The history of the centuries-old community of Pawleys Island, located about 35 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, includes stories of slave rebellions, grand agricultural plantations, beautiful undeveloped beaches, shipwrecks, and ghosts. But in a more modern era, Pawleys Island is known to vacationers and locals as a destination for shopping, dining and oceanfront cottages away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the Grand Strand.
As one of the oldest vacation communities in the southeast, the area was first settled by riverfront plantation owners’ families who went to the oceanfront to escape mosquito-borne illnesses during the hottest months of the summer.
The almost constant, calming sea-breeze gave birth to a small but fiercely loyal group of families who built modest summer residences on the oceanfront. Some 12 of the original residences still stand and date back to the 1700s. The spirit of the first settlers still exists today and the region invites leisure and comfort.
It’s all a part of why Pawleys Island is representative of the “Hammock Coast” region of the Grand Strand, which includes Historic Georgetown, 30 minutes south, and a handful of the communities north toward Murrells Inlet.
The world-famous Pawleys Island Rope Hammock is still made and shipped from the small community to customers around the globe. The town’s quaint shops and restaurants, most all on U.S. 17, are a draw for tourists and a destination for locals in-the-know.
Dining ranges from casual seafood shacks to fine-dining establishments featured in international travel magazines and on television.
Vacation rentals include oceanfront beach homes, a few oceanfront condos, as well as the 20-room Sea View Inn, an old-fashioned oceanfront Inn serving three meals daily, and quiet rooms where you can still hear the waves at night. Whether you stay for a day, or the entire summer, Pawleys Island should be a “must-visit” part of your Myrtle Beach vacation plans.