Pawley's Island is a 3.5 long island with a laid back atmosphere. The town is known for being simple beyond modern conveniences. Pawleys is the perfect unspoiled family beach location. The earliest known inhabitants of the area were Waccamaw and Winyah Indians. They called the area "Chicora," meaning "the land," and the term is frequently used by local businesses. The Grand Strand began to develop into a major tourist area during the 20th century. A local legend on the island has grown about The Gray Man, a friendly ghost who warns of impending hurricanes. The shoppers are not intriqued by the ghost but by the well known Pawley's Hammocks.
Pawleys Island, South Carolina, located 70 miles north of Charleston and 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach, is known as one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast.
The families of rice planters who owned plantations on the nearby rivers first settled Pawleys Island in the early 1700's. The planters knew that it was unhealthy for their families to remain on the rivers during the summer and that the seashore was much healthier. Even though they didn't know about malaria in the 1700's, they knew enough to get away! They moved their families, horses, cows, bedding, provisions and furniture to Pawleys in May of each year, where they remained until the first frost in November!
From this leisurely existence has developed the charm of Pawleys that still remains. Also still remaining are 12 residences in the historic district, which date from the late 1700's to the mid 1800's. Pawleys continues to be known for its shoeless, carefree, laid-back life style, which includes crabbing in the adjacent creeks, fishing, the stories of ghosts, the rope hammocks and the unspoiled, unsophisticated, casual, delightful stretch of wide beach and sand dunes.