Category: Attractions

Valentine’s at Litchfield: How to Play Your Escape

Valentine’s at Litchfield: How to Play Your Escape

It’s time for that annual test of affections. Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it, and getting something on the books now is a great idea. It’s a snap when you start with plans to go to Litchfield.

Romance can bloom anywhere, but when you’re in a place you both love, imagine the possibilities.

No need to hire a skywriter to plaster your intentions for all to see. Don’t round up a mariachi band or buy a thousand rose petals and 10,000 candles. Get a nice weekend together in Litchfield and that’ll say it all.

Fun Facts About Valentine’s Day

 

  • According to legend, a fellow named Valentine wrote the first Valentine from prison. They locked him up for trying to help Christians escape prison in Rome. He signed a letter, “From your Valentine,” and the rest was history.
  • English poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem in the 1300s first equated Valentine’s Day with love.
  • A woman in Massachusetts sold the first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in 1847.

Great Restaurants for Valentine’s Day

A romantic dinner doesn’t have to be candlelight and formalwear. Try these Murrells Inlet favorites for a Myrtle Beach-style date. Call ahead to see if you need a reservation.

WICKED TUNA WATERFRONT DINING @ MURRELLS INLET

With great food and service in such a beautiful location, you can focus your attention on BAE. Take your sweetie on the waterfront for Wicked Shrimp, Ahi Tuna Steak, or Filet Oscar.

GO TO WICKED TUNA

COSTA COASTAL KITCHEN & BAR

It’s cozy and casual, serving authentic Italian cuisine and seafood favorites. Their scallops are heavenly, and you’ll find an array of unforgettable desserts. 

GO TO COSTA COASTAL

INLET CRAB HOUSE & RAW BAR

This is the spot for Caribbean and southern seafood, for a colorful yet unhurried evening. Indulge in a seafood experience in which neither of you will walk away hungry.

GO TO THE CRAB HOUSE

Sunset on the Inlet

A great saltmarsh sunset is like your wingman (or woman) when it comes to creating ambiance. Murrells Inlet has no shortage of spots to take in the scenery. Here are a few favorites.

MURRELLS INLET WATERFRONT

Walk on the Marshwalk amid a range of charismatic restaurants and eateries. The estuary is a scenic location on its own … a visit at sunset is magical.

GO TO THE MARSHWALK

MURRELLS INLET SUNSET CRUISE

Unwind on an hour tour of the saltwater marsh estuary. You’ll see wildlife, historic homes, and the star of the show: An inlet sunset.

GO ON THE CRUISE

ANYWHERE YOU ARE

When you’re in the Litchfield area, anywhere is a great place to take in the sunset. Along Long Bay, at Huntington Beach State Park, share it with that special someone.

CHECK SUNSET TIMES ON THE INLET

Find the Best Dessert in Town

Share something sweet with someone sweet. A box of chocolates is fine; a fine dessert is divine. Here’s where to find the best.

TWISTERS SOFT SERVE

This awesome takeout ice cream parlor is open all year round. You’re in for a delicious treat, whether it’s soft-serve, a specialty sundae, or a tornado.

GO TO TWISTERS

FROYOZ

Fill your cup or waffle cone and to your liking at Froyoz. Try All-Natural Coconut Milk yogurt, Banana Flambe gelato, Cherry custard, and more.

GO TO FROYOZ

THE OLE FASHION ICE CREAM PARLOR

Go with a banana split or other favorites that feature generous scoops of yummy ice cream. It’s a popular spot because the word gets out when it comes to dessert this incredible.

TO GO THE PARLOR

Litchfield Inn Accommodation Example

Escape to Litchfield Inn for Valentine’s Day

Steal away to a superior location for a romantic holiday. A friendly staff and spacious room await you, with astounding views included. Be sure to check for specials at this beautiful property, and book that romantic getaway today.

GO TO LITCHFIELD INN

Tower-Queens

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Valentine’s at Brookgreen Gardens: Romance in the Gardens

Valentine’s at Brookgreen Gardens: Romance in the Gardens

This year for Valentine’s Day, carve out time for a special renewal. Brookgreen Gardens is hosting Romance in the Gardens on Feb. 14. Participants will renew their vows with their better half in the picturesque gardens.

It’ll be a nondenominational ceremony at the Brookgreen Creek landing. And a beautiful reception at Leonard Pavilion.

Couples receive a personalized certificate of renewal, plus a professional photograph. Celebrate after the ceremony with a southern cake reception and champagne. This event is not a wedding ceremony, but a renewal for married couples.

More details:

  • All activities will be socially distanced.
  • Each couple will also receive a box of goodies.
  • Brides get a miniature flower bouquet; grooms, a boutonniere.
  • Cost: $40 for member couples, $50 for non-members.

GET TICKETS

https://www.brookgreen.org/events/romance-gardens

About Brookgreen Gardens

Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington founded Brookgreen Gardens in 1931. It’s become a cultural center, a wealth of art and history. It’s a rare destination to earn accreditation from such prestigious associations:

  • American Alliance of Museums
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • National Register of Historic Places

Guests can explore the gardens and sculptures on their own, or in tour groups. The grounds also include a zoo, cafe, and gift shop.

Litchfield Inn Is Perfect for a Just-You-Two Retreat

The right location, a friendly staff, and a fully-appointed room. Litchfield Inn is ideal for your weekend together. Enjoy stunning ocean views together, as well as dinner at renowned Austin’s Ocean One, on-site. Peruse rooms and villas available, and plan your romantic getaway today.

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5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Litchfield and Pawleys Island

ice-skating

5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Litchfield and Pawleys Island

We suspect you knew what you were doing when you scheduled a holiday getaway to Litchfield Beach.

The offseason is great in Litchfield and Pawleys Island. Many travelers wait for this time of year to escape winter’s throes and find some serenity on the marsh walk. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do.

What’s So Great About Litchfield?

Isolated from the hubbub of Myrtle Beach, Litchfield is a favorite escape from the beach. The area has a rich history of hauntings and innovation. (The rope hammock and pimento cheese have their roots here.) It’s a laid-back location for waterfront scenery, tremendous food, and friendly folks.

What to Do for the Holidays in Pawleys Island and Litchfield

1. See Night of a Thousand Candles

Majestic year-round, Brookgreen Gardens takes on a lovely luster for the holidays. Imagine sculptures and intricate gardens illuminated with 3,000 hand-lit candles. See why Travel+Leisure magazine considers this the state’s best Christmas lights.

Try this: If this event is your first visit to Brookgreen, come again after the holidays. It’s a gem of the Lowcountry.

2. Holiday Shop at The Original Hammock Shop

It’s a symbol of the region — the Pawleys Island hammock, circa 1938. Peruse the largest inventory of riverboat captain Joshua John Ward’s leisure invention. Bring home a bit of that island pace, and grab a couple more for holiday gifts.

Try this:  If you’re there while Melvin is weaving, stop and watch. It’s a rare glimpse at an artisan practicing an incredible craft.

3. Take a Winter Walk On the Beach

There are plenty of places to get in your steps, but the beach might be No. 1. The wind’s stiffer, the waves angrier in cool weather, but the crowds are also sparser. Embrace that feeling that you have such an iconic location all to yourself, if only for a moment.

Try this: Wear a waterproof jacket. If you do get wet out there, you definitely also want to stay dry.

4. Enjoy an Intracoastal Waterway Sunset at Gulfstream Cafe

Tasty cuisine, nightly show at sundown — what more could you ask for at dinner? It’s a nice balance of laid-back atmosphere and a next-level menu. It’s THE spot for southern cuisine and local seafood. You’re in for a treat!

Try this: Time your visit for the Early Evening Menu. It includes Steamed Peel-and-Eat Shrimp, Southern Fried Seafood, and more.

ice-skating

5. Go Ice Skating

In Myrtle Beach? Yes! Through Jan. 2, head to Burroughs & Chapin Pavilion by the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. It’s the first year for this event, on a covered, outdoor rink. It’ll have a holiday feel, with lights and other themed touches.

Try this: Not a seasoned skater? Choose figure-skating skates rather than hockey skates. They have a longer blade for better stability.

Get a Great Room (And Value) At Litchfield Inn

Come stay by the sea and close to Brookgreen Gardens, at Litchfield Inn. It’s an amazing place to return to year after year, season after season. Subscribe to the Litchfield Inn website for updates and specials. Then, book your next stay today.

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Your Guide to Night of a Thousand Candles 2021

Your guide to Night of a Thousand Candles 2021

There’s an event this holiday season sure to lift your spirits. Night of a Thousand Candles will open on Nov. 30, a spectacle display you’re not going to want to miss. This marvelous display of gardens and sculptures comes alive in a whole new light.

It’s a scene of lights and food and fellowship that travelers come to take part in every year.

If there’s a way to go over the top with taste, Brookgreen Gardens does it. The grounds shine in the light of 2,800 hand-lit candles and more sparkling lights. Holiday lights and art meld into an incredible experience.

What is Brookgreen Gardens?

It’s a cultural center in Murrells Inlet, founded in 1931. Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington wanted to put sculptures and landscaping on display. By tour or your own wanderings, explore exhibitions year-round at Brookgreen Gardens.

How Long will Night of a Thousand Candles Run?

The exhibit opens Friday, Nov. 26, and the last show will be Sunday, Jan. 2. Hours are 4-9 p.m. each day, generally every Thursday through Sunday. Brookgreen Gardens will host a preview benefit on Nov. 20, 6-8 p.m.

What’s Special About the Preview Benefit?

It’s raising funds for programs that reach hundreds of families and students. Through generosity, Brookgreen can teach about the area’s arts, environment, and history. 

The Gardens make limited preview tickets available. Admission includes beverages and hors d’oeuvres.

Join us at 6:30 p.m. nightly for Lighting of the Trees at the Leonard Pavilion. Note: There are no refunds. Brookgreen Gardens will consider unused tickets as a donation to fund initiatives.

How Can We Enjoy the Display?

Guests can walk garden pathways and enjoy cider, cocoa, and wine. Carolers will fill the air in this traditional celebration of the season. This night has earned a prestigious Travel+Leisure Magazine designation. The magazine named this event “Best Christmas Lights in South Carolina.”

Wheelchairs and strollers are welcome. Need a scooter or wheelchair? We recommend these suppliers.

What if We Get Hungry?

We’ve had food available in the past. Plans for food trucks are still in the works for 2021, but Brookgreen’s onsite options will be open:

THE OLD KITCHEN | Head to the center of the sculpture garden for beverages, small bites, and soup.

BROOKGREEN BEVERAGE STATIONS | Stop by for beer, homemade hot cocoa, hot cider, and wine.

INLET AFFAIRS | We encourage reservations for indoor seated dining. Brookgreen will hold tables for 15 minutes before offering them to the next party. Call 843-235-6030 for reservations.

What if it Rains?

The show will go on! Bring an umbrella if rain is in the forecast. Candles won’t be lit, but the many other lights in the display will be in full effect.

You’re in for a Super Stay at Litchfield Inn

For a clean, well-appointed room and friendly staff, Litchfield Inn is the choice. Stay steps from the beach and enjoy excellent meals with onsite dining. See photos of how beautiful it is to stay at Litchfield Inn, and book your stay today.

It’s a scene of lights and food and fellowship that travelers come to take part in every year.

If there’s a way to go over the top with taste, Brookgreen Gardens does it. The grounds shine in the light of 2,800 hand-lit candles and more sparkling lights. Holiday lights and art meld into an incredible experience.

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Can’t Miss Photo Opportunities Around Pawleys Island

Can't Miss Photo Opportunities Around Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island has earned acclaim from top vacation sources like TripAdvisor and Conde Nast, ranking as not only one of South Carolina’s top beaches but one of the most beautiful on the entire east coast! When you stay in this coastal Carolina paradise, there will be plenty of great opportunities for photos. Whether you plan on sharing on Facebook or in a leather-bound album, here are some of the top places to snap a pic during your Pawleys Island vacation.

Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park

Atalaya Castle is a breezy Moorish-style castle designed by Archer Huntington in the early 1930s. Archer and his wife Anna contributed heavily to the Grand Strand, as the couple donated the land that would become Brookgreen Gardens. One of the unique aspects of Atalaya is that it was built without any drawn plans. Instead, the layout of the 200’ by 200’ structure was literally the brainchild of Archer, eventually encompassing 30 rooms with a 40-foot tower in the center which housed a 3,000-gallon water tank. Today Atalaya is one of the most beloved landmarks along the Grand Strand and a favorite spot for weddings and formal events. In 1984 Atalaya has bestowed the honor of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, cementing its legacy and ensuring that following generations would be able to enjoy this beautiful estate.

Pawleys Island Chapel

Although its formal name is the Pawleys Island House of Worship, for years this charming church has been known as the Pawleys Island Chapel. The Chapel was originally located in nearby Georgetown before being dismantled and transported to Pawleys Island. It is situated waterfront along a march and actually juts out over scenic tidal creeks. The chapel has survived a multitude of challenges, including Hurricanes Hugo and Hazel as well, and recent repairs in 2017 have ensured that the chapel will be a fixture among Pawleys Island for decades to come. For amazing photos of this landmark, photographers recommend a sunrise visit for truly dazzling shots.

Brookgreen Gardens

As mentioned earlier, Brookgreen Gardens was another contribution to the Grand Strand that Archer and Anna Huntington bestowed. Hailed as one of the premier botanical gardens in the US, Brookgreen is home to a world-renowned sculpture collection, featuring the works of Anna Huntington and many other talented sculptors and artists. In addition to the outdoor sculptures among the lush gardens, rotating exhibits are on display in their galleries and the gardens play host to a multitude of seasonal events, from their Spring Wine Festival to their beloved Nights of a Thousand Candles Christmas celebration. On top of all this, Brookgreen Gardens is also home to a fantastic Lowcountry zoo, featuring native species like whitetail deer, red foxes, river otters, and bald eagles. Make sure your smartphone or camera has plenty of storage space, as fantastic photo opportunities are all around you at Brookgreen Gardens!

There is no shortage of natural beauty to behold and snap photos of all around Pawleys Island. If you haven’t visited this tranquil coastal area, there’s no better time than now to make plans for what is sure to be a fabulous vacation! The Lachicotte Company offers beach house rentals in the most prominent vacation areas of the Georgetown and Horry County beach areas including Debordieu Colony, Litchfield Beach, Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island, and Surfside Beach. Check out our vacation rentals page to see unbeatable rates on our beach house rentals for your next Pawleys Island vacation.

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Seven Best Seafood Restaurants in Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet

Seven Best Seafood Restaurants in Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet

Seven Best Seafood Restaurants in Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet

While, yes, the beach and golf and sunshine play a big, big part in the decision to visit the Grand Strand, the fact that we also happen to be home to some of the freshest, most incredible seafood in the country ought to weigh in, too.

With the abundance of grouper, flounder, drum, trout, mackerel, and more packing our waters, not to mention shrimp and inlet oysters, coastal Carolina has a lot to boast. And don’t we reap the benefits!

We like to venture down Route 17 in the Pawleys/Murrells corridor to hit some phenomenal but off-the-beaten-path options. Here are seven — out of MANY — of our faves, in no particular order:

Seven Best Seafood Restaurants in Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet

1) Bliss

Location: Murrells Inlet

This award-winning local favorite doesn’t fib — their seafood is blissful. Flanking meat and poultry offerings are an abundance of raved-about seafood dishes, including crab-crusted grouper, shrimp and grits, and regionally beloved she-crab soup. It’s more of a special-night-out sort of place, so get a sitter for the kids.

2) Bistro 217

Location: Pawleys Island

This sweet spot received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and it’s not just because of their famous burger. The appetizer menu is loaded with delicious seafood options, and if you’re in the mood for something a little different, try the shrimp-and-mussel-filled paella. The 217 Eggplant Treasure Chest tops fried eggplant with local shrimp, scallops, and grouper in basil-parmesan sauce — and is a delicious way to eat your way through the region.

3) Litchfield Beach Fish House

Location: Pawleys Island

Ok, we think the kids would be pretty bummed if you left them behind while visiting this gem. This joint is as laid-back as it gets, which is easy to gather with their cheeky vintage truck parked outside. The homey menu features lots of fried items, such as grouper and oysters, but the shrimp and grits are a great bet, too. Save room for the hush puppies.

4) Lee’s Inlet Kitchen

Location: Murrells Inlet

This is an old-school spot but in the best possible way. The same family has owned it since 1948, so expect standbys done right. It behooves visitors to come very hungrily, so take the plunge with either the fried or broiled Lee’s Shore Dinner, comprising either shrimp or oyster cocktail, a cup of clam chowder or she-crab soup, 3 ounces of lobster, flounder filet, oysters, scallops, deviled crab and fantail shrimp. Only if you were a shark would you have a license to consume more fresh fish.

5) Frank's Restaurant

Location: Pawleys Island

Here’s another local institution, and a good option for that special occasion worthy of a big night out. Go for the sautéed mini crab and lobster cakes for a tidy small plate option or the pan-seared jumbo scallops over vegetable risotto for heartier fare. Crispy fried oysters with green goddess dipping sauce leave our mouthwatering.

6) Nance’s Creekfront Restaurant

Location: Murrells Inlet

We love Nance’s for its complete lack of pretense — but more importantly for its delicious eats. This is a spot for lovers of the bivalve; oysters and clams in every iteration, in every amount, with an abundance of crab legs and side orders to round out your meal. All oysters are local, and are best enjoyed in season — in other words, during a month with an “R” in it… September, October, November, etc.

7) Wicked Tuna

Location: Murrells Inlet

Big, boisterous, and bold is the name of their seafood (and ambiance) game, where Fried South Carolina Sea Bass and Blackened Trigger commingle with Hamachi Nigiri and Spider Rolls. The Raw Bar offers just-out-of-the-water delicacies and the Catch of the Day sandwich special guarantees the freshest fish in two-handed eating form. We love this spacious spot for larger get-togethers with friends.

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Five Must-Do Activities in Pawleys Island

Horse Statue at Brookgreen Gardens

Can't Miss Photo Opportunities Around Pawleys Island

There are the suggestions, the hints, the if-you-have-time ideas for what to do on your Pawleys Island vacation. Then there are the stop-everything, don’t-leave-without-’ems, your-life-is-not-complete-unless-you-do-this itinerary. So here you have it, folks, the five absolute must things to do in the South Strand while you enjoy your vacation.

1.) Huntington Beach State Park

Any beach will do, really, but the pristine stretch of sand and surf that is Huntington State Park is a peaceful reminder of what the South Carolina coast looked like before, well, we showed up. Excellent shelling and birding, shimmering seagrass, and a much chiller vibe than so many beaches to our north make the few-bucks admission price well worthwhile. Have a couple of minutes and a couple more dollars? Duck into the impressive Atalaya Castle, the former summer home of the artists responsible for so much of the work at nearby Brookgreen Gardens. The swaying palms and Moorish-style architecture is evocative of another era entirely.

2.) Brookgreen Gardens

While we’re in the neighborhood, be sure to carve out a chunk of time to explore this beloved treasure of the Grand Strand. Acres upon acres of manicured gardens, impressive art, native animals, classes, tours, and more make this meandering melange of beautiful things one of the most popular places to visit in the state. Nevertheless, it’s so big and varied that it never feels crowded. Summertime is an explosion of blooms, but as the weather cools the colors will change to golds, burgundies, and umbers. Stroll beneath the corridor of Spanish moss-draped live oaks to get an incomparable taste of the Lowcountry. There’s nothing like it anywhere. Don’t feel like you’ve seen enough on your one visit? Admission is good for a full week.

Horse Statue at Brookgreen Gardens

2.) Brookgreen Gardens

While we’re in the neighborhood, be sure to carve out a chunk of time to explore this beloved treasure of the Grand Strand. Acres upon acres of manicured gardens, impressive art, native animals, classes, tours, and more make this meandering melange of beautiful things one of the most popular places to visit in the state. Nevertheless, it’s so big and varied that it never feels crowded. Summertime is an explosion of blooms, but as the weather cools the colors will change to golds, burgundies, and umbers. Stroll beneath the corridor of Spanish moss-draped live oaks to get an incomparable taste of the Lowcountry. There’s nothing like it anywhere. Don’t feel like you’ve seen enough on your one visit? Admission is good for a full week.

3.) Hammock Shops Village

You might be feeling the heat from friends and family back home to return with something nice, or you just might be dealing with your own major shopping jones. The quaint, eclectic, and cute array of stores at the Hammock Shops Village will reaffirm your stance that shopping small and local is preferred. Anchored by the eponymous Original Hammock Shop, the Village touts an array of apparel, accessories, gifts, décor, art, jewelry, toys, and food. While some shops are part of small, local chains, most are one-off spots where you’ll find the perfect memento of your Pawleys Island vacation. Worked up an appetite? Feast a burger at bisQit, fresh Mahi at Cerra Sushi, or a juicy steak at Pawleys Prime.

4.) Water Sports

The unique topography of the South Strand means that many local spots are nearly surrounded by water. What does this mean? So, so much to do. Ride the waves with the fantastic instructors at Surf the Earth to the east, or look west for the placid inlet waters where kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and eco tours provide ideal activities for beginners and experienced outdoors people alike. If you prefer to leave the oars ashore, consider a fishing charter that will accommodate your group and experience level.

5.) Eat

We in the Lowcountry have a lot, and we mean a lot, of pride in our food. Farm-fresh produce abounds in the summertime, as does fresh, delicious seafood caught right in our ocean and inlet waters. Our local oysters (when in season) are among the best anywhere, and the unmistakable kiss of history, culture-melding and folklore in every bite of shrimp and grits or she-crab soup will transport you to another world. Restaurants abound in Pawleys Island, and lucky for us, they’re awesome. If you’re looking to explore a little beyond city limits, spend an evening noshing, sipping and walking the famous Murrels Inlet MarshWalk.

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