Garden City, Murrells Inlet make list of Top 50 best towns for retirees in America
People often dream of turning their favorite vacation destination into their permanent home, and it looks like yet another Hammock Coast community is being highlighted as the perfect place to retire.
Using Niche’s Best Place to Retire Study, TheStacker.com ranked America’s Top 50 small towns for retirement, defined as having a population of less than 40,000, and Garden City and Murrells Inlet, both Hammock Coast communities, cracked the top 25.
Garden City, which was ranked 12th, led the way. The southern portion of Garden City is located in Georgetown County, and, thus, is part of the Hammock Coast. The northern portion is located in Horry County and considered part of the Grand Strand.
“Garden City is a prime spot for crabbing and fishing because of its access to the Atlantic Ocean and Murrells Inlet. The community’s 668-foot-long fishing pier provides an ideal spot for anglers during the day and acts as a live-music venue during summer evenings,” Stacker wrote of the beach community.
Murrells Inlet, just south of Garden City, was portrayed in an equally positive light for potential retirees in search of natural beauty, fresh seafood and entertainment. “The MarshWalk is a source of pride in this beach town known as the seafood capital of South Carolina. It’s a half-mile boardwalk along a saltwater estuary where residents can eat, listen to live music, shop, and enjoy recreational water activities,” the profile of Murrells Inlet said.
While being home to two of America’s top 25 best small towns for retirees is an honor, it doesn’t come as a surprise to residents and visitors to the Hammock Coast, a collection of the six coastal communities – Andrews, Garden City, Georgetown, Litchfield, Murrells Inlets, Pawleys Island – in Georgetown County.
Located between Myrtle Beach to the north and Charleston to the South, Georgetown County offers a refuge from the frenetic pace of its sister destinations, and Garden City and Murrells Inlet serve as an oasis for vacationers and retirees.
Garden City – population 10,070 – is a classic beach community, luring vacationers with oceanfront housing, beautiful shoreline and locally owned restaurants. After one visit, it’s the type of place people envision themselves living, hence Garden City’s ranking.
Murrells Inlet is built around the charm of the Marshwalk, one of South Carolina’s most popular attractions. Fresh seafood markets, entertainment, restaurants and a host of eco-activities form the heart of a thriving community with a population of less than 8,000.
Like every town along the Hammock Coast, cost of living is attractive in Garden City and Murrells Inlet, allowing retirees to comfortably live in communities where median home values ($140,000 in Garden City/$250,000 in Murrells Inlet) make ownership attainable. The area’s bevy of activities, including premier golf courses, Brookgreen Gardens, Huntington Beach State Park, fishing, crabbing and some of the Palmetto State’s best restaurants, only add to the area’s considerable appeal.
– By Chris King, Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce