The House Specialty

April 2024
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
courtesy of Sea Captain's House

How the landmark Sea Captain’s House has perfected Southern hospitality

Fresh Views & Menus: Dig into the Seared Scallop Salad and escape to the oceanfront outdoor patio (inset) at Sea Captain's.

If the walls could talk in the oceanfront Sea Captain’s House, they would whisper of the 90-plus years of guests either seeking a beach refuge or hungry patrons looking for a hot, home-cooked meal. 

The beloved restaurant in Myrtle Beach has dramatically evolved over the last century, but, regardless of how it has served her out-of-town visitors, Sea Captain’s has always remained the locals’ sweetheart.

It all began in 1930, when the building was birthed as an oceanfront summer vacation beach cottage for the Taylor family, then changed hands in the 1940s. In 1954, Nellie Howard bought the cottage and started running it as Howard’s Manor, a nine-room guesthouse that also served three home-cooked meals a day. That same year, Hurricane Hazel ripped through Myrtle Beach, forcing Nellie to replace the screened front porch with a Florida Room. The building existed as Howard’s Manor until it was sold in 1962 and faced the threat of being torn down and being replaced with the high-rise hotels of today.

But the rest is history, as Sea Captain’s rose like a phoenix from the ashes and stands today, over 60 years later, as a cherished restaurant on the boulevard that’s close to Myrtle Beach’s heart. While certain features of the beach house building remain, like the working fireplaces, oceanfront Carolina room, and areas of hardwood flooring indoors, as well as the charming shaker cedar siding and flower window boxes outside, there have been renovations over the years to keep up with the wear and tear and function of this bustling business, with the latest happening earlier this year. A fresh coat of paint inside and out, an expanded kitchen, and a brand-new front door were among the updates. 

Cocktails & Platters: You can't go wrong with any of Sea Captain's refreshing, cold cocktails and fresh seafood platters.

But, aside from all of the historically appealing aesthetics surrounding Sea Captain’s, there is their food offerings that have made quite an impact over the years. In 2023 alone, the restaurant was recognized with a Travelers’ Choice award, a Reader’s Choice Award for Best Seafood Restaurant by the Myrtle Beach Herald, a Top-10 Restaurant in the U.S. with the Most Beautiful Views by Time Out Magazine, and as a winner of “Chef Swap at the Beach.”

Another sure sign of Sea Captain’s popularity is the packed parking lot across the street over the summer, when tourists flock into the restaurant with the local regulars. It’s hard to nab a table, but on our visit here on a blustery Sunday Fun Day afternoon in January, we were able to land front row seats to the ocean in the lovely Carolina Room boasting panoramic, floor-to-ceiling views and garden table seating.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily. My husband and I arrived for a late lunch, starting with a complimentary basket of hush puppies, a Bourbon Mule for him (Maker’s Mark bourbon, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer) and a Bloody Mary for me that was garnished with a skewer stacked with olives, shrimp, and a celery stick, and a glass rimmed with spices, which served nicely as my appetizer. Cocktails are also shaken, stirred, and served at any of the bar/lounges indoors or from the tiki bar and outdoor patio that comes with a side of ocean breeze.

On to food, I couldn’t wait to try their award-winning she crab soup, a rich and creamy base blended with blue crab meat and a touch of sherry, so I ordered a cup of that with a wedge salad topped with tomatoes, bacon, egg and bleu cheese crumbles, and bleu cheese dressing as a combo. I lapped up the delicious creamy soup, and the crisp salad was a nice, fresh finish. 

Hubby decided on the Captain’s Shrimp Platter, a pile of broiled jumbo shrimp (you can also choose fried) and a loaded baked potato. It was a lunch entrée that was fresh, filling, and fulfilling. Other fresh seafood entrée options are the Grilled Salmon topped with a lemon dill cream sauce, Grilled Mahi smothered in an heirloom tomato jam, and the Carolina Seafood Platter: flounder, shrimp, and sea scallops served broiled or fried. 

The Sea Captain’s lunch menu also features a load of creative salad combinations (I want to try the Seared Scallop Salad topped with mandarin oranges, craisins, and crumbled goat cheese on a future visit), Captain’s Favorites, like the Shrimp and Grit Cake or Jambalaya, and assorted sandwiches and wraps, such as the Salmon BLT or Crab Cake Sandwich. The dinner menu is an extension of lunch, with more Captain’s Favorites to include pastas and steaks and Specialty Seafood selections, like a fresh catch of the day and Pecan Encrusted Snapper. 

A visit to Sea Captain’s House will help you understand why they have been anchored in the Myrtle Beach dining scene for 60-plus years by perfecting the definition of Southern hospitality in ambiance, service, and high-quality food. 

Sea Captain’s House 
3002 North Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach
Phone: (843) 448-8082
Hours: Daily, 7-10:30 a.m. 
and 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.