Nestled between Charleston and Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island is one of the East Coast's oldest summer resort destinations and one of South Carolina's most laid-back seaside places to visit. If you're looking to experience a barefoot, carefree lifestyle complete with relaxing in iconic rope hammocks, crabbing off the docks and walking along gorgeous, unspoiled beaches, Pawleys Island is the perfect fit.
Finding Short-Term Accommodations on Pawleys Island
Many visitors to Pawleys rent beach houses or condos through local real estate companies, such as Dieter Co. Vacation Rentals & Sales, who offers short-term accommodations on the island (Many companies only offer weekly rentals). There are also plenty of resorts and hotels across the island, including Pawley's Plantation Resort, offering luxury golf suites and villas within walking distance to Jack Nicklaus' course there, and the Sea View Inn, with oceanfront accommodations with just a two-night minimum from April through December.
Once you've checked in at your choice of accommodation on Friday afternoon, head out for fine dining at Bistro 217. If you're in luck, the chef will be featuring the crispy, whole fried fish with three dipping sauces, which simply cannot be missed if you're a seafood lover! From upscale classics like steak tartar and foie gras to herb-encrusted grouper and duck a l'orange, there's something for everyone to enjoy at this eclectic restaurant.
For a more casual dining experience, try Quigley's Pint & Plate, featuring Lowcountry comfort food in an English pub atmosphere. They offer a variety of freshly-brewed lagers and ales, and their daily happy hour (4-7 p.m.) includes $2 pints, $3 house wines and liquors, and discounts on appetizers like spicy pimento cheese and fried pickles.
Day One: Saturday
Breakfast is a no-brainer at Eggs Up Grill, where they serve everything from sweet potato pecan waffles and a wide variety of omelets to steak and eggs starting every day at 6 a.m. - so you can get an early start and a wholesome breakfast to start day two of your Pawleys getaway.
After breakfast, make your way to a nearby Pawleys Island institution: The Original Hammock Shop, which is surrounded by 20 historic specialty shops and restaurants that offer a casual atmosphere for strolling and shopping.
After you've picked up an authentic Pawleys Island rope hammock to grace the backyard of your home, head over to the Shops at Sweetgrass, where you'll find Gallery 57. This unique art gallery features both national and local artists, blown glass pieces, furniture and photography - including the works of Jacques Lowe, who was the Kennedys' personal photographer.
For lunch, try one of the area's most talked about culinary hotspots: Perrone's Gourmet Market. Here, you'll find "world cuisine with a Mediterranean focus," including soups, salads, sandwiches and a variety of other gourmet treats. Be sure you go on Saturday because Perrone's is closed on Sundays - and this is a meal you won't want to miss.
If you get your lunch order to go, you can scoot on over to Huntington Beach State Park, where you'll find shady picnic shelters to enjoy an al fresco lunch just steps away from Atalaya Castle, one of South Carolina's must-see historical attractions.
Atalaya is a National Historic Landmark and the former home and studio of the renowned American sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, Archer. Take a guided or self-guided tour of the grounds to discover a unique piece of South Carolina history and see some beautiful sights along the way. After you've traveled back in time through the peaceful surroundings of Atalaya and the park, get ready for an evening of great food and entertainment.
If you want to hang out where the locals do, have dinner at the Pawleys Island Tavern, or as it's locally known, the PIT. This casual, family-friendly restaurant welcomes guests with a spacious outdoor area and live music on the weekends, as well as a diverse menu featuring delicious hand-pattied burgers, crawfish tails, conch fritters and much more.
Day Two: Sunday
Start your day at the Bagel Café of Litchfield, a locally owned breakfast spot serving up fresh-made bagels with rave reviews. Choose from a selection of flavored cream cheeses, breakfast bagel sandwiches, made-to-order omelets ... and, of course, hot coffee.
After breakfast, treat yourself with a trip to Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina's 300-acre sculpture garden, sanctuary and National Historic Landmark set within a 9,100-acre preserve along the coast. Founded by Atalaya's own Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1931, Mrs. Huntington's sculptures remain on display alongside other notable American sculptors throughout the gardens.
If you've got time for lunch before heading out of town, be sure to stop into Hog Heaven BBQ, Seafood & Country Cooking for a plate of authentic South Carolina pulled pork barbecue, or all-you-can-eat oysters and shrimp with all the fixin's!