Top Five Reasons to Visit the Grand Strand During the Holidays




Our Top Five Reasons to Visit Myrtle Beach for the Holidays


One thing those of us who work in hospitality along the Grand Strand  love is getting to know repeat visitors. We get to see families return year after year, get to watch kids grow up … and Christmas is no exception! Many families make an annual holiday tradition out of their trip to beaches of South Carolina (specifically, Pawleys Island). Here are the reasons they tell us they prefer to visit the beach in the winter:


1. Forget about crowds.
Those noisy summer crowds aren’t a concern when you come to visit Pawleys Island in the winter.


2. The weather.
You won’t find the almost tropical heat southern summers are known for when you visit the Grand Strand in the fall and winter, but you also won’t get as much rain. In fact, November is much drier than August here in Pawleys Island, and December’s even less wet! So as long as you’re not afraid to dress in layers, you can enjoy clear skies and long walks on the beach.


3. We’ve got great Christmas shows.
Carolina Opry and Alabama Theatre in particular offer up annual Christmas shows that people come back for year after year after year. Something’s always a little different, but you can see your favorite performers mature and grow in their careers. And with the amazing holiday decoration displays at these theaters, you will absolutely feel the Christmas spirit move you!


4. Less family stress.
Look, we know you love that aunt or grandma or sister-in-law who also happens to drive you crazy every year at Christmas. But you can still send her holiday cheer via a Skype call on Christmas morning from the comfort of your quiet and serene Pawleys Island vacation rental.


5. Awesome shopping.
If you go on vacation along the Grand Strand for the holidays, you can get your own shopping done, whether you’re shopping for others or for yourselves. Shoppers cite the Tanger Outlets on Hwy. 501 and Hwy. 17 as well as the trendy Market Common. And if you’re looking for some Christmas cheer in your shopping, be sure to check out the annual Myrtle Beach Dickens Christmas Show Nov. 14-17, 2013.

What about you? Have you ever visited Litchfield by the Sea for Christmas? What was your favorite thing about it?


Shopping: The Promenade at Litchfield

The Promenade at Litchfield is a $15 million, 60,000 square foot upscale open-air specialty retail center strategically located off Highway 17 midway between Myrtle Beach and Charleston. Adjacent to the Litchfield Golf and Country Club and across Highway 17 from Litchfield By the Sea – the development offers unparalleled presence and easy access off Highway 17 and will create a unique merchandising mix that compliments current retail in the area.  The shopping area is scheduled to open early Spring 2013.

E-brochure The Promenade at Litchfield

NEED A PLACE TO STAY?  63A Lakeside Villa is right across the street from The Promenade at Litchfield.  Enjoy the amenities of Litchfield by the Sea.

TIP: Shop for Groceries Online at Piggly Wiggly

Your vacation time is valuable.  One thing to make the most out of your vacation is to shop for your groceries online at the Piggly Wiggly.  They will be ready when you get to Pawleys Island.

If you are looking for a place to stay, click HERE – 2 Bedroom Lakeside Villa at Litchfield by the Sea.

Click HERE to shop

115 Willbrook Blvd Suite Y, Pawleys Island, SC, 29585
Phone: (843) 235-9434


Sunday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Monday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Tuesday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Wednesday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Thursday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Friday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Saturday: 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM

Carolina Gourmet at the Hammock Shops in Pawleys Island

Amid the moss-draped oaks of the Hammock Shops in Pawleys Island, a store designed to tempt your taste buds awaits. Carolina Gourmet at Pawleys is a southern-style gourmet food, cookware, and kitchen gadget store that offers a selection of mouth watering options and gift giving selections.

Owned by Mike Clingenpeel and his wife Judy Clingenpeel, Carolina Gourmet at Pawleys is filled with a vast medley of gourmet food brands, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, serving ware, gift baskets, entertaining essentials, and much more. Situated diagonally from The Freckled Frog, tucked under oak trees, this store is a haven for bakers, chefs, and foodies alike.

Producing a delicious list of jellies, jams, preserves, sauces, dressings, relishes, and marinades under its own label, Carolina Gourmet, this store also carries a broad selection of well-known gourmet food brands. Positioned among the white-washed walls and hardwood floors you’ll find shelf after shelf filled with Wind & Willow dip mixes, Gullah Gourmet soup and bread mixes, Charleston Original Sauces, Braswell’s Seasonings, Blue Ridge Jams, Bone Suckin’ Sauces, and many more. Carolina Gourmet at Pawleys also carries celebrity food product lines from Barefoot Contessa and Paula Deen, as well as an exquisite line of teas, coffees, drink mixes, and gourmet chocolates.

In addition to scrumptious selections of foods, Carolina Gourmet at Pawleys also offers a tasteful line of cookware including collections from Chantal and Le Creuset, cutlery from Wusthof, as well as a variety of bakeware, aprons, cookbooks, recipe boxes, napkins and a colorful assortment of placemats. There is also an extensive selection of kitchen gadgets and serving ware pieces available. Platters, chip and dip sets, bowls, stemware, wine racks and serving utensils in a variety of designs including floral and seascapes are charmingly displayed throughout the store.

Carolina Gourmet at Pawleys also has the perfect gift for the foodie in your life thanks to its Gift Basket program. Along with a pre-selected array of gift baskets available, Carolina Gourmet at Pawleys can also assist you in creating and customizing any gift basket from small to large.

Carolina Gourmet at Pawleys is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The store is located in the Hammock Shops, 10880 Ocean Highway #7, Pawleys Island. For more information, call 237-1999, or visit


7 Great Reasons to Visit the Grand Strand

What brings the majority of winter-weary tourists to the Grand Strand every spring? The promise of surf and sunshine, a 60-mile-long strip of sandy beachfront that stretches from Little River in the north to Georgetown in the south. But when you tire of the soothing crash of the waves, there are plenty of other diversions. Here are seven to get you started.

1. A Taste of Kitsch
If you’e craving old-fashioned boardwalk attractions, Myrtle Beach is the town for you.  Haunted houses, pancake houses and tacky T-shirt shops dot the downtown. Over 100 golf courses make this the “seaside golf capital of the world,” but its 50 mini-golf venues make it the mini-golf capital, too. And if these don’t satisfy your taste for the outlandish, try a well-worn Vegas-style show like the Carolina Opry, where you can indulge your passion for golden oldies hits and Bob Mackie–style glitter.

2. Shopping Galore
After golf, shopping may be most popular sport along the Grand Strand. Hit the outlet malls for deals or take a leisurely poke through the so-cute-it-hurts cluster of cottage boutiques called the Hammock Shops along Hwy. 17 in Pawleys Island. If you’re a quilter, stop off at Island Threads on your way back to town. Bring a friend (and a wheelbarrow) to help you cart home your buys, from flour-sack reproduction prints to batiks to sweet ginghams with a Southern sensibility.

3. Southern Comfort Food
If you go home hungry from this area, it’s your own fault. Not surprisingly, the Grand Strand is known for its seafood. She-crab soup, a rich, sherry-laced bisque made with blue crab meat and roe, is the local specialty. Plates heaped with shrimp and creamy grits are never hard to find. If sweets are your thing, drop into Landolfi’s Bakery on Hwy. 17 just before the turn-off to Pawleys Island. There’s an intimate café in the front and a small diner in the back that specializes in wood-oven pizza. An exhaustive selection of Italian confections crowd the display case, and none disappoint. Save room for a slice of Key lime pie – encased in a shell of dark chocolate, it’s a quasi-religious experience you don’t want to miss.

4. Live Oak Trees and Spanish Moss
Walking beneath these behemoths makes you feel like you’ve wandered onto the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Hundreds of years old in some cases, live oak trees are the host for parasitic Spanish moss, which gives the trees their diaphanous, ghostly character. Check out gorgeous examples at Brookgreen Gardens and Litchfield Plantation, both in the town of Murrells Inlet.

5. Brookgreen Gardens
Located about 20 minutes southwest of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet, this oasis of flora and fine art sprawls across more than 9,000 acres. The complex encompases sculpture gardens, a wildlife preserve and the local history museum. Established in 1931 on the site  of four former rice plantations, Brookgreen Gardens now boasts a collection of 1,200 pieces of sculpture dating back to the 19th century. More than 500 art works are nestled along walkways through gardens of breathtaking native vegetation.

6. Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island is where the locals hang out. Weathered clapboard cottages and inns crowd the narrow road that runs along the perimeter. Watch for waterfowl perched in rusty gold reeds among tin-roofed docks and soothe your nerves with a stroll along the beautiful rolling dunes.  This area offers great vacation rentals from waterfront condos, <a href=””>Litchfield by the Sea</a> (including a private beach), cottages and large homes.

7. History at Every Turn
Drive 20 minutes northwest of Myrtle Beach to the quaint city of Conway for a taste of history along the Waccamaw River. The main street offers an old-fashioned strip of pretty little shops and cafés (drop into The Trestle for a plate of perfectly crunchy fried green tomatoes). During Canadian-American days in March, the Conway Historical Society offers a number of informative lectures. Historical walking tours start at the visitor centre and feature a walk through the political and social history of Conway with juicy tidbits of local dramas and family feuds, some that persist to this day.

Feel free to explore all of the ideas that we have posted on the blog from the obvious to the obscure.


New & Improved Inlet Square in Murrells Inlet

With renovations completed, Inlet Square has gone from “eek” to chic. Gone is the dull paint scheme, chipped floor tiles and missing ceiling. Instead, a vibrant collection of orange, purple, and green hues have given new life to the retail center located between U.S. 17 Bypass and U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet.

With its new modern décor, lush plant life, and urban feel, Inlet Square is beginning to notice the after affects of the renovations. With  stores and a  movie theater, shoppers and vacationers on the south end of the Grand Strand have much more to look forward too.

20 Below
Moving into a 10,047-square-foot location, this clothing store is a prime spot for bargain shoppers. Carrying designs for men, women, children, as well as a line of accessories, 20 Below features trendy designs but with an affordable price tag of $20 and below.

The store, which originated in Las Vegas, will mark the company’s first foray into South Carolina.

Becca’s Closet
This store features new and resale clothing for men, women, and children.

Along with carrying designer and off-brand clothing, Becca’s Closet will also carry an array of accessories such as handbags, jewelry, socks, leggings and more.

Becca’s Closet will also take on clothing consignments. While the store will take consignments on a range of items including wedding and prom dresses, it is not related to the organization Becca’s Closet that buys and donates used prom dresses to underprivileged teens. For more information about Becca’s Closet, call 344-9792.

Frank Theaters- Inlet Square 12
Taking over the theater previously occupied by Regal Cinemas, Frank Theaters plans to expand and upgrade to create a whole new movie viewing and family fun atmosphere. Along with 12 wall-to-wall screens featuring Digital Sony 4K Projection with six of those screens equipped with RealD 3-D, the entertainment hub will also feature Revolutions, a high-tech bowling center, as well as the Starlight Café.

The café will feature wine and beer, a light menu, and upscale dining area. The theater is expected to open during winter 2011. For more information, visit

Nina Jewelry Boutique
Sitting in a prime spot at center court, this boutique will offer a wide selection of jewelry and accessories, ranging from high end to low end. The owner, Pam Nativo, says she plans to carry “funky pieces for all ages”. Designer lines such as Andrea Candela, Tabra Jewelry, and Sara Blaine Jewelry will be carried along side other fine jewelers, silver, and designs by Nativo herself.

Nativo also plans to carry handbags, sunglasses, perfume, scarves, as well as men’s accessories like watches, travel jewelry boxes, and shoe shine kits.

Inlet Square Mall 10125 Hwy 17 Bypass Murrells Inlet, SC

The Crab Cake Lady in Murrells Inlet

The Crab Cake Lady Company was started in 1973 by An Mathis Springs. After immigrating from Vietnam, she arrived at the coast and fell instantly in love with the majestic creeks of Murrells Inlet. In the beginning, she worked 40-50 blue crab traps. Though some of the commercial crabbers and fishermen gave her trouble, An proved herself on the water time and time again. She would make her way through the winding creeks of Murrells Inlet every morning, working the crab traps.

An - The Crab Cake Lady

From her catch, she made delicious deviled crab and crab cakes by hand. Not only was she becoming a lovable fixture in the area, her hand made crab cakes were spreading to the far corners of the state. Eventually newcomers and visitors to the area were driving up and down hwy 17 asking about a Crab Cake Lady. Eventually the name stuck, and people from all over were coming to her small coastal home and buying her crab cakes by the dozens. Her infectious smile and warm heart was not easily forgotten; nor the unwavering quality of her crab cakes, so her official company was formed in 2006.

After 37 years we still make the same crab cakes today, the same way An has all of these years. An is still in her commercial kitchen every day to make sure her recipes are being carried out to perfection. You can find An visiting her two stores, or on the bow of her 14ft Jon boat in Murrells Inlet. Even in her early 70s, she can still throw a casting net or pull a trap better then most.

4525 Wesley Rd.  Murrells Inlet, SC 29576     (843) 651-0708   OR (843) 651-5707

TIP: Free local delivery on orders of $ 50 or more

SUGGESTION – Book your stay at 63A Lakeside Villa at Litchfield by the Sea – get some of An’s crabcakes and bring them back to your vacation retreat and have a great meal.