Though the city of Myrtle Beach and most of the Grand Strand’s municipalities have a relatively short recorded history, a few nearby neighbors, including Conway and Georgetown, have a rich pre-revolutionary and antebellum past that anyone visiting or living here should explore. In addition to excellent museums, there are home tours, working historical farms and enough to keep any serious history buff or casual visitor occupied all summer long.
Kaminski House (pictured above)
1003 Front St., Georgetown
Along the waterfront in historic Georgetown, tours of this beautiful home built in 1769 hint at life from the bustling pre-revolutionary period through mid-1970s, when the Kaminskis donated the property.
L. W. Paul Living History Farm
2279 Harris Short Cut Road, Conway
A working farm that demonstrates what life was like for Horry County farming families from 1900–1955. Free admission, plus guided tours, livestock and gift shop. Check the site for special events, like Farm Animal Day on June 23.
With settlements predating its founding in 1734, this river city is loaded with historical and natural attractions, centuries old live oak trees, Civil War graveyards and evidence of the tobacco, railroad, timber and peanut industries that once kept Conway thriving.
22 Hobcaw Road, Georgetown
Hobcaw Barony includes some 16,000 acres dedicated to preservation and education. Hike the grounds and tour the home where Winston Churchill rested for a month at the height of WWII. Check out their Wild Wednesdays series, with themes like Ghosts from the Coast (July 25).
Atalaya at Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet
Spanish for “watchtower,” Atalaya (built in 1931) is the 30-room Moorish-style castle/former summer home and art studio of the structure’s builders, Anna and Archer Huntington, of Brookgreen Gardens fame.
North Myrtle Beach AREA Historic Museum
799 2nd Ave. N., North Myrtle Beach
This museum’s mission is to foster a deeper appreciation for culture, history and science of the North Myrtle Beach area. Exhibits and programs focus on the stories from the region’s first inhabitants through to the development of today’s tourism industry.
Children’s Museum of South Carolina
2204 N. Oak St., Myrtle Beach
Since 1994, the nonprofit CMSC has been fulfilling its mission to “promote and stimulate self-discovery through interactive learning experiences” for children.
Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum
900 Dunbar St., Myrtle Beach
A window into the past, this four-room segregated school for African-American children first opened in 1932. The building, now a museum, houses artifacts from the school’s 20-year operating history.
Museum of Coastal Carolina
21 E. 2nd St., Ocean Isle Beach
The Museum of Coastal Carolina is affiliated with the nearby Ingram Planetarium and tells the story of the “natural science, environment and cultural history of the coastal region of the Carolinas.”
South Carolina Maritime Museum
729 Front St., Georgetown
Founders of the popular Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, this non-profit museum houses many nautical artifacts, press clippings and artwork related to Georgetown’s important nautical past and present.
633 Front St., Georgetown
Sitting underneath and just behind Georgetown’s iconic Tower Clock, the Rice Museum curates artifacts from the Colonial and antebellum rice industry that both built the city and enslaved thousands of Africans.
Horry County Museum
805 Main St., Conway, (843) 915-5320
Housed in the renovated Burroughs School (1905), the museum was first founded in 1979 and moved to its current location in 2014. Their centerpiece aquarium was featured on the Animal Planet reality show Tanked.
Photos by Gillian Claire, Joey O Connor Photography and courtesy of Horry County Museum