10 things you need to know about Murrells Inlet

Growing up in Murrells Inlet has provided me with a lifetime of insight into this wonderful place so many new families now call home and some recent events around the Inlet started me thinking that there were are least 10 things new arrivals would find of interest or should know about their new hometown.   While the list of 10 may grow into many more over time I hope you will find “Things you need to know about Murrells Inlet” useful as you begin your new chapter living in Murrells Inlet neighborhoods and enjoying all the natural beauty and amenities our area has to offer to both homeowners and visitors alike.

1.  Murrells Inlet is an unincorporated area in Georgetown County that runs from the Horry County line south to Huntington Beach State Park and stretches from the creek to the river but due to developers wanting to attach themselves to the popular fishing village the lines are blurred and now include areas from Burgess to Garden City.  The Inlet boundary for the purpose of this blog will remain as they were so you have an idea of the unique character of the area.  The Murrells Inlet natives love the creek and the trees especially the live oaks so please don’t take cutting them lightly and help us preserve the very reasons we all like to call it home.

2.  Murrells Inlet is one of the few creeks that have high salt consentrations and is home to some of the best oyster’s anywhere in the world.  Ok so I might be biased but with the Atlantic Ocean at our doorstep and tide changes every 6 hours our creek does have higher salinity than most inlets due to its size.  You might notice the Murrells Inlet Watershed sign along Highway 17 near Huntington Beach State Park where the inlet begins at the south and runs up to Garden City to the north.  Our creek is especially sensitive to runoff as pollutants can damage our Inlet so make sure to use safe practices when walking pets and don’t litter because it really does make us crabby.

3.  Once upon a time Murrells Inlet was all about fishing where pioneers in the industry ran head boats carrying passengers in sleek modern boats to the Gulf Stream.  Crowds would flock to Capt. Alex’s Marina in the afternoon when the boat docked at 6 PM to see the tremendous catch and were rarely dissapointed.  Back then there were few boat’s that ran such trips that served to attract both new and old to the sport of fishing in Murrells Inlet without having to own a boat or the equipment necessary to fish in the stream.  The Thunderbird, Sea Gypsy, Flying Fisher, Miss South Carolina, Capt Bill, Inlet Princess and New Inlet Princess were at one time part of the head boat fleet in Murrells Inlet and only a few remain today.  Regulation has made it more difficult for the commercial fishing industry along the east coast too and many of the fleets are gone but you can still get a glimpse of the fish hitting the dock in Murrells Inlet.

4.  Murrells Inlet aka “The Seafood Capital of South Carolina” earned the title by having some of the best fresh seafood restaurants in SC.  Hundreds of thousands of visitors to Murrells Inlet have enjoyed our fresh local seafood over the years and have witnessed the evolution of the establishments that catered to them.  Many of the mainstays like Morse’s Oyster Roast, Oliver’s Lodge, Bay Harbor, Anchor Inn, Inlet View, Wayside & Sunnyside have been lost over the years and with the exception of Drunken Jacks, Dockside, Lee’s Inlet Kitchen & Nance’s been replaced by new restaurants serving up fresh seafood every day.  If you want a true glimpse into Old Murrells Inlet stopping by for dinner at Russell’s Seafood Grill will give you a good taste of what Murrells Inlet is famous for and some of the people that helped to make it that way.

5.  Murrells Inlet 2020 is responsible for creating the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk and many other worthy projects to help preserve, protect and promote infrastructure improvements in the Murrells Inlet area while enhancing environmental education.  The new ‘Jetty View’ project will add another destination for residents and visitors to access the Murrells Inlet waterfront.  This group puts on several fundraising events throughout the year in order to carry out their mission and you should make it your mission to support these efforts.

6.  The new Veteran’s Pier is the site of the former government pier and used to house crash boats before it was abandoned by the military and made a great fishing spot for many years before being destroyed by Hurricane Hugo.  This new pier was made possible by Murrells Inlet 2020 efforts and also is home to the “Captain’s Walk” that houses the names of many former Inlet boat captains.  The only thing missing is somebody selling fiddler crabs for bait so you’ll have to go to Perry’s or Capt. Dicks to get some other kind of bait.  You’ll notice many plaques along the pier and marshwalk and by getting one for your family you also help support MI2020 efforts.

7.  Spring Tide is a Day for the Inlet is held every year in April and this volunteer effort first began in 1990 after Hurricane Hugo left the creek littered with debris.  Area resident Chip Smith came up with the idea after observing the problem in addition to starting the Plus One Boating campaign to go beyond the one day event.  There is a chowder cook-off after the streets and creek are cleaned up and it is a great event to help you become involved by helping your new community.

8.  Murrells Inlet has Talent.  In addition to many musical groups that preform along the Grand Strand the Murrells Inlet Community Theatre puts on some really good shows!  The community center which once housed the Murrells Inlet Elemetary School and is home to the Murrells Inlet Magistrate also is the place to enjoy a good play that are held several times a year.  Talented local artists in every medium also call Murrells Inlet home.  You can check some of them out at The Ebb & Flow Gallery on Hwy 17 Bypass or look around our local shops and you are bound to see a few examples if you don’t miss the signs.

9.  Highway 17 Business in Murrells Inlet is offically named after famed mystery writer Mickey Spillane.  Now known as the Mickey Spillane Waterfront 17 Highway this new name doesn’t begin to describe what you will find once you drive in but you will likely not forget it once you arrive.  If you look to the left at the boat storage you might even spot Mickey’s boat ‘817’ and while not much to look at it could raise the mackerel as I remember with trash cans full in a few hours.

10.  With her book “Heaven is A Beautiful Place” Genevieve ‘Sister’ Peterkin provided us with yet another glimpse of life in Murrells Inlet along with the struggles many face that weren’t lucky enough to have been here back in the day when things were much slower paced but just as complicated as things have become today.   Sister passed away in September of this year and with her passing Murrells Inlet lost a treasure but we are fortunate to have her writings and stories that will last forever and the memories of those that knew her.

So now you know 10 things you need to know about Murrells Inlet and as always let me know if you have any questions and we can add to the list.  Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.