Murrells Inlet makes USA Today’s Top 10 list of ‘Best Small Towns in the South’

10 Apr

Murrells Inlet makes USA Today’s Top 10 list of ‘Best Small Towns in the South’

Murrells Inlet on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast is known for its scenic beauty and fresh seafood, as well as destinations like Brookgreen Gardens, Huntington Beach State Park, and the MarshWalk.

Now it has placed 6th in a “Best Small Town in the South” contest promoted by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards. An expert panel selected Murrells Inlet as a contender for the contest, which launched on March 4, and the public voted online through April 1.

The MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet brings people together from all over the country.
(Photo by Chris Rogers/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

The judges praised Murrells Inlet for its Lowcountry charm, saying, “South of the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach and situated on the Hammock Coast, Murrells Inlet moves along at a slower pace. ‘The seafood capital of South Carolina,’ Murrells Inlet has long been a destination for fishing and water sports, as well as for dining on some of the freshest seafood at local restaurants. Garden enthusiasts will love wandering the grounds at Brookgreen Gardens, home to the largest collection of American figurative sculpture in the United States, while outdoor aficionados can hit the trails at Huntington Beach State Park.”

The Hammock Coast isn’t new in catching the eyes of editors and contest judges at USA Today.

Historic Georgetown won USA Today’s Best Coastal Small Town contest in 2018 and was a contender for many years since. Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park have also been in the running for contests, too, such as “Best Botanical Gardens” or “Best State Park for RVers.”

Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, said he is thrilled that Murrells Inlet placed in the USA Today “Best Small Town in the South” contest.

“Thank you to everyone who voted for Murrells Inlet in this contest,” Stevens said, “With its scenic waterfront, pristine beaches, and award-winning restaurants and attractions, Murrells Inlet certainly draws people from around the country and beyond.”

Huntington Beach State Park is a favorite spot for locals and tourists.
(Photo by Chris Rogers/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Murrells Inlet was one of only two South Carolina locations named in the contest. The otherwise Seneca, South Carolina, which did not place in the Top 10.

In addition to the two South Carolina nominees, others in the running for the “Best Small Town in the South” contest were Abingdon, Virginia; Alexander City, Alabama; Ashland, Kentucky; Batesville, Arkansas; By St. Louis, Mississippi; Brevard, North Carolina; Carrboro, North Carolina; Fairmont, West Virginia; Golf Shores, Alabama; Gulfport, Florida; Lynchburg, Tennessee; Maysville, Kentucky; Natchitoches, Louisiana; Sevierville, Tennessee; St. Marys, Georgia; Starkville, Mississippi; Thomasville, Georgia; and West Monroe, Louisiana. Starkville placed atop the contest at No. 1.

By Clayton Stairs, tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce

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