Photo Essay: Small Seaside Towns in South Carolina


A beautiful pathway leading up to a beach in Huntington Beach State Park. You don’t see this is Los Angeles!












I was lucky enough to visit Savannah and Charleston last fall but one of the highlights of my Southern road trip was discovering quaint seaside towns outside of the big cities. About an hour and a half outside of Charleston, you’ll find the teeny tiny town of Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet right next door.

The locals are friendly, the beaches are breathtaking, and the quiet, laid-back vibe is absolutely contagious. While most people would be perfectly content to lounge on the beach all day, there’s plenty to do in these charming seaside towns if sunbathing isn’t your thing. In my very short two days there, I went on a marsh walk, saw a few alligators (terrifying), took way too many photos on the beach, and even explored a castle! The majority of these events took place in Huntington Beach State Park where you could easily spend a few days getting wonderfully lost.

The moment I left South Carolina, I was already dying to go back. Perhaps after reading this photo essay, you’ll understand why!


I couldn’t help but be reminded of almost every Nicholas Sparks novel while visiting beaches like these in Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet.


Even in October, Pawleys Island Beach is an ideal place to enjoy a morning (or afternoon… or evening!) walk.


I’d happily rent one of these beachside vacation houses in Pawleys Island. I’m a bit scared to know the prices though. However, it’s probably a cheaper alternative to touristy Myrtle Beach which is only about 20 miles away.


One of the boardwalks at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet. Such a peaceful place to explore the salt marsh.


These boardwalks in Huntington Beach State Park are ideal for bird viewing. There are also a few alligators lurking under the water and signs that warn us not to feed them. Ummm, I certainly wasn’t going to. Don’t worry.


A peaceful courtyard at Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park. Built in 1931, Atalaya served as the winter home to industrialist and philanthropist, Archer M. Huntington and his family.


If I had to pick one photo to represent the tranquil and serene atmosphere of these charming seaside towns in South Carolina, this would be it.


Murrells Inlet Marshwalk is the place to go for waterfront dining. Bring a hearty appetite, they don’t mess around here. The historic fishing village of Murrells Inlet is actually known as the “Seafood Capitol of the South.”


I included this picture of Murrells Inlet Marshwalk simply to point out this tiny island of goats. Yes, goats.


Even on a slightly cloudy day, Pawleys Pier provides a beautiful backdrop during a sunset.














































































































While Charleston is beautiful, historic, and definitely worth a visit, I’d highly recommend breaking out of the city and spending time exploring Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet. These peaceful towns are a breath of fresh air and I’m almost hesitant to share them with others. I feel as if they’re a well kept secret! Nothing to see here… move on to Myrtle Beach…

Have you explored these seaside towns? Or do you have another favorite you’d like to share? I’d love to know. I promise I won’t tell anyone πŸ˜‰

Happy travels!

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  1. Bridget @ A Traveling B says:

    Beautiful photos, you have me itching to return! My aunt and uncle live in Charleston and have taken me to Pawley’s Island and it is one of my favorites. I would love to go back and explore more of the places you have mentioned, the South Carolina coast is stunning!
    Bridget @ A Traveling B recently posted…Summer in Napa ValleyMy Profile

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