Fun Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina near Myrtle Beach

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Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina - Walk along the harbor walk at night to enjoy the Georgetown lights

My hometown, Georgetown, South Carolina, is a friendly Southern town wedged between the Atlantic Ocean, Winyah Bay, and four rivers, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. The third oldest city in South Carolina was founded in 1729 and named for King George of England. Still, it could be considered a legacy of an American George—Washington, that is! George Washington’s Southern Tour of 1791 brought him right through Georgetown. I think of it as THE FIRST Georgetown, a full 62 years before the one in Maryland!

This small town continues to fill some mighty big shoes. Historic Georgetown doesn’t rest on its past; it keeps making history as a cultural center for Georgetown County and neighboring Williamsburg and Horry Counties.

Each June, the Winyah Auditorium attracts Muzika Broadway revues and opera performances produced by Varna International. October fills our town with admirers for the Wooden Boat Show.

Southern Secrets

South Carolina was on the front lines of many wars. Georgetown holds the distinction of being the hiding place of Francis Marion, better known to those outside South Carolina as “The Swamp Fox.” Marion earned his nickname because of his ability to disappear into the Lowcountry swamps.

British Lt. Gen. Tarleton said of Marion, “As for this damned old fox, the devil himself could not catch him!” Our patriotic forefather and statesman originated guerilla warfare tactics during the Revolutionary War.

Georgetown was also the location of The Sunset Lodge, a well-known brothel that Miss Hazel operated between 1936 and 1969. The fact that Category 4 Hurricane Hazel devastated the South Carolina coast in 1954 is purely coincidental.

Historic Georgetown Tours

Several historic tours are available in this hidden gem. You can tour the low country town by boat, trolly, or on foot.

The town’s national historic district consists of 37 blocks, filled with structures that date back to 1734. Of the 66 historic structures, 28 date to the 18th century, while at least 18 others were built before the 1860’s Civil War era.

There would be many more pre-Revolution era buildings if British troops had not burned what they could of Georgetown. In August 1781, 42 houses and many stores were destroyed by those invading forces.

Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina - Dr. Charles Fyffe built this Georgetown home on the river in 1765
Dr. Charles Fyffe built this Georgetown home on the river in 1765 Photo credit: Jo Clark

Prince George Winyah Parish holds a yearly fundraising event, the Tour of Historic Plantations and Homes. This early spring event has allowed a glimpse into the past for more than 75 years. These unique tours require advance tickets, so plan accordingly.

Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina - Paige Sawyer compares an antique photograph of the Kaminski Hardware Building to what is now
Paige Sawyer compares an antique photograph of the Kaminski Hardware Building to what is now Photo credit: Jo Clark

Walking Tours of Georgetown

The 250th anniversary of the American Revolution is coming up this year, so many eyes are on Georgetown’s part in USA history.

Paige Sawyer with Old Georgetown Walking Tours offers a 90-minute tour through streets covered by centuries-old live oak trees. Starting in front of the historic town clock on Front Street, you stroll by historic homes while he makes history come alive.

Paige’s illustrations and historical photographs demystify the town’s pre-Revolutionary, antebellum, and 19th-century buildings. He describes who lived in the houses, what they did, and the genealogy of the property and its owners.

Paige Sawyer also conducts the 90-minute Francis Marion tour, which introduces visitors to the child who spent time in Georgetown and during the American Revolutionary War. Today’s local historic sites, houses, and churches are silent witnesses to all that happened.

Trolly Car Tours of Georgetown

The tour train, a trolly car and jeep, was created by the Chamber of Commerce during the Tricentennial celebrations in 1970, making it the oldest tour company in town.

Even though owned by the mother and son Jayroe team for 26 years, Swamp Fox Tours has been in business for more than 50 years. Customers ride through 300 years of history on the city streets as they learn about early homes, public places, and churches.

Boat Tours Around Georgetown

Cap’n Rod’s Lowcountry Tours cruise out of the historic downtown from the harborwalk, circle the Winyah Bay, and navigate the Sampit and Waccamaw Rivers. Time it right for a late afternoon shelling excursion and enjoy the sunset as the boat returns to town.

Cap’n Rod’s offers two tours. One is a four-hour tour to North Island, where passengers disembark and spend an hour and a half exploring a barrier island. Or, select a three-hour trip up the Pee Dee River to learn about the indigo and rice culture while viewing former rice fields and rice plantations.

Both tours hold the possibility of seeing dolphins, bald eagles, alligators, osprey, and wild hogs.

Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina - Passengers are always excited to go shelling.
Passengers are always excited to go shelling. Photo credit: Jo Clark

Up-Close Look at Plantations

Georgetown was known for its Carolina Gold Rice. It exported more of this grain than any other place in the United States during its heyday in the 1800s. The cultivation of indigo also contributed to the wealth of area planters until after the Revolution. Since it was the primary dye used for British uniforms, the colonial winning of that war ended that income stream.

Several area plantations are open to the public and provide educational opportunities and tours. Plantations to visit include:

Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet were formed by the Depression-era purchase of four adjacent plantations. The Archer Huntingtons purchased the land to create an outdoor viewing venue for Anna Hyatt Huntington’s sculptures and an oceanfront winter home and studio.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Plan two days to explore both places and have time for all the tours. You’ll be glad you did!

Learn More About Rice Culture

Water tours of the area and those offered at Brookgreen Gardens give a behind-the-scenes look at rice growing and the intense human labor required to produce those tiny grains.

There is a fascinating Rice Museum in the 1842 Old Market Building in the historic district. The museum opened during South Carolina’s Tricentennial in 1970.

The museum is easy to find—just look under the town clock (added in 1845). It is also the first Georgetown building on the National Register of Historic Places. You will find permanent exhibits of artifacts, paintings, and maps that tell the history of rice cultivation in the Carolina Colony.

There are other must-visit museums in Georgetown. The town is walkable in an unhurried way, and you can spend several happy days wandering along the boardwalk and weaving through historic buildings, art galleries, and charming shops.

The top choices for local museums to visit are:

Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina - Huntington Beach State Park
Huntington Beach State Park Photo credit: Jo Clark

The Hammock Coast

Georgetown is the perfect distance for a day trip from Charleston, Myrtle Beach, or Florence. None are much more than an hour away, and Columbia is only a two-and-a-half-hour excursion, but you should make that a weekend visit so you aren’t rushed.

No trip to the Hammock Coast is complete without time on the gorgeous Grand Strand. Beach access is available in Pawley’s Island, Litchfield, and Murrells Inlet. I confess that the north end of Huntington Beach State Park has held my heart for more than 40 years. Be careful, or you’ll find yourself moving here too!

When you’ve soaked up all the sun and history you can manage, you may want to stretch out in a hammock under the shade of a Live Oak. Or, the more energetic may wish to fit in a round or two of golf. With nearly 100 golf courses in Horry and Georgetown Counties, you won’t have trouble finding a place to play or a partner!

Things To Do In Georgetown South Carolina - Root Lunch Meatballs & Grits
Root Lunch Meatballs & Grits Photo credit: Jo Clark.

Where to Eat in Georgetown

Oh, yum…so many choices! And all good, I promise! I’ve written entire articles about where to eat in this town. Too many to play favorites. But, just for you, I’ll tell you about a few of my top choices.

  • Between the Antlers is located on what was once the federal wharf back in 1791. George Washington probably enjoyed some rum on his visit here.
  • Eve’s Caribbean Soul Food is where Gullah and Caribbean meets Lowcountry cuisine (you’ll have to drive to this one, but it is on the way to Hampton and Hopsewee.)
  • Corner Tavern is on the harbor walk, so you can enjoy a river breeze with your Sea Breeze cocktail
  • Marker 42 Lowcountry Cantina is Mexican with a Lowcountry style. Peach BBQ sauce on Pork Wings? Yes, please!
  • Rollin Local has half-price sushi on Wednesday.
  • Root, right on the waterfront, serves American food with local roots (ask to sit out back.)
  • So Co Grille has divine Okra Strips. Dip them in the Tomato Bacon Jam served on the side for a taste of Southern Heaven.
  • Sweeties Homemade Ice Cream and Sweets for dessert or a quick sugar boost. Southern Pralines are certainly one of my favorite food groups.

Where to Stay in Georgetown

You’ll find a fantastic B&B in the historic district, just blocks from Front Street. Oh, and that second “B” doesn’t stand for breakfast, but for “brew”! Baxter’s Brewhouse Inn Bed & Brew keeps a bar stocked with their craft beers for guests’ recovery after a tiring day exploring Georgetown.

There is also 620 Prince, a luxurious B&B located at 620 Prince Street in a lovingly renovated 1800s home.

There is a local Hampton Inn at the Marina.

Soon, The George Hotel will open its doors to guests. The hotel overlooks historic Front Street, the Sampit River, and the Georgetown Harbor. The bar opens onto the harbor walk, and the chophouse-style restaurant opens onto Front Street.

Best Times to Visit Georgetown, South Carolina

Go whenever you have time to travel. The moderate South Carolina coast is comfortable all year, but during the summer, expect to “glisten.” (We Southern women don’t sweat, we glisten.) Temperatures range from summertime’s hot, humid high-80s to a welcomed daily 60 in the winter, with wintertime nightly lows in the high 30s.  

Before you go, check the theatre listing for live performances at the Strand Theater. The Swamp Fox Players theater group performs in this 1941 restored movie theater. Attend a play if you can. You’ll be glad you did!

One warning, though, about parking in Georgetown. Signage on Front Street near the town clock states a 2-hour parking limit. No other signage is seen on the street. But you will have a $10 ticket if you leave your car all day. (That is my hard-earned wisdom.)

What to Pack for Your Visit

Comfortable and casual clothing is appropriate anywhere in Georgetown. But don’t forget your walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a refillable water bottle.  

Jo Clark is a freelance travel writer and photographer, born and educated in Virginia. She is a happily retired former business teacher living on South Carolina’s Grand Strand. Her favorite topics are food, wine, travel, nature, and history. She enjoys uncovering the story behind a place and talking chefs out of their recipes! She tries hard to live up to her Instagram name: JoGoesEverywhere! Jo is a member of IFWTA (International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association), ITWA (International Travel Writers Alliance), TravMedia, and Travel Massive. Her newest way of sharing her travel experiences is a podcast, appropriately called Jo Goes Everywhere. The Jo Goes Everywhere! Podcast will air monthly at 7 pm on the Second Sunday. Jo’s websites are: www.HaveGlassWillTravel.com and www.RecipesTravelCulture.com, and you can find her on these social media outlets:
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26 responses


  1. Thanks for a great article – enticing information and I love your personal notes! Well-done. A weekend there is on the table!

    1. Elsa, Georgetown is a walkable town filled with history. Come on up!

  2. Sounds wonderful!
    This is just the type of read I needed to travel more! I added it to my bucket list for my next road trip.

    1. Come South and I’ll meet you in Georgetown! You’d love it!

  3. Excellent article! Makes me want to visit!

    1. Come on! Georgetown would love to have you!

  4. I’ve lived here 20 years and I can’t think of a better place to live, thrive and be part of a community whom I love!!

    1. Georgetown is a welcoming community, filled with history!

  5. Hey Jo,
    We thank you for the great article about this wonderful place some of us get to call home. Your descriptions and writing style are great and we appreciate you showcasing Georgetown, SC. Thank you Ma’am!

    1. Thank YOU for making history come alive for so many Georgetown visitors!

  6. Nice! Thanks for highlighting our little town. 👍🏻

    1. I enjoy spending time in Georgetown and love to share it with others!

  7. We’ll get there sooner or later, and after reading this, I definitely want to make it sooner!

    1. Georgetown is filled with the history and seafood you love! Come on down!!

  8. Great article! Definitely makes me want to visit and tour the area. It all sounds amazing!

    1. You should come and visit Georgetown. It is a real gem!

  9. Sounds like a great place!

    1. If you love history and/or seafood, Georgetown’s the place!

    2. Georgetown Is a fun spot to explore. Glad you liked the article!

  10. Wow! You did it, you made me want to GO see this area for myself. I am intrigued by the Rice Museum! Great article, Jo, keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Angela! You’d enjoy Georgetown.

    2. The Rice Museum is so interesting. South Carolina has a rich culture!

  11. Great article

    1. Thanks so much!

  12. Great article that covers all the bases! We’re an undiscovered Gem!!

    1. Y’all are most certainly an “undiscovered gem”!

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