If you are searching for a low key, relaxing beach vacation that is still driving distance from popular tourist destinations, then Pawleys Island might be the perfect place for your next vacation!
The Pawleys Island area includes Pawleys Island and the surrounding area to the north that is commonly called Litchfield. The island is 13 miles from Georgetown and 45 minutes from Myrtle Beach, and it is actually one of the oldest vacation destinations in the South East!
Pawleys Island offers laid back coastal charm, peace and tranquility, and a location that is driving distance from all of your favorite South Carolina attractions. Keep reading to learn more about this unique location on the South Carolina coast!
Places to Stay
If you are looking for a vacation rental then you can use sites such as homeaway.com, vrbo.com, or aribnb.com; however, sometimes it is cheaper to book direct with property management companies. You may even get lucky if they have a seasonal special or coupon code advertised.
Below are a few popular rental property companies on Pawleys Island:
- Dieter Company
- The Lachicotte Company
- Pawleys Vacation Rentals
- Pawleys Island Realty
- Dunes Beach Home Rentals
- Peace Vacations
- The Litchfield Company Vacation Rentals
Resorts and Hotels
If you are in the mood the hotel or resort experience, then Pawleys Island has that too! The most popular resorts on the island are:
- The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn
- Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort
- Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club
Things To Do
Go to the Beach
While this idea may seem obvious, it is worth featuring on its own because of how amazing the beaches actually are. There are four beaches to choose from – a large, quiet, public beach on Pawleys Island with ample parking and 3 beaches in the Litchfield area. Since Pawleys Island is not overrun with high rises and hotels, the beaches are much less crowded than most of the beaches to the north.
Brookgreen Gardens is a unique and gorgeous melding of gardens, art, and nature. It is a a quick 15 minute drive north of Pawleys Island and completely worth it! Take a break from the sun and sand and delve into a world of majestic sculptures and stately live oak trees that canopy over tranquil fountains. Offering tours, excursions, and trails filled with history, there is no shortage of learning opportunities if you are interested in South Carolina lowcountry history. There is also a small zoo featuring native animals in natural habitats.
Spend a Day Exploring Historic Georgetown
The city of Georgetown is the third oldest city in South Carolina! It has a charming historic district with over 50 locations on the National Register of Historic Places. Tour Hopsewee Plantation for a submersion into history, or take a leisurely stroll along the Georgetown Harborwalk. There are also numerous museums to explore as well. If shopping is your thing, then you are in luck, since the historic district is full of unique local boutiques. When you get hungry, grab a sweet treat at Sweetie’s Homemade Ice Cream or some lunch at the Thomas Café.
If your are a golf enthusiast then you have come to the right place! There are 10 golf courses located on Pawleys Island, and they all are 4 star courses! Even more impressive, three courses were listed on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses!
Caledonia Golf Club
This golf course was the first course ever designed by Mike Strantz, and it is one of the most popular in the Myrtle Beach area. It is ranked among America’s Top 100 by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golfweek.
True Blue Golf Club
Set on what was once a rice plantation, this golf course designed by Mike Strantz is full of gentle rolling hills and natural vegetation and .
Designed by Dan Maples, this course is ranked 33 on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. This course has a beautiful setting along the Waccamaw neck and is full of live oak trees.
Other golf courses on the island include:
- Litchfield Country Club
- Founders Club
- Pawleys Plantation
- Willibrook Plantation Golf Club
- Tradition Club
- River Club
Go on a Tour
For a guided nature experience, there are multiple outdoor tour options to choose from.
- Captain Steve’s River Tours is a fun way to experience the Waccamaw River. Take a tour on a pontoon boat and explore lagoon and/or plantations, or schedule a sunset cruise. They also offer a unique experience where you can rent a houseboat for your vacation!
- Barrier Island Guide Service has multiple fishing charter excursions to choose from as well as private eco tours and guided duck hunts.
- Santee Coastal Excursions offers a unique offering of services. Like Barrier Island Guide Service, they provide fishing excursions. What really sets this tour service apart is that they offer eco tours that include a one hour yoga session on an undeveloped barrier island led by a certified yoga instructor!
Other Vacation Ideas and Things To Do
- Visit Huntington Beach State Park and take a segway tour to have an unobstructed South Carolina nature experience. While you’re there, stop at Atalaya Castle, which was built in the 1930s by Archer Huntington.
- Carolina Guide Service Fishing Charters offers year round private fishing charters, and services areas from Charleston to Myrtle Beach.
- Rent bicycles to explore the island while getting in some exercise.
- Rent a Kayak to explore the area via waterway and look for alligators or dolphins, depending on where you go.
- Maybe golfing is not your thing, but you can take the opportunity and learn to play golf!
- Explore the tranquil Waccamaw River with Rama River Cruises.
- Visit Hobcaw Barony. This is a 16,000 acre privately owned research reserve. Originally Native American land, it became a English/American colonial trading post and was later subdivided and turned into rice plantations. It is now home to over 70 cultural sites including plantation cemeteries, slave cabins, and a plantation house, while also serving as a research location for environmental sciences. Different tour options are available.
- Explore local galleries. Some popular stops include Island Art Gallery and Cheryl Newby Gallery.
- Go shopping and grab a bite to eat at The Hammock Shops Village, which includes 25 unique shops and restaurants. In addition to the shops there are daily wine tastings, hammock weaving demonstrations, and even a playground for the little ones!
- If the weather isn’t working in your favor, there are plenty of indoor things to do in surrounding areas such as Myrtle Beach.
Places To Eat
Vacations are almost synonymous with good food and delicious splurges. Your trip to Pawleys Island will not be a disappointment in this area, either! While there are numerous eateries in Pawleys Island as well as neighboring Georgetown and Murrell’s Inlet, a handful of options are listed below to get you started.
- For some tasty seafood, try Captain John’s Seafood Grille.
- For food with a view, check out Austin’s Ocean One.
- Endulge in lowcountry favorites at the Chive Blossom or Rustic Table.
- For breakfast, head over to Eggs Up Grill, BisQit, or Applewood House of Pancakes.
- Treat Yourself to some amazing desserts at Sweetie’s Homemade Ice Cream & Sweets.
- For pizza night head to Landolfi’s Pizza (and they have great dessert too!) or Massey’s Pizza.
- Have a fun night out at Island Bar & Grill Pawleys.
- For date night with someone special, you won’t be disappointed at Bistro 217, Frank’s, or Perrone’s Restaurant and Bar.
- Take a break and have ice cream at a local favorite, Paradice Homemade Ice Cream.
Frank’s has a long history on the island that can be read about here. A longstanding staple on the island, Frank’s Restaurant and Frank’s Outback are consistently given top notch reviews and are recommended by everyone that has had the welcome experience of dining there. Reservations are recommended.
Dogs are allowed on the Pawleys Island beach all year. Owners must have a leash in hand and dogs must be under the voice control command of their owner. Owners must pick up all waste. Dogs must be on a leash at all times, even in the water, from May 1- September 30 from the hours of 8am – 8pm.
For all other areas including the Litchfield Beach Resort, dogs are required to be on a leash from 9am-7pm year round. Dogs must be trained and under owner’s voice command at all other times.
Some areas of the Grand Strand do not permit beach canopies and have specific umbrella rules, so it is important to check out those rules prior to going on vacation. Luckily, Georgetown County is not as strict as Horry County (which includes Myrtle Beach) and still allows beach canopies. Please review the Pawleys Island Beach Rules here.
Georgetown Country Beach Rules are here. Please note that the Litchfield Resorts observe these rules.
The closest airport is Myrtle Beach International Airport.
The closest major hospital is the Georgetown Memorial Hospital.
Georgetown County Chamber Visitors Center
531 Front Street, Georgetown, SC
28 Wall Street, Pawleys Island, SC
Did you know?
The term “Hammock Coast” refers to the areas of Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach, Garden City, Georgetown, and Andrews. This is a newer term that differentiates this specific area of the South Carolina coast from the neighboring Myrtle Beach areas that are typically referred to as “The Grand Strand.”
Pawleys Island is known for the style of rope hammock that we are all familiar with today. It would not exist if it wasn’t for local riverboat captain, Joshua John Ward. He perfected the traditional hammock of the time in order to make it more comfortable for sleeping during the hot and muggy nights on the boat. Hammocks during his time were bulky, knotty, and rough, so he created a heavy cotton rope that utilized a double-latch weave. He then created spreader bars so that the knots were not in the middle of the hammock. The Original Hammock Shop was started by Captain Ward’s immediate family in 1935 and is still operating in Pawleys Island today!
As you can see, Pawleys Island is a perfect destination for your South Carolina vacation! Once you’re ready to pack up and head on your beach trip, make sure you have everything you need to make your vacation seamless!