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How to spend a day in historic Conway, SC

  By  Shelbi Ankiewicz

Enjoy the quaint river town

Conway, South Carolina is slowly gaining more of a reputation as the years pass by. Home to the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and the beautiful Waccamaw River, there are many things visitors can do to spend a nice, relaxing day in this quaint city.

What first started out as a small town named Kingston in 1734, has become a home to thousands of people. The area was renamed Conwayborough after a general in the SC military, which was then shortened to Conway in 1883. For years the main channel of transportation between Conway and surrounding areas was by boat on the Waccamaw River until the railroad finally made its way in 1887. Now, most of what visitors see when they visit is constructed from the early 1900s, when much of the city was rebuilt after a fire.

The Perfect Conway Itinerary:

The first thing on a list when visiting any new town or city is to find a good café or breakfast spot. Here, Conway offers The Trestle Bakery and Café, a local favorite that’s been around for years. This is the perfect spot for a breakfast sandwich crafted with homemade sourdough bread or a warm pastry served with your favorite coffee. Then, since The Trestle is so conveniently located in the heart of the city, you can stroll the streets of downtown, historic Conway. Lining these streets are cute, boutique shops that sell clothing, house items, decorations, locally made soaps, and honey; nearly anything you think would make a great souvenir, you’ll be sure to find. In between the stores, you’ll also find smaller, narrow paths that are lined with greenery and spots for sitting so you can enjoy the outdoors and take beautiful photos. The Horry County Museum is also located in downtown Conway and is a great place to stop by and learn a little bit of history about the surrounding area. Additionally, depending on the time of year you visit, Conway is known for having beautiful holiday decorations, whether it's pumpkins hanging from the Oak trees or Christmas lights strung on the courthouse.

Afterward, you can stroll a few blocks over to the Conway Riverwalk. This short trail, just 1.3 miles, lines the Waccamaw River. It’s completely flat so people of all ages can walk it to enjoy the scenic views of the river and drooping trees or to work up an appetite for lunch. One end starts near a restaurant and the other loops around through a small green space where you can prepare for your next adventure. Speaking of food, Conway offers an array of places to visit for your afternoon cravings, many with good happy hour discounts. Whether it’s bacon-wrapped churros at Hop N’ Wich, buffalo cauliflower bites at Craft Rooster, or fish ball skewers from the Kainan Filipino Eatery.

Once you’ve had lunch and are prepared to work it off, you can book a kayak or paddle board tour on the Waccamaw. There are many companies that do tours for groups of people that meet at a specific destination in Conway and then tackle the rest by water until you’ve reached the given destination. By participating in this activity you have the chance to meet other people who are also traveling, explore the SC marshlands, and see various forms of wildlife such as otters, birds, and maybe even alligators. Then, as the perfect activity to end the evening, you can head back over the Main Street to catch a show at the Theatre of the Republic. This theatre has been open for over 53 years – it’s been open longer than any other live theatre company on the Grand Strand. They change shows frequently throughout the year including holiday productions when they’re near. What’s unique about this theatre is it holds both adult and children's productions, plus an occasional partnership with the local university. So, regardless of how many times you visit, you’ll always have a new experience waiting for you. And of course, after a long day of fun-filled events, you might be hungry again, so it’s always a great option to visit Conway’s Rivertown Bistro which was voted “Best Restaurants in South Carolina” in 2006 by the Southern Living Magazine. At Rivertown the menu is seasonal so there’s always something new and exciting to explore. Or, if you’re in the mood for something more laid back and relaxed, you can go to Bonfire Taqueria on the Riverwalk and enjoy a dish of Carolina barbeque or indulge in a big, hefty burrito!

Conway serves as a reminder to visitors that although most people go on vacation to big, tourist destinations, the smaller cities or towns on the outskirts can be just as beautiful and fulfilling. We hope that you will visit Conway on your next trip to Myrtle Beach to enjoy all the wonders the Grand Strand has to offer!

Shelbi Ankiewicz
Shelbi Ankiewicz is a senior at Coastal Carolina University studying communication, journalism, and intercultural studies. She is originally from Montgomery, Alabama, but has resided in Myrtle Beach for 14 years. She is the Editor-in-Chief of CCU's student newspaper, The Chanticleer, and is a member of a two-year leadership program called the Wall Fellows. Shelbi enjoys trying new restaurants, traveling to major cities in the SouthEast, and attending concerts. In her free time you can find her hanging out with her frenchton bulldog, Oma, or visiting the local trails Myrtle Beach has to offer.