Cypress Gardens, Charleston
Cypress Gardens was fantastic! My husband and I went in mid October, the weather was perfect, sunny and light breeze. We had a wonderful day. We saw Pedro the Galapagos tortoise who "smiles" for the camera. ( He opens his mouth) There were a variety of of birds and gators. In the aquarium area, there is an albino catfish as well as a large assortment of unique fish and other aquatic creatures. There is a butterfly house, and I was blessed to catch a picture of the Purple Honeycreeper, which is a tiny bird about the size of a hummingbird. (He actually looks blue to me)
The swamp is beautiful, so beautiful in fact, that movies have been made here. Parts of 'The Notebook', 'The Patriot', 'North and South' were filmed here with this gorgeous swamp as the backdrop. My husband and I thouroughly enjoyed the guided boat tour through the swamp. There are also boats available to use for self guided tours. I would definitely recommend Cypress Gardens when you take a trip to Charleston.
**Look at the gas stations and restaurants where there are collections of flyers displayed. The Cypress Gardens flyer has a $1 off coupon inside**
I can while away hours walking through gardens and looking at flowers, but Cypress Gardens is a little different. It is pretty much situated in the swamp. The water is black and the area has a very gothic feel to it. I imagine it might be inspiring if you are a mystery fiction writer, but as a tourist, it is a pretty spooky place. I wouldn't have wanted to be there after dark. You can take boats out on the water, but my husband and I weren't in to it.
Basically a swamp turned into a tourist attraction, this small natural area has animal exhibits along with trails and boats for exploring the swamp.