South Carolina’s Hammock Coast Gears Up For Festive Christmas Season
The “Most Wonderful Time of Year” is nearly upon us and while Christmas celebrations in 2020 will be different, they will be no less special along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast.
Comprised of six coastal communities – Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island, southern Garden City, Georgetown and Andrews – the Hammock Coast is one of South Carolina’s most popular destinations through every season, including the festive holidays.
Long renowned for its casual charm, the Hammock Coast offers stunning natural beauty, a sub-tropical climate and an abundance of outdoor activities, providing visitors with a destination that is socially distant by nature.
Anchoring the area’s holiday season festivities will be the ever-popular “Nights of a Thousand Candles” at Brookgreen Gardens, one of the most acclaimed holiday events in the South and just nominated again by USA Today/10 Best as one of the nation’s Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights events. And it was named “Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina” by Travel+Leisure Magazine. In short, it’s a sight to see and experience!
“Nights of a Thousand Candles” will run on select nights Nov. 27-Dec. 31 from 4-9 p.m. To ensure proper social distancing, Brookgreen has more than doubled the number of nights the event will be open to 24 and reduced daily ticket sales, helping everyone who wants to attend do so safely. Brookgreen, located in Murrells Inlet at one of America’s premier outdoor sculpture gardens, comes to life under the soft glow of more than 2,700 hand-lit candles and more than two million sparkling lights during the spectacular event.
This year, Nights of a Thousand Candles event will feature The Field of Light from the recent Bruce Munro Summer Lights exhibit as part of the display. Admission for non-members is $25 for adults and $15 for children. Admission for members is $20 for adults and $12 for children. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
The event also features The Strolling Bagpipers, roaming the gardens every evening. There will be live musical entertainment each evening, including the Beach Brass Quintet, Painted Man, the Paul Grimshaw Band, harpist Rebecca Nissen, the Randy McQuade Band, the Palmetto Bronze Handbell Ensemble, Raglan Road, and The 100 Grand Band.
Brookgreen Gardens is known as the floral jewel of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. Located in Murrells Inlet, the 9,127-acre property preserves the natural and cultivated landscape of this historic site. The botanical gardens, which are lit up for the event, feature the Live Oak Allée, comprised of 250-year-old Live Oak trees that were planted in the early 1700s when today’s Brookgreen Gardens was four thriving rice plantations.
Brookgreen Gardens isn’t the only place along the Hammock Coast to experience Christmas cheer.
The Hammock Shops Village, located on mainland Pawleys Island, will be another popular spot for holiday travelers during the Festival of Trees, which runs from Nov. 30 until Dec. 6. Walk through Santa’s Village, Candy Cane Lane and Winter Wonderland while participating in fun daily events. Guests can bid on beautifully decorated table-top trees benefiting Tidelands Community Hospice patients and programs. The Festival of Trees concludes on Dec. 6 with a visit from Santa and the lighting of the Hammock Shops Village Christmas tree. The village, founded in 1938 and home to two restaurants and nearly two dozen shops, is a Hammock Coast staple and home of “The Original Rope Hammock,” still created by hand — and shipped worldwide. (Talk about the perfect Christmas gift!)
Dec. 6 will be a busy day along the Hammock Coast as Murrells Inlet, known far and wide as the Seafood Capital of South Carolina, will also be hosting its annual Christmas parade beginning at 3 p.m.
With an average high temperature of 63 degrees in December and accommodations offerings that feature beach houses, boutique properties and even properties geared to golfers, as opposed to towering hotels, Georgetown County offers natural, pristine outdoor areas, plenty of laidback charm and even the social distancing opportunities travelers are seeking while still under COVID-19 precautions.
Whether you are enjoying a walk on one of the area’s acclaimed beaches, kayaking or fine dining in Murrells Inlet or Pawleys Island, the Hammock Coast is a destination of choice for discerning travelers anytime of the year.