Fun Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina near Myrtle Beach (2024)

My hometown, Georgetown, South Carolina,is a friendly Southerntown wedged between the Atlantic Ocean, Winyah Bay, and four rivers, Charlestonand Myrtle Beach. The third oldest cityin South Carolinawas founded in 1729 and named for King George of England. Still, it could be considered a legacy of an AmericanGeorge—Washington, that is! George Washington’s SouthernTour of 1791 brought him right through Georgetown. I think of it as THE FIRST Georgetown, a full 62 years before the one in Maryland!

This small towncontinues to fill some mighty big shoes. Historic Georgetowndoesn’t rest on its past; it keeps making history as a cultural center for GeorgetownCounty and neighboring Williamsburg and Horry Counties.

Each June, the Winyah Auditorium attracts Muzika Broadway revues and opera performances produced by Varna International. October fills our town with admirers for the Wooden Boat Show.

Southern Secrets

South Carolinawas on the front lines of many wars. Georgetownholds the distinction of being the hiding place of Francis Marion, better known to those outside South Carolinaas “The Swamp Fox.” Marion earned his nickname because of his ability to disappear into the Lowcountryswamps.

British Lt. Gen. Tarleton said of Marion, “As for this damned old fox, the devil himself could not catch him!” Our patriotic forefather and statesman originated guerilla warfare tactics during the Revolutionary War.

Georgetownwas also the location of The Sunset Lodge, a well-known brothel that Miss Hazel operated between 1936 and 1969. The fact that Category 4 Hurricane Hazel devastated the South Carolinacoast in 1954 is purely coincidental.

Historic Georgetown Tours

Several historic toursare available in this hidden gem. You can tour the low countrytown by boat, trolly, or on foot.

The town’s national historic districtconsists of 37 blocks, filled with structures that date back to 1734. Of the 66 historic structures, 28 date to the 18th century, while at least 18 others were built before the 1860’s Civil Warera.

There would be many more pre-Revolution era buildings if British troops had not burned what they could of Georgetown. In August 1781, 42 houses and many stores were destroyed by those invading forces.

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Prince George Winyah Parish holds a yearly fundraising event, the Tour of Historic Plantations and Homes. This early spring event has allowed a glimpse into the past for more than 75 years. These unique tours require advance tickets, so plan accordingly.

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Walking Tours of Georgetown

The 250th anniversary of the AmericanRevolution is coming up this year, so many eyes are on Georgetown’s part in USAhistory.

Paige Sawyer withOld Georgetown Walking Toursoffers a 90-minute tour through streets covered by centuries-old live oaktrees. Starting in front of the historic town clock on Front Street, you stroll by historic homeswhile he makes history come alive.

Paige’s illustrations and historical photographs demystify the town’s pre-Revolutionary, antebellum, and 19th-century buildings. He describes who lived in the houses, what they did, and the genealogy of the property and its owners.

Paige Sawyer also conducts the 90-minute Francis Marion tour, which introduces visitors to the child who spent time in Georgetownand during the AmericanRevolutionary War. Today’s local historic sites, houses, and churches are silent witnesses to all that happened.

Trolly Car Tours of Georgetown

The tour train, a trolly car and jeep, was created by the Chamber of Commerce during the Tricentennial celebrations in 1970, making it the oldest tour company in town.

Even though owned by the mother and son Jayroe team for 26 years, SwampFox Tourshas been in business for more than 50 years. Customers ride through 300 years of history on the city streets as they learn about early homes, public places, and churches.

Boat Tours Around Georgetown

Cap’n Rod’s Lowcountry Tourscruise out of the historic downtown from the harborwalk, circle the Winyah Bay, and navigate the Sampitand WaccamawRivers. Time it right for a late afternoon shellingexcursion and enjoy the sunset as the boat returns to town.

Cap’n Rod’s offers two tours. One is a four-hour tour to North Island, where passengers disembark and spend an hour and a half exploring a barrier island. Or, select a three-hour trip up the Pee Dee River to learn about the indigo and rice culture while viewing former rice fieldsand rice plantations.

Both tours hold the possibility of seeing dolphins, bald eagles, alligators, osprey, and wild hogs.

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Up-Close Look at Plantations

Georgetownwas known for its Carolina Gold Rice. It exported more of this grain than any other place in the United States during its heyday in the 1800s. The cultivation of indigo also contributed to the wealth of area planters until after the Revolution. Since it was the primary dye used for British uniforms, the colonial winning of that war ended that income stream.

Several area plantations are open to the public and provide educational opportunities and tours. Plantations to visit include:

Brookgreen Gardensand Huntington Beach State Parkin Murrells Inletwere formed by the Depression-era purchase of four adjacent plantations. The Archer Huntingtons purchased the land to create an outdoor viewing venue for Anna Hyatt Huntington’s sculptures and an oceanfront winter home and studio.

SheBuysTravel Tip:Plan two days to explore both places and have time for all the tours. You’ll be glad you did!

Learn More About Rice Culture

Water tours of the area and those offered at Brookgreen Gardensgive a behind-the-scenes look at rice growing and the intense human labor required to produce those tiny grains.

There is a fascinating Rice Museum in the 1842 Old Market Building in the historic district. The museum opened during South Carolina’s Tricentennial in 1970.

The museum is easy to find—just look under the town clock (added in 1845). It is also the first Georgetownbuilding on the National Register of Historic Places. You will find permanent exhibits of artifacts, paintings, and maps that tell the history of rice cultivation in the Carolina Colony.

There are other must-visitmuseums in Georgetown. The town is walkable in an unhurried way, and you can spend several happy days wandering along the boardwalkand weaving through historic buildings, art galleries, and charming shops.

The top choices for local museums to visit are:

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The Hammock Coast

Georgetownis the perfect distance for a day tripfrom Charleston, Myrtle Beach, or Florence. None are much more than an hour away, and Columbia is only a two-and-a-half-hour excursion, but you should make that a weekend visit so you aren’t rushed.

No trip to the Hammock Coastis complete without time on the gorgeous Grand Strand. Beach access is available in Pawley’s Island, Litchfield, and Murrells Inlet. I confess that the north end of Huntington Beach State Parkhas held my heart for more than 40 years. Be careful, or you’ll find yourself moving here too!

When you’ve soaked up all the sun and history you can manage, you may want to stretch out in a hammock under the shade of a Live Oak. Or, the more energetic may wish to fit in a round or two of golf. With nearly 100 golf coursesin Horry and GeorgetownCounties, you won’t have trouble finding a place to play or a partner!

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Where to Eat in Georgetown

Oh, yum…so many choices! And all good, I promise! I’ve written entire articles about where to eat in this town. Too many to play favorites. But, just for you, I’ll tell you about a fewof my top choices.

  • Between the Antlersis located on what was once the federal wharf back in 1791. George Washington probably enjoyed some rum on his visit here.
  • Eve’s Caribbean Soul Foodis where Gullah and Caribbean meets Lowcountrycuisine (you’ll have to drive to this one, but it is on the way to Hampton and Hopsewee.)
  • Corner Tavernis on the harbor walk, so you can enjoy a river breeze with your Sea Breeze co*cktail
  • Marker 42 Lowcountry Cantinais Mexican with a Lowcountrystyle. Peach BBQ sauce on Pork Wings? Yes, please!
  • Rollin Localhas half-price sushi on Wednesday.
  • Root, right on the waterfront, serves Americanfood with local roots(ask to sit out back.)
  • So Co Grillehas divine Okra Strips. Dip them in the Tomato Bacon Jam served on the side for a taste of SouthernHeaven.
  • Sweeties Homemade Ice Cream and Sweetsfor dessert or a quick sugar boost. SouthernPralines are certainly one of my favorite food groups.

Where to Stay in Georgetown

You’ll find a fantastic B&B in the historic district,just blocks from Front Street. Oh, and that second “B” doesn’t stand for breakfast, but for “brew”! Baxter’s Brewhouse Inn Bed & Brewkeeps a bar stocked with their craft beers for guests’ recovery after a tiring day exploring Georgetown.

There is also 620 Prince, a luxurious B&B located at 620 Prince Street in a lovingly renovated 1800s home.

There is a local Hampton Innat the Marina.

Soon, The George Hotelwill open its doors to guests. The hotel overlooks historic Front Street, the SampitRiver, and the GeorgetownHarbor. The bar opens onto the harbor walk, and the chophouse-style restaurant opens onto Front Street.

Best Times to Visit Georgetown, South Carolina

Go whenever you have time to travel. The moderate South Carolinacoast is comfortable all year, but during the summer, expect to “glisten.” (We Southernwomen don’t sweat, we glisten.) Temperatures range from summertime’s hot, humid high-80s to a welcomed daily 60 in the winter, with wintertime nightly lows in the high 30s.

Before you go, check the theatre listing for live performances at the Strand Theater. The Swamp FoxPlayers theater group performs in this 1941 restored movie theater. Attend a play if you can. You’ll be glad you did!

One warning, though, about parking in Georgetown. Signage on Front Streetnear the town clock states a 2-hour parking limit. No other signage is seen on the street. But you will have a $10 ticket if you leave your car all day. (That is my hard-earned wisdom.)

What to Pack for Your Visit

Comfortable and casual clothing is appropriate anywhere in Georgetown. But don’t forget your walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a refillable water bottle.

Fun Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina near Myrtle Beach (2024)


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