Pawleys Island Finishes Second in Favorite Southern Beach Town Contest

8 Apr

Pawleys Island Finishes Second in Favorite Southern Beach Town Contest

Hammock Coast’s Most Famous Beach Reaffirms Reputation As One Of The South’s Premier Destinations

After three weeks and five rounds of voting in Garden & Gun’s “Favorite Southern Beach Town” bracket, Pawleys Island finished second, coming in behind Mexico Beach, Florida, in the championship round. En route to the final match-up, Garden & Gun readers reaffirmed the appeal of Pawleys Island, long renowned for its beautiful beach and casual charm. 

Pawleys Island defeated Port Aransas, Texas, Folly Beach, South Carolina, Sanibel, Florida, and Jekyll Island, Georgia, in the 32-town, tournament-style bracket that featured the best beach communities from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi and Texas.

The final bracket between Pawleys Island and Mexico Beach, Florida.

“Being part of the Garden & Gun bracket and then having Pawleys Island advance to the championship round was a thrill for all of us,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce. “The success Pawleys Island enjoyed reflects the affinity vacationers have for the community and the Hammock Coast in general. With so many people looking forward to the opportunity to travel, it was great for Pawleys Island to be in the spotlight Garden & Gun created.” 

A four-mile long barrier island that provides vacationers stunning beach front, abundant eco-activities, and some of the Palmetto State’s premier restaurants and cultural attractions, Pawleys Island is located in the heart of South Carolina’s acclaimed Hammock Coast. 

When it announced the competition, Garden & Gun said, “For generations, beach towns have welcomed us for vacations, long weekends, and memorable family trips. It is in that spirit—and with the knowledge that we’ll be back to these places soon—that we present the 10th annual Garden & Gun bracket: Favorite Southern Beach Towns.”

To choose the 32 beach towns for the bracket, the magazine first went to readers via social media and in its Talk of the South newsletter asking for their favorite beach town. From there, the magazine whittled it down to the final nominees and then created the matchups.

After advancing five rounds, only Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and Mexico Beach, Florida, remained in the final round of Garden & Gun’s quest to name the Favorite Southern Beach Town.

In a story highlighting the two championship finalists, Garden & Gun called Pawleys Island a “serene sand-and-sunset getaway.” To read that story, click here.

Garden & Gun is certainly not the first magazine to put Pawleys Island in the spotlight for best beach town. Southern Living named Pawleys Island one of the South’s Best Beach Towns in 2019, saying, “Atlantic-facing Pawleys Island isn’t far from such popular Grand Strand destinations as Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, but it’s a quieter getaway, known for cypress cottages and those famous hammocks. There’s no shortage of good food and drink, not to mention water recreation of every description. Beautiful Brookgreen Gardens is just a 10-minute drive away.”

Considered the oldest seaside resort on the East Coast, Pawleys Island is the most famous of the beaches along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, but all the beaches of Georgetown County are equally spectacular. In fact, Trip Advisor says Litchfield Beach, immediately north of Pawleys, is one of America’s top 10 beaches. And Murrells Inlet, where the beach can be accessed at Huntington Beach State Park, has been recognized as one of America’s best, as well. All in all, the Hammock Coast’s beach communities are: Pawleys Island, Litchfield Beach, Murrells Inlet, DeBordieu Colony near Georgetown and southern Garden City.

The Hammock Coast is home to 13 golf courses, many of which have earned national accolades as some of the best courses to play. For more information on golfing opportunities on the Hammock Coast, click here.

To request a Visitors Guide about the Hammock Coast, click here.

Sunrise at Pawleys Island. (Photo courtesy of Austin Bond)

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss what's happening on South Carolina's Hammock Coast!