FOCUS ON Georgetown, SC, AICW Statute Mile 403
The County Chamber of Commerce for Georgetown County, South Carolina and Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net are delighted to share the rich history of this area’s earliest settlements in and around Winyah Bay and along the several rivers that converge near Georgetown. The preserved old southern rice and indigo plantations still provide glimpses into our country’s earliest commercial, agricultural and aqua-cultural endeavors. Providing easy access to this “stroll-worthy community” for the cruising community is the recently completely renovated Harborwalk Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS NET SPONSOR. Putting Georgetown, SC on your list of fun ports of call is a must.
Looking for a great place to take a brief respite from the ICW? Then take a turn at marker 40 and head up the Sampit River to Historic Downtown Georgetown.
Dockage is available at several marinas, and there are day docks on the City’s Harborwalk. The third oldest city in South Carolina, Georgetown has been welcoming visitors to their harbor for almost 300 years.
Once you arrive in Georgetown and find a dock or anchorage, it’s time to start exploring the area. Within easy walking distance (just a few blocks) there are more than 14 restaurants, five museums and an abundance of shops. The locals are friendly and always glad to welcome visitors.
Start your exploration at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, next to Harborwalk Marina. There you will get free information including maps of the area, local attractions and history. Make time to visit all our museums – each highlights a different aspect of the rich history of the area.
The Rice Museum highlights the history of rice production in the area. Did you know Georgetown County was the largest producer of rice in North American in the early 1800’s? You will also have the opportunity to see the remains of the oldest wooden vessel known to have been built in North America.
The South Carolina Maritime Museum on the Harborwalk celebrates the maritime history of the state and port of Georgetown. Exhibits include historic photographs, documents, artifacts, and interactive displays. The centerpiece of the museum is the 5th order Fresnel lens that was the heart of the North Island Lighthouse for over 100 years. The Museum is also the home of the annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, which has been named a Top 20 Event in the Southeast and won the Bundy award as one of the best events in the state.
Georgetown County Museum features artifacts from all over the county, including a handwritten letter from General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. The Gullah Museum celebrates the Gullah culture of the western African people that were brought to our shores against their wills in the 1700 and 1800’s, and forged a shared culture that shaped the landscape, food and language of the Lowcountry.
The Kaminski House Museum, dating from 1765, features an extraordinary collection of European and American antiques, along with a glimpse into the history of Georgetown.
Georgetown’s National Register Historic District along the harbor is home to over 63 structures over 200 years old. You can pick up a historic walking map for a do-it-yourself tour or jump on the Swamp Fox tour trolley and enjoy an hour long narrated excursion through the oak-lined streets. You’ll be regaled with almost 300 years of history and may even hear a ghost story or two. Love ghost stories? Ask at the Visitors Center about one of our local lantern-led evening ghost tours!
Make sure you plan to spend several days in our harbor. You will need that much time to experience all the sites and sample all the amazing restaurants within a few steps of the water. Many Thursday evenings you can also enjoy free concerts in Francis Marion Park, right on the Harborwalk. One thing we can guarantee, you’ll leave a visit to Georgetown having made new friends and planning your return trip.