Conway is one of the oldest and most historic communities in South Carolina. First talks of establishing this community as a British settlement began in the early 1730’s. Originally named Kingston, plans for the town were drawn up in 1734 and the first settlers arrived in 1735. When the Revolutionary War broke out, many of the residents fought for independence. Several battles are documented to have occurred near modern day Conway. General Francis Marion, nicknamed “the Swamp Fox of the Revolution,” led troops in the area. After the war, Kingston was renamed to Conwayborough in honor of a local Revolutionary War veteran and legislator.
Into the mid-1800’s, this community was developing into the main transportation port on the Waccamaw River. Even though plantations were common in the area, agriculture was not the main industry of the community. The most important industry was “naval stores” that supplied river boats transporting goods and people from Georgetown to Conwayborough. The name was shortened to Conway in 1883. By 1898, Conway had been reached by the railroad, incorporated, and elected its first mayor. Downtown Conway was built in the early 1900’s following a fire that ravaged the area. Today, people can still walk the streets of Historic Downtown Conway and witness the history of the community first-hand.
Conway offers many attractions for locals and visitors to enjoy. Located near Historic Downtown Conway is the Conway Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a 1.5 mile round trip walk along the Waccamaw River. Visitors are within walking distance to Historic Downtown Conway, so they can enjoy the rich history of the area and local cuisine and commerce. Also located in this community is Coastal Carolina University. Coastal Carolina University is a public university ranking in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Universities South at #45. Locals can enjoy collegiate level, Division I athletics such as football, basketball, and baseball throughout the year. The campus is also dog-friendly, and has become a popular dog walking site for locals.
For those interested in learning more about local history, the Horry County Museum is located in downtown Conway. The museum was opened in 1981 to the public, and it expanded to include the L.W. Paul Living History Farm in 2009. The farm shows visitors what life was like on a single-horse farm during the early 1900’s. The museum was recently featured on the reality show “Tanked,” where it received a custom aquarium that was modeled after local rivers and waterways.
The town of Conway hosts many events throughout the year. The Conway Riverfest occurs in late June as a precedent to the 4th of July. This festival includes live music, pony rides, games, outdoor markets, and fireworks to end the night. Taking place in downtown Conway, this event pulls residents from the immediate area and from surrounding Grand Strand communities. In October, the town hosts Conway Ghost Walks. Visitors to the event can walk around Historic Downtown Conway and hear ghost stories from knowledgeable narrators strategically placed throughout the streets. The Conway Celebration of Lights occurs every Christmas season. This drive-thru light show features thousands of lights along a one mile path.
Located in Historic Downtown Conway are many excellent restaurants. Rivertown Bistro is a high-end restaurant located in the heart of downtown. The Bistro celebrates southern roots through inventive fusions and seasonal menus. Patrons have the option to either dine on the upstairs deck that overlooks Downtown Conway or dine inside. Another local restaurant is the Crooked Oak Tavern. This restaurant was opened by a local couple with passion for fresh, local ingredients. All of the seafood served in the restaurant was caught in local waters, and all of their recipes came from their families. Bonfire is a taco and BBQ restaurant located in Historic Downtown Conway along the Waccamaw River. Mixing together two very different cuisines, it offer unique options for visitors. The chefs have a very deliberate and meticulous process for cooking and preparing all their food, which ensures that all customers will have a meal that they enjoy.
The Real Estate Market in Conway has experienced similar growth to the neighboring Grand Strand communities. The above listed history, attractions, and restaurants all are driving people to this quaint South Carolina community. Homes are selling quicker and at higher prices than just a few, short years ago. The average sales price for single family homes has increased nearly $100,000 from $165,854 in July of 2016 to $257,463 in July of 2021. Even with the increase in price, homes are selling over a month quicker on average. Homes on average sold in 105 days in July of 2021 compared to 141 days in July of 2016.
The market in Conway is currently a sellers market with the majority of homes selling at list price. As of July 2021, homes are selling on average at 100.1% of list price. Conway is becoming, through its rapidly expanding real estate market, one of the fastest growing communities in the region.