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Food tour connects visitors with some of the Hammock Coast’s best cuisine

27 Jun

Food tour connects visitors with some of the Hammock Coast’s best cuisine

While visiting South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, wouldn’t it be wonderful to learn which restaurants offer delicious local cuisine and to experience some of their best creations?

That is exactly why Corina Whitehead of Murrells Inlet created Carolina Food Tours, exploring the menus of favorite local restaurants while sharing some local history and facts about the area.

Corina Whitehead talks about local seafood with a tour group at Wahoo’s in Murrells Inlet during a recent Carolina Food Tour. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Currently, Whitehead leads two tours, in Murrells Inlet and Georgetown for ages 10 and up. The cost of the tours start at $85 per person and include an appetizer, an entree and a dessert at three or four different restaurants. Dates for the tours vary each week.

“The food is excellent, and the scenery is awesome,” Whitehead said. “I basically choose my favorites, only local restaurants, and it gives people a taste of something different.”

Murrells Inlet MarshWalk Food Tour

Murrells Inlet is famous as “the seafood capital of South Carolina,” so it only made sense for one of Whitehead’s tours to be set there. Her Murrells Inlet tour starts at 3 p.m. and lasts two and a half hours.

On the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk tour, participants learn about the inlet and lots of interesting facts about the seafood there. Whitehead says those on the tour should prepare for an overload of the senses as they take in the spectacular beauty of the inlet while enjoying the fresh, hook-to-platter coastal cuisine. Reserve your ticket online today.

Chicago residents Rob and Dawn Fournie, participants in a recent Carolina Food Tour in Murrells Inlet, said it was very helpful to learn more about local restaurants and cuisine. During the tour, their group visited Wahoo’s, Creek Ratz, Bubba’s Love Shak, and Wicked Tuna.

“I was looking up things to do in this area to do when we came down,” Dawn Fournie said. “When I saw ‘food tour’ and it was four restaurants, we were hoping it would be different places where we haven’t eaten before. This tour gives you a sample range of restaurants.”

Rob Fournie agreed.

“It is good to see the different vibes of restaurants,” he said. “Some are casual, and some more upscale.”

Wahoo’s Shrimp and Grits is a favorite for locals and visitors alike. The dish includes fresh local shrimp, smoked gouda cheese, and andouille sausage. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

They said their favorite dish was the shrimp and grits from Wahoo’s. Ernest Edwards, operations manager of that restaurant, said there is a lot to like about it.

“The texture of our grits is unique with no preservatives in them, and we add smoked gouda cheese,” Edwards said. “We also use fresh local shrimp and a very nice andouille sausage to give it that real southern flavor.”

Taste of Historic Georgetown Tour

The Georgetown tour begins at 11 a.m. and lasts two and a half hours, giving participants plenty of time to experience some truly delicious local favorites. Restaurants on the Georgetown tour include Root, Rollin Local, Big Tuna, and Georgetown Creamery.

They also learn about the rich history of Georgetown as they stroll along the Harborwalk and dine at three or four different restaurants along the way. Book your Georgetown tour online.

“People love being outside and enjoying the view on the Georgetown Harborwalk,” Whitehead said. “Come along, learn about the area, taste new food, and make new friends.”

How it all began

Whitehead, a South Carolina native who lived in Pawleys Island for 20 years and Murrells Inlet for the last eight, has three sons, Noah, Joshua and David. A self-proclaimed “foodie,” Whitehouse said she started Carolina Food Tours after she was laid off from her job as an outside sales representative in May 2018. As a single mom and no other source of income, she was not sure where to go or what to do, so she looked to her religion for guidance.

Whitehead says she was led by God to her new role as Carolina Food Tours guide. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

“I needed a job and I needed it right away, but I felt God saying to me, ‘Be still. Do not be afraid. Just be with Me,’ ” she said.

After a week, Whitehead said she felt like God asked her, “What do you really want?” She started a list:

1) The amount of money needed to pay the bills

2) Flexibility to still be a mom and pick up kids from school or be there when needed.

Then she thought to herself, “What did I like about my old job?” And the answer was that she enjoyed taking business owners out to eat while talking to them about what she was selling.

So, she wrote down:

3) Get paid to take people out to eat.

After another two weeks of going on job interviews and not finding the right position, she had an epiphany while talking to her son, Noah. He was searching for something fun to do with his girlfriend.

“He googled ‘things to do in Charleston’ and ‘food tours’ came up,” Whitehead said. “Being the lover of all types of food, I immediately said, ‘I want to do that! What is it? Why don’t we have one of those here?’ ”

Then as she read about it, she thought, “That would be such a fun job … getting paid to take people out to eat.” That day, she sat down with her computer and researched food tours all afternoon and into the night.

“Eight o’clock the next morning, I was on my way to Charleston to take my first food tour,” Whitehead said. “After that, I knew this was it.”

This dessert at Bubba’s Love Shak in Murrells Inlet combines tasty hushpuppies with ice cream and strawberries. (Photo by Clayton Stairs)

Whitehouse welcomes anyone interested in Carolina Food Tours to give it a try.

“A food tour is a great way to connect with people over a meal — or four,” she said. “Eating is the universal language we all speak. So, come along with us as we walk, talk, learn about the rich history of South Carolina, and taste the delicious coastal cuisine.”

For more information about Carolina Food Tours, click here.

Georgetown County’s casual charm and Southern hospitality earned it the nickname Hammock Coast. Adventure and relaxation blend together in perfect harmony, like the flowing and ebbing of waves on the county’s famed beaches. With six communities – southern Garden CityMurrells InletLitchfield BeachPawleys IslandGeorgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.

By Clayton Stairs / tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®