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Pawleys Island South Carolina has attractions that range from historical homes to fishing charters and other outdoor recreation. This tranquil little island is known as one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast. Settled in the early 1700s by rice plantation owners who used it as their summer retreat, several of their elegantly rustic cottages are still found in Pawleys Island Historic District at the eastern end of the island. Each of these homes survived several major hurricanes, most recently in 1954 and 1989. The Pelican Inn, a pre-Civil War summer residence of plantation owner Plowden Charles Jenrette Weston, was constructed of numbered cypress planks brought from Hagley Plantation. The Ward House, which was also known as Liberty Lodge, has the original hand-hewn sills and joints. One of these homes was the summer parsonage where the planter’s evening summer services were held and another was the summer residence of their children’s academy headmaster. The history of these homes is fascinating, and well worth the time to tour them.

Fishing is popular on Pawleys Island and a variety of fishing charters are available in the area. The island also has two very good launch boat ramps. Other outdoor recreation such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, parasailing, and ocean sightseeing cruises are available. Pawleys beach is good for families to enjoy crabbing off a crab dock, shelling, hiking or biking. Plus there are over 100 golf courses located in the Pawleys Island area. Guided expeditions provide tours of the black water cypress swamps, rice plantations, tidal marshes and wildlife refuges. All-season jeep tours are also available for a three hour narrated tour that combines nature and history. See American Bald Eagles, alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Tour a 15th century style Spanish castle, rice plantations with slave cabins, islands and more.

Other attractions that are located just a short drive from Pawleys Island are Huntington Beach State Park, which has picnic areas with shelters, a boardwalk, surf fishing, nature trail, crabbing and bird watching, and Brookgreen Gardens, located three miles north of Litchfield Plantation. The gardens contain the country’s largest outdoor collection of figurative sculpture. Visitors can wander beneath towering oaks, visit a wildlife park, and take a river trip or simply rest with a glass of delicious peach ice-tea at the old kitchen building. Pawleys Island is just twelve miles from the city of Georgetown, which is the state’s third oldest city, founded in 1729. The town’s four-by-eight block grid is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Georgetown was a bustling seaport town in colonial times, when tall masted sailing ships laden with goods from Europe would dock here and trade products of the “lowcountry.” There are many fascinating historical sites in Georgetown, including their waterfront. The Island Queen is a 90-passenger vessel located at the Georgetown Landing Marina that gives two-hour historic plantation cruises with ghost stories provided in late afternoon.


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