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The ultimate road trip to Pawleys Island, SC

Hit the road and head to SC’s Hammock Coast — we’re sharing all the details about what to do and eat, plus where to stay.

The sun rising over the coastline in Pawleys Island, SC.

Find a prettier view for a beach sunset than Huntington Beach, we’ll wait. | Photo by GVLtoday

Table of Contents

Itching to get out of town, Greenvillians? Jump in your car for a road trip to Pawleys Island instead. From a night out at The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk to the Homemade Cheese Biscuits at Frank’s Outback— we’re spilling all the details on how to have an unforgettable time along the Hammock Coast.

📍 Essential info

Drive time: ~4 hours

Year city was established: 1985

Est. population: 132

🎟️ Experience

Explore Historic Pawleys Island
Walk or bike around the Island to explore the historic district with homes dating back to the 1800’s.

Huntington Beach State Park, 16148 Ocean Hwy., Murrells Inlet
One of Danielle’s favorite spots in SC, she recommends parking at the north beach access and walking 1.5 miles north to the jetty — you won’t find better views at sunrise and sunset.


We don’t know if we prefer Brookgreen Gardens at day or night. | Photo by GVLtoday

Brookgreen Gardens, 1931 Brookgreen Dr., Murrells Inlet
Explore the botanical gardens, sculptures, history, and even a zoo. Pro Tip: Visit in December to experience Nights of a Thousand Candles.

Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, 4025 Hwy. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet
From seafood spots to live music and drinks (Don’t Miss: The Mullet Hut’s Rum-a-rita), plan to spend an afternoon or evening exploring the marsh views. Pro Tip: Visit during Taste of the Marshwalk for small plates and a Bloody Mary competition.

🍔 Eat

Frank’s Outback, 10434 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island
With greenery walls and strings of lights, you can’t miss this outdoor dining spot — reservations recommended.

Rustic Table, 10683 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island
Stop by for brunch, lunch, or supper to feast on scratch-made Southern dishes. Don’t forget to ask about the specials.

Pawleys Island Tavern, 10635 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island
Visitors and locals alike love a night at PIT, known for being “classically shabby” with pub food and live music.


Doughnut pass on Parlour Doughnuts. | Photo by GVLtoday

Parlor Doughnuts, 11359 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island
While we wait for the Greenville location to open, grab a dozen doughnuts to take to the beach, sip on a housemade cold brew, or grab our pick: a breakfast sandwich on an unglazed doughnut.

Gilbert’s Ice Cream, 10080 Ocean Hwy., #6, Pawleys Island
What’s a trip to the beach without an ice cream stop? You can’t beat Gilbert’s homemade ice cream sundaes with flavors changes as they run out.


You’ll find us here every morning of our vacation. | Photo by GVLtoday

Bonus: Brown Fox Coffee Box, Parking lot of Creek Ratz, 4065 US-17 BUS, Murrells Inlet
Grab a cup of coffee (or two) and walk the Marshwalk without the crowds and live music.

🏨 Stay

Lemon LaBruce
This oceanfront and creekfront 6BR, 3BA home is one of the original Pawleys Island properties (read: built in the mid-1800s), filled with historical character and charm.

The Litchfield Inn
Enjoy a complimentary grab-and-go breakfast before walking down to the beach at this oceanfront hotel.

Pelican Inn
While you can stay at the Inn from Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can also rent the entire home in the off-season with private ocean access on a secluded stretch of Pawleys Island.

Wait a minute, GVL. Before you head out the door, find the cheapest places to fill up your gas tank and stock up on road trip snacks from Feed and Seed Co. or Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery. Also, bookmark this map so you have no trouble finding all of our recommendations while visiting Pawleys Island.

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