Located adjacent to Huntington Beach State Park, Litchfield Beach encompasses the communities of Litchfield-By-The-Sea and North Litchfield. Named for a rice plantation that was founded there in the early 1700s, Litchfield is now the site of many local restaurants and shops, golf course communities, a large number of vacation rental properties, oceanfront resorts and vacation homes.
People appreciate Litchfield and the neighboring area of Pawleys Island for the wide sandy beaches and the many opportunities to get outside, whether going kayaking, exploring or fishing the waters of the pristine salt marshes in between the beaches and the mainland. One of the oldest resort towns on the entire East Coast, Pawleys Island is an approximately three-mile long barrier island just across from the Waccamaw Neck, a long peninsula between the ocean and the Waccamaw River.
Pawleys Island has a long cultural history, as it was inhabited by Native Americans for many years prior to the arrival of English settlers in the early 18th century. Archaeological finds such as middens, large piles of oyster shells harvested by the Native Americans, point to this fact; it is also said that George Washington toured the area in 1791, to visit plantation owners who lived there.
Throughout its history, Pawleys Island has been used as an escape from mosquitos, as the conditions are predominantly very windy. Today, the area is home to numerous marsh-front and oceanfront homes, summer retreats, vacation rental condominiums, golf courses and the Pawleys Island Historic District, a complex of 12 buildings dating back to 1780.
Things to Do in Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island
Autocomplete on a Google search will try to point the user to Pawleys Island Hammocks, not surprising as the area is famous for the production of cotton rope hammocks, first made by a South Carolina riverboat captain in 1889. Pawleys Island is also well-known as a great place to relax, go sun bathing or swimming, as it is only home to about 125 year-round residents.
Pawleys Island may be the best area to go for shrimping, crabbing or fishing, as the portion between the island and the Waccamaw Neck has a vast, intricate network of waterways, but solace and miles of salt marsh/open water to explore can also be found toward the southern end of Litchfield Beach, by the Midway Inlet and Clubhouse Creek.
Many enjoy a visit to historic landmarks such as All Saints Church and Cedar Grove Plantation Chapel, as well as Atalaya and Brookgreen Gardens, both located nearby. Brookgreen Gardens is a 9,100 acre sculpture garden with a number of themed gardens, art galleries, hiking trails and a nature preserve. There are several other wildlife refuges/nature preserves a short drive away from Pawleys Island, including the Sam Worth Wildlife Management Area and the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.