The small town of Aynor, South Carolina, lies about 30 miles inland from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and is celebrated locally for its friendly sense of community and its large annual Harvest Hoe-Down Festival. Aynor was incorporated as a town in 1913 and served as a hub for the production of turpentine, tobacco, and cotton in its heyday. The “Little Golden Town” still feels largely agricultural, hosting events like the Golden Town Market (with everything from fresh produce to homemade goods) from June 1 to August 31 on Main Street. If you’re…

Litchfield Beach is a small and sophisticated community just 20 miles south of Myrtle Beach. Part of the greater Pawleys Island area, Litchfield has a totally separate vibe and is considered one of the Grand Strand’s 14 unique neighborhoods. The town took its name from a rice plantation that operated near the region in the 1700’s, and it has been carefully zoned to preserve its pristine beauty. Litchfield Beach was established in 1978, and it offers exclusive beach-front family vacation homes and a quiet, relaxed pace. There is a long section…

Twenty-two miles south of Myrtle Beach is a stunning barrier island named Pawleys. The southernmost Grand Strand neighborhood, Pawleys Island is one of the oldest resort towns on the east coast. In the 17 and 1800’s, plantation owners moved their families and often their livestock to the island for fresh ocean breezes and a healthier environment during the hot, humid summer months. A few of the original homes still stand in the historic district on this ruggedly-beautiful island. There are no commercial businesses on the island, as the town,…

One of my favorite day trips to recommend to Myrtle Beach area visitors is a drive in to Conway, South Carolina. Conway is a historic river town located just about 15 miles inland from downtown Myrtle Beach. Conway is the county seat for Horry County (the county that encompasses the majority of the Grand Strand) and is ripe with history and culture. Founded in 1732, many of the homes in downtown Conway are well over 100 years old. In addition to the architecture, the town’s other oldest residents are its beautiful live oak trees which decorate…

Sometimes, a destination totally lives up to its name, and that is true with Garden City Beach, a small resort town located just ten miles south of Myrtle Beach! This quaint town is as charming as it sounds, and I highly recommend a visit to this unique Grand Strand neighborhood. Along the beautiful expanse of beach, you’ll find rows of multi-colored beach houses, many of which are available for rent ! In town, there are amusements, an arcade, shopping, restaurants, and the heart of the community, the Pier at Garden City ! This 668-foot fishing…

Socastee, South Carolina is located just west of the Myrtle Beach airport, around the junction of highways 707 and 544 in Horry County. This unincorporated section of Myrtle Beach has become a neighborhood unto itself in the past few decades, especially since the Air Force base closed in 1994. It was once a quiet community for soldiers stationed at the base (where The Market Common is located), but now it is a thriving community, with a large commercial center and rapidly-expanding residential areas. Socastee is situated along the Intracoastal…

Beyond the Beach - Explore Surfside Beach

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 9:00 AM by Julie Ellis

Since its incorporation in 1964, Surfside Beach has had a reputation for being a “family beach,” and it certainly lives up to it. Surfside boasts quiet, tree-lined residential areas that will make you want to house shop and move on in. Beyond the obvious beauty and breathtaking ocean views, this town truly gets its charm from the residents and workers who call it home. Surfside’s beaches are cleaned daily and are under the watchful eyes of local police and life guards. Several beach access points offer restrooms and showers, and many provide…

Long before Myrtle Beach was valued as a vacation destination for visitors, the towns slightly inland from the coast were the centers of activity in Horry County, South Carolina. The historic town of Loris began as a railroad town serving the lumber industry in the late 1880s, and is located just a short drive inland from the coast on the northern end of the Grand Strand. Not far from the North Carolina border, Loris offers a quintessential Southern experience for those enjoying small-town life and charm. And with a small Southern town comes…

Just a short drive west of the Intracoastal Waterway from Myrtle Beach is the master-planned community of Carolina Forest. This is a relatively new community that is booming with new construction, primarily residential, but you’ll also find some terrific restaurants, recreation centers, shopping and golf courses. Located between Myrtle Beach and Conway, you can easily access Carolina Forest off the 501 or from Robert Grissom where it turns into International Drive. Nearly half of this 25 square-mile area has been set aside for conservation, and…

Make Time to Shag!

Monday, June 3, 2019 11:00 AM by Julie Ellis

What was that? No, I don’t mean “shag” the way the popular Austin Powers movies defined it, and I’m not talking about carpet. The shag is the official dance of South Carolina, and the Myrtle Beach area is the best place to learn the dance or at least watch skilled shaggers while you listen to beach music, some of the happiest music ever recorded (and not to be confused with Beach Boys-style “surf music”). The shag is a smooth, laid-back dance that has been called the “swing dance of the South,” and it is often described as “a slow jitterbug.”…