The South Carolina Hammock Coast is gorgeous, nature-oriented and feels like a world away from its cousin to the north, Myrtle Beach. Here's what to do and eat in the Hammock Coast SC!
I'd like to thank the folks with South Carolina's Hammock Coast for hosting this trip. As always, all opinions are my own and I only write about places I think you'll love!
Happy Monday folks!
The weekend before last the Hubs and I spent a few days in a beach community that was new to us... the Hammock Coast SC. We had a lovely time being on the water, exploring historical communities and eating tons of great eats that did not involve a single seafood buffet.
Where is the Hammock Coast SC?
The Hammock Coast SC is the stretch of beach south of Myrtle Beach through Georgetown. It includes the cities of Pawley's Island, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach, Garden City, Georgetown, and Andrews. It is calm, nature-oriented and feels a world away from the neon lights of Myrtle Beach. It is truly a different kind of South Carolina beach vacation.
We discovered gorgeous driftwood-covered beaches, stunning sunsets and even cool canopies of Spanish moss covered trees.
It has a distinct charm that makes it a lovely place to visit!
As promised I put together the highlights of our trip in this guide.
What to Do in the Hammock Coast SC
Huntington Beach State Park
The entire Hammock Coast SC is lined with gorgeous beaches, but one of the best is at Huntington Beach State Park.
The three-mile-long beach is wide, expansive and the day we were there not very crowded. It's the perfect place to bring your beach chairs and umbrella for the day.
The property also has a salt marsh with paths to explore.
They say there is some of the best bird-watching on the East Coast as well!
Admission is only $5 making it a lovely place to spend the day.
Salt Marsh Kayaking
Salt Marsh Kayaking is something you MUST do when visiting the South Carolina Hammock Coast. We had a blast! I'd been canoeing and double kayaking before but never handled a boat all by myself. I was a little nervous it would bother my elbow, but it didn't and the kayak was surprisingly easy to maneuver.
The Hubs and I did a tour with Black River Outdoors and they did an amazing job giving us the history of the area and how the salt marsh works. The water in this marsh was surprisingly clean and beautiful. Our guide was also incredibly patient with me when the pregnant girl had to rush to the bathroom one last time before the tour started. 🙂
We did the two-hour salt marsh tour and it was just enough time to get the hang of it and see stuff before we got tired. The trip leaves out of Murrell's Inlet.
This trip is a must do if you visit the area.
Lighthouse and Shelling Cruise
We were lucky enough to get on the water twice in a few days visiting the South Carolina Hammock Coast. Our second adventure was with Rover Tours leaving out of Historic Georgetown, SC.
We took about an hour boat ride out to a beautiful, secluded barrier island that no one lives on. Along the way, we got an interesting history lesson about the area and even saw the wreck of the Civil War Union flagship. the USS Harvest Moon.
Once we arrived at the island, we had about an hour and a half to explore. We beach combed and I took a ton of pictures because it was so photogenic.
The beach had cool areas where you could walk out for long distances and still only be in a few inches of water.
It was also lined with enchanting driftwood.
This island was a gem and totally worth the ride out to sea.
On the way home, we got a pretty view of South Carolina's oldest lighthouse the Georgetown Light that was built in 1811!
Rover Tours did a lovely job with this half day trip!
Even if you don't do the shelling cruise, historic Georgetown is worth a visit! It's actually South Carolina's third oldest city with over 60 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. It has loads of antebellum character and a gorgeous waterfront.
The downtown area is charming and lined with Spanish moss covered live oaks.
It has modern touches, yet still feels like you are walking back in time.
I also highly suggest stopping for an ice cream at Harvest Moon Ice Cream. This scoop was kind of epic.
Brookgreen Gardens is another fascinating place to visit! It's on the land of a former 1800's rice plantation and is oozing Southern charm.
On the property, there are stunning botanical gardens, the largest collection of American figurative sculpture in the country and a zoo!
We explored the gardens and looked at the stunning sculptures set in the pretty garden settings.
We also walked out to the zoo and met a few of the critters! There is even a butterfly exhibit, but we didn't have time to go.
The most interesting part for us was the historical creek excursion which taught us all about the property and how the area produced rice in the 1800's.
We even saw some old rice fields and learned how they grew rice.
Brookgreen Gardens is in Murrell's Inlet and is such an interesting place! If you love art, history, and nature... it's a must-see.
Pawley's Island Sunset
Y'all know that I judge all beach destinations by the sunset potential. We took the ride out to Pawley's Island one evening and I had the Hubs stop the car to get this shot. Pretty darn epic!
It would be a shame to come to the Hammock Coast SC and not see this.
What to Eat in the Hammock Coast SC
We had the most delicious food during our trip! One of the highlights was Chive Blossom on Pawley's Island. It's perfect for a nice dinner out. The eclectic and unique menu featured this charred octopus with harissa oil.
We also shared the fresh catch which was made with zoodles!
Our favorite though was this local grouper with warm dill potato salad... SO GOOD!
Perrone's on Pawley's Island blew me away! I was simply in love with every bite of this meal. It's another place that is perfect for a nice dinner out.
First, we enjoyed the spicy calamari and shrimp bruschetta which is hands down one of the most unique dishes I've had in a long time. It was fresh and full of flavor.
Next, we shared some Piquillo Peppers stuffed with goat cheese.
Next up were the Bangkok mussels which were uniquely flavored with coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger. So addictive!
Finally, we shared an epic plate of seafood risotto.
While Perrone's lacks the beachfront charm, it is an artsy stylish restaurant. The food was impeccably prepared and I loved how creative their menu was.
Graham's Landing is much more casual but has a gorgeous view of the marsh! They have a fun vibe and a great selection of seafood. We had a great lunch with grilled oysters.
We also shared an order of their peel and eat shrimp with a marsh view!
To round out the meal we shared a delish spinach salad.
I LOVE tuna so I was a little sad to go to a restaurant called Wicked Tuna 15 weeks pregnant (My doctor told me to not eat fresh tuna and other larger fish because of mercury) BUT I was pleasantly surprised at all the other tasty food on the menu.
I loved my shrimp tacos and the marsh view.
The Claw House
Next to Wicked Tuna is The Claw House. They also have gorgeous water views and an epic dish of crab nachos with mango. And yes... they were pretty darn good.
If you do visit either Wicked Tuna or The Claw House make sure to also walk around on the Marsh Walk. It is really pretty and relaxing.
Where to Stay Hammock Coast SC
Have I sold you on where to stay along the Hammock Coast SC?
We stayed in the charming luxury bouquet Inlet Sport's Lodge. Their rooms are newer and very pretty with a posh feeling.
The luxury feeling even extends into the bathroom.
It's the perfect location as a home base for exploring all of these wonderful activities.
It is not on the beach though. If you are looking for something beach front make sure to start your search here.
The Hammock Coast SC is a perfect vacation spot...
We had such a nice time visiting the South Carolina Hammock Coast. I loved how nature oriented and naturally beautiful it was. We also had some really delicious food! If you are looking for a calmer alternative to Myrtle Beach... this is it!
If you want to plan your trip, make sure to check out the Hammock Coast website!
Want to go to the South Carolina Hammock Coast? Pin this to find this article later!
Have you ever been to the Hammock Coast SC?
What of these things would be your favorite thing to do?
Myrtle Beach is an beautiful area! We vacationed during my childhood there. I really would love to take my own kids someday soon.
It looks like there is so much to do and eat there. I would love to visit with my family.
Kristy from Southern In Law says
What a gorgeous place to vacation - and that food looks incredible ????
Mariell Altenor says
So much to do!! I'd go there on a weekend to eat all the delicious food and to see the beautiful coast in person.
I am adding the Hammock Coast to my must visit list!!! Looks wonderful.
Marie Altenor says
Oh the food looks amazing, so does the scenery but the food though. I have relatives that recently moved to south Carolina. I will show them this post.
Sonali- The Foodie Physician says
Wow, what a fun trip! Your photos are fantastic!
We do one of the Carolinas every time we vacation. This is officially on our list now!
Wow what a trip! I've never been to South Carolina but would love to visit. Looks like tons to do and a variety to eat. Yum
I've never been to South Carolina but I'd love to go visit sometime! Your trip looked like an awesome time and I love the photos--I wanna go kayaking!
Jessica Levinson says
Loved all of your beautiful pictures! Looks like a wonderful place to vacation!
dixya @food, pleasure, and health says
it looks like a lovely place to visit...esp with all that greeneries and water!
It looks so quiet and peaceful there. But I love that there's also great food!
Great guide and looks like an awesome vacation! This has my families name all over it so adding it to our list, thank you for sharing!
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
What a lovely sunset you photographed! I've never been to this area of South Carolina, only one on the other side of the state where I was attacked by fire ants.
What an amazing trip! This places looks awesome!!! I would gladly sit back in that chair and have an ice cream, too!
We've been to Myrtle Beach a couple times, but not this area. Looks like a fantastic alternative!
Emily Kyle says
Now this looks like my kind of vacation! I love how many photos you have to show everything from the scenery to the food - and those sunsets! Stunning!
Deryn Macey says
Wow, so much to do and see!! And more important EAT. Thanks for sharing all this!
Alisa Fleming says
Seriously, I'm just enamored with the name - hammock coast is so cute! And it looks just lovely there. Hard to believe those gourmet eats are from such a laid back area.
Libby Haire says
Okay, you have really made me hungry now... that whopping stack of nachos did it over the top. The Low Country is lovely. Glad you enjoyed the trip. Great pics and gorgeous sunset.
Melanie Payne says
Looks like an amazing place to have vacation! Look at those views! How relaxing and wonderful, add in that food at the end you've got a place that the entire family will love
I have not ever been to Hammock, but I would definitely have to say that the beach and food would be on my top 2 for what to do there! Such a nice area it looks like.
Abbey Sharp says
wow this place looks beautiful! So many things to do!
Wow Hammock Coast looks so beautiful! I've never travelled to the southern states before but I think I'll have to put this place on my list.
Neely Moldovan says
Oh my gosh so much info! We are going to SC in August! SO excited!
Blane Sherer says
Very nice especially the shots of the
sunsets and food.
Looks like a fun little getaway. and those nachos...oh my!!!
Lisa Ballantyne says
Looks like a great place to visit, and not to mention great food!
Deborah Brooks says
I have not been down in that area for ages. Looks very quiet and quaint and not crowded. My favorite kind of vacation!
Mary Jean Henson says
These are our favorite places to visit on the SC coast. Just returned from a week there. Seems like we visited the same places.
I am not a fan of the “tourist type” beaches. Give me the wild areas any time.
Glad you had fun!
Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real says
Hammock Coast looks like an awesome and low key beach vacation!