Gwen Fowler



Itinerary: Three days of great fun and food in Murrells Inlet

Posted 5/20/2011 12:55:00 PM

Whether you’re spending a week or a weekend on the south end of the Grand Strand, you’ll find lots to do and great places to eat in Murrells Inlet.

This fishing village on the beautiful marsh calls itself the Seafood Capitol of South Carolina, and it’s not surprising that U.S. 17 Business is lined with restaurants and seafood markets.

Here’s a plan for a three-day visit:

Day 1:

Your visit to Murrells Inlet won’t be complete without a visit to Brookgreen Gardens, one of South Carolina’s true gems. Spend a long time here to take in the impressive sculpture collection, to stroll through the gardens, which are beautiful any time of year, and to visit the Lowcountry Zoo. You can grab lunch or snacks at the Pavilion Restaurant, Courtyard Café or Old Kitchen at Brookgreen, or you could take a picnic with you. Pick up sandwiches at Consalvi’s Italian Market & Deli or grab a pizza or hoagies at Fox’s Pizza Den.

You’ve probably had enough walking for one day and would just like to be served a wonderful meal. Go to Bliss, one of Murrells Inlet’s newest restaurants that already has a devoted following. On a recent visit, I had braised veal osso bucco, served with roasted vegetables. It was a delicious, hearty meal, the kind of dinner you’d like to have waiting for dinner when you get home on a cold day. My husband had crab-crusted grouper, which was also excellent. Bliss certainly lives up to its name.

Day 2:


Go to Applewood House of Pancakes, just down U.S. 17 Bypass in Litchfield Beach. You’ll love the food, but you’ll especially enjoy trying to decide what to choose from this interesting menu. Whether you’re in the mood for steak and eggs, waffles, pancakes or an omelet, you’ll find it here.

During the day:

Head to Huntington Beach State Park for a day of sunning, fishing and watching nature. Don’t miss a visit to Atalaya, the castle that was the winter home of Archer Huntington and sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. If you love to ride, bring your bicycle along. A nice bike trail stretches through most of Murrells Inlet and down to Litchfield Beach. It’s easily accessible from the State Park. Pack a lunch from one of the places listed above, unless your idea of breakfast is 11:30 a.m.


If you’re staying in a place with a kitchen, cook your own seafood feast. Head out to Harrelson’s Seafood Market or Seven Seas Seafood Market. Both are on U.S. 17 Business, and both offer an assortment of fresh seafood from local waters. At Harrelson’s, you also can buy crab cakes made by An Mathis Springs, better known as the Crab Cake Lady. Springs’ family also owns Harrelson’s. If you need some produce to finish off your meal, stop by Lee’s Farmers Market. This also is a good spot to pick up meats, cheeses and bread.

Day 3:


Stop in at Prosser’s BBQ, which is as popular for its breakfast as it is for its barbecue and fried chicken later in the day. It’s on U.S. 17 Business.

If the weather is warm, work off that breakfast in a kayak. You can rent one at Express Water Sports. Nothing is more peaceful than paddling around the beautiful salt marsh for a couple of hours.


Grab lunch at Lee’s Inlet Apothecary, which has an old-fashioned soda fountain. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back to the 1950s as you enjoy a pimento cheese sandwich and an ice cream soda or shake.


Take a stroll on the Marshwalk. Go early enough to see what’s come in on the fishing boats and enjoy the spectacular view.

Look for the goats on Goat Island, and don’t miss the statue of Bubba Love, who is almost a Murrells Inlet institution. Love grew up on the Inlet and worked in restaurants with his mother as a boy. He works at Drunken Jack’s now, where part of his responsibility is tending the goats on Goat Island. There’s even a lunch and bar spot named for him, Bubba’s Love Shak. Along with several of the other restaurants on the Marshwalk, Bubba’s has seating outdoors for nice weather. On a recent trip to the Love Shak, my husband and I shared a “Bubbatizer,” a delicious crab dip Florentine with chips.

You have your choice of restaurants right on the Marshwalk. There’s Spud’s Waterfront Dining, Dead Dog Saloon, Creek Ratz, Capt. Dave’s Dockside, Drunken Jack’s, Divine Fish House, Wahoo’s Raw Bar and Bovine’s. Choose Divine Fish House, Bovine’s and Capt. Dave’s if you’re looking for fine dining.

Another restaurant choice for a longer stay is Lee’s Inlet Kitchen. It’s been open since 1948 and is a popular choice for a seafood dinner.