If you’re a South Carolina beach lover like my family, then you of course adore the famous Grand Strand – that gorgeous 60+ miles of sand that includes the wildly popular Myrtle Beach. But you might not have heard of the part of it that has recently become known as the “Hammock Coast“.
Back in 2010, the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce voted on a new name to use in branding efforts for Georgetown’s beaches and other visit-worthy areas. The discussion came down to two names: Hammock Coast and Chicora Coast. Georgetown includes Pawleys Island, which is the birthplace of the cotton hammock, while Chicora name comes from the Chicora Native Americans. (The Pawleys Island area is also reportedly known as Chicora.) In the end, Hammock Coast won and the marketing efforts began.
The Hammock Coast area of the Grand Strand includes the following areas:
- This is the city within the County and the County Seat, which has a great harbor, boardwalk, restaurants, and shops and plenty of history. My family and I visited this city in 2014 and loved it. The historic downtown area suffered a devastating fire in 2013, so I would encourage you to pay a visit yourself and lend your support to the many small businesses that remain.
- Garden City
- We stay in Garden City for a week at the end of summer each year and it is a wonderful place to be. Garden City straddles the line between Horry and Georgetown Counties. It’s well known for its small “downtown” area near the beach, which includes a little amusement park, delicious Sam’s Corner diner, Pavilion arcade, Painter’s ice cream, the famous Garden City Pier, and a plethora of other shops.
- Murrells Inlet
- This town is directly south of Garden City; you can actually see the titular inlet from many of the houses on the main drag of Garden City. We visit the inlet quite frequently for kayaking, eating, and just plain strolling around.
- Pawleys Island
- This is a little town that we may visit this summer.
- Litchfield Beach
- This is an unincorporated area north of Pawleys that sounds like a quieter community.
- This is a small town that is located in both Georgetown and Williamsburg counties.
So far the marketing efforts for Hammock Coast seem to be pretty low-key. Although at one point there were plans to include a pop-up ad with a “vacation interruptor” figure that implored visitors not to visit, thankfully that gimmick seems to have been dropped as best I can tell.
I didn’t even realize there was a branded name for our part of “the Strand” until I saw the name in a guide last year! Frankly, I appreciate that. I absolutely love the name and think it neatly combines the history of the area with the true relaxed vibe of the county. However, part of the appeal of the area is that it feels like a nice low-key little beach town, and a more in-your-face marketing campaign would belie that. After all, if we wanted to go really commercial, we’d just head back up north to Myrtle Beach!
You can visit the official Hammock Coast website here.