ON THE ROAD: Palmetto State’s third oldest city boasts historical and recreational charm

GEORGETOWN, SC (WOLO) — With kids in Richland County schools returning next week, you still have this weekend to squeeze in a quick vacation.

If you’re looking for a nice day trip, look no further than a small coastal town that has been recognized as the best in the country by USA Today.

“I won’t say we’re an undiscovered diamond but we wish we had more tourists coming in. Yet, we still want to keep that small town ambiance,” said Mary Boyd, volunteer at the Georgetown County Museum.

Like many coastal towns in South Carolina, Georgetown has delicious seafood restaurants and waterfront views. However, it’s the history of this place that really sets it apart.

“Georgetown being the third oldest town in South Carolina has had a lot of maritime history related to it,” said Justin McIntyre, SC Maritime Museum curator.

Sitting on Winyah Bay at the confluence of four rivers, Georgetown has been involved throughout history in many industries including indigo, rice and lumber. Today, the bay is a recreational haven.

“The museum is right on the waterfront as is Front Street which runs through historic Georgetown. It’s a great place,” McIntyre said. “They can dock their boats and within a matter of feet be at a great restaurant or museum.”

The South Carolina Maritime Museum houses a lighthouse lens, ship models, shipwreck artifacts and more.

A few streets over sits another historical museum that tells the story of the Gullah people.

“They brought with them knowledge of the rice culture, indigo and cattle raising,” said Andrew Rodrigues, Gullah Museum co-founder.

In addition to checking out the artifacts at the Gullah Museum, you can also listen to Mr. Rodrigues who is a great storyteller.

“This quilt tells the history of the Gullah people from Africa to emancipation,” Rodrigues said. “This is the first quilt that my wife ever made.”

Even after his wife and museum co-founder Vermelle passed away, Rodrigues has kept the place alive.

“Because this is what was important to her,” the Gullah museum co-founder said.

The centuries of Georgetown’s history can also be found at the county history museum and many others, but you don’t even have to go inside any buildings to experience the past.

“We have 66 houses here in Georgetown that predate the Civil War,” Boyd said. “Of them, 33 predate the Revolutionary War.”

If you can’t make it to Georgetown this summer, October is a fine time to visit as well.

“Our annual Georgetown Wooden Boat show is held the 3rd weekend in October,” McIntyre said. “This year it will be October 15th and 16th.

“We’ve got a ton of ghost stories about houses here in Georgetown,” Boyd said. “It’s great at Halloween time and the people here are very friendly.” 

With so much to do in this quaint coastal town, a rainy afternoon here is better than a sunny day almost anywhere else. 

Categories: Local News, Richland