PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC
It’s been hosting happy vacationers for more than 100 years. It all started as a breezy getaway for old Southern families, who escaped summer’s heat to embrace days that were easygoing. Activities included walking and sunbathing along the beautiful beaches, shrimping, crabbing, fishing, boating and swimming. Not much has changed.
It’s not life in the fast lane, which has been the appeal that has kept five generations in some families making the trek to get away from it all. Along the way, they learned what others are now discovering: This pristine beauty may be even more wonderful in the off season, when the crowds have gone home, and the area offers crisp sweater weather, and abundant seafood. Kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding and, off-water, biking, are near perfection. And don’t worry about bringing your bike or boat. There are vendors who will deliver a rental to your beachfront door.
And there’s more. Off season rates are very attractive – so much so that families plan Thanksgiving or Christmas getaways in rental houses that offer up-to-date conveniences, while still retaining their rustic charm. You can even reserve homes that have historical significance, and perhaps even a friendly ghost, or two.
For those traveling to Georgetown or the beach on business, it’s a charming option to consider renting a beautiful old home, or staying in the Sea View Inn, built in 1937, or the Pelican Inn, built in 1858. (Those are the only commercial businesses to be found here.) Biking around the island’s historic district, you’ll see signs that share the history of these antebellum homes – many owned by the same family for generations and often available for rent year-round, by the week, or in off season, for a long weekend.
Fishing is available, both in the surf and from their two marsh bridges. There are three boat launches on the island. The surrounding marsh offers ribbons of water cutting through waving grass. The sea birds are magnificent.
Visitors enjoy crabbing off docks, shelling, biking and canoeing or kayaking. The ambiance is laid back and deliberately slow – the town speed limit is 25 mph, making the world a bit safer for everyone on Pawleys Island.
If you rent a home on the south end of the island, you may well have a beachfront home, with a creek dock in the back – the best of all water-worlds!
And when it’s time for a game of golf, marathon shopping, museum visit, or live entertainment, it’s all just beyond the bridge, where you’ll find dozens of award-winning golf courses, great restaurants, bistros and beach pubs and upscale boutiques and outlet malls for every taste and pocketbook.
For many, it’s the lure of laid-back that wins every time. Shrimp in the pot, a glass of wine to toast the sunset, and beautiful, soul-satisfying views at every turn.
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