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While lazy days on uncrowded beaches are what makes Pawleys Island a favorite family vacation spot, the area has a lot to offer away from the beach. Here's a few favorites:
Brookgreen Gardens - A world renowned sculpture garden, originally created as part of the winter home for sculpture artist Anny Hyatt Huntington and her husband in the late 1920's. The gardens are now a National Historic Landmark, with the largest and most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture in the country, containing more than 1400 works by over 350 sculptors. Brookgreen also has the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the coast of the Carolinas. The gardens offer visitors an excellent opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of SC's lowcountry environment. Additionally, they offer boat tours through lowcountry creeks, trekker tours of the grounds, picnic areas, and frequent special events during the summer. You ticket is good for 7 consecutive days. It will take more than one day to appreciate what this site has to offer.
Huntington Beach State Park - Offering over 3 miles of undeveloped beaches, Huntington is consistently one of the top three state parks in SC. In addition to excellent beach access and facilities, the park offers wildlife viewing areas, an education center, tours and educational programs. Atalaya Castle, the 1930's winter home of the Huntingtons (see Brookgreen Gardens, above), is located within the state park and is open for tours.
East Coast Greenway - A developing trail system, spanning nearly 3,000 miles between Canada and Key West, passes through Pawleys Island. The local bike and pedestrian path was developed by Bike the Neck, and uses primarily off-road paved trails to connect Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. The trail runs by numerous restaurants and shops, with the most popular section running through a wooded area in front of Huntington Beach State Park. Golf carts and motorized vehicles are not permitted on this trail.
Dining - Pawleys Island offers a wide range of dining options, ranging from sandwich shops and deli's, to mid-priced family restaurants, to superb upscale restaurants featuring local lowcountry seafood specialties.
Shopping - Numerous gift and clothing shops abound in the area. The Hammock Shops are a Pawleys Island landmark, dating back to the late 1930's. They offer a collection of small, eclectic shops in a beautiful outdoor setting canopied by towering live oaks. Stop by to visit with Marvin Grant, a regionally well known hammock maker, who will entertain you and your kids.
Georgetown - The third-oldest town in SC, Georgetown is located about 15 minutes South of Pawleys Island. During the mid 1800's, the Georgetown region produced annually over a million pounds of rice, or half of the nation's output. The small community of Georgetown had become the wealthiest city in SC and made SC the second-wealthiest state in the country, behind only Massachusetts. In addition to several museums, the Front Street area of Georgetown offers an old-South strolling-friendly main street, with numerous restaurants and small shops. Don't overlook the boat tours along Front Street's RiverWalk.
Murrells Inlet - Located about 10 minutes north of Pawleys Island and claiming to be the "seafood capital of SC", Murrells Inlet offers numerous seafood restaurants serving fresh local catches. Many of these are located along Murrell's Inlet's MarshWalk. It's a great place to stroll in the evening with your favorite beverage, while enjoying the live music offered by most of the restaurants every night during the Summer.