While there is plenty to do in Surfside Beach, it is within a short driving distance to some pretty neat places. Two such places are Georgetown and McClellanville.
Georgetown is about 45 minutes south of Surfside Beach, straight down Hwy 17. Its town leaders describe it as “a small southern coastal town filled with charm, history and personality” and we concur. As the 3rd oldest city in South Carolina (Charleston is the oldest, Mt. Pleasant is the 2nd oldest), it boasts a proud history which you can explore on foot – walk along the boardwalk, through the downtown and then venture into the surrounding neighborhoods of antebellum homes and the historic district – and through several museums in the area. Please visit the town’s outstanding website (Historica Georgetown SC) to learn more about this quaint community, its fascinating history and explore things to do during your visit.
I primarily remember McClellanville as “ground zero” for the arrival of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. But it also has a deep history, starting out as a coastal retreat for wealthy rice plantation owners (many from Georgetown!) and evolving into a thriving fishing village in the 20th century.
Located about 1 hour south of Surfside Beach, you should start your visit at the Village Museum (check its hours here as it’s not open every day) on Pinckney Street and stroll down Pinckney Street to get a feel for the area. Find the spot where the shrimp boats come in – birds and dolphins love to follow the boats and eat whatever gets dump out. When they are done sorting through the catch, birds like to take a free ride to the dock!
While in the area, you’ll also want to make time to visit The Hampton Plantation, hike in Francis Marion National Forest or take a ferry to explore the oceanfront wilderness of Bull Island. Now that I’ve written all that, you might need a couple of days to explore McClellanville!
Enjoy the journey!