Everyone knows the famous Myrtle Beach with its boardwalk oozing with shops and entertainment, but there’s so much more beyond this usual beach resort destination. South Carolina’s Hammock Coast is filled with charm, history, and culture along with beautiful expanses of nature featuring salt marshes and moss draped oaks, so this is where we’ll explore and wander.
Step out of the ordinary and into a relaxing adventure of new discoveries. A mystical castle hides within a coastal nature preserve that’s a bird lover’s paradise, an ever changing and simply amazing garden awaits strolling, and Southern history can be found around every river’s bend. Here you’ll find a slower and more laid-back kind of pace, so let’s step into that frame of mind as we discover the treasures along the wide sandy beaches and ancient rivers of South Carolina’s best kept secret, the Hammock Coast.
Day One: Hammock Shops Village
Our first stop after arriving on the Hammock Coast would have to be The Hammock Shops Village, an original since 1938. It all began over 75 years ago when Riverboat Captain Joshua John Ward created the most comfortable and study cotton rope hammock in 1889 that grew in popularity over the years.
Along with artisan shops filled with coastal inspired treasures, savory snacks and specialty art, here you’ll find the Original Pawleys Island Rope Hammock and still view the weavers working the magic you remember as a child.
Now onto our home for the next five nights among the relaxation and tranquility of a quiet beach oasis, Bridgewater at the Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort.
Enjoy the evening in your oceanfront room and a restful night.
Day Two: Leisurely Morning
Spend a leisurely morning gazing at the Atlantic Ocean or enjoying the hotel activities until our included lunch at a great local spot.
You’ll find something strangely mesmerizing about the hauntingly beautiful Atalaya Castle, a 30-room mansion perched on the edge of the dunes overlooking the sea. This Spanish-Moorish style creation was once the winter getaway for Anna and Archer Huntington built for Anna to work on her massive artwork in the bright sunshine.
Hidden among the landscape of what is now Huntington State Park, this environment’s unending beach and abundant wildlife made it the perfect place for Anna to create her wild, eerie, and beautiful sculptures.
Huntington Beach Trails:
After touring the castle, explore the Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail, an easy stroll meandering through a maritime forest of ancient dunes covered in oaks, pines, and cedars to an observation deck for viewing a wide array of wading birds, shorebirds and elusive alligators.
There’s also the short but sweet Kerrigan Boardwalk trail leading out onto the saltmarsh and fresh lagoon for spectacular wildlife viewing and you must take a walk along the causeway for an amazing view of all varieties of birds you can imagine in one place.
Once back at our hotel, the night is yours to enjoy!
Day Three: Sandy Island
This morning we journey back in time on a tour to Sandy Island, a hidden jewel that’s only accessible by boat. This historic gem is the last true undeveloped island on the East coast of South Carolina.
Our tour will take us on an in depth step into the vibrant culture and traditions of the Gullah people who’s generations still inhabit the island today.
Next we visit the other amazing space provided by the Huntingtion’s. Brookgreen Gardens is one of South Carolina’s most special places that combines exquisite sculptures on a Lowcountry rice plantation to create a magical, enchanting world.
We’ll spend most of the day here exploring and wandering through this unique melding of art, nature, and history with lunch on your own at the café.
Join the Creek Excursion as we cruise on a 48-foot pontoon boat past historic rice fields that are now home to alligators, waterfowl, and osprey.
On our journey, we’ll understand how the cultivation of rice crops and role of enslaved Africans shaped the history of the Lowcountry.
Onto the famous MarshWalk of Murrels Inlet, a half mile wooden boardwalk along a natural saltwater estuary. There will be plenty of great waterfront places to choose from for dinner on your own, each offering it’s own unique scenic view.
Keep a look out for the mysterious Goat Island!
Day Four: Hopsewee Plantation
Today we step back into a serene spot in Southern history at the lovely Hopsewee Plantation, a major rice plantation set along the banks of the North Santee River.
Our tour will take us through the original 1740s home room by room to learn its rich history of previous and current families and the enslaved who lived and worked here.
After, take some time to stroll and wander the grounds by the mossy oaks and river vistas…
River Oak Cottage Tea Room:
…before our included lunch at the River Oak Cottage Tea Room filled with sweet Southern charm.
Wine by the River:
Don’t eat too much because soon it will be time for Wine by the River, a relaxing riverside setting surrounded by moss-draped live oaks, perfect for sipping wine and enjoying tasty hors d’oeuvres and fun conversation.
It’s not time to go yet! We haven’t fully experienced Hopsewee Plantation until we’ve heard the haunted tales and ghostly legends of the plantation and Georgetown County.
Now its back to our comfy hotel for another night of leisure.
Day Five: Sea Shell & Lighthouse Cruise
Step aboard the Carolina Rover, a comfortable, shaded 40 ft pontoon boat, for a 4-hour smooth eco-cruise to a remote barrier island where the Winyah Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.
We’ll glide through a bird watchers paradise by Georgetown Light, South Carolina’s oldest and operational lighthouse, who’s lit the way for over two centuries of seafarers. Once on secluded North Island, we’ll have time to explore where the sea unfolds her secrets, depositing an ever-changing array of shells galore.
We’ll then head back, passing a Civil War wreck as on-board naturalists teach us about nearby historic plantation tidelands. Keep an eye out for dolphins, Bald Eagles, shorebirds, alligators, and maybe even a sea turtle!
Time for lunch in historic Georgetown, a quaint waterfront community with plenty of great restaurants to choose from along the Harborwalk or downtown.
Enjoy the last oceanfront night as you please.
Day Six: Breakfast & Flight Home
Time to make our way back to the airport for our quick flight north to our home in New Jersey.
Pricing & Departures:
Air transportation is provided by United Airlines. A surcharge will apply if United Airlines increases the price of its airfare. One piece of luggage per person (baggage fee by United is not included) and one small carry-on are permitted. A valid, government-issued picture ID is required to board the plane. b
April: Flight # departs Newark at AM and arrives in Myrtle Beach at PM
April: Flight #departs Myrtle Beach at PM and arrives in Newark at PM
Price per person is $ Twin & $ Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $350 per person. Make checks payable to “Group Tours & Travel” and mail to our address above. Final payment is due February 2024. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after February 2024. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended, but not included. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change the itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. This tour will run rain or shine.
Upon submitting final payment you are agreeing to our new policy.
Wet Blanket Policy:
– a person who makes it difficult for other people to enjoy themselves by complaining, acting negatively, creating drama, etc.
– one that quenches or dampens enthusiasm or pleasure
- Our philosophy of travel involves getting out of the ordinary to experience other cultures and places with an open minded attitude and flexibility. Since as in daily life, anything can and will happen, let’s embrace these situations with acceptance and understanding because they will either lead to an unexpected, amazing experience or positive learning experience.
- If anyone brings along excess baggage such as incessant complaining, under the breath rude comments, outward negativity or other such behaviors that infect the entire group or individuals, we have the exclusive right to remove them from the tour at their own cost with no refunds. (yes, this means you)
- If any major concerns arise during a tour, please just come talk to us and we’ll work it out!
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
PO Box 632 Berwyn, PA 19312