Murrells Inlet – Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Georgetown County Photos  |  Murrells Inlet

An historic fishing village located just south of Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet has long enjoyed a reputation for excellent dining. In fact, this small Grand Strand haunt has positioned itself, quite rightly, as the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina.”

Murrells Inlet Marsh

Matt Trudeau of Murrells Inlet © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Uniquely situated for such an honor, Murrells Inlet lies between the Waccamaw River and the Atlantic Ocean; it is further divided by its namesake creek, which gives fisherman three separate sources to pull from – black water, creek water, and deep water. Originally home to the Waccamaw Indians, Captain John Murrell (sometimes spelled Morrall) settled here in 1731. He was soon followed by many of the area’s most well-known families, including the Flaggs and Allstons, who established prolific indigo and rice plantations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many of these planters kept slaves called “creek boys” who collected bounties such as shrimp, oysters, clams, crabs, and fish.

Murrells Inlet

Benton Henry of Latta, 2007 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

This epicurean appreciation soon gave rise to a fraternity called the Hot and Hot Club. During the first half of the 1800s, wealthy white males (including future South Carolina governor Robert Francis Withers Allston) would gather with their black boat hands each Friday, June through October, to fish and dine. Elaborate rules dictated which members were responsible for which dishes (and drinks!), and all contributed their day’s catch to the meal, which could stretch long into the night.

Dead Dog Saloon in Murrells Inlet

Matt Trudeau of Murrells Inlet, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Following the Civil War and the demise of rice culture, Murrells Inlet’s economy evolved to rely on its estuarine environment. During a time when local seafood could not be safely shipped, people traveled to Murrells Inlet for rustic oyster roasts and fish fries, often hosted by the families of former planters. Over time the community became renowned for its fresh fare, and demand has never waned. Today Murrells Inlet continues to draw fans to its famous row of restaurants, many of which have thrived for generations.

Goat Island Murrells Inlet

Austin Bond of Murrells Inlet, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

After dinner, visitors can stroll down the scenic Marsh Walk, a half-mile waterfront boardwalk which offers incredible sunset views as well as a peek at the inhabitants of Goat Island (shown above). The small islet, situated just beyond Drunken Jack’s Restaurant & Lounge, is home to several goats and peacocks during the warmer months. The restaurant keeps the animals to help maintain vegetation, and they are cared for by local celebrity and longtime employee, “Bubba Love” (Jerome Smalls).

Murrells Inlet Docks

Matt Trudeau of Murrells Inlet, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

At the end of the Marsh Walk stands Crazy Sister Marina, which offers water excursions ranging from mild to wild. If you’d like to explore the inlet at eye-level, you can rent a kayak. If you feel the need for speed, boats and jet skis are also on hand. And like most coastal communities in the region, Murrells Inlet also abounds with pirate lore, so the family-friendly Sea Gypsy offers adventure for all who dare.

Brookgreen Central Path

Matt Trudeau of Murrells Inlet, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Of course, Murrells Inlet is not all salt water and swashbuckling. A trip to the acclaimed Brookgreen Gardens is a must for anyone who appreciates art or nature. Founded by philanthropists Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1931, the gardens showcase native flora and fauna and also serve as a living backdrop for one of our nation’s finest collections of sculpture – including several by master sculptress Anna Huntington herself. Brookgreen was named a National Historic Landmark in 1992 and features a zoo, a dock, a nature center, and an old rice field.

Moonrise at Murrells Inlet

Matt Trudeau of Murrells Inlet, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Just across the road lies Huntington Beach State Park. Once called Magnolia Beach, Huntington is the site of Atalaya, Archer and Anna’s winter home and “castle by the sea.” Architecturally exceptional, Atalaya is worth a visit in its own right, and both organized and self-guided tours are available throughout the day. (A popular ghost tour is offered at night.) The park also provides public access to one of South Carolina’s most pristine beaches, its unspoiled shoreline free of condos and hotels. An extensive network of trails takes visitors through a myriad of natural ecosystems, allowing an “up close and personal” look at local wildlife.

Murrells Inlet - Jordan Landing Road

Austin Bond of Murrells Inlet, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet native Austin Bond describes the scene of his above photo as follows: “This photo was taken on July 4th. I was at a party on Jordan Landing Road in Murrells Inlet and noticed some teens (friends of mine) stargazing and watching fireworks on the dock next door. I put my camera on top of a dock post (hoping it would not fall in) and set it to take a 30 second long exposure. I asked them to stay as still as possible so they wouldn’t be blurry in the final image. This photo looks photoshopped but it’s not. It actually was very dark so the long exposure setting allowed the camera to absorb any visible light which gives it a surreal look.”

Photographer Benton Henry shares his experience photographing Murrells Inlet: “This sunrise shot of Murrells Inlet shows the ‘skyline’ of Garden City. Quite often when I go on commercial shoots I will arrive very early to see if I can find any interesting scenes for my personal use. The oak tree and marsh seem to perfectly frame the sunrise.”

Add your own reflections here.

Murrells Inlet Map

Murrells Inlet – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Murrells Inlet, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

If You Don't Have a Facebook Account, Please Comment Below

One Comment about Murrells Inlet

Carl McMillanNo Gravatar says:
June 10th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

I have spent much time in Murrells Inlet in my 75 years, but I know little of its history. I don’t seem to be able to locate any information about the town’s past. Any help would be appreciated. CBM

Related Pages

Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk
Marsh Walk
Murrells Inlet

The Hermitage Murrells Inlet
The Hermitage
Murrells Inlet

Belin Memorial United Methodist

Goat Island
Goat Island
Murrells Inlet

Crazy Sister Marina Murrells Inlet
Crazy Sister Marina
Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet Marsh
Murrells Inlet
Murrells Inlet

Huntington Isalnd Beach
Huntington Beach
Murrells Inlet

Atalaya Aerial
Murrells Inlet

Brookgreen Fighting Stallions
Brookgreen Gardens
Murrells Inlet


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Barns & Farms Barnwell Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historic Houses Historic Photos Honea Path Hopkins Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lakes Lancaster Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mt. Carmel Mt. Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeway Rivers Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York

© 2015, LLC All rights reserved.