As we headed home from our summer vacation on Edisto Island, we decided to make one last detour and visit Cypress Gardens in Monck’s Corner. I had taken T when he was just three years old but he had no memories of it and I wanted to share it with him again. It’s such a magical place.
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I love the inky black waters all studded with lily pads like stars in a night sky. The tall bald cypress and tupelo trees emerging from the pitch-black depths reach for the heavens, looking as though they belong on the pages of a fairy tale. You can hop into a boat and float about to seek the alligators which hide in plain sight until you are almost upon them. If you’re really lucky you may even spot an otter family playfully swimming alongside. It’s just such an amazing atmosphere.
It’s no wonder Hollywood has visited to film movies and tv shows including Cold Mountain and The Notebook.
Five Amazing Reasons To Visit Cypress Gardens
Tall bald cypress trees fill the swamp and their “knees” can be seen protruding from the swamp everywhere you look! These giants can grow to 120 feet! Tupelo trees grow in abundance from the swamp waters! Reaching up to 100 feet in height from their enlarged base, these trees are impressive.
Studded with lily pads and home to alligators, turtles, and many aquatic birds, its mirrored surface creates a surreal experience. Guided boat rides are only $5 at the time of this writing. Self-guided boat rides are included with entry.
The Aquarium/Reptile Center features fish, amphibians, and reptiles native to the area. The locals are featured alongside other swamp creatures from across the globe including the South American anaconda.
The Butterfly Garden
The Butterfly House is home to bright flowers, coy fish, a few ducks, and of course butterflies in every color of the rainbow. When we went we had the butterfly house all to ourselves. For me, it was the highlight of the trip.
The Birds and the Blooms
The varieties of birds change as the season progresses but you can check who should be there when you are by visiting Cypress Gardens here. Some popular species are Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Orange-crowned Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Indigo Buntings, and even Bald Eagles! The flowers also bloom in their own seasons. I was impressed by the large variety of lilies.
3030 Cypress Gardens Road
Ticket Pricing: (at time of writing 2021)
18-64 years, $10.00; 6 – 17 years, $5.00; 65+, 911, Military, $6.50
Open 7 days a week – Closed Thanksgiving – Christmas Eve – Christmas Day – New Years Day
9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Last admission: 4:00 pm.
Self-guided boat tours are not allowed after 4:15 pm
If you have a chance to visit Cypress Gardens we recommend you do. It’s an affordable and educational family destination!
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