litchfield beach
Litchfield Beach

Water has shaped South Carolina’s Hammock Coast–be it rivers and marshes or Winyah Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s important historically and culturally, and, today, it’s what defines Georgetown County as one of America’s premier vacation spots.

Surfers ride the waves. Kayakers explore tidal creeks. Fishermen and boaters reel in stories along the rivers. And countless others soak up the sun on pristine beaches in Pawleys Island, Litchfield, Murrells Inlet, southern Garden City and the DeBordieu Colony near the historic city of Georgetown. South Carolina’s Hammock Coast is perfectly situated south of Myrtle Beach and north of Charleston, and its unspoiled and uncrowded shores bring visitors throughout the year.

The Hammock Coast beaches are perfect for taking away the cares of everyday life. Numerous national magazines have, in fact, noted that some of South Carolina’s best beaches are found on the Hammock Coast.

Those beach communities each have their own vibe and charm.

gullah interpreter at brookgreen gardens
Gullah Interpreter at Brookgreen Gardens

Murrells Inlet, for example, is home to Brookgreen Gardens, a world-renowned sculpture and botanical show case across 9,127 acres, and Huntington Beach State Park, a USA Today/10 Best nominee where visitors can relax in more than 180 campsites, and offers some of the best birding opportunities on the East Coast. At the 2,000-acre state park, you can even explore historic Atalaya Castle. Seriously, the Hammock Coast has a real castle at the beach!

atalaya castle
Atalaya Castle

Murrells Inlet is also known as the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina.” Originally a fishing village on a protected inlet, the community boasts some of the best sea food in the South! The Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk, a half-mile-long board walk, allows visitors to experience the salt-marsh ecosystem while restaurants, shops, parasailing, jetskiing and fishing excursions all beckon.

Pawleys Island is the oldest seaside resort in America and is still a great place to enjoy a quiet, laid-back vacation. As the birth place of the Pawleys Island handmade rope hammock, relaxation has a long history here. The historic island has no neon and no commercial development (no, not even a single store or gas station); however, there are two historic inns and myriad homes for rent. And just over the short causeway are first-class restaurants and boutique shops.

historic pelican inn on pawleys island
Historic Pelican Inn on Pawleys Island

Families have been devoted to Litchfield Beach for generations. Little wonder, then, that Tripadvisor has named it one of the Top 10 beaches in America.

Award-winning golf, with 13 courses within a 15-minute drive, can be enjoyed on the Hammock Coast, too. Many are built on former rice plantations, giving a graciously Southern golf experience. Three of Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play” are here.

For the history buff, Georgetown is South Carolina’s third oldest city, founded in 1729, and the beaches of DeBordieu Colony are just across the bridge. Five museums, including the South Carolina Maritime Museum, are all within the waterfront historic district. Self-guided walking tours offer insight into the town’s 66 National Historic Register properties. Historic American figures such as George Washington and Harriett Tubman are intertwined in our rich history.

Andrews, located 18 miles inland from Georgetown, offers the perfect place to experience the natural world. From sporting clays to kayaking along the winding Black River, Andrews is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.

Throughout the Hammock Coast, visitors discover tempting culinary delights. When the hardest part of vacation is deciding where to eat, you know you’re in the right spot! From fine dining to Southern-fried goodness, myriad eclectic, locally owned restaurants will whet your appetite.

On South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, rediscover life with no schedules. The only itinerary you may need is a tide chart.

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