Pawleys Island is a thin, barrier island on the South Carolina coast. It’s barely a quarter of a mile wide in spots. The island lies along the northern coast of South Carolina that curves inward forming Long Bay. The curved shape of the bay and Pawleys Island’s famous hammocks give the island the nickname “The Hammock Coast”.

Pawleys Island is bordered by two inlets, Midway Inlet to the north and Pawleys Inlet to the south. Instead of a sound, the influx of water from these two inlets creates a slender, salt-water creek called Pawleys Creek. Marsh grasses line this tidal creek, with a navigable portion on each end for very small boats and kayaks.

We’ve kayaked the southern portion with friends, paddling down to the tip, beaching the boats for an hour to walk the shoreline and search the tidal pools for shells and treasures, and then riding the incoming tide back to the boat launch.

We’ve also done a little kayak fishing on the northern end in Midway Inlet. While getting out of the kayak, I realized there was a flounder on my rod. That was a nice surprise, especially when locals sitting on their porch gave a round of applause!


The simple beauty of Pawleys remains because there is no commercialization on the island. There are two inns, which occupy historic homes or lodges, and one quaint, little chapel local photographers adore. It’s a quiet, peaceful island sanctuary with a few beach accesses for those of us not fortunate enough to live there. Several homes are available for vacation rentals so we can all get a taste of a South Carolina paradise!

For more photos of the area and our adventures and travels,

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