The Pawleys Island & Litchfield Beach sections of the Grand Strand are known for their "arrogantly shabby" oceanfront accommodations and laid-back beach lifestyles. The first European settler arrived on Pawleys Island in the early 1700’s and began developing the land as a summer refuge from the malaria-carrying mosquitos on the mainland’s rice plantations.
Over the past 300-plus years, the town has become a popular destination for tourists from all over the country, and some of them are so taken with the lifestyle and natural beauty that they decide to make the island their new home. If you’re one of those people, here are some things you might consider during the decision-making process.
The Town of Pawleys Island, incorporated in 1985, consists only of the island itself and carries a modest population of about 100 proud year-round residents, although locals commonly refer to the area west of the two connecting causeways as Pawleys Island.
Litchfield Beach, located slightly north of the island, includes rows of beach and channels houses along the coast and tidal creeks that separate it from the mainland.
The 29585 area code consists of the incorporated town of Pawleys Island, the development directly west of the island (also called Pawleys Island), and North and South Litchfield Beach. Many of the homes in these communities have adjacent boat docks and fishing piers, allowing residents and their guests to take full advantage of the excellent fishing in the creeks and inlets that meander through the area.
For golfers, the Grand Strand area boasts around 100 courses, with several of the best places to play located in Pawleys Island and the famous Waccamaw Golf Trail running through the area. The scenery and designs of Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue, Litchfield Country Club, Pawleys Plantation, and River Club typically receive awards from national magazines year after year.
For those who enjoy a good meal, Pawleys Island is also home to an impressive collection of restaurants such as Frank’s and Frank’s Outback, Perrone’s, Bistro 217, and Nosh, and while many of the eateries specialize in fresh seafood and Lowcountry fare, plenty of world cuisines are available as well.
If you’re looking for a place to retire, you won’t find many better options than moving to Pawleys Island.
The Grand Strand has been often lauded by publications such as Kiplinger’s and Where To Retire Magazine as one of the best and most affordable retirement communities in the U.S.
Our area offers all the amenities you could want to enjoy an active, post-career life including great weather, affordable living and tons of things to do.
Many of the most popular pastimes in the area are popular with the 55 and older crowd, including everything from golf and fishing to dancing at throwback beach clubs and relaxing on the sand.
When you take into account factors like housing costs, tax rates, utilities and living expenses, our area stacks up quite nicely against some of the most popular retirement communities on the east coast, without the crowds that flock to Florida and other spots.
South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits, its property taxes are very low at between 4-6% and our state provides a generous retirement-income tax deduction.
There are several great real estate options in the Pawleys Island area, here's a look at a few places you may consider looking for property to rent or buy:
• Hagley Estates: This is a charmingly rustic neighborhood between the causeway and Highway 17 in the Pawleys Island community. Some driveways and roads are still made of packed-down sand and dirt and are covered by twisting live oaks draped with Spanish moss.
Just steps from the tidal creek that separates the island from the mainland, Hagley Estates residents have the option of joining an HOA for boat mooring, or pay no HOA fees at all if you feel so inclined. It's definitely a come-as-you-are neighborhood.
• Prince George: This gated-community in lower Waccamaw Neck is one of the premier locations in the area, complete with 10-acres of amenities that includes a pool and spa, courts for tennis, basketball, and volleyaball. Homes are available on the ocean, marsh, and river, and in an effort to keep the neighborhood's natural beauty in tact, only 150 of them will ever be built.
• Litchfield Plantation: Nestled among oak-lined streets, options for lodging at this private community include new and existing homes, townhouses, and villas. There are also plenty of wooded homesites for those looking to build their dream house, and residents have access to the Pawleys Island Beach Club, an on-site swimming pool, 60-slip marina, and fine-dining at the Carriage House Club.
• True Blue: This condominium community is perfect for those looking to live on one of the area's award-winning golf courses. Residents have access to pools, tennis courts, walking trails, and also enjoy discounted rates at True Blue and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.
• Population: 103 (Pawleys); 13,905 (Litchfield)
• Average home price: $1,043,824(Pawleys); $466,497 (Litchfield)
• Government info: Town Hall, 321 Myrtle Ave., Pawleys Island, SC 29585,
• Contact: 843-237-1698 or www.townofpawleysisland.com
• Schools: Waccamaw Elementary (Excellent), Waccamaw Intermediate (Excellent), Waccamaw Middle (Excellent), Waccamaw High (Excellent)
Families with school-aged children can utilize the Waccamaw public schools (Elementary, Middle, and High), or opt for a private school experience at Low Country Day.
The island itself is served by its own police department, while the surrounding area is under the watch of Georgetown County Police & Fire units.