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Pawleys Island Finishes Second in Garden & Gun’s “Favorite Southern Beach Town” Contest



After three weeks and five rounds of voting in Garden & Gun’s “Favorite Southern Beach Town” bracket, Pawleys Island finished second, coming in behind Mexico Beach, Florida, in the championship round. En route to the final match-up, Garden & Gun readers reaffirmed the appeal of Pawleys Island, long renowned for its beautiful beach and casual charm.

Pawleys Island defeated Port Aransas, Texas, Folly Beach, South Carolina, Sanibel, Florida, and Jekyll Island, Georgia, in the 32-town, tournament-style bracket that featured the best beach communities from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi and Texas.

“Being part of the Garden & Gun bracket and then having Pawleys Island advance to the championship round was a thrill for all of us,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce. “The success Pawleys Island enjoyed reflects the affinity vacationers have for the community and the Hammock Coast in general. With so many people looking forward to the opportunity to travel, it was great for Pawleys Island to be in the spotlight Garden & Gun created.”

A four-mile long barrier island that provides vacationers stunning beach front, abundant eco-activities, and some of the Palmetto State’s premier restaurants and cultural attractions, Pawleys Island is located in the heart of South Carolina’s acclaimed Hammock Coast.

When it announced the competition, Garden & Gun said, “For generations, beach towns have welcomed us for vacations, long weekends, and memorable family trips. It is in that spirit—and with the knowledge that we’ll be back to these places soon—that we present the 10th annual Garden & Gun bracket: Favorite Southern Beach Towns.”

To choose the 32 beach towns for the bracket, the magazine first went to readers via social media and in its Talk of the South newsletter asking for their favorite beach town. From there, the magazine whittled it down to the final nominees and then created the matchups.

In a story highlighting the two championship finalists, Garden & Gun called Pawleys Island a “serene sand-and-sunset getaway.”

Garden & Gun is certainly not the first magazine to put Pawleys Island in the spotlight for best beach town. Southern Living named Pawleys Island one of the South’s Best Beach Towns in 2019, saying, “Atlantic-facing Pawleys Island isn’t far from such popular Grand Strand destinations as Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, but it’s a quieter getaway, known for cypress cottages and those famous hammocks. There’s no shortage of good food and drink, not to mention water recreation of every description. Beautiful Brookgreen Gardens is just a 10-minute drive away.”

About South Carolina’s Hammock Coast
Georgetown County’s casual charm and Southern hospitality earned it the nickname Hammock Coast. Adventure and relaxation blend together in perfect harmony, like the flowing and ebbing of waves on the county’s famed beaches. With six communities – Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island, southern Garden City, Georgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.

For more information about all of the Hammock Coast, visit

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