Hammock Coast, South Carolina

Lachicotteherron Marsh

Lachicotte Herron Marsh

 
By: Lauren Joseph
 
Seafood lovers know that the freshest seafood can only be found by making a trip straight to the source. Georgetown County, South Carolina is situated at the confluence of five major rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, the area’s rich natural resources provide a reliable abundance of the purest ingredients.
 
From upscale restaurants to the kind of seafood “dives” dreams are made of, South Carolina’s Hammock Coast is known for its mouthwatering restaurants. Georgetown County’s history is tied to its rivers, bays, and oceans; its heritage has been enriched by Native American, European, and African influences. Over two hundred small to medium locally owned “culinary boutiques” can be found in Georgetown County from Garden City on the northern edge to the historic port city of Georgetown to the south.
 
The Lowcountry’s legendary shrimping business dates back generations, and its bounties have inspired the area’s signature dish — Shrimp and Grits. The traditional food is offered on a number of menus, and locals have their favorites, but as long as the shrimp are fresh and the grits are creamy, all are worth a try. The rich estuary system provides plentiful quantities of oysters, blue crabs, as well as flounder and other native fish and shellfish. 
Boats in Georgetown harbor - Paige Sawyer Photography

Boats in Georgetown harbor – Paige Sawyer Photography

 
Naturally sourced riches aren’t limited to the expansive coastline, Georgetown County extends west to the town of Andrews, home to several farms that supply local restaurants with a wealth of fresh fruits and vegetables. Over the course of centuries, the marshlands have proven conducive to growing rice, and the grain continues to be a staple of the local diet. 
The South is known for the “meat and three” lunch, a meal reminiscent of a big Sunday dinner that will leave you looking for a couch. The Hammock Coast is no exception to this rule. With as many eateries as there are delightfully nap inducing menu choices, take help from the locals by scouting out the restaurants with parking lots full of South Carolina license plates right around noon. You’ll be looking for the nearest hammock and a cat nap in no time!
 
Murrells Inlet is called the seafood capital of South Carolina, and the moniker is well-earned. The sleepy little fishing village on a protected inlet, boasts some of the best seafood in the entire South! From the casual, classic fried seafood platter to gourmet coastal cuisine, it’s all available for the taking — complete with a view of the inlet. Mouthwatering hushpuppies and fresh from the dock seafood tempt more than just the palette. Prossers BBQ has so much more than BBQ and the best comfort food buffet for miles. The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk is a boardwalk that borders the banks of the Inlet, an opportunity to experience the salt-marsh ecosystem.
 
Just a few minutes away in Garden City, the Gulf Stream Café is a local favorite with excellent fare and killer views of the sunset. Litchfield and Pawleys Island boast a number of absolutely amazing restaurants, each with unique takes on seafood. In Pawleys Island, an updated take on a Southern menu can be found at The Rustic Table, the newest restaurant from Chef Adam Kirby and Restauranteur Anne Hardee (co-owners of Bistro 217).  Make sure to try their crabcake sandwich or Chef Kirby’s interpretation of Shrimp ‘n’ Gritz. In Georgetown Aunny’s, Thomas’ Café, or The Ball and Que will fill that fried chicken shaped hole in your heart.
 
The City of Georgetown boasts 14 restaurants within 5 blocks along the historic waterfront Front Street. Take a stroll, check out the specials and then make your decision. The Atlantic House, The River Room, and The Big Tuna are just three of the choices, all with fresh seafood dishes that will bring you back again and again.
 
What began nearly 300 years ago as a port of entry and home to a number of the area’s planters and wealthy merchants, has become an area with over 60 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. Georgetown gracefully wears her antebellum character in the Live Oak lined streets, the historic homes, grand old churches, museums. A wealth culinary opportunity now exists in what was once a small port town.
 
Explore heritage. Come hear the words and listen to the stories. Stay and experience the places, the traditions and the feelings that have transcended time in Georgetown County.

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