of the grounds and facilities, and the ability to create a haven for people to escape. It sounds exhausting, but luckily there are plenty of hard-working individuals who have already painstakingly created beautiful gardens for all to enjoy. Botanical gardens across South Carolina provide us a quiet place to walk or the perfect backdrop for special events. Take a trip to these 10 beautiful botanical gardens in South Carolina—you’ll be glad you did. 

1. Glencairn Garden, Rock Hill, SC

Eleven acres of flowers, trees, fountains and other beautiful scenery composes Glencairn Gardens, a hotspot for locals and travelers alike. Guests enjoy free admission as they stroll amongst the greenery, which now includes a veteran’s memorial. While the gardens are open to the public year-round, the best times to go are during peak blooming season (which starts in March) or during one of the garden’s many festivals. 

2. Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, SC

The menagerie isn’t the Riverbanks Zoo’s only draw—their onsite botanical garden makes just as strong an impression. Included in zoo admission is a chance to wander the lush gardens and see what’s growing. From the children’s garden to the Asian garden to other sections with various themes, visitors will soon see why this botanical garden was named one of the top 20 Best Public Gardens in America on HGTV. 

3. Brookgreen Gardens, Murrell’s Inlet, SC

Truth be told, there’s a lot more here than plant life. The non-profit Brookgreen Gardens has maintained its status as a cultural hub since its beginnings in 1931. Along with beautifully crafted gardens, art sculpture, and other scenery, guests can take riverboat tours, visit the butterfly pavilion, see the zoo animals, ride bicycles, and explore all that Mother Nature has to offer.

4. Linky Stone Park, Greenville, SC

As one of the state’s most culturally rich cities, Greenville always offers a little something for the kiddos. The children’s garden at Linky Stone Park creates a perfect forge of education and excitement as children of all ages can interact with exhibits and feel as though they are living in a fairytale land.

5. SC Botanical Gardens, Clemson, SC

There’s a reason why all the locals use these botanical gardens as a backdrop for weddings, prom pictures and other special occasions—it’s simply breathtaking! Situated near the Clemson University campus, guests can explore nearly 300 acres of nature, including historic buildings, ponds, a children’s garden, a butterfly garden, geology museum, amphitheater, and other specialty features.

6. Moore Farms Botanical Garden, Lake City, SC

A hidden gem in the Pee Dee region, Moore Farms is a 50-acre garden highlighting its flora by highlighting everything else around it. The garden serves primarily as an educational and research center, where art and science come together to create a unique experience for everyone who visits. However, it should be noted that Moore Farms does not have regular visiting hours, so you will need to call ahead to plan your visit.

7. Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, Spartanburg, SC

There’s always something blooming year-round at Hatcher Garden. Nearly 50 years ago, Josephine and Harold Hatcher saw potential in a poorly maintained plot of land once functioning as a cotton field. With a little love and a passion for nature, the Hatchers transformed the decaying property into the thriving nature epicenter now known as Hatcher Gardens. Visitors can enjoy tours and educational events, as well as exercise programs and special events.

8. Kalmia Gardens, Hartsville, SC

Although a part of Coker College, Kalmia Gardens are open to the public. Here you can observe both plant and wildlife in their natural habitat, as well as learn about the flora and fauna surrounding you. Visitors can join in on programs for adults and children, or simply explore the area on their own.

9. Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, SC

If you’re a fan of the Japanese Iris, you won’t have to travel all the way to Japan to see it. Swan Lake Iris Gardens is named so because of its extensive collection of Japanese Irises. In addition, you can also find a number of other flowers, as well as wildlife, a butterfly garden, a chocolate garden (yes, you read that right). Swan Lake Iris Gardens is also the only public park in the nation that plays home to all eight species of swan.

10. USC Belser Arboretum, Columbia, SC

You’ll need to do some planning if you want to visit the gardens here, because they are only open during an open house once a month. But if you can manage a visit here, you’ll find plenty of pretty flowers and other nature scenery to fill your Instagram feed. When the arboretum is closed to the public, the site is mainly used for teaching biology.

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500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC
About Us:Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of the nation's most beautiful and inspir... Read More
22 Hobcaw Road, Georgetown, SC
History of Hobcaw Barony Friendfield Village ChurchA 17, 500 acre research reserve, Hobcaw Barony is one of the few undeveloped tracts on the Wacc... Read More
336 Sanctuary Road, Harleyville, SC
The Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest's education mission is to educate the public about the relationship between wetland ecosystems and... Read More
4080 Bloomwood Road, Columbia, SC
The mission of the Belser Arboretum is to: maintain a wildlife preserve within metropolitan Columbia; serve as an outdoor field laborator... Read More
1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet, SC
About Us:In 1931, Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, founded Brookgreen Gardens, a non-profit 501(c) (3) garden museum, to preserve the native plant... Read More
4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC
Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. The Garden Club of America has called the 65... Read More
102 Garden Trail, Clemson, SC
MissionTo serve as an interdisciplinary resource focusing on teaching, research and outreach that advances awareness and understanding of plants, a... Read More
822 West Liberty Street, Sumter, SC
About Us:The beautiful black waters of Swan Lake form the setting for the spectacular Iris Gardens. The lake is dotted with colorful islands, and w... Read More
1608 Lindsay St., Newberry, SC
About Us:The Wells Japanese Garden is a Newberry landmark that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Designed by W. Fulme... Read More
321 Bailey Lane, Ridgeland, SC
The pride and product of the JSWCD’s successful efforts in the county is its Blue Heron Nature Center.  The Blue Heron Nature Center, bu... Read More
5801 Highway 17 North, Awendaw, SC
Cape Romain National Wildlife RefugeCape Romain NWR extends 22 miles along South Carolina's Atlantic coast and encompasses 66,267 acres of barrier ... Read More
5200 Savannah Highway, Ravenel, SC
Journey from the past to the present and heritage to habitat at the Ravenel Caw Caw Interpretive Center. Rich in natural, cultural and historical r... Read More
336 Sanctuary Road, Harleyville, SC
Audubon South Carolina's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benef... Read More
1432 Devinney Road, York, SC
Mission Statement:The integrated mission of Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is to"conserve animals, plants, habitats, and other nat... Read More
601 Fork Shoals Road, Greenville, SC
Lake Conestee Nature Park consists of approximately 400 acres of beautiful natural habitat on the Reedy River just 6 miles south of downtown Greenv... Read More
5094 County Park Road, Coward, SC
Located on Lynches River in the Pee Dee region, this popular day use park features a river swamp with towering cypress trees as well as sand hills ... Read More
6001 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC
A one of a kind facility in this area, the Ocean Lakes Nature Center focuses on marine life.  Leonard Raker, Curator, travels extensively duri... Read More
40 Elizabeth Street, Charleston, SC
MissionOur mission is clear: To increase the quality, awareness, appreciation and usage of Charleston’s parks and greenspaces. Read More
21424 North Fraser Street, Georgetown, SC
Waccamaw NWR was established on December 1, 1997. The purposes for which it was established were to (1) protect and manage diverse habitat componen... Read More
1282 Webb Avenue, Garnett, SC
Explore a black water wonderland through a double-feature Field Trip to the Webb Wildlife Center's canoe and nature trails, both within shouting di... Read More
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