5 Things to do in Pawleys Island


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What to Know Before Visiting

Did you know that Pawleys Island, South Carolina, is not just a serene getaway but also home to one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast? Discover the charm of an island where time slows down, and history whispers through the ocean breeze.

5 things to do in Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island, nestled along the coast of South Carolina, is a serene and picturesque destination that beckons travelers with its unique charm and relaxed atmosphere. This quaint barrier island is famed for its natural beauty, from the sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean to its lush marshlands, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Visitors are drawn to Pawleys Island for its pristine beaches, historic landmarks, and the legendary folklore of the Gray Man ghost, promising safety to those who see him before a hurricane. Its rich culinary scene, showcasing fresh seafood and traditional Southern dishes, adds to the allure. Beyond its scenic landscapes, Pawleys Island is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities ranging from golfing on world-class courses to kayaking through serene waterways. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on sun-drenched beaches or adventure in the great outdoors, Pawleys Island has something for everyone. Ready to explore this hidden gem? Discover the top 5 things to do in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and embark on an unforgettable journey to a place where timeless charm and natural beauty converge.

Top Attractions in

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  • 1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr
  • 4.6 of 5
  • (1260 total reviews)

The Lowcountry Zoo in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, United States, is a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts and families alike. This unique zoo is the only one of its kind in the United States, as it is located within a USDA ‘natural habitat’ zoo, meaning the animals that are native to the Lowcountry region are kept in environments that closely mimic their natural habitats. Visitors can expect to see a range of animals including alligators, eagles, otters, and more. The zoo also houses a bird of prey aviary and a farmyard exhibit, providing fun and educational experiences for all ages. The Lowcountry Zoo is more than just a place to see animals; it’s a place to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Pawleys Island and learn about local wildlife. Its commitment to conservation and education make it a worthwhile destination for any trip to South Carolina.

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  • Murrells Inlet
  • 4.8 of 5
  • (5269 total reviews)

Brookgreen Gardens, located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, United States, is a must-visit destination for nature and art enthusiasts. This unique cultural center is a fusion of a botanical garden, zoo, and an outdoor sculpture park, offering an unparalleled experience to its visitors. The gardens are home to a vast collection of American sculptures, with over 2000 works by 430 artists, beautifully displayed amidst the lush greenery. The botanical gardens are a spectacle of native flora and fauna, and the zoo houses a variety of animals native to South Carolina. The beauty and diversity of Brookgreen Gardens make it an essential visit for those seeking a blend of art, history, and nature. The tranquil environment provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.

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  • 16148 Ocean Hwy
  • of 5
  • ( total reviews)

Huntington Beach State Park, located just a short drive from Pawleys Island, South Carolina, is an absolute must-visit for nature and history enthusiasts. This stunning coastal preserve offers a unique blend of pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and rich history that sets it apart from other tourist destinations. The park is home to the enchanting Atalaya Castle, a National Historic Landmark that offers a glimpse into the area’s past. Nature lovers will be thrilled with the park’s extensive system of nature trails, where they can spot a variety of birds and other wildlife. The park also features a beautiful campground right next to the beach, making it an ideal spot for a tranquil getaway. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just someone looking for a peaceful retreat, Huntington Beach State Park has something to offer you.

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  • Atalaya Rd
  • 4.7 of 5
  • (1685 total reviews)

Atalaya Castle, located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, is a compelling destination for history and architecture enthusiasts. This extraordinary 30-room mansion, nestled within the lush confines of Huntington Beach State Park, offers a unique glimpse into the past. Built in the 1930s as the winter residence for the Huntington family, the castle exhibits a stunning blend of Moorish and Mediterranean architectural styles. Visitors can explore the castle’s intriguing rooms, including the spacious studio where the renowned sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington created her masterpieces. Its close proximity to the beach adds an extra layer of appeal, making it a perfect spot for combining cultural exploration with leisure. The castle’s rich history, unique architecture, and picturesque surroundings make it a must-visit site in South Carolina.

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  • Atlantic Ave
  • 4.7 of 5
  • (544 total reviews)

2nd Street Public Beach Access in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, United States, is an idyllic spot that any beach lover should add to their travel itinerary. This public access point serves as a gateway to the pristine sandy beaches of Pawleys Island, renowned for their tranquil beauty and natural charm. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing day of sunbathing, swimming, or beachcombing in relative peace, as the beach is often less crowded than its counterparts. The area is also famous for its stunning sunrises and sunsets, offering a perfect backdrop for memorable photos. The nearby town of Pawleys Island is known for its rich history, charming boutiques, and delicious seafood, further enhancing your beach day experience. So, for those seeking a serene beach vacation with a touch of southern charm, 2nd Street Public Beach Access in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, is a must-visit.

Most asked questions about

What are the top activities to enjoy in Pawleys Island, South Carolina?

In Pawleys Island, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as lounging on its beautiful beaches, exploring the scenic Huntington Beach State Park, golfing at one of the numerous courses, kayaking in the salt marshes, and visiting the historic Atalaya Castle.

Can you explore nature in Pawleys Island?

Yes, Pawleys Island is perfect for nature lovers. You can explore the natural beauty of the area by visiting the Huntington Beach State Park, which offers excellent bird watching, nature trails, and a pristine beach. Kayaking through the salt marshes is also a great way to observe wildlife and the unique ecosystem.

Is Pawleys Island suitable for family vacations?

Absolutely! Pawleys Island is a family-friendly destination with activities that cater to all ages. The beaches are ideal for kids, and other attractions like Brookgreen Gardens offer a mix of art, history, and zoo experiences that are enjoyable for the entire family.

What are some historical sites to visit in Pawleys Island?

One must-visit historical site in Pawleys Island is the Atalaya Castle, the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, who founded Brookgreen Gardens. This historic residence provides insight into the lifestyle of its former inhabitants and the history of the area.

Are there any unique local experiences in Pawleys Island?

Yes, Pawleys Island offers several unique local experiences. Visitors can enjoy crabbing off the side of a marsh bridge, taking a ghost tour to learn about the area’s legends, or shopping for the famous Pawleys Island Hammock, a handcrafted symbol of leisure and relaxation.

What dining options are available in Pawleys Island?

Pawleys Island boasts a variety of dining options ranging from casual seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants. Many establishments feature fresh, local seafood and traditional Southern cuisine, providing a taste of the local culinary culture.

How can visitors enjoy the waterways around Pawleys Island?

Visitors can enjoy the waterways around Pawleys Island by renting kayaks or paddleboards to navigate the serene salt marshes, booking a fishing charter for an off-shore adventure, or simply enjoying a leisurely swim in the calm waters of the island’s beaches.

What is the best time of year to visit Pawleys Island?

The best time to visit Pawleys Island is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild, and the area is less crowded. These seasons offer the perfect conditions for enjoying outdoor activities and exploring the natural beauty of the island.

Are there any golfing opportunities in Pawleys Island?

Yes, Pawleys Island is known for its exceptional golfing opportunities, with several championship golf courses in the area. These courses offer challenging play for golfers of all skill levels amidst beautiful coastal landscapes.

What accommodations are available in Pawleys Island?

Pawleys Island offers a range of accommodations to suit every preference and budget, including beachfront cottages, vacation rentals, charming inns, and full-service resorts. Many of these provide easy access to the island’s attractions and activities.

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