Walking the beach at Pawleys Island when the sun begins its daily push skyward is breathtaking, for sure. (Click here for Morning beach walk: Pawleys Island.) But a search for other routes can net stunning views, too. Pawleys has dual beauty: beach on one side of the island and a spectacular marsh on the other. Lucky indeed are homeowners who have access to both with a front porch facing the Atlantic and a long boardwalk leading to a creekside dock out the back.
We stay in the Birds’ Nest District where main-drag Myrtle Avenue branches into side streets leading to the ocean or the creek. As we leave our rental house on Hazard Street for our non-beachy morning walks, we turn right onto Myrtle taking a closer look at creek docks on the left and Southern homes of the Pawleys Historic District on the right. Our short walk ends at the Pelican Inn.
On the left: Pawleys Creek
Early morning view of Pawleys Creek — Myrtle Street.
If we had to typify a creekside dock along Myrtle Street, we’d say it would have a long boardwalk stretching over the marsh and ending with a covered fishing dock. Almost all docks are private, so taking pictures from the street is about the only option open to early-morning walkers. Even so, you can catch the gentle rays of morning light casting shadows on the marsh while egrets and pelicans find resting places on posts and small fish splash out of the creek, causing heads to turn. Oh, there’s one, we say. And then we move on to the next dock. The marsh teems with tiny creatures — miniature crabs and insects that skitter over mud banks and dip into holes whenever you come near. It’s a quiet scene, for the most part. Besides the resident waterfowl, fish, and insects, the marsh sees only the occasional families who pile onto inner tubes to “float the creek” or fishermen more intent on having a good time than putting food on the table.
It’s tempting to walk through any open gate leading to Pawleys marsh, but most docks are private.
A long boardwalk leads to a creek dock at Pawleys Island. During the summer, marsh grass is bright green, but in August it will begin turning a soft gold.
On the right: Pawleys Historic District
Typical of many historic homes: white clapboard siding, long porches, propped open shutters.
Pick up a brochure at the Pawleys Island Town Hall Information Center, and you’ll read about eight historic homes and the South Causeway (the oldest causeway in continuous use in SC) still remaining after numerous storms and hurricanes. The greatest natural disaster, Hurricane Hugo in 1989, took its toll on many of the homes at Pawleys, and even today you can see houses that survived as well as new ones built to endure the next inevitable force of nature. From the Hazard Street turnoff on Myrtle down to the Pelican Inn , you can pass several of these grand ol’ dames. If you pause to read the markers, you’ll learn about owners like the Robert F. W. Allston, Governor of South Carolina from 1856-58 or Robert Nesbit (1799-1848), a rice planter from Scotland. Or the two slave cabins at the LaBruce/Lemon House. We’d love a chance to peek inside these places — for features like hand-hewn sills and mortise-and-tenon joints in the Ward House/Liberty Lodge or the higher wooden posts placed under the Allston House after Hugo. But even seeing them from the road, we’re time-traveling through Pawleys just by looking to our right.
According to local tradition, two small dwellings on the property of the LaBruce/Lemon House were slave cabins. (Brochure: Pawleys Island Town Hall Information Center)
A Pawleys Island hammock lies in wait on an open porch in the Historic District.
Moved here after 1858, this oldest house on Pawleys was once owned by Joshua J. Ward, Lt. Gov. of South Carolina (1850-52). Now owned by family of Cornelia C. Ehrich and named Liberty Lodge.
Built in 1858, this home for Plowden Weston, Lt. Governor of SC (1862-64) is now a B&B: the Pelican Inn.
You never know, of course, what you’ll encounter on a morning walk. This whimsical post was a remnant of an event celebrating a wedding on the island — perhaps for the rehearsal dinner or the wedding itself. Sort of reminds us of ideas we see on Pinterest!
Directions for where to party at Pawleys!
And what about this site? The cutest kids selling lemonade for charity at Liberty Lodge!!! Makes you smile, doesn’t it? And reminds me of my mantra: Never pass up a lemonade stand. Never.
Selling lemonade at Liberty Lodge
Here’s hoping you’ll find your way to Pawleys Island, South Carolina — for the beach, the creek, or the history. Or all three. So much to see. So little time.
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
General info: Town of Pawleys Island: http://www.townofpawleysisland.com/
What to do and see: Life in Pi: The Official Town Resource Guide for Pawleys Island, South Carolina: http://www.life-in-pi.com/
Where to stay: Pawleys Island Realty: http://www.pawleysislandrealty.com/
Other posts on Pawleys Island:
Morning beach walk: Pawleys Island, South Carolina: http://ohtheplaceswesee.com/2014/07/22/morning-beach-walk-pawleys-island-south-carolina/
Weekly Photo Challenge: One (about saving sea turtles): http://ohtheplaceswesee.com/2013/12/22/weekly-photo-challenge-one/
Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree (pics from Pawleys): http://ohtheplaceswesee.com/2013/08/17/weekly-photo-challenge-carefree/
A Word a Week Challenge: Roof (pics from our widow’s walk at Pawleys!): http://ohtheplaceswesee.com/2013/07/26/a-word-a-week-challenge-roof/