3 Hammock Coast beaches make Southern Living best-of list
The people lucky enough to live along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast’s miles of pristine beaches know just how truly special the region is.
Now Southern Living magazine has tapped three Hammock Coast beach communities as the Lowcountry’s best. In a list highlighting just eight South Carolina beaches, the Hammock Coast earned more accolades than any other county in the Palmetto State.
In her article titled “The Best South Carolina Beaches For A Relaxing Lowcountry Getaway,” Southern Living Associate Editor Kaitlyn Yarborough wrote, “Between the salt marshes, palmetto trees, broad beaches, seafood dives, and preserved wildlife, the coast has plenty going for it. … Here are the eight best South Carolina beaches to visit now.”
Beaufort County earned two spots on the list, and Charleston County earned two, as well. But with the additions of the Hammock Coast communities Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island and DeBordieu, Georgetown County took the most spots on the coveted list from the venerable magazine.
“How wonderful to see Georgetown County and the Hammock Coast so well represented on this latest best-of list,” said Clayton Stairs, tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce. “Accolades are nothing new to us, of course, but it’s extra special when the Hammock Coast shines so brightly on such a small, exclusive list.”
In her article, Yarborough noted that Murrells Inlet “boasts an impressive selection of restaurants and plenty of live music to keep everyone full and happy” on the iconic MarshWalk. She also cites Huntington Beach State Park’s “three miles of milk-white sands” as more evidence why the beach community deserved its spot as one of South Carolina’s best.
South of Murrells Inlet, another Hammock Coast beach garner a spot on the list: America’s oldest seaside vacation spot — Pawleys Island.
“This South Carolina coastal town is known for its hand-woven hammocks, upon which we’d like to hang a while, but it makes sure to keep you interested with pristine beaches, surf-worthy waves, great seafood, Lowcountry marshland, and an easygoing attitude (hence, its affinity for hammocks),” Yarborough wrote.
She further wrote that “the lack of commercialism is something that draws people to the quiet town, especially considering it can be found between bustling neighbors, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.”
Yarborough even took note of the oceanfront Sea View Inn, established in 1937. Calling the experience of staying at the inn, one of only two commercial entities on history Pawleys, “an old-school island experience.”
Rounding out Southern Living’s list is the Hammock Coast’s DeBordieu Colony, which she called one of South Carolina’s “best-kept secrets.”
“DeBordieu is a tucked-away community that teases visitors with the ultimate natural escape, which can only be attributed to its committed preservation of South Carolina’s stunning scenery and wildlife,” she wrote. “It’s also located just 10 miles from Georgetown, which has a historic district worth visiting on days when respite from the sandy shore is needed.”
Yarborough summed up her beach best-of list by writing, “Whether you’re a fan of the lush Lowcountry scenery or the gorgeous … sands, there’s a South Carolina beach waiting to whisk away your worries.” She has written for Southern Living since 2017 and earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia with a focus in magazine writing. She completed a program in Prague that honed her travel writing skills. She covers a wide variety of topics for both the magazine and its website, focusing on culture and lifestyle content, as well as travel in the South.
Another recent article from Southern Living (by Betsy Cribb) highlighted another community of the Hammock Coast: the historic city of Georgetown. In that article, Cribb wrote “if someone plucked the best elements of the South’s visual patois—historic homes with gracious porches, sprawling live oak canopies, vibrant shop fronts, and sparkling waterways—and carefully arranged them all in one visitor-friendly spot, you’d end up with a place like Georgetown, South Carolina.”
Cribb then continues, letting people know more about the historic city, including where it is located and things to do while visiting.
It’s certainly not the first time that Georgetown has been featured in a national publication. For the past five years, Georgetown placed in the Top 10 as one of America’s top choices for Best Coastal Small Town in the prestigious USA Today/10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest. In 2018, Georgetown came in first in the online contest and was named America’s “Best Coastal Small Town.”
The beach communities of the Hammock Coast also regularly earn media attention. Garden & Gun magazine named Pawleys Island one of the South’s Best Beach Towns, for example, and TripAdvisor declared Litchfield Beach, located between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, one of America’s Top 10 beaches.
By Mark A. Stevens/ director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast