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With our new app, taking a walking tour of Pawleys Island has never been easier

Pawleys Island, the oldest seaside resort on the East coast, is known for its intriguing history and scenic beauty.

Now, a new tourism app, sharing history of Pawleys Island and the surrounding areas along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast® is available for free download at online app stores. The app was a project developed by the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and the Hammock Coast.

The new Hammock Coast app will guide historic tours of Georgetown and Pawleys Island. (Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Pawleys Island and the surrounding areas have a rich heritage for visitors to explore and now they can explore with handheld guidance on a walk or driving tour of Pawleys — or even from the comfort of their own home. People can go to their favorite app store and search for “Hammock Coast” and download the Hammock Coast app.

“We are happy to share the rich history and cultural heritage of our region with visitors. Using the app is the perfect way to take a tour,” said Beth Stedman, president & CEO of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce.

On Pawleys Island, visitors can learn about 10 locations, including the Joseph Blyth Allston House, also known as the Pawley House, and the All Saints Summer Parsonage. It also shares the history of the Pelican Inn, one of two historic inns on Pawleys Island.

Check out the other two tours, too: a National Register Historic Tour and an African American Heritage Tour, both in Georgetown. Visuals, text, and audio by local historians/storytellers/authors Lee Brockington and Ron Daise are included.

Brockington, who previously worked at Hobcaw Barony near Georgetown and wrote or co-wrote the books “Pawleys Island: A Century of History and Photographs and “Pawleys Island: Stories from the Porch,” narrated the history tours of Pawleys Island and the Georgetown Historic Register properties for the app. She said this new app will be very convenient for people interested in history of the area.

“Some visitors like to keep their schedule flexible rather than sign up for a guided tour,” she said. “With this app, a visitor can take a tour day or night, cold or hot.”

She added that the information in the app shares interesting and correct information about historical sites.

“Too often when my own family was touring another state, we had to rely on the clerk at the gas station to tell us what they knew,” she said. “Having an app can make a big difference in what visitors learn.”

Ron Daise of Georgetown and his wife, Natalie, are widely known for co-hosting “Gullah Gullah Island,” an American musical children’s television series celebrating the culture and language of enslaved Africans that was produced by and aired on the Nick Jr. programming block on the Nickelodeon network from 1994 to 1998. But before and after that successful program, Ron and Natalie have been passionate performers and educators about the African American experience.

Daise, who previously worked at Brookgreen Gardens as vice president of creative education, has written books, including “Little Muddy Waters: A Gullah Folk Tale“, “Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage: Legacy of Freedmen on St. Helena Island, and Gullah Branches, West African Roots. He narrated the African American Heritage Tour in Georgetown.

Daise said he wanted to be part of the app project because it is important to share African American history on the Hammock Coast.

“I’d like visitors to know about the unique and interesting Gullah Geechee history and heritage of Georgetown and the surrounding area,” he said.

The app offers three distinct tours based on these brochures: an African American Heritage Tour in Georgetown, the National Register Historic Tour in Georgetown, and a tour of Pawleys Island historic sites.

Visitors may choose to read or listen about specific sites along the three routes, or even explore from the comfort of their own home. The app is designed for both walking and driving. No account is required to use the app, but an Internet connection is needed.

Also, mapping locations is only a click away on the app and a frequently-asked-questions page answers the most common queries. Many of the stops are private homes and can only be viewed from outside, but during the course of the tours in Georgetown, museums are open with interpretive exhibits to further explain the history of Georgetown and its sites. Historical markers are also displayed to help identify important locations.

Check your favorite app store for the free “Hammock Coast” app. For more information about Pawleys Island, click here.

It should be noted that most of the properties on the tours can be seen from the exterior but are not open to the public. If the properties are open to the public, it will be noted, but most of the properties are private. Their history, however, is for the public to enjoy — especially on the new app!

By Clayton Stairs / tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce