SOUTHERN CHARM AND ALLIGATORS TOO.

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PAWLEYS PLACE

Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

  Nestled between Myrtle Beach in the North and Charleston in the South is the  historic city of Georgetown. When you travel through the low country of South Carolina leave enough time to visit this charming city. A visit to this delightful coastal city will enrich your knowledge of the traditional Southern Culture. I would begin my walking tour of the downtown area Georgetown near the clock tower which is next to the Rice Museum on the Northern end of  Front Street. 

    The molasses pace of life in downtown Georgetown allows you to fully appreciate the pleasure of living in a mid-size Southern City. Georgetown is a walk around city. There are many interesting shops, restaurants, art galleries , antique stores, hair stylists,  and historic houses worth viewing or visiting. Georgetown has its own theater playhouse where many outstanding shows are presented during the year.  Another attraction is the riverfront boardwalk. The boardwalk takes you along  waterfront and behind all the restaurants. Several signs say beware of Alligators.  Long time residents assured me that the river was full of them. However , I have never seen an alligator while meandering along the river walk. Nevertheless, keep alert as the gators look like old tires  floating in the water.

Unique and interesting shops and museums attract visitors to your city. However it is the attitude of the citizens that bring you back and make you talk about the city. Georgetown is a friendly city. The charm in southern charm flows naturally here.  The citizens of Georgetown, are friendly, polite, informative and never in a hurray to shorten a conversation. They willingly tell you  yarns about local history, best places to dine, buy antiques, view alligators, find buried treasure and to worship on Sunday. Many of the townspeople have longtime roots in the city and the Northerners that are newly settled in Georgetown take pride in their new Southern heritage.  A walk from one end of Front Street to the other takes time and patience as you will  engage yourself in conversations with shopkeepers and other friendly ambassadors from Georgetown. One thing that is evident is that they take pride in the fact the community life in Georgetown is preferable to the glitter, glamor and chaos of Myrtle Beach. They also like the mild winters and the lack of snow.

  Visit the Art Association Gallery when you go to Georgetown. Staffed by member artists you will view quality paintings and craft created by undiscovered professionals. The art works in the gallery are original and affordable . The  expertise and friendliness of  the resident artist makes browsing in the gallery an enjoyable experience.

  Good food is in abundance in Georgetown. My preference are the sweets in the candy stores, ice cream shops and bakeries. The ginger lemon muffins in the Kudzu Bakery and the Chocolate Pecan Candies in Sweeties are delicious and cannot be found elsewhere.  By themselves it is worth a visit to Georgetown just to purchase   these two sweet products.  With your purchase you can be assured that  you will be told how nice it is to live in Georgetown during the winter months without snow.
Besides snack shops Georgetown has many small restaurants that specialize in Southern cooking . Being a coastal community you can be assured that the menus will include  fresh crab, shrimp and oyster dishes.  Southern fried chicken, grits and biscuits are also found on most menus. You can also live dangerously and try the outstanding deserts at the River Room while watching the boats travel  up and down the river.

Antique shopping is popular in Georgetown. The city has several interesting shops that have well preserved local antiques that cannot be purchased elsewhere. Each antique comes with a history and many of the items are affordable for the tourists.

   Hair fashion is important in Georgetown. There are numerous shops in the downtown area. My favorite is Clinton's Barber Shop.  He has a old fashioned red, white and blue  barbers pole outside of his shop. At Clinton's, you will you get a nice grooming at an affordable price. You will also meet local citizens that will  eagerly tell you stories about past and present times in Georgetown.

Georgetown is a truly historic city.  The area was first settled by the Spanish in 1526 However legend has it that disease drove the Spanish out of Georgetown before they made a permanent settlement. Two hundred more years passed before the British settled in Georgetown.  During the War of Independence the city of Georgetown was occupied by the British.  Francis Marion, known as the Swamp Fox fought and won skirmishes against the British in the Georgetown area.  At the center of town there is a dedication plaque to Francis Marion that is worth reading. Other famous historic figures from Georgetown included Thomas Lynch Sr and his son Thomas. The latter was a signatory of the Declaration Of Independence. Georgetown was also notable for its port and rice plantations. Before the Civil War over one half of the countries rice crop was grown in the Georgetown area.  Visitors to Georgetown can visit some of the well preserved plantations and old mansions from that era. There are also several  worthwhile museums to visit in downtown Georgetown. They include the Rice Museum, Kaminski House, and my favorite the Georgetown County Museum . This relatively new affordable museum which is located on Prince St. has both oral histories, many photos and authentic artifacts that date back to the War of Independence. Upon entering you will receive a friendly greeting and a informative description of the Museums pieces. The tour will only take you forty five minutes but you will leave saying  the visit to this local museum was worth the time and the money.    Lastly, a visit to historic Georgetown should also include a walk through the  picturesque streets around the downtown area. You will see some elegant early American  homes that are shaded by beautiful maple and willow trees.  Many of the homes are on the National Heritage List and date back to the 18th century. One can only wonder what it would have been like to live in Georgetown during that time in our history.

A visit to Georgetown should take about three to four hours to shop and view the essential parts of the city.  Upon departing Georgetown you can be assured that you will be impressed with the culture, history, charm and civility that was found in Georgetown. You will also comment that you would like your hometown to be like Georgetown again.

Jack Hennessey
Culturalpaths Travel
www.culturalpaths.com
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