Murrells Inlet is a charming community on the border of South Carolina's Georgetown and Horry Counties, located just a few miles south of Myrtle Beach's world-famous Grand Strand beachfront area. The former fishing village has become a major area tourist destination today, home to a lively waterfront boardwalk district showcasing some of the region's best seafood restaurants and live music bar venues. Visitors can explore National Register of Historic Places-listed attractions like Brookgreen Gardens, named as one of the United States' top public garden facilities, and Huntington Beach State Park, which preserves Atalaya Castle, the historic estate of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington.

1.Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens
© Lisa S. Engelbrecht Danita Delimont/

Brookgreen Gardens has been named as one of the United States' top 10 public gardens by TripAdvisor, opened to the public in 1932 on the site of four former rice plantations. The lovely Myrtle Beach gardens were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1992. Today, they preserve sites connected to early American historical figures, including a memorial gravesite honoring Theodosia Burr Alston, the daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr. Visitors can explore the beautiful 9,100-acre gardens throughout the week and see over 1,400 sculpture works placed throughout its grounds, including pieces by sculptor Hyatt Huntington. An award-winning Lowcountry Trail details the region's plantation and slavery history, while the Lowcountry Zoo offers animal exihibits and exploration expeditions to archaeological areas on site.

1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 843-235-6000

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2.Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park
© Laura Ballard/

Huntington Beach State Park is a gorgeous National Register of Historic Places-listed state park known for its dense marine life populations, home to lovely regional sea turtle, alligator, and bird species. The park is located along South Carolina's beautiful Atlantic Ocean beachfront on the former property of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Its beautiful Atalaya Castle estate is designated as a National Historic Landmark along with neighboring Brookgreen Gardens. Today, visitors can explore the castle as part of guided tours overseen by the Friends of Huntington Beach State Park organization, detailing the home's construction and the couple's lives and legacy. The Kerrigan Nature Trail is home to a lagoon-front boardwalk, which serves as one of the area's top birding spots. Nature trails abound, along with overnight camping areas and a pond viewing deck.

16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 843-237-4440

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3.The Murrells Inlet MarshWalk

The Murrells Inlet MarshWalk
© The Murrells Inlet MarshWalk

The Murrells Inlet MarshWalk is a charming waterfront boardwalk traversing through Murrells Inlet's lovely estuary habitats, located within the heart of the fishing village's downtown district. The half-mile boardwalk forms the heart of the city's downtown district, home to some of the city's top waterfront dining destinations. Lowcountry cuisine options abound at restaurants offering nightly al fresco seating and live music performances. Dining destinations include the Dead Dog Saloon, which showcases performances by area bands, and Drunken Jack's, named in honor of an infamous area pirate from the 17th century. Opportunities for watersports and sightseeing are offered by a number of touring and rental companies that line the boardwalk's shores.

4025 Hwy 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 704-609-7535

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4.Paintings by Karen Pellegrino

Paintings by Karen Pellegrino
© Paintings by Karen Pellegrino

Paintings by Karen Pellegrino is a charming beachfront studio gallery showcasing the works of artist Karen Pellegrino, opened to the public following Pellegrino's designation as Artist of the Month for December 2015 by the Myrtle Beach Arts Council. The gallery showcases Pellegrino's lovely oil paintings, which recreate romantic beachfront and nature scenes featuring rich, saturated hues and delicate brush strokes. All paintings on display at the gallery are available for purchase by visitors. Commissions are available upon request, including recreations of photographs of the area's beachfront vistas. The gallery is open to the public at select hours throughout the week, though visitors should check ahead to make sure that Pellegrino is onsite before stopping in.

12125 US-17 BUS, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 843-602-7018

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5.Drunken Jack's Restaurant and Lounge

Drunken Jack's Restaurant and Lounge
© Drunken Jack's Restaurant and Lounge

Drunken Jack's Restaurant and Lounge is a lovely Murrells Inlet waterfront seafood restaurant, located along the city's gorgeous MarshWalk riverfront boardwalk. The restaurant is known as one of the city's prime destinations for seafood and live entertainment, showcasing performances by area bands throughout the week directly on the waterfront. It is named in honor of an infamous area pirate legend from the 17th century, when a deceased pirate from notorious Blackbeard's crew washed ashore after a shipwreck with a scattering of empty rum bottles. Full lunch, dinner, and bar menus are served up each day, showcasing delicious fish and seafood platters and house specialties like steak Neptune and baked stuffed flounder. A full bar serves up craft beer, fine wines, and frozen and specialty drinks.

4031 US-17 BUS, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 843-651-2044

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6.Murrells Inlet Seafood

Murrells Inlet Seafood
© Murrells Inlet Seafood

Murrells Inlet Seafood was opened in 1967 by area resident Rick Baumann and has become the oldest business still under original ownership in Murrells Inlet today. The award-winning restaurant has been voted as the region's top seafood restaurant and store by three area publications, known for its local day-boat seafood catches and imported Alaskan specialties. The store's Daily Soup Bar showcases seafood chowders and bisques that have won awards at the city's annual Murrells Inlet Soup Cookoff, while its master kitchen serves up health-conscious fare crafted by Austrian chef Detlev Martitsch Kreiner. Live local blue crabs are sold throughout the day, along with world-famous crab cakes and a variety of daily catch offerings.

4886 South, US-17 BUS, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 843-651-9309

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7.Inlet Provision Company

Inlet Provision Company
© Inlet Provision Company

Inlet Provision Company is a unique new restaurant offering opened in 2019 adjacent to the Hot Fish Club, owned and operated by the same restaurant company as its neighbor. The restaurant is one of Murrells Inlet's most affordable dining destinations, with most items available for under $15. Rustic decor creates an intimate bar feel inside, while a spacious waterfront deck offers panoramic shoreline views outside. Diners can enjoy delicious entree selections like Alaskan snow crab steampots, shrimp rolls, lobster grilled cheese, and pork belly banh mi sandwiches topped with kimchi and cucumbers. Specialty burgers, sandwiches, and seafood platters are also served, accompanied by Lowcountry side dishes and refreshing local craft beers.

4891 US-17 BUS, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, Phone: 843-299-2444

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7 Best Things to Do in Murrells Inlet, SC