Pawleys Island Area Guide
At Litchfield Real Estate, we pride ourselves in helping our guests plan the perfect Pawleys Island and Litchfield Beach vacation. From providing the stunning vacation rentals to being your guide to the best things to do in the area, we're here to help every step of the way. Browse our most frequently asked questions about the Pawleys Island and Litchfield Beach area below and start planning your vacation to Pawleys Island!
+ What is Pawleys Island known for?
Pawleys Island is known for its laid-back vibe, historic cottages and unspoiled beaches. For nearly three centuries, families and romantic twosomes have made Pawleys their vacation getaway for swimming, fishing and old-fashioned R&R. That’s a lot of history and, as one might imagine, lots of lore and legends have emerged over the decades, adding to the island’s mystique.
Pawleys is also home of the original Pawleys Island rope hammock, a staple for a lot of cottages and a wonderful way to while away the hours with a good read or your favorite beverage.
+ What’s the difference between Litchfield and Pawleys?
Pawleys Island and Litchfield are located on the Waccamaw Neck, which stretches from historic Georgetown to Murrells Inlet between the Waccamaw River and the Atlantic Ocean. While Pawleys is considered the oldest seaside resort on the East Coast, Litchfield’s two beaches, Litchfield and North Litchfield, were developed in the 1960s and are considered part of the greater Pawleys Island area. Although Litchfield is “younger,” it has the same lazy ambience and wide, sandy beaches.
+ What’s the best time of the year to visit Pawleys Island?
We think any day of the year is the best time to visit Pawleys, but it really depends on how you want to spend your time. The most popular time is June through September, when the ocean is warm, the sun is high, and the breezes are soft and gentle.
If brilliant sunsets, birding and uncrowded beaches are your thing, then fall and spring are for you. Our mild winter climate and greater availability of rental beach homes for monthly stays attracts lots of snowbirds who flock to Pawleys Island and the Litchfield beaches for golfing, oyster roasts, and quiet walks on our soft-sand beaches.
+ What are some attractions in Pawleys Island and Litchfield Beach?
Brookgreen Gardens, Huntington Beach State Park, and Hobcaw Barony are tops on visitors’ lists. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the area’s golf courses, which draw visitors from up and down the East Coast eager to challenge their skill set in some of the South’s most breathtaking settings.
Brookgreen Gardens, founded in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, is a lush Lowcountry preserve offering a blend of nature, art and history. Its thousands of acres are home to the largest collection of American figurative sculpture in the United States, as well as botanical gardens, a rescue zoo and artifacts from former rice plantations. Explore on your own or take a guided tour by overland vehicle or boat. It’s a great way to learn about our area’s rich history and culture. Brookgreen is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more time in nature, Huntington Beach State Park is just minutes away by car, and even by bicycle from North Litchfield Beach. Huntington is home to native wildlife, including sea turtles, alligators and more than 300 local and migrating bird species with plenty of viewing opportunities. You can also tour Atalaya, the 1930s Moorish-style castle built by the Huntingtons, who once owned the land. Oh, and don’t forget the beach! Huntington has three miles of pristine shoreline.
Also preserved for its natural resources and history, Hobcaw Barony is internationally known for forestry and marine research, education and conservation. Originally owned by financier Bernard Baruch, who hosted 20th century leaders such as Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, Hobcaw comprises 16,000 acres of forest, marsh and beaches. Bus tours include a tour inside Baruch’s home as well as a drive past Bellefield Plantation and other historic sites.
+ Are dogs allowed on area beaches?
Man’s best friend is allowed on the area beaches, with some restrictions. At the Litchfield beaches, dogs must be leashed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. year round and under voice command during other hours. On Pawleys Island’s beach, dogs must be leashed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 1 to Sep 30 and under voice command the rest of the year.
Hours of beach access for ALL Georgetown County beaches are from one hour before sunrise to 10 p.m. Apr 15 to Oct 31 and one hour before sunrise to 8 p.m. from Nov 1 to Apr 14. That’s for dogs and their companions. Fortunately, a wide selection of dog friendly beach rental homes are available to visitors.
- + When is turtle hatching season?Turtle nesting season in South Carolina starts in May and runs until mid-August. Turtles build their nests close to the dune line, and each nest contains about 120 eggs. Eggs hatch from late July until October. The Loggerhead is the most common sea turtle along our coast. DNA has confirmed that, just like a lot of our visitors, the same sea turtles return to Pawleys regularly.
Volunteers monitor the nests, and once the turtles hatch, they take inventory and report its contents to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Inventories are also announced on the beach and posted at the Pawleys Island Town Hall. Volunteers additionally keep the public informed to keep “Lights Out” so nesting turtles don’t confuse the path of exterior electric lights for that of the moon.
- + Do I need a fishing license to fish on or off the beach?Yes. Fishing licenses are required both on and off the beach for anyone over 16 years old. Prices vary according to the kind of fishing equipment you use. One-year and 14-day licenses can be purchased at area stores. Prices vary for South Carolina and out of-state residents.
- + Where’s the best place to fish and crab in Pawleys Island/Litchfield Beach?The Pawleys Island North Causeway Bridge is where you’ll find local enthusiasts fishing and crabbing. Also popular are the South Causeway and the Litchfield Beach Causeway. Many creek and canal front rental homes have docks and crab traps available for their guests to indulge in this favorite pastime.
- + Where can I launch my boat?The area has numerous public boat launches where you can put a boat or kayak in the water. Pawleys Island has two on the island to access the inlets – one on the south end on Pritchard Street and one on the North end on Third Street. Litchfield Beach also provides access to the inlet on the south end of Sundial Drive. Located at the end of Hagley Drive on the main land, Hagley Landing provides access to the lazy Waccamaw River.
Murrells Inlet provides access to their expansive inlet creek at Business Highway 17 and Belin Drive as well as at Business Highway 17 and Swale Avenue, called Morse Landing. Another launch to the Wacccamaw River can be found at the end of Wachesaw Road. Adjacent to this landing is Wacca Wachi Marina where a tour boat tells about the historic riverfront plantations.
- + Does Pawleys have seashells?Yes. In fact, shell collecting is a favorite pastime on Pawleys and Litchfield beaches. You’ll find whelks, angel wings, jingles and baby’s ear, as well as coquina, scallop and oyster shells dotting the shore. A special favorite is the lettered olive, the state shell of South Carolina.
- + When is turtle hatching season?