South Carolina’s Hammock Coast offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the some larger popular beach destinations. Located just south of Myrtle Beach, visitors will discover pristine beaches, small-town beauty and a variety of activities for every member of the family.
Where to Stay on the Hammock Coast
My husband and I visited Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island, two of the six areas that make up the Hammock Coast. We stayed at the beautiful Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort, a great destination in itself and a jumping off point to explore the area.
Whether you prefer a beach ball or a golf ball, Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort is the perfect location for a weekend get-a-way to the Hammock Coast. The resort offers a variety of accommodations including beachfront condos, lakeside villas and homes. We stayed at Bridgewater, which features one- and two-bedroom condos with king or queen beds, a living area, fully equipped kitchen, dining area, and a balcony with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The private one-mile beach is just steps away, as well as an indoor and outdoor pool, a lazy river, and pool play plaza.
Guests at the resort have full access to all amenities, including saltwater fishing lakes (and pier), a marsh overlook with crab dock, lighted tennis courts, and over seven miles of scenic walking paths. There’s also a health and fitness center, bike rentals, and beach chair rentals.
Enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet or dinner onsite at Coastal Dish Restaurant. For a casual evening, stop by the The Deck Tiki Bar and Grill. The Happy Hour offers specialty drinks and small plates. And kids will love a sweet treat from Coastal Scoops Ice Cream Shoppe.
What to Do on the Hammock Coast
The Waccamaw Golf Trail, located on the Hammock Coast, is known for some of the best courses in America. Four of the twelve courses have been ranked among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest, The golf director at Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort can help arrange a variety of packages and stays. Packages are customizable to meet the number of players, rounds, non-golfers and tee times.
Explore Huntington Beach State Park, located at Murrells Inlet on the Hammock Coast. This 2,500-acre park offers unspoiled beaches, a maritime forest, salt marshes to spot alligators, shorebirds, loggerhead sea turtles, and other marsh wildlife. Explore the three-mile beach or choose one of several hiking trails through marshes and coastal forests of oaks and red cedars. Kids will enjoy the hands-on education center.
The heart of Huntington Beach State Park is Anna and Archer Huntington’s former winter home, studios, and stables—Atalaya, with its Moorish architecture. The name is Spanish for watchtower, the dominant architectural feature of the castle-like structure that Archer designed based on memories of his travels to the Mediterranean Coast.
Brookgreen Gardens is a must-see for first-time visitors. Originally named for its founders and designers, “The Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden” opened in 1931 as America’s first public sculpture garden. Today, this non-profit, 9,000-acre outdoor museum and garden contains the world’s largest collection of figurative sculptures surrounded by flora. Leisurely stroll the garden paths or take a pontoon boat tour along former rice fields to see alligators and other wildlife.
Every year Brookgreen Gardens feature one of the most beloved holiday events in the Southeast, “Nights of a Thousand Candles.” The Gardens come to life amid the soft glow of more than 2,700 hand-lit candles and millions of sparkling lights. Walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, hear the sounds of holiday music, carolers singing, and celebrate the season with family and friends! I was assured by Bookgreen Garden’s PR director that the event will take place this year 2020 from Nov. 26th – Dec. 20th (Wed through Sundays) and Dec. 26th-Dec. 31st, but be sure to get your tickets early as it is always a sold out event!
Explore The Hammock Shops Village, a collection of more than 20 unique cottage shops, including the world-famous Original Hammock Shop, where the hammocks are still woven by hand as they were centuries ago. Have lunch at the Hammock Shops Village at the locally-owned BisQit, which offers a unique menu of burgers (on buns or biscuits), sandwiches and salads. I opted for the Root Beer Braised Pork Belly Burger with Low Country Cole Slaw (surprise ingredient—pickled okra!) My husband had the Vegan Beet & Sweet Potato Burger. And don’t leave without one of their famous milkshakes—regular or the adult version!
Don’t leave Pawley’s Island without experiencing Frank’s Outback Restaurant. Enjoy great Low Country to Pacific Rim flavors in a beautiful outdoor garden setting. We enjoyed some great seafood including oysters, garlic Parmesan shrimp and splurged on their homemade key lime pie. This place is so popular with the locals that you absolutely must make reservations at least a week ahead.
For a casual lunch or dinner try Quigley’s Pint and Plate, a local brew pub. Located just five minutes from Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort, enjoy outdoor seating on the lake while enjoying one of their weekly eight brews and soups, salads, sandwiches and several seafood and other entrées. Wednesdays are $7 growler refills all day. They also have a kids menu.
While a weekend visit is just not long enough to enjoy everything the Hammock Coast has to offer, it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, relax your stressed-out body and have you planning your next trip back.
Thanks to Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort for hosting Sandra on this trip and to Georgetown County Chamber for her visit to Brookgreen Gardens. The reviews and opinions are her own.
Article written by Destination Expert Sandra Chambers of Southern-Traveller.
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