Established | Dates to the 18th century, but its name didn’t become official until the U.S. Postal Service named it in 1913. The community is an unincorporated village. Most of it lies in Georgetown County, while the address has been expanded to new subdivisions in Horry County.
Origin of name | Three legends persist. According to Henry Heuffer’s “Names in South Carolina,” Murrells Inlet bears the name of a pirate, Capt. John Murrell, who used the inlet as his headquarters while he preyed on merchant ships at sea. Murrell once attacked a ship carrying inlet residents, rescuing and carrying them safely home. The grateful victims, according to that legend, rewarded the captain with gifts of rice and named the settlement for him.
In another version, Murrell was a fisherman and trader who rescued the inlet people from a sinking ship. Records indicate a Capt. John Murrell bought a tract of land in the Richmond Hill section of Wachesaw in 1730.
The third account is far less colorful: The inlet was named for the John Morrall family, which had land grants in the area.
What’s grand about it | Considered the seafood capital of South Carolina, Murrells Inlet is an authentic fishing village, dotted with seafood restaurants, quaint creekside homes, a dock and marina and lush foliage. This seaside community – devoid of high rises and concrete parking lots – delivers serenity in its scenic views and excitement along its MarshWalk, where a variety of restaurants and bars offer an array of food and entertainment.
Major events | Blessing of the Inlet, an annual spring event at which members of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church gather beside the marsh creek to ask God’s blessing on the waters that have fed the area’s history and heritage; the annual Independence Day boat parade and fireworks; annual springtime cleanup; an annual oyster roast; a golf tournament; Christmas Parade; and foot races.
What’s new | Restaurant Row continues to grow, with Dead Dog Saloon planning a new eatery next door, the Claw House. An assisted living center opened this summer.
Best kept secret | For the outdoor fanatics, Huntington Beach State Park is home to an undeveloped beach, campsites, hiking trails and a nature center perfect for a day trip or even week-long stay. The park charges a daily $5 fee for ages 16 and older, or $3.25 for state resident seniors. Also, watching the goats and peacocks on Goat Island across from the MarshWalk.
Property tax | 201.2 mills in Georgetown County, 194.3 in Horry
Numbers to know
Murrells Inlet 2020 | A community organization established to protect the inlet’s environment and history: 843-357-2007 or murrellsinletsc.com
Georgetown County government | 843-545-3006 or georgetowncountysc.org
Georgetown County Council District 1 | John Thomas, P.O. Box 373, Pawleys Island, 29585, 843-237-3718