Georgetown County includes Murrells Inlet and the sparkling beaches of Garden City, Litchfield and Pawleys Island; further south are Georgetown’s charming Harborwalk and historic district. Natives and new residents enjoy an ambience that easily becomes a way of life – plucking oysters from beds around the inlets and reveling in the bounty of five rivers, beaches and great golf courses, most built on former rice plantations. Two of the courses, Caledonia and True Blue Golf Club, have been named to the “Top 100 You Can Play,” by Golf Digest magazine. They’re in the top ten in SC designations as well.
The area features natural and cultural attractions. More than a half-million people annually come to Huntington Beach State Park for a variety of nature programs, including spying on the 200+ species of birds that share the habitat. Vacationers come to this area because they are looking for a quiet coastal vacation offering lots of outdoor recreation like fishing, kayaking, hiking, parasailing, and boat tours.
One attraction is the Moorish-style castle, Atalaya, located in Huntington Beach State Park, it was built by philanthropist Archer Huntington in the 1930s. Nearby Brookgreen Gardens draws almost 200,000 people a year to its sculpture gardens, nature trails, cultural programs and native animal zoo. There are special events throughout the year as well.
For history lovers, let’s start with this: The city of Georgetown is the third- oldest city in South Carolina and Pawleys Island has been a summer vacation escape since the early 1800s – making it the oldest seaside resort on the East Coast. Pawleys Island also has its own resident ghost in the Gray Man, who appears to warn of impending storms. And if ghosts are your thing, come to historic Georgetown for a lantern-led ghost tour one evening.
Annual events make life here fun, from the spring-time Pawleys Pavilion Reunion, a party with dancing, music and libations, on the edge of the salt marsh, to the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show in October; there is always something fun to do and see. Strolling along the riverfront is guaranteed to offer a memorable afternoon.
It’s no surprise that Georgetown County, also called SC’s Hammock Coast, has been named one of the top places to retire by several magazines and news websites. But they are about more than retirement. While the county works hard to preserve its heritage, it also has a vision for the future that focuses on providing economic balance and planned growth.
New industries are bringing more employment to the area; the hospital system is expanding, and tourism remains a large economic driver.
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