Located on a barrier island of the same name, Pawleys Island is a tiny town on the Atlantic coast of South Carolina. It’s one of the oldest resort areas on the East Coast of the United States, with beautiful beaches, rolling sand dunes and a historic district dating from the 18th century.
Things to do in Pawleys Island
Admire the mansion-like summer houses clustered in the Pawleys Island Historic District, which includes 12 buildings dating from the late 18th century to the years following World War I. Many feature West Indian architectural elements such as sweeping porches and high brick foundations to protect against gale tides, as well as large chimneys and cabin servant’s quarters. Of particular note are Joseph Blyth Alston House and Liberty Lodge, as well as the All Saints Summer Parsonage.
North of town lies the Brookgreen Gardens, a sprawling oasis dotted with sculptures that is home to a Native Wildlife Zoo. Admire the works by Edward McCartan, Laura Gardin Fraser and Anna Hyatt as you wander through the gardens and explore the medieval-inspired Labyrinth before enjoying a river cruise to spot alligators and wildfowl in the surrounding wetlands.
Adjacent to the Brookgreen Gardens is Huntington Beach State Park, a coastal preserve that protects bird-filled wetlands and a stretch of Atlantic beach frequented by sea turtles. Follow one of the boardwalk nature trails leading across its lagoon to see colourful roseate spoonbills, then visit the Moorish-inspired Atalaya Castle, which was built during the Great Depression for the Huntington family.
Getting around Pawleys Island
Myrtle Beach International Airport is around 45 minutes’ drive from Pawleys Island and has flights to destinations across the United States. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of getting to and getting around Pawleys Island.