Southern Living offers high praise for the Hammock Coast, Georgetown

17 Mar

Southern Living offers high praise for the Hammock Coast, Georgetown

Southern Living, the venerable lifestyle magazine, heaped praise on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast as part of its annual Best of the South awards.

The magazine hailed the Hammock Coast as a place to live, a destination to visit and two of the area’s most popular attractions – Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park – were recognized as the best South Carolina has to offer.

Editors of Southern Living surveyed readers and ranked “The 50 Best Small Towns In the South 2023,” a list that featured municipalities from West Virginia to Texas and everywhere in between. When the votes were tallied, historic Georgetown was No. 41.

620 Prince, a bed and breakfast in Georgetown, was recently featured in a Southern Living article about the historic city. (Photo by Mark Stevens/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

“This spot on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast calls itself the ‘the little town you’ve been looking for,’ and it’s hard to argue the point,” Southern Living wrote. “Georgetown has gorgeous old homes, abundant Live Oaks, a walkable downtown, and the dramatic Waccamaw River bridge.”

Best of all, the magazine’s readers weren’t finished with Georgetown. In the South’s Best reader poll, people voted on “The South’s Best Tiny Towns,” defined as having a population of less than 10,000, and Georgetown topped the list.

“South Carolina’s Hammock Coast is known for its rich history, generous hospitality, and natural Lowcountry beauty. Georgetown has plenty of all three,” Southern Living expressed enthusiastically. “Visit the Gullah Museum, take a guided tour of the Tom Yawkey Wildlife (Center), or take a dining tour of downtown. You’ll have plenty to write home about no matter what you get into.”

The state park systems in the South are arguably the nation’s finest, and Southern Living undertook the difficult task of identifying the best in each state. Overcoming strong competition, Huntington Beach State Park was No. 1 in South Carolina.

The Atalaya castle at Huntington Beach State Park was originally the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, founders of Brookgreen Gardens. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Southern Living lauded HBSP as one of the premier birding sites in the Southeast, highlighting the property’s various natural habitats and three miles of undisturbed Atlantic Ocean coast that is ideal for surf fishing.

The magazine also crowned the premier garden in America’s 14 Southern states and Brookgreen Gardens was tapped as South Carolina’s best.

In addition to singing the praises of Brookgreen’s flora and fauna, Southern Living paid particular attention to the diversity of attractions that help define the storied property.

“Brookgreen Gardens features a sculpture garden containing the country’s largest collection of American figurative sculpture, a history and wildlife preserve, and a zoo,” Tara Massouleh McCay wrote for the magazine.

This life-sized sculpture by Anna Huntington, called “Fighting Stallions,” welcomes visitors to Brookgreen Gardens. (Photo courtesy of Brookgreen Gardens)

“Everyone along the Hammock Coast works so hard to create a welcoming environment, so to earn this type of praise from Southern Living and its readers is incredibly gratifying,” said Beth Stedman, CEO for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Stevens, the Chamber’s director of tourism development, added, “Travelers in search of an unforgettable small-town vacation will relish the opportunity to enjoy Georgetown’s rich history while Huntington Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens continue to be bucket-list attractions. It’s really wonderful to be included in Southern Living’s Best-of issue in such spectacular fashion.”

Located to just south of Myrtle Beach and north of Charleston, the Hammock Coast offers the best of both destinations in a more casual environment. The area, which is comprised of six coastal communities – southern Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island, Georgetown and Andrews – complements its unforgettable beaches with an abundance of eco-activities, golf and some of the Palmetto State’s finest restaurants.

About South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

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 – Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island, Georgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.

By Chris King for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

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