Less Traveled

Page Ivey

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Head to Conway for a delightful, vibrant downtown with cool tours

Posted 9/16/2012 4:38:00 PM

Now that summer is just about over, let me recommend a spot to you that you probably have driven past dozens of times on your way to and from the beach: Conway.

You know Conway, there’s the high school and a mall right there on U.S. 501 as you press on toward Myrtle and other beaches along the South Carolina coast.

Didn’t you ever want to turn left at the sign that said Historic Downtown Conway? Well you should. It really is a lovely little downtown with a great B&B and some fabulous shopping.

The main attraction is the River Walk, which connects the historic downtown business district to the Waccamaw River. The walk begins at Main Street and ends at the riverfront park and marina.

The second main attraction is shopping along Main Street. One of our favorite shops is The Bodega (843) 248-9271, 301 Main St. It is a family-owned kitchen and dining shop with wonderful cheeses, mixes, wines and every kitchen gadget imaginable. Plan to spend about an hour wandering through the aisles. The store usually has a wine or cheese tasting that you can enjoy while shopping. The store is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

Conway also hosts one of the most interesting walking tours around: A tour of 10 historically significant live oaks. And sometimes they are next to a nice historic house as well. You can pick up a brochure for the tour at the Visitor Center (843) 248-1700, 903 3rd Ave.

For the more adventurous, there is Conway Kayak Tours (843) 488-0999, located under the Main Street Bridge. The company offers guided tour for newer paddlers and rentals for old hands. Guided tours (about three hours) are $30 for adults, $20 for children. Reservations are required. Conway Kayak is open 4-7 p.m., Monday-Friday and all day Saturday.

If you want to stay the night, The Cypress Inn (843) 248-8199, 16 Elm St., is just a short walk from the marina and close to downtown. All rooms have a private bath and most also come with a Jacuzzi tub. The hotel offers spa packages and is just about 30 minutes away from the shows at Myrtle Beach. Rates are $145–235 a night, maximum of two people per room.