There’s more to this historic fishing village than meets the eye. As the earliest settlement in Horry County, and its location at the junction of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway, Little River’s rich history dates back to the late 1600s and is deeply tied to fishing fortunes. One stroll along the downtown waterfront of Mineola (Native American for “Little River”) Avenue, with its fishing boats, seafood restaurants and ancient live oak trees draped with Spanish moss, reveals the character of the long-standing community.
But in recent years, the inland growth of this unincorporated section of Horry County, has added new identities to Little River, a town of about 8,900. New roads have increased ease of access to previously undeveloped farmlands and woodlands, and new single-family home neighborhoods have sprung up on both sides of the waterway. The Nixon Crossroads community gives residents the experience of country living just minutes from the coast.
Proximity to the water plays a big role in real estate prices. For boat-owners, homes with direct access to the Waterway are at a premium. Conversely, the inland section of Little River is still one of the best places to purchase large, undeveloped tracts of land on which to build your dream house. Located just south of the North Carolina state line and bordered by water to the east and west, Little River continues to grow in the only direction it can.
Life tastes great in Little River … with a hint of salt. Despite all the great things the town has to offer, it all seems to revolve around the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Thanks to the many marinas and dry docks along the waterfront, there may be as many boats in Little River as people.
Fishing tournaments, sailboat regattas, deep-sea fishing trips, dolphin-watching cruises, and all sorts of watersports are part of everyday life in Little River. Make a trip out to Bird Island for a full day of fun in a natural environment, or sail down the waterway while stopping at the many waterfront cafes and bars that line the coast and are accessible by land and sea.
Casino boats sail out of the waterfront district, and La Belle Amie Vineyard holds bi-weekly festivals with live music, wine-tastings and tours of the vineyard. Visit the Little River Blue Crab Festival in May and the Little River Shrimp & Jazz Festival in September for a true taste of the town.
If you prefer to chase the little white ball than try catch a fish, Little River is right up your fairway. Featuring eight courses in a relatively small section of town, Little River courses offer a diverse range of experiences, from the coastal wetlands of Tidewater to the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway at River Hills. They are two of the top courses among the 100 on the Grand Strand.
Golfers can play The Valley at Eastport, Carolina National, Harbour View and Eagles Nest for an affordable but high-end golf experience, or enjoy a round reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands in the South Carolina Lowcountry at Glen Dornoch and Heather Glen, which offer elevation changes not commonly found on the coastal flatlands as well as a Scottish-style clubhouse.
Little River is located just across the Carolina border from another golf mecca, Calabash, NC, which also boasts eight championship courses, including Oyster Bay, The Pearl and The Thistle. And just to the south in North Myrtle Beach, The Surf Club and Barefoot Golf Resort’s four award-winning layouts are just short drives away.
It’s no surprise that Little River serves up some of the best seafood on the Grand Strand. With several restaurants owning and operating their own fishing fleets and with fresh fish flowing into the local seafood markets every day, diners have lots of options for finding their fresh catch of the day.
For fine dining, The Brentwood House and Parson’s Table are two of the best on the Grand Strand. Located in historic buildings that were once family houses, The Brentwood serves award-winning European cuisine in a formal but comfortable setting that is perfect for celebrating special occasions.
But the more laid-back establishments are come-as-you-are casual and feature the same great seafood without the pretense. Captain Poo’s and Filet’s on the Waterway feature excellent water views and a fun atmosphere. Whether black tie or flip-flops, Little River has your dinner plans covered.