Relaxing days on the beach and casual charm are at the heart of the appeal of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, and so is a vibrant live music scene.
From stunning views and a festive atmosphere along the Marshwalk to historic Front Street in Georgetown, the area’s talented musicians are one of the most underappreciated perks of a trip to the Hammock Coast. For those looking for things to do in the region’s beach communities of Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, DeBordieu Colony and southern Garden City, the live music scene easily fits the bill.
Depending on your musical tastes, there is something for everyone with the most popular spot being the Marshwalk, which is home to seven member restaurants overlooking Murrells Inlet, and nearly all of them offer live entertainment.
“You have so many talented musicians that get together in groups to create some of the best music you will hear along the coast and all of South Carolina,” said Robbie Buice, a drummer, percussionist and vocalist for The Guys, a local band.
For restaurant owners, music can provide a point of differentiation in a competitive market. Local, the newest restaurant in Pawleys Island’s famed Hammock Shops, opened in August of 2020 – in the heart of a pandemic – and knew it had to be creative in attracting diners.
The idea owners Keith Estabrook and John Dabrowski came up with were weekly jazz (Saturday) and blues (Sunday) brunches, which have worked to bring in customers to enjoy great food and music at a time – between noon and 3 p.m. – when they aren’t accustomed to having that option. Local also hosts a monthly Irish happy hour that includes popular Emerald Isle songs and it’s booked months in advance.
“The amount of enjoyment our musicians have is infectious to our guests and really makes them enjoy the whole experience,” Dabrowski said. “It gives them a unique experience and they are leaving with a happiness.”
If you want to enjoy live music along the Hammock Coast, here are venues, in addition to Local, that are worth checking out:
— Dead Dog Saloon is an area institution and with a different act playing each night, it’s a favorite for locals and vacationers alike. Bands can range from country to R&B and everything in between, but the quality of music is the tie that binds. With an expansive deck overlooking the inlet, Dead Dog always delivers a good time.
— The Tuna Shak – located beside Wicked Tuna, its sister restaurant – offers an open air, waterfront tiki hut to enjoy live music every night on the Marshwalk. Yes, it’s as much fun as it sounds. Best of all, you can order sushi and other treats off the Wicked Tuna menu.
— Not to be outdone, there is music day and night at Wahoo’s, where a covered deck and outdoor bar provide an ideal spot to enjoy some tunes and a cold brew (or the drink of your choice). If you are hungry, the food here is a winner, as well.
— At the epicenter of the Hammock Coast music scene is Pawleys Island Tavern, forever known to locals The PIT. The food is oh-so-good – the psycho burger is a must – and this is the place to go for music aficionados. The PIT has live music Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. It’s a local bar that welcomes vacationers with open arms.
“Great food, cold drinks and classic rock ‘n’ roll,” Buice said when asked why vacationers should come see The Guys during the band’s regular Tuesday night performance at The PIT.
— Island Bar & Grill is a Pawleys Island institution. Whether you are indoors or enjoying food and drink on the deck, it provides a casual environment to listen to tunes. Happy hour, which features 50-cent wings and $5 apps, is a particularly good time to enjoy Island Bar’s many virtues.
— If your travels to the Hammock Coast take you to Front Street in Georgetown, Buzz’s Roost offers an outdoor deck overlooking the water, making it a relaxing spot to take in the talents of local musicians. Not to be outdone, Big Tuna Raw Bar touts itself as the home of fresh local seafood, the coldest beer in town, and those unforgettable views of the Sampit River. Throw in a stage for a band and you have all the ingredients for a memorable evening. Best of all, you can arrive at Buzz’s Roost and Big Tuna via boat!
Like so many other components of a Hammock Coast vacation, the area’s music scene will enhance your next vacation.
For more information, visit HammockCoastSC.com.
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