In an increasingly chaotic world, sometimes you just want to get away from it all.
In the historic town of Georgetown, South Carolina, time seems to slow down. You can go on a stroll through the Historic District, visit the piers, hang out at the beach with your kids, or go out for a cozy dinner for two — whatever your preferred method of relaxation, you’ll feel welcomed here.
We’d like to share some of the best ways to spend time in Georgetown SC!
1. Spend a Day at Huntington Beach
When you arrive at Huntington Beach State Park, the first thing you’ll notice is the clean, fresh, salty air. This is a great place to breathe in deep and find some peace.
The flora and fauna of the saltmarsh coexist peacefully with visitors. Bird-watchers and nature photographers keep returning to Huntington Beach year after year, and it’s a popular camping spot as well. You can join hiking tours alone or in a group, or try your hand at surfing.
Huntington’s most important beachside attraction is Atalaya Castle. This Moorish-style building is a popular wedding destination, but it’s also open to visitors all year round. It was built back in the 1930s as a winter home for philanthropist couple Archer and Anna Huntington. Anna was a respected artist, and the gallery in Atalaya houses exhibitions to this day.
2. Visit a Museum
Georgetown is well-loved by history buffs and for good reason. There are plenty of opportunities to learn about the town’s past. (That includes a little museum located right in front of Atalaya Castle!).
If you have any interest in the history of agriculture, don’t miss out on the Rice Museum. Located under the town’s iconic clocktower, this museum welcomes visitors of all ages. While the subject matter of rice cultivation may seem boring at first, the subject comes to life when you study the dioramas, historical artifacts and various old documents.
Then there’s the Maritime Museum, documenting over 100 years of naval history. This museum is a must-see for anyone with an interest in ships both old and new.
But the most important museum to check out in Georgetown has to be Kaminski House Museum, a beautifully preserved example of 18th-century Georgian architecture. Explore old photos and furniture, learn about the original owner of Kaminski House, and don’t miss out on the gift shop either. In December, the museum hosts its Annual Light Up the Lawn event, a romantic lightshow to make your winter vacation special.
3. Book a Night Tour of the Historic District
There’s a certain charm to exploring the Historic District all by yourself. Enjoy the peace and quiet of this old mill town, marvel at the architecture, and follow your instinct as you explore the streets and the harborwalk.
Nonetheless, you’ll miss out on plenty of historical context if you don’t have a tour guide. If you want to preserve that hushed, magical atmosphere, we recommend booking a night tour.
Join a lantern-led progression through the old streets, get to know other visitors, and go home with memories of a truly unique night.
4. Enjoy the Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen has been the pride of Georgetown since its founding back in 1931. It’s been named one of the 10 best botanical gardens in the country by USAToday.
But Brookgreen is for more than just plant lovers. You can take the perfect vacation selfie with the river otters of the Brookgreen zoo. The gardens also boast an impressive collection of figurative sculptures, as well as three galleries.
Across 9,000 acres, you can get lost in the sights and smells of South Carolina nature, and you can also enjoy the work of the best visual artists in the region. You can even sign up for a sculpture workshop! These typically last less than a week, so you can work it into your vacation itinerary.
5. Explore the Plantation Tours
An inextricable part of the town’s complicated history, there are several plantations you can visit if you want to learn more about the 18th and 19th century in South Carolina.
Hopsewee Plantation was the birthplace of Thomas Lynch Jr., one of the original signatories of the Declaration of Independence. You can learn about Lynch’s career, the plantation’s history, and try some local delicacies.
Read more: Must-see spots in Beaufort, South Carolina
For a more comprehensive overview of slavery in the region, visit Hampton Plantation State Historic Site. This interpretive site explains what life was like for the slaves working on the rice plantations, as well as for the families who built a home here after emancipation.
6. Ride a Tram with Swamp Fox Tours
If you want an ambling and relaxing tour of the town’s history, look into Swamp Fox Tours.
This kid-friendly tour uses Georgetown’s historic tramway line. As you pass old buildings, churches, and the homes of notable people, you’ll also learn some cool facts about Georgetown and its local legends. Ghost story enthusiasts should definitely give this one a try.
7. Sail Out on a Mini-Cruise
The tram line is a cozy, comfortable adventure, but it might leave you wanting more.
Georgetown offers several exciting boat tour options. In the process, you can explore the lighthouse, an old wreck from the 19th century. If you’re lucky, you might spot some dolphins as well.
8. Take a Walk Down the Pier
Once you’ve absorbed the history, you’ll be left with a desire to connect with current-day Georgetown.
There’s no better way to enjoy the town’s present than to visit the piers. The town relies heavily on the fishing and boating industries, and it’s a fairly busy trade center.
For authentic South Carolina cuisine, you want to visit Big Tuna, a famous dockside eatery with surprisingly affordable meals. Once you’ve wined and dined, go for a long seaside walk with your loved ones.
Georgetown’s atmosphere is unforgettable. You can learn plenty about the region’s and the country’s history. By getting lost in art and nature, you might learn something about yourself as well.