Little River is a Grand Strand community located near the North Carolina and South Carolina border. Little River was given its name by Indian tribes that called the river Mineola which translates to “little river.” Fishermen and farmers were first drawn to the area in the late 1600’s, which makes Little River the oldest settlement in the region. With a well-protected harbor, the settlement attracted pirates to the area who demanded repairs and supplies from the settlers. By the 1850’s, it had developed into a prosperous port and community. The community housed multiple churches, schools, a bank, and even a sawmill.
When the Civil War began, all improvements and growth of the community were ruined. A salt mill that supplied salt for the confederate army was burned down and all sea commerce was halted due to a blockade. By the 1920’s, roads became widespread in the region, and completely ended all traffic and trade through the port. Today, Little River still holds on to its humble beginnings as a sea-centered settlement. The community is named a “quaint fishing village”, now well-known for boat charters and the local fishing industry. Little River is unincorporated and has 9,800 residents as of 2020.
Little River offers a variety of attractions and events for locals and tourists to the area. One of the largest attractions is Little River boat rentals. Whether it be a family looking to spend the day on the water or an individual interested in going deep-sea fishing, this community offers it all. In addition to boat rentals, Little River also houses a casino boat that offers evening tours of the Intracoastal Waterway. As a Vegas style casino, the ship offers table games, slot machines, and food and drinks. Little River hosts a Blue Crab Festival every May and a Shrimp Festival every October.
The World Famous Blue Crab Festival occurs on the riverfront of Little River and features live music, local seafood, and specialty crafts. The festival began in 1981 as an attempt to draw traffic to the waterfront. It is now one of the longest running festivals in the Southeast. The Little River Shrimpfest was established in 2004 as a way to bring the community together. Modeled after a southern street festival, it features local music, food, and businesses. The festival has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and now offers more than 150 vendors. Overall, Little River provides something to do for anyone who chooses to live in or visit the community.
Not only does Little River offer amazing attractions and events, the community also provides exceptional restaurants. From fresh, locally caught seafood to French cuisine, Little River has something for everyone. The community has always been focused on the ocean since its founding in the late 1600’s, so it only makes sense that they would provide some of the best seafood restaurants in the area. One local seafood restaurant is Capt. Juel’s Hurricane Restaurant. As a local staple since 1945, it is now run by the third generation of the founding family. They offer unobstructed Intracoastal Waterway views and locally caught fresh seafood.
Another local favorite is The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro. Housed in a 1910’s home and later established as a restaurant in 1994, it features Low Country inspired French cuisine. While this restaurant offers world-class food, it is also known as the most haunted restaurant in South Carolina. Instead of shying away from this reputation, it offers nightly ghost tours that include dinner and a guided tour. The restaurants in Little River are beloved by locals and tourists alike, and are deemed some of the best the Grand Strand has to offer.
Little River has experienced tremendous growth in both their real estate market and overall population. Many people are drawn to the coastal feel of the community and the ease of access to all of the attractions North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach have to offer. In the past five years, the median sales price of single family homes has increased over $70,000 from $209,040 in July of 2016 to $282,500 in July of 2021.
A short supply of homes in addition to high buyer demand, has caused homes to sell for more money in a faster period of time. Single family homes in Little River sold for 99.1% of list price in July of 2021 in 113 days, compared to 5 years ago when homes sold for 97.2% of list price and took 159 days to close. This means that homes are currently selling 46 days quicker on average compared to just five years ago. With the affordability of Little River, in addition to all it has to offer to its residents, it is no surprise that this quaint fishing community is growing, with a thriving real estate market.