It sounds small but it has since grown and now includes the land bordering the Waccamaw River. There is a picturesque marsh that separates the true island (Pawleys Island Proper) from the other portion of Pawleys Island. Highway 17 is the landmark used as the invisible border between the eastern and western portions of Pawleys Island. Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park border the northern portion of Pawleys Island before you enter Murrells Inlet. Huntington Beach State Park does have beachfront access. Debordieu Colony (considered to be in Georgetown) is the furthest developed subdivision to the South, with much of the land around it undeveloped. Highway 17 is the main road, and runs straight through Pawleys Island. Its convenient location allows for easy travel to popular destinations like Charleston, SC, which is about a 90 minute drive to the south, or a 45 minute drive to Myrtle Beach. If you are considering retirement or a slower paced lifestyle, Pawleys Island may be for you. It is a secondary market - a resort style and retirement area, although there are plenty of younger families moving to the area as well.
Pawleys Island Community
Pawleys Island has an active community with most of its full time residents and vacationers happy to call Pawleys Island home. Pawleys Island is not only a place to own a home, it is a lifestyle that is enriched by its people, heritage, natural beauty, location, and outdoor activities. There are so many activities and area attractions that it could keep a vacationer here for a lifetime, and just that happens every day. Many vacationers have been converted to residents when just visiting, because of one or more of the factors above. In fact, Pawleys Island is the oldest seaside community in the United States. It started as a vacation spot for plantation owners in Charleston to escape the hot summer days. Some families who live here have a deep connection to the past, and their property in Pawleys Island have been in the family for generations. On the other hand, many locals once called another place home, and are now considered local after living here for 10 years or more. So you may be a local "class 1" , or a true local - either born & raised if so, or born and raised if tenure is accepted. This is just an observation, not to be taken to heart.
The weather in Pawleys Island can best be described as year round springtime. The seasons are mostly mild and the fact that it is possible to walk on the beach every day of the year, and enjoy it, is a missed opportunity for non residents. The average highs in each month range from about 58º to 90º. July is the warmest, and January is the coolest month. The average low is about 40º. To see monthly averages, click here. The ocean temperatures range from about 45º to 85º during the span of the year, and is most comfortable from May to October. In my experience, in June and July, the temperature of the ocean feels like cool bathwater, and is most refreshing on a hot humid day. The ocean breezes definitely help with the balmy like weather on those particularly hot days. The weather plays a strong role in what the locals of Pawleys Island call tourist season. If you live here, the biggest complaint will be that of tourist traffic. In all reality, it is not that bad. There are two types of the tourist seasons here. One is the summer vacationers. This time of year is predicted by the weather in Pawleys Island/Myrtle Beach. The kids are out of school, families are out for fun, especially on the beaches. It seems the closer you get to Myrtle Beach, the busier it is. There are many public access areas to the beaches along the grand strand area including Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island. The Beaches stretch about 60 miles from the North Carolina border all the way to Georgetown county. There are two private beach accesses in Pawleys Island run by Litchfield By The Sea and Litchfield Plantation. There are subdivisions within Pawleys Island that pay for this access through their Home Owners Association fees, which in my opinion, are low for this service. The subdivisions in Pawleys Island with this access are Litchfield By The Sea, Willbrook Plantation, Litchfield Plantation, Inlet Point South, Tradition, River Club, & The Reserve. The Debordieu Colony (pronounced DebbieDoo) is a privately gated beachside community with true private beach access.
THE GRAND STRAND
The greater grand strand area, including Pawleys Island, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Garden City, Conway, and Georgetown, is one of the fastest growing places in the United States. It has been a favorite spot for years among vacationers for every age group. One main reason for the spike in growth is the fact that vacationers that come here year after year, fall “in love” with the area. Why go on vacation when you can have your vacation as your lifestyle? There is a diverse mix of people with many different lifestyles. These lifestyles vary from retiring, to active participants, to just enjoying the ease of the southern way of life. With the best restaurants, beautiful beaches (over a 60 mile stretch!), over 130 world class golf courses, tons of entertainment, including a night scene and many festivals throughout the year, art scenes, and tons of american history, this unforgotten area is sure to contend with the best of places to live in the U.S., for a great and wonderful lifestyle. Most Recently Pawleys Island was named in the National Geographic as one of the Best Summer Trips of 2012. In April 2014, by the national magazine that celebrates life among the coast, named Pawleys Island as one of the top ten beaches in the U.S. and Carribean. To see the list Click Here.
With the fast pace of growth, there are always new subdivisions popping up. In fact, some developments will not be completed for two decades! The fast pace of growth has led to some growing pains, however. But, the residents and local government are attacking each issue, one at a time, to cope with this growth.
In recent years, new building has slowed somewhat because of the real estate market simply slowing down, as with the rest of the country. Because of this slow down, the local Pawleys Island and Myrtle Beach real estate is seeing more buyers at a younger age. This is because the market prices have fallen enough for the younger crowd to afford Pawleys Island real estate prices. This has not changed the philosophy nor the face of Pawleys Island, just made it better.
Update 2014: Now that the Pawleys Island Market has started to gain momentum, the inventory of new and existing homes is continually increasing and has created some new developments within Pawleys Island. Please call me for an updated list of new homes currently for sale and to be builts. Assembly Lakes is the most recent addition that will allow private access to the beach, as well as an ideal location in Pawleys Island. To learn more, please contact me at (843) 907-8787
Horry County (County Seat)
Horry County is wedged between North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest county in South Carolina. The land area is over 1100 square miles! The area consists of many different cities, most of them intertwined with each other. The “Grand Strand” area consists mostly of Myrtle Beach. There is always plenty to do, and the way of life is just “beachy”. Tourism is the largest industry. The population of Horry county is over 200,000, but sees over a million visitors each year. For statistics and demographics, click here
Georgetown (County Seat)
Georgetown South Carolina was first settled in 1526, and WAS the first settlement in North America. This settlement failed because of a hurricane and Indian attacks and was later established in 1726 in honor of King George II. Georgetown, was once an important international port, serving the area’s once thriving rice plantations. Today, several marinas cater to traffic on the Intracoastal Waterway and the old docks along the waterfront have been converted into Harborwalk which is considered the Historic Waterfront. Sixteen blocks of the downtown area are listed on the National Historic Register. The peoples who live in Georgetown are hardworking, fun-loving, and enjoy very much the importance of family. There are several industries that include a Paper Mill, Wallboard Plant, Steel Mill, and many families who have been here for generations. For more information on Georgetown visit: GeorgetownCountySC.org.
Carolina Forest - this area did not exist over 30 years ago. It is a highly sought after area because of its master planned community, location, and top school districts. This is one of the areas still being developed in Horry County, and is growing at a tremendous pace. Thus, it is probably one of the most congested areas as far as traffic goes. On the other hand, it still has affordable housing, top school districts, beautiful parks & stores, and is just minutes from the beautiful beaches of Myrtle Beach. It lies in between Conway and Myrtle Beach. There are lots of new developments still in the works, so if you are looking for brand new construction at affordable prices, this is the location.
Cherry Grove - lies within North Myrtle Beach and is home to some of the best fishing off the ocean piers. It is a quaint community, with many upscale homes just off the marsh. This is a definate place to be seen.
Conway is home to more than 13,000 residents, and is considered one of the major areas of Horry County. It is the county seat of Horry County. Originally called Kingston, it is one of the oldest towns in South Carolina. In fact, much of Conway’s present downtown was built in the early 1900’s. Conway is rich with history and has been very well preserved. Conway is also home to many favorite local restaurants and bistros. The d riverfront has a boardwalk that features breathtaking views, and is great for a leisurely walk by the rivers water. This area is one of the fastest growing areas of the Grand Strand, and many of the new subdivisions can be found here such as Carolina Forest. You can also find affordable housing here compared to some other areas of Horry County. Conway also has several college branches of Coastal Carolina University, and Horry County Technical College. The residents may be a little younger in age because of the diversity in transportation, education, and affordable housing.
Garden City (Beach)
Garden City (Beach) is an ever growing community with a population of over 30,000. There are plenty of activities to choose from, especially for families with children. The city’s mission statement promotes a type of environment where residents can live, grow, and prosper. It is a safe community in which the school systems are highly rated. New businesses are welcome and there is a good mix of use with retail, commercial, and light industrial. There are also three major health facilities within Garden City. They are excellent providers of professional care. This city prides itself on the lifestyle in which a lot of families strive for when relocating here. In essence, you have the best of both worlds here: A growing family still prospering, yet close enough to the beach to feel like you are on vacation all the time!
Little River is located on Hwy 17 towards the north carolina border. It is one of the oldest settlements along the Carolina coast. Fishermem and farmers came as early as the late 1600's. The river (little river) became part of the Intracoastal Waterway in 1936. Little River is rich with history throughout the years, and has been host to pirates, smugglers, and blockade-runners in the Civil War. In the 1920's Little River became accessible by the use of vehicles and newly built roads, which caused the sea traffic to disappear. Today Little River is well known for its fishing and charter boats. The Blue Crab Festival in May brings lots of visitors to enjoy the family events and activities. The recorded population in 2000 was about 7,000. It is a growing community with many amenities, including golf courses, restaurants, and new home construction. It is much more affordable to live here when compared with other areas in Horry county. For statistics, click here.
Murrells Inlet can best be described as quaint and timeless. It is a place that captures the beauty, activities, people, and nature of South Carolina. The border between Georgetown and Horry Counties run east to west right through Murrells Inlet. Murrells Inlet is best known for their seafood, and is often considered the “Seafood Capital” of South Carolina. The many restaurants are situated on Business 17. This section is known to the locals as “Restaurant Row”. With the succulent seafood and awesome views of the marsh, goat island, creek, and inlet, it is a great place to really relax and enjoy your settings. People watching is one of the favorite activities here, and you will always find one story or another in the local newspapers. There is a 1250 foot marsh walk that is made for picturesque moments. Murrells Inlet captures the ambience and beauty of the coastal Carolinas. Murrells Inlet is also one of the most affordable areas to live in the Grand Strand, because there is land that is still being developed west of the Atlantic. The current population is over 6000 permanent residents. Murrells Inlet is a midway point between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach is the heart of the Grand Strand area. It has an amazing number of area attractions, including restaurants, shopping, golf courses, great night life, amusement parks, and of course the 9.5 miles of gorgeous beaches! This has been a favorite spot not only among tourists because of the unlimited amenities, but also for families. Current population consists of over 25,000 residents and services over 1,000,000 visitors each year. For statistics click here.
North Myrtle Beach
North Myrtle Beach – This area consists of four sections; Cherry Grove, Ocean Drive, Crescent Beach, and Windy Hill. The current population is over 11,000. In the early 1990’s, these municipalities formed to the single town known as North Myrtle Beach. North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach are separate cities. The two are often confused because Myrtle Beach has north and south sections. The north section is often referred to as North Myrtle Beach, but this is incorrect. North Myrtle Beach is host every year to special events and festivities, such as the Harley Davidson Bike Rally held in May and October. It is also one of the top golf resorts in the area! There is also a lot of history, with ties to a well known pirate, Blackbeard. It is said that some of his lost treasure still sits off the coast of North Myrtle Beach.
Surfside Beach Windy Hill Horry County (pronounced ORR-EEE; IPA) is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. This name honored Revolutionary War Hero, Peter Horry. Brigadier General Horry was born in South Carolina sometime around 1743 and started his distinguished military career in 1775 as one of 20 captains the Provincial Congress of South Carolina elected to serve the 1st and 2nd Regiments.