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Pawleys Island South Carolina is a barrier island located 22 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 70 miles north of Charleston. It’s a small, relaxed beach community with a permanent population of only around 200, but thousands of part-time residents and visitors spend time here each year. The island is less than four miles long and separated from the mainland by a beautiful salt marsh and two short causeways. Locals have several unique ways to describe their island such as “arrogantly shabby,” and “Pawleys likes the kind of people who like Pawleys.” It’s a tranquil place with simple values and a lack of pretense. Many visitors claim “their blood pressure goes down when they cross the causeway.” Although Pawleys is so close to the glitz of Myrtle Beach, it seems a world apart. Once you cross the causeway, it’s like stepping back in time. You’ll see miles of white sand beaches, the blue ocean, creeks for fishing and swimming and feel the gentle breezes that make summertime napping an almost inescapable afternoon pleasure on Pawleys. It’s all the same things that have attracted visitors to Pawleys Island for decades. Pawleys Island is known as one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast and has a very interesting history. Families of rice planters who owned plantations on the nearby rivers first settled the island in the early 1700s. During the summers, the planters knew it was healthier to be near the seashore, so they would move to cottages on the island in May of each year where they stayed until the first frost in November. They moved everything – horses, cows, furniture and provisions – not an easy feat in the 1700s. From this early existence, Pawleys Island got its’ start as a summer retreat where visitors enjoy a carefree, laid-back lifestyle. The island’s historic district still has twelve of these antebellum homes that date from the late 1700s to the mid1800s.

Pawleys Island’s casual, unspoiled and unsophisticated way of life invites visitors to relax in rope hammocks under large trees, drink lemonade on the front porch of their cottages, or go fishing in a nearby creek. The island has a stretch of wide beach for sunning and swimming and beautiful sand dunes. Many other recreational opportunities are available on Pawleys Island or nearby, and the famous Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park are only a short drive away. Nearby on the mainland you can find everything from fast food to fine dining establishments, large supermarkets and other shopping. Beach equipment is also available on the mainland.

Pawleys Island’s nearest neighbor is the city of Georgetown, which offers even more historical, cultural and recreational opportunities. Just a few of the attractions you’ll find in Georgetown include historic home tours, plantation tours, seasonal outdoor concerts in beautiful settings, local theaters, festivals, nature tours, garden tours and more. The Pawleys Island/Georgetown region offers so much to do – yet at such a relaxed pace.


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