South Carolina’s impressive stretch of coastline is a boater’s paradise. What makes a day on the water so much fun isn’t limited to reeling in the big one or spying dolphins. For plenty of seafarers, working up an appetite is a key part of the experience. When it comes to feeding the multitudes of folks navigating our coastal waterways, S.C. restaurant owners have things covered.
From the mouth of Little River to Winyah Bay, the Grand Strand’s portion of the Intracoastal Waterway snakes its way along bays, canals, sounds, inlets, creeks and rivers for roughly 60 miles. Running parallel to the Atlantic, the ICW is favored by boaters of all skill levels for ease of navigation and milder waters. While it’s fun to watch the nonstop cruising of boats, it’s even more fun to be on one of your own. Choosing a Grand Strand dining point accessible by water is a big part of that fun.
Here are some suggestions for docking and dining along the ICW. Tie up and dive into fabulous dining and enough fresh-from-the-boat offerings to satisfy the most ardent seafood lovers. Gorgeous water views and amazing sunsets courtesy of the Palmetto State. (Please call ahead to confirm availability.)
Capt. Juel’s Hurricane Restaurant Known for its big fish sandwich, stuffed flounder, sushi, she crab soup, shrimp and grits and more, this seafood destination sits among 300-year-old oaks and boasts its own dock setup. Call ahead to arrange. And do leave room for a slice of one of Mrs. Deanna’s famous cakes.
Crab Catchers on the Water Crab legs, fried corn on the cob, gator bites, hush puppies, blue crab, conch fritters—these are just some of the delicious reasons boaters make this a regular stop. Complimentary docking for diners is a draw.
Snooky’s on the Waterway She crab soup, jumbo lump crab cakes, raw bar, seafood towers, shrimp and grits, burgers, salads and tangy, creamy Key lime pie make up the siren song that lures the sailing crowd to its dining room. Free dockage for patrons is limited, so call ahead.
North Myrtle Beach
Filet’s on the Waterfront Harbourgate Marina is home to this local favorite. Steaks, seafood and sushi are the calling cards here along with stunning views and an outdoor tiki bar overlooking the marina. Contact the marina for docking rates and availability.
Captain Archie’s Generously loaded fried fish and seafood platters are all the rage here, though you can’t go wrong with a burger or homemade seafood salad. There’s a floating dock in front that is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Other docking options can be found at Cherry Grove Marina and Harbourgate Marina. Call ahead for details.
Local on the Water This sprawling hotspot serves up great food and big fun with plenty of seating inside and out. Lobster rolls, mussels, ribs, burgers and live music every day are only overshadowed by the lovely views of the ICW.
Landing at the Boathouse, Fantasy Harbour If you’re looking for the quintessential waterfront restaurant and bar, this is it. Always brimming with boats and beachy vibes, this bustling gathering spot is known for its blackened shrimp, wings, tacos and plenty of cold beer on tap. Pull up, dock and dig in.
Anchor Café Grande Dunes Marina is the site of this seasonal boaters’ delight. Juicy burgers, crisp, cool salads, scrumptious appetizers and tropical cocktails are coastal crowd pleasers. Parking and boat docking are free at the Grande Dunes Marina for guests.
Deck 383 Upscale but not uptight, this restaurant operates on the site of the Wacca Wache Marina. It has a local reputation for fresh, cooked-to-order dishes like hot crab dip, gator bites, she crab soup, po'boys, seafood platters and a Sunday brunch menu brimming with breakfast favorites and seafood specialties like crab cakes and shrimp and grits. Call ahead for slip availability.
Wahoo’s Fish House Sushi, crab dip, inlet fried fish and seafood platters, shrimp and grits, fresh oysters—it’s just a taste of the good things filling the menu of this casual, hip seafood house. Boat over to the dock, tie up and enjoy a fresh-off-the-boat meal and those iconic MarshWalk views.
Historic Georgetown Cruise on down to Georgetown and claim a space at one of its two free day docks. Stroll along the Harborwalk or walk around to Front Street where you will find the charming, historic downtown appointed with an exciting array of dining options. (If you need suggestions, stop in at the visitor’s center.) Among your many choices: Big Tuna Raw Bar (fresh seafood and cold beer); The River Room (Southern fare and seafood in quaint surroundings); Buzz’s Roost (burgers and brews in a rustic setting); and Aunny’s Country Kitchen (Southern favorites and soul food).