Plantations and the Past in Myrtle Beach

Enjoy the wonders and fun while exploring our history.

Almost everybody who visits the Grand Strand, from North Myrtle Beach south to Pawley’s Island knows about our magnificent beaches, challenging championship golf courses, excellent restaurants, exciting entertainment, and fantastic family fun. I’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s more!

Our area has a rich history that is often overlooked. There are scores of plantations dating back to before the Revolutionary War. Agriculture was king! Rice, indigo, and tobacco were primary exports and were grown all through the area. Many plantations had abundant river frontage and the wetlands were cleared and converted to rice fields. As you cruise the Intracoastal Waterway today, you’ll still see remnants of the old rice fields. The plantation names evoke visions of centuries past – Annandale, Arcadia, Beneventum, Chicora Wood, Friendfield, Winyah and more.

Some have been transformed into upscale golf courses and resorts. You may even see foundations of old outbuildings and graveyards as you ride the fairways at Caledonia, True Blue, Litchfield, Willbrook, and Heritage Plantations. Some, like Hopsewee Plantation, offer tours to the public. Located on the Pee Dee River south of Georgetown, it is considered a preservation rather than a restoration since the condition of its house was never permitted to lapse. Hopsewee was established in 1740 and is definitely worthy of consideration for a day trip.

The most visited plantation is Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell’s Inlet. Made up of four former plantations – Brookgreen, Springfield, Laurel Hill, and The Oaks – Brookgreen Gardens is today a National Historic Landmark. The garden’s outdoor setting has the most extensive collection of figurative sculpture by American artists in the world. You'll also find an accredited zoo, a low-country trail, historic exhibits, and archeological sites open for visitors to explore.

Oops... time to close. It's Friday and getting close to five o'clock. See more about history treks at the beach on our website’s vacation themes section.

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