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First Person

From Little River down to Murrells Inlet and inland to Conway and Aynor, each town has a uniqueness, flow, and flavor all its own.

But for one native, life doesn’t get any better than where he was born and raised.

Steven Strickland reminisces about growing up in Murrells Inlet with a chuckle. “All of us boys had boats, and my dad had a gas station. We terrorized Murrells Inlet! We’d shoot under the government pier, ducking to make it. I don’t know how many fishing poles were lost that way – we’d forget to lay them down.”

Known today for its stretch of exceptional seafood restaurants, Murrells Inlet has a history as rich as the pluff mud at the bottom of its creeks and marshes. And for the last four years, Steve has been on a mission to preserve it.  

Produced by Arcadia Publishing, "Images of America: Murrells Inlet" includes 240 photos, each with a caption.The “Images of America” series is very popular and has included towns from Maine to California. The Murrells Inlet edition is projected to be released sometime between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

Communities and Neighborhoods of the Area

For many a neighborhood is just as important as the dwelling they call home. The Myrtle Beach area has a variety of unique communities for every kind of resident. From country living to the beach lifestyle, there is something for everyone. Buying a property is always great, but buying a property in the best community is even better. Check out our 12 unique communities, each with its own individual style.

North Myrtle Beach Communities

North Myrtle Beach - McLean ParkNorth Myrtle Beach was founded more than 30 years ago when the communities of Windy Hill, Crescent Beach, Ocean Drive and Cherry Grove united. Each of these communities has its own charm, and generations of vacationers have returned to their favorite spot year after year. The city has around 15,000 residents and is known for its family beach atmosphere, fishing piers and wonderfully wide beaches. Famous as the birth place of the shag, South Carolina's state dance, it's also home to many fine restaurants and family amusements, including Barefoot Landing, a popular waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Popular annual events include the Society of Stranders (SOS) Spring Safari and Fall Migration, and the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta.

In the middle of North Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, also known as the “Black Pearl,” is a town molded by the Gullah-Geechee culture and home to several annual festivals. Many residents are descendants of the Gullah-Geechee people, former slaves from the West Coast of Africa who lived and worked in the coastal area from around Jacksonville, Fla., to Wilmington, N.C. Today, residents of Atlantic Beach are working to preserve the rich heritage and traditions of their community.

Little River is a unique town, offering a slightly slower pace of life than the rest of the Grand Strand. The community, with a population of around 7,000, lies just below the North Carolina border along what is now the Intracoastal Waterway. Because of numerous tidal creeks and the close proximity to the ocean, Little River was a popular refuge for pirates in the 1700s and Civil War blockade-runners in the 1800s. Its most popular event is the Blue Crab Festival held each May. Arts and crafts, entertainment, and educational exhibits are featured alongside booths offering an assortment of delicious foods such as crab crakes, steamed crab and other Blue Crab dishes.

Located 25 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach, Loris is known for its friendly, small-town atmosphere. A revitalized downtown with colorful storefronts and a historic town clock welcomes locals and visitors alike. Loris was incorporated as a town in 1902 and now has a population of around 2,300. The Loris Bog-Off, a festival and chicken bog cooking contest, draws huge crowds each October. (A delicious, local specialty, chicken bog is made with chicken, rice, sausage and seasonings.)

Central Myrtle Beach Communities

Myrtle Beach - Boardwalk & PromenadeFamilies began vacationing in Myrtle Beach more than a century ago, traveling by horse, buggy and ferry to spend a day in the sand and sun on the mostly unoccupied beach. Today, the city of Myrtle Beach has a population of approximately 28,500 and is the largest community of the Grand Strand. Favorite landmarks include Coastal Grand Mall, one of the largest in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach State Park, the oldest in the state, Broadway at the Beach, with its assortment of shops, restaurants, nightclubs and attractions, and the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Myrtle Beach kicks off each summer season with the excitement of the MayFest and closes out summer festivities with the Beach, Boogie & BBQ event.

The Little Golden Town, as Aynor has been called, is located in western Horry Country and has about 600 residents. The town got its start in the early 1900s as a terminal for a railroad from Conway that transported turpentine, fertilizer and lumber. The area became a town in 1913 and had a bustling tobacco market, brickyard, cotton gin and several sawmills. Today, a large mural at Eighth Avenue and South Main Street honors Aynor's railroad and tobacco history. Every September, thousands of people attend the Aynor Harvest Hoe-Down Festival, which features crafts, food booths and entertainment.

Conway - DowntownPicturesque Conway, the seat of government for Horry County, is distinguished by its tree-lined streets, historic homes and churches, and the beautiful Waccamaw River. Its revitalized downtown is filled with antique shops, art galleries and wonderful cafes. Established in 1734 and originally known as Kingston, Conway today is home to approximately 14,000 residents as well as Coastal Carolina University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College.Popular annual events include the 'Round the Fourth celebration in late June or early July and the Rivertown Jazz and Blues Festival in April. The best ways to learn about this historic town is on a walking tour or narrated riverboat cruise, or by paying a visit to the Horry County Museum.

South Myrtle Beach Communities

Surfside BeachProudly calling itself "the family beach," Surfside Beach was incorporated in 1964 and is currently home to around 4,800 residents. Its oceanfront is lined with beach houses, condominiums, hotels, restaurants and a fishing pier, and the town hosts several annual festivals and events. Among its many recreational offerings is the All Children's Park, a barrier-free playground designed especially for children with special needs.

Garden City Beach is an unincorporated community that straddles the border between Horry and Georgetown counties. With a population around 9,000, it offers easy access to both the ocean and inlet, so it's very popular with everyone from fishermen and crabbers to water sports enthusiasts.The majority of vacationers stay in beach houses or condominiums, and the community offers a marina, amusements, restaurants, a fishing pier that features live music on summer evenings, and a new Creekwalk that spans the salt marsh.

The historic fishing village of Murrells Inlet has earned the title "seafood capital of South Carolina" because of the extraordinary variety of fresh catches from its waters and the many wonderful restaurants that overlook its waterfront. A sunset stroll along the Marshwalk is the perfect way to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the area. Murrells Inlet offers many recreational activities in a breathtaking inlet setting, including deep sea fishing charters, boat tours, individual boat rentals, scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing and jet skiing. Two popular annual events include the Fourth of July Boat Parade and the Blessing of the inlet.

Litchfield BeachA bit farther south are Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. Litchfield Beach, a quaint, unincorporated community, was settled by rice planters in early 1700s. The area's name came from Litchfield Plantation, a former rice plantation in the community. Litchfield Beach is beloved for its miles of wide, sandy beaches, spectacular golf courses, village-style shops and fine dining. Only a half-hour drive from Myrtle Beach, it's much more quiet and reserved. While there's one hotel on the beach, many visitors usually stay in rental houses or condominiums.

Pawleys Island, one of the country's oldest beach resorts, is one of the last to be developed on the Grand Strand. With four miles of beach and its classic-style beach homes available for vacation rental, it's referred to by the natives as "arrogantly shabby." It also offers a laid-back atmosphere and attitude benefiting its claim to fame: the original Pawleys Island Hammock. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art each fall.