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Top 10 Outdoor Pawleys Island Activities

By Emerson Dyer • May 15, 2015

With so much natural beauty to be seen on and off the island, it would be a mistake to spend your vacation cooped up in the room watching television or playing on the internet. The beach, the marsh, golf courses, parks, creeks, rivers – there are some incredible things to be experienced here.

And whether you make the foray on your own or hire someone to show you around, you’re sure to have a way better time than you would staring at a screen all day.

Here’s a list of what we think of as the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Pawleys Island.  



There are numerous ways to drop a hook in the water in Pawleys Island. Whether you decide to book a chartered boat ride in the Atlantic, troll the creeks, hang out on the sand and cast a line into the surf, or join the locals at the pier in Garden City, you’re sure to have a great time even if you don’t catch a single fish.

However, the professional charters in the area are here to make sure you do catch something. Check out Carolina Guide Service for trips through the backwaters, Inshore Xtreme Fishing Charters for an adventure on the sea, or Pawleys Island Outdoors if you’d rather just figure it out on your own.  


Few things are more relaxing than a boat ride on a beautiful sunny day in South Carolina, especially if someone else is doing the navigating. Luckily, there are several captains in the area waiting to take you and your crew out for a day on the water.

Georgetown’s Rover Boat Tours takes sight-seers on a three to four hour eco-tour of the Lowcountry’s gentle waters aboard a 40-foot pontoon boat.

If you’re looking to see some sea life, take a dolphin tour with Blue Wave Adventures and get a glimpse of a day in the life of the playful oceanic mammals. (They have an 85% success rate).


This isn’t Hawaii or New Zealand, but there are still some decent waves to ride in Pawleys Island. And whatever your skill level is, a few hours on the board beats the indoors any day of the week.   

If you have your own board, what are you waiting for? If you don’t, head over to Surf the Earth for a rental, or sign up for a lesson or two to learn how shred like a pro.  


For a more down-to-water view of the area, hop in a kayak and take in the sights from a unique perspective. Because of the size of these small boats, paddlers can access spaces that are unreachable by larger vessels.

The experienced naturalists at Black River Outdoors Center provide guided tours of all the rivers, swamps, marshes, and creeks that can last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours.   


Whoever said that the game of golf is good walk spoiled obviously never played any of the beautiful courses in Pawleys Island. Because if they had, we have a feeling they’d have come up with something more positive.

And whether you’re teeing it up at Pawleys Plantation, True Blue, Caledonia, River Club, or any of the other award-winning tracks in the area, the only way your round will be spoiled is if the clouds open up and pour rain in the middle of your backswing. But then you’ll get a rain-check to go out and enjoy the game another day.    

Brookgreen Gardens 

The 9,000+ acres of oaks, sculptures, fountains, trails, and wildlife are one of the area’s true gems, and are definitely a place where you can lose track of time, which can be a welcome part of any relaxing vacation.

In addition to the quiet beauty of the gardens, Brookgreen also has a calendar full of events such as art shows and festivals, tours, educational programs, youth camps, silent auctions, live music, and more.   

Huntington Beach State Park

Who is Huntington? And why does he/she have an entire state park named after her/him? Glad you asked.

Anna Hyatt Huntington was a world-class sculptor, and her husband Archer was a philanthropist and the two of them left this property (and the adjacent Brookgreen Gardens) for people to enjoy.

Here you can camp, fish in the surf, watch birds and loggerhead turtles, or meander through Atalaya Castle. It’s a dog and kid-friendly attraction, and you’ll probably want to bring your camera. #pawleys #Atalaya #Lowcountry   


Pawleys is not a big place, and one could take a stroll and see plenty of the island on foot, even at a leisurely pace. But you can cover so much more ground on two wheels, and during the summer months the self-breeze created by cycling is a welcome bonus.

With a simple rack hooked onto the back of your vehicle you can bring your own, but Pawleys Island Beach Service rents the be-spoked cruisers to those looking for an alternate mode of transportation, and they also deliver and pick the things up if that’s what you need for them to do.     


There’s something about using the wind to maneuver across the water that seems inherently Pawleys, which makes parasailing an attractive activity for many residents and visitors.

Shoreline Watersports, just up the road in Surfside Beach, offers this leisure activity for those looking to have a memorable day on the water. Sails up, adventurers.    


You can wander the island and surrounding areas by yourself. Or you can pay a small fee to have an expert show you around.

The experts at Brookgreen Gardens, Rover Boat Tours, Black River Outdoors Center, and Plantation River Tours are ready to take you around the area and explain exactly what’s going on in real time. History buffs, nature lovers, curious vacationers – you’re all welcome to get in on the fun.