Looking for a fun Staycation? Enjoy the Small Town Charm of Conway and Georgetown

By Leslie Moore

It’s July and the height of tourist season along the Grand Strand. If you’re not planning a trip this summer, or just want a day away from the hustle and bustle of the beach, Sasee suggests a “staycation” day in Conway or Georgetown. Both of these small town jewels offer delicious food, unique shopping and lots of fun learning why these towns are so special.

The city of Conway is one of the oldest in our state and is the county seat of Horry County. Founded in 1732 as the village of Kingston, today this small town, set along the banks of the Waccamaw River, 15 miles west of Myrtle Beach, is a picture perfect, small southern town. On July 13th, a special “Beat the Heat” Walking Tour is offered from 8-9am. This fascinating tour is only $5 a person and is sponsored by Conway Downtown Alive. You will be surprised by how much you learn!

Conway’s Main Street is a lovely, tree-lined street, perfect for walking. Get there early enough for breakfast at The Trestle Bakery and Café – French toast made with sourdough bread, a breakfast croissant featuring eggs, cheese and ham or bacon are just a couple of the delicious menu items. Plus, they have really good coffee.

Learn more about Conway and Horry County at The Horry County Museum. Their freshwater aquarium was recently featured on Animal Planet’s “Tanked.” The small town jewel is open Tuesday-Saturday.

The people of a small town are what make it special. Stop by and say hello to Dawn at Grady’s Jewelers, on Laurel Street. It is one of the oldest jewelry stores in the area and is still owned and operated by the same family. While you’re on Laurel Street, Allen at Carolina Appliance and Furniture is another home town business owner that would love to see you.

The Main Street area is filled with fun shops and you’re sure to find a one-of-a-kind treasure. River City Christmas, on 3rd Avenue, is an interesting boutique to visit for holiday items, delicious coffee beans and more. Thistle & Clover has cute and casual clothing, and if you’re a gardener stop by Conway Feed & Garden Center. This store is a great browse.

Rated the top eatery in Conway by Trip Advisor, diners at Rivertown Bistro, on 3rd Avenue, can choose from the upstairs deck overlooking the historic district, book a private dining room or enjoy the elegant, two-tiered main dining room. This locally famous eatery is open for lunch and dinner. For a more laid back atmosphere, try Bonfire, located on the river. Another local’s favorite, Bonfire is open Wednesday-Sunday.

While you’re in Conway, be sure to take a stroll on the Riverwalk. This scenic walk connects the Waccamaw River with the historic downtown business district. The trail begins under the Main Street Bridge and ends at the beautiful riverfront park and marina complex. Stroll by historic buildings, the Conway Arboretum and enjoy the view at a riverside gazebo.

This southern city of charm and history was founded in 1729 and became an official port of entry in 1732. Almost a 300 year-old city, Georgetown embodies the mysterious South Carolina Lowcountry and is recognized nationally, not only for its history, but also for the beautifully preserved 18th and 19th century architecture, set along tree-lined streets in the Historic District. Providing a charming backdrop for a thriving commercial district, Front Street is a trove of boutique shopping treasures, chef-driven restaurants, vibrant arts, culture and a welcoming, walkable lifestyle. Set on the Sampit River, the picturesque Harborwalk is a favorite spot for strolling, as well as a docking point for those who come by boat.

Be a tourist for a day and take a ride on the tram with Swamp Fox Tours.  Tours are available Monday through Saturday, and you will learn some amazing facts about this beautiful city. Want to learn more about the fragile ecosystem of the waters surrounding Georgetown? A day on the water is always a good option in July, and Rover Tours has daily boat tours of Hobcaw Barony or maybe you’d rather see the lighthouse on North Island? Cap’n Rod’s Lowcountry Tours offers boat tours of local plantations and more. These are popular with locals and visitors alike – make your reservations in advance.

The Rice Museum tour is another interesting way to spend a part of your day in Georgetown. During your tour you’ll learn about the incredible rice culture that once made Georgetown one of the wealthiest places in the world. Just being in the clock tower building is fun – but you do have to climb stairs, so be aware before you start.

If you have children or grandchildren, stop in Doodlebugs where you’ll find adorable children’s clothes and accessories. Ricebirds and Ricebirds II are fun to browse for gifts – you’ll probably find a gift for you! A little off the beaten path on North Fraser Street, Sarabeth’s is another hometown boutique with beautiful, unique items.

Dining options are abundant in Georgetown also. The Big Tuna is the watering hole many locals, and second-homers like to frequent. The River Room, with its historic waterfront ambiance, is another favorite restaurant that has thrived and established itself in the community as the tried and true dining experience with thirty-plus years of fresh “serious seafood” and is considered a coastal tradition. Al Fresco Bistro, serving Italian and seafood delicacies, is the fine dining gem where a warm inviting atmosphere and smiles are always in abundance. Another delicious choice, Root, is on the 900 Block of Front Street and has the best crispy Brussels sprouts you’ll ever taste!

Whether you’re a long time local or recently settled in the area, spending time in our small towns is always satisfying. The people are friendly, the food is good and no matter what you do, you’ll be glad you took the time to visit.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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