Murrells Inlet Spotlight

History

Murrells Inlet is a gorgeous coastal community located along the Grand Strand. First settled in 1731, the community is beloved for its undisturbed marsh views and now bustling marshwalk. John Murrell, an English settler, was the first person to call the inlet home. As the surrounding areas developed into rice plantations, Murrells Inlet turned into a bustling port for shipping and transporting rice and indigo to England. With the development of the port, cargo ships were not the only boats to frequent the area. Pirates used the marsh inlets as hiding places and the port to restock on fresh water. Famous pirates such as Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet are said to have visited the area.

Murrells Inlet was also known as an escape from malaria during the Colonial Period. People believed that the ocean breeze would help them escape sickness and death. During the Civil War, Murrells Inlet was used to evade Union blockades through secret trade routes to England and the North. Murrells Inlet fell to ruin after the abolition of slavery. Rice plantations were shut down and the area lost all the business gained from the industry. In 1894, President Cleveland publicly visited the area to go duck hunting. This visit pulled the community out of disrepair by encouraging people to visit the area for its natural beauty and sports. Northern business owners began purchasing old plantation properties to use as second homes. This trend thrust Murrells Inlet into the vacation destination that it has become today.

Restaurants

Murrells Inlet Marshwalk

Murrells Inlet is known for its marshwalk lined with world-class restaurants and bars. The marshwalk is a ½ mile wooden boardwalk that weaves through a saltwater estuary. Along the boardwalk are restaurants that offer everything from freshly caught seafood to wood-fired grilled steak. Wicked Tuna is a local staple for fresh seafood. This restaurant owns its own boat, on which it catches some of the seafood that it serves. In addition to seafood, the restaurant also offers sushi, tacos, sandwiches, and signature cocktails.

Another local restaurant is Bovine’s. Bovine’s offers steaks, pizza, pasta, and ribs all in a comfortable environment. This restaurant has been featured by Southern Living and USA Today as one of the Best Restaurants in the South. Dead Dog Saloon offers a large variety of food and drinks to patrons. With everything from burgers to blackened salmon, there is something for everyone. The restaurant is also said to be haunted by the late Dudley the Dog. The story of Dudley has followed the restaurant even through three different location changes. The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk provides a laid back environment with excellent food, drinks, and entertainment.

Attractions

Murrells Inlet is not only known for its cuisine but also for its many attractions. This community makes great use of its natural beauty and opportunities for water sports. Visitors can rent kayaks, jet skis, and paddleboards to explore the many marshes and waterways throughout the community. Another option utilizing the natural resources of the water is deep sea fishing charters. Multiple companies operate within the community that offer daily charters for those looking to fish the Atlantic Ocean.

Larger, more established attractions such as Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park are also available in Murrells Inlet. Brookgreen Gardens is a 9,100 acre property that offers botanical gardens, sculptures, a zoo, and more to visitors. In addition to traditional exhibits, the gardens also offer special nighttime displays throughout the year. Huntington Beach State Park provides natural beauty and is  highly revered National Historic Landmark. The park offers beach access to three miles of undeveloped coastline along with many trails and walkways throughout the marshes. Atalaya Castle is also located within the park. The historic landmark hosts the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival each September that draws thousands of visitors to the area. Atalaya Castle is also open daily for self-guided and professionally guided tours.

Real Estate Market

Real estate Murrells Inlet

The Real Estate Market in Murrells Inlet has experienced the same growth that much of the Grand Strand as a whole has also experienced. The above listed history, attractions, and restaurants all are driving people to this Grand Strand community. Homes are selling quicker and at higher prices than just a few, short years ago. The average sales price in September 2021 has increased over $90,000 from $273,512 to $364,152 from 2016 to 2021. Even with the increase in sales price, homes are selling over a month quicker on average. Homes now sell on an average of 84 days instead of 137 days in September of 2016. The market in Murrells Inlet is currently a sellers market with the majority of homes selling at list price. As of September 2021, homes are selling for 97% of list price. With ever-rising prices and a growing market, Murrells Inlet is set to become one of the most desirable communities in the Grand Strand.