In 1889, riverboat captain Joshua John Ward created a sturdy, cotton-rope hammock, and invented an iconic local industry. His family opened the Original Hammock Shop on U.S. 17 in Pawleys Island in 1938, and a craze was officially born.
Now sought by customers worldwide, the Pawleys Island hammocks are a universal symbol of leisurely beach life. The original roadside attraction also offered fresh crabs and oysters, as well as prints of art. Since its opening, the hammock shop has been joined by more building, some of which are local landmarks that were moved to be spared the wrecking ball.
Today, 22 shops offer an eclectically unique mix of retail fare, from the tempting libations of the Coastal Wine Boutique to the enticing baubles of The Accessory Cottage. Children can check out the latest fashion and toys at The Freckled Frog while mom keeps her look current at Haute Hanger. Daily demonstrations of hammock weaving and sweetgrass basket-making take place in the Hammock Weavers Pavilion in an atmosphere far removed from a typical shopping mall. Brick paths connect eight acres of clapboard shops through a natural landscape of azaleas and oaks.
If the scenic meandering makes a shopper hungry, bisQit serves up made-from-scratch biscuits in the morning, gourmet burgers and milkshakes at lunch and craft beer at cocktail hour. Pawleys Prime offers casually upscale cuisine, while bisQit Little serves hot dogs.
Refurbishments begun in the spring of 2014 were completed in December, with improvements made to the shops and the landscaping and the dedication of a new playground.
Check out the Hammock Shops' website for a complete listing of shops as well as individual establishment contact information.