Known as the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina,” Murrells Inlet backs up that lofty claim by providing the bounties of the Atlantic Ocean and the tidal creeks to the Grand Strand and beyond. From the fishing boats that sail in and out of the inlet every day to the restaurants that prepare your fresh catch to perfection, Murrells Inlet’s economy revolves around the sea and the scenic charm of the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Once a popular hideout for pirates, including the legendary Blackbeard, Murrells Inlet now serves as a getaway for about 7,500 longtime locals and new transplants who have discovered the easy Lowcountry living. Older homes make up the vast majority of homes along the Highway 17 corridor, while rapid growth and development have spread westward from the waterfront. Single-family homes and multi-family complexes have sprang up inland along Highway 707, which will soon connect to Highway 31 and allow for easier access to and from town.
Of course, there’s more to life than just fishing in Murrells Inlet, like golf. Award-winning courses like the TPC of Myrtle Beach and Wachesaw East have sparked a bit of a golf boon in the Inlet. And with beautiful scenery at the nearby Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park providing perfect places for hiking, kayaking and sightseeing, Murrells Inlet offers lovely Lowcountry living at a leisurely pace.
Murrells Inlet has been called a small fishing village with a bad golf habit, or maybe it’s the other way around. Regardless, both are fitting for this outdoors-oriented community that revolves around the water and the links.
As the sun rises over the inlet, fishing boats and sportfishermen are already up and on their way out to sea, followed by a procession of watercraft – jet skis, banana boats, parasailing vessels and more, all available for rent or tour. In the surrounding creeks and inlets along the coastline, kayaks, canoe and paddleboards meander through the marshes to get a beautiful view of sunset. It seems the only ones who want to stay high and dry are the golfers playing Murrells Inlet’s award-winning golf courses.
For nature lovers, the nearby Brookgreen Garden and Huntington Beach State Park provide visitors breathtaking beauty from the beach to the river. Brookgreen is a sculpture garden built on a former rice plantation that displays Lowcountry flora in full bloom alongside creative works of art. Just across Highway 17, Huntington Beach features natural beaches and a Spanish-style castle that’s available to tour. Then it’s off to the Marshwalk for a night of seafood and fun – just another day in the life in Murrells Inlet.
If you claim the title the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina,” you’d better be able to deliver. Murrells Inlet lives up to that nickname by boasting dozens of seafood restaurants on the waterfront and along the Highway 17 corridor. If seafood’s not your thing, you can find plenty of alternatives. But if fresh seafood is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.
The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk is the hub of the waterfront dining district, featuring a wooden walkway along the waterfront that adjoins 10 restaurants and bars serving great food and drinks. Live music plays at some venues like the Dead Dog Saloon and Bubba’s Love Shack and the outdoor patio decks are filled with patrons sipping drinks and watching the ships return to port after a full day of fishing. Away from the waterfront, Lee’s Inlet Kitchen and Saltwater Creek serve up some sweet seafood, and Prosser’s BBQ provides some tasty country cooking.
The swampy Lowcountry landscape and abundance of hardwood forests make for the perfect terrain to construct championship golf courses, and some of the nation’s top designers have taken note. From the waterfront to the Intracoastal Waterway, lush layouts stretch through wetland and woodlands and provide a scenic nature walk to go with a championship-caliber round of golf.
Among the crown jewels of the Murrells Inlet golf lineup are the TPC of Myrtle Beach, a member of the esteemed The Players Club family of courses that lives up to the lofty height, and Wachesaw East, a former rice plantation that borders the river and an upscale housing community. There are enough courses in Murrells Inlet that you can tee it up at a different course once a day for a week and not play the same one twice.