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About Pawleys Island


Pawleys Island, located in Georgetown County, is an Atlantic coast barrier island of South Carolina. Pawleys Island, located on a long, narrow peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Waccamaw River, is one of the oldest resort areas of the East Coast of the United States.

The Waccamaw and Winyah Indians are the earliest known inhabitants of the Pawleys Island area. Later, when the Europeans settled in the area, George Pawley was one of the original colonists, and the community was named after him. Wealthy rice plantation owners occupied the area on the Waccamaw River side of the peninsula.

In the early 20th century, the Pawleys Island began to develop into a major tourist area, though Pawleys Island was one of the last areas to be heavily developed. Cottages built on Pawleys Island were built with cypress siding, and the term “arrogantly shabby” was given to homes on Pawleys Island. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 destroyed many of the original Pawleys Island homes, and more upscale homes were built in their place.

Pawleys Island is connected to the mainland by two bridges – the North Causeway and the South Causeway. Though inland areas are developing rapidly, Pawleys Island residents strive to prevent such development on the island, which offers a quaint feeling and relaxed environment to all who visit and call Pawleys Island home.

Pawleys Island is about three miles long and about a quarter of a mile wide. The northern end is protected by dunes up to 15 feet high, while the southern end is very low. The southern tip of Pawleys Island offers a public beach access area. There is a tidal creek/marsh located behind the island.

Activities available in Pawleys Island include golfing, fishing, relaxing on the beautiful beaches, touring the well-kept Brookgreen Gardens, visiting nearby Huntington Beach State Park, dining at an area restaurant, shopping, and more. Pawleys Island is located about 90 minutes north of historic Charleston and about 60 minutes south of popular Myrtle Beach.