FOCUS ON – Georgetown, South Carolina, AICW Statute Mile 403
Georgetown, A CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is home to Harborwalk Marina, also A CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, only a boardwalk away from Georgetown’s Historic District for history, entertainment, great food, and shopping!
Port of Call – Georgetown, South Carolina
There is a town, whose location astride the confluence of several rivers caught the attention of our nations earliest explorers, as early as 1526 when the Spanish recognized its natural resourcefulness and tried but failed to settle successfully. Then in 1729 the English actually laid out the town; its natural shipping port qualities provided an important role in our fight for independence during the Revolutionary War, and it was virtually unscathed during the Civil War, thriving to its prominence today. You don’t want to miss visiting historic and exciting, Georgetown, South Carolina, a delightful escape form 21st century hustle with its southern charm and hospitality.
Sitting where several rivers, the scenic and mysterious Waccamaw, the Great Pee Dee, the Black, and Sampit rivers all yawn lazily into vastness of Winyah Bay, Georgetown constantly calls to mind its rich and storied past. For many years it was South Carolina’s most important port north of Charleston, this jewel of a coastal town retains its character of years ago while a new spirit of success sustains its future. Skippers and Captains who make Georgetown a “port of call” will be greeted with the warm hospitality of this quiet, historic town.
The heritage of the remarkable rice and indigo eras is important to fully appreciate Georgetown and its surrounding rivers and streams. Anyone who takes the time to examine their charts, will find that Georgetown is perfectly suited to take advantage of waterborne commerce. These same deep and easily navigable streams, today present a multitude of exploration opportunities for pleasure cruises. As you move quietly through these streams they gradually reveal one or more of the fabulous plantation houses that have survived hundreds of years.
As you enter Georgetown’s harbor on the Sampit River, the first marina is Hazzard Marine, which you will see on your starboard side. Located a little further from the historical and dining areas, you are still with in a nice easy walk to the towns central area. Hazzard Marine is a full-service marina and boat yard with transient dockage on floating docks, 30/50-amp power, fuel, and pump-outs. Internet link: www.hazzardmarine.com
Further into the harbor on starboard, is Harborwalk Marina. It is on the boardwalk in the heart of Georgetown’s historic district, shopping, and dining areas. Harborwalk Marina has fuel, pump outs, laundry, lounge, showers, and ships store, along with floating and fixed docks with power services for 30/50/100-amp services.
I must say, at Harborwalk you are right in the heart of town, right on Front Street where you are just a few enjoyable steps to 16 restaurants, 23 stores, 5 museums, and more all downtown.
We strongly suggest that you first stop by the Georgetown Chamber which is on the same grounds as Harborwalk Marina. Pick up a town and tour pamphlet. A little planning can help you get much more accomplished and everyone highly recommends one of the many tour excursions. Ask about the light in the window story surrounding the Heriot-Tarbox House. Ghosts? You will have to see for yourself.
Do a quick check to see what is going on in the Francis Marion Park, where there is often “Music In The Park” concerts and be sure to see what the “Swamp Fox Players” are up to. Could be very entertaining.
You will easily spot the Clock Tower of the Old Market Building which houses the Rice Museum, a most interesting treasure of the community that helps one understand how Georgetown’s rice and indigo production was a good for some, but there was a sad side also. None-the-less, the town has survived many economic ups and downs and serious disasters. See the story of an African-American, born into slavery and later in life became the first African-American elected to the US House of Representatives.
Next door and part of the exhibits is the oldest recovered vessel of colonial times; built around 1730, the Browns Ferry Vessel, a general-purpose freighter in its day, used on the local rivers. It was discovered on the bottom of the Black River in 1974 and has been carefully treated and reconstructed for display.
Don’t miss the South Carolina Maritime Museum in the heart of Georgetown’s Historic District. The SC Maritime Museum is the creation of the “Harbor Historical Association” to help celebrate the maritime history of South Carolina and Georgetown, the states second largest port. On exhibit there is the Fresnel lens from the North Island lighthouse; enjoy the museums many programs and events that tell of South Carolina’s storied maritime history. It is also a perfect place to find that unique nautical gift.
Dining is really fun and a treat in Georgetown, with the local “Lowcountry cooking,” casual waterfront dining, to the finer upscale restaurants. Almost every skipper I’ve spoken to has enjoyed “Thomas’s Café” for either breakfast of lunch as well The River Room, or Atlantic House Restaurant, or Beef O’Brady’s, (all my Irish friends), you name it Georgetown has it, from international specialties to local specialties, you will not be without something special to please your appetite.
Shopping right in the heart of town is fun, no big box stores, most are owned and operated by local citizens, how refreshing. From antiques to local artisans’ crafts, to coastal boutiques for men and women, there is something for everyone. A great place to find that special birthday, Mother or Father’s Day, Christmas, or personal gift for someone special.
If you need to take a night or two off from the live-aboard routine, and that is highly recommended, go get pampered; historic Georgetown is ready to accommodate with a host of fine bed-and-breakfasts inns and motels. Be sure when staying in one of the historic inns to check for the resident ghosts, that so loved Georgetown after their lives here, they have stayed in town.
Georgetown once visited, will always be a part of you. Wonderful memories will be created and the warm hospitality will pull you back someday.
Stop by, for at least several days or more in this coastal port-of-call. Georgetown’s southern charm is calling you.