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Take a Day Trip to Pawleys Island for an ‘Arrogantly Shabby’ Good Time

Guests at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort can spend their entire Myrtle Beach vacation on the premises and have a great time. With our waterslides, indoor/outdoor pools and other aquatic attractions, Compass Cove gives the kids plenty of fun things to do on the property, and our on-site dining, oceanfront accommodations and easy beach access are popular among the adults. Guests can even visit many of Myrtle Beach's top attractions just a short distance from Compass Cove.

But for those who like to break up their stay with a nice day trip to a nearby city, you can't find a better place than Pawleys Island. Located about 20 miles south of Compass Cove, this historic resort town offers a taste of the good life in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Pawleys Island's motto, "Arrogantly Shabby," accurately describes the sort of rustic charm found in its attractions, golf courses, restaurants and shops. Here are five ways to spend a day in the Pawleys Island area:

* Brookgreen Gardens: Located just off Highway 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, Brookgreen Gardens is a must-see when you visit the South Strand. Situated on a 9,100-acre former rice plantation, Brookgreen Gardens is the oldest and largest botanical sculpture garden on the East Coast. Featuring sprawling gardens of native flowers, trees and vines intertwined with classic sculptures, Brookgreen Gardens merges the wonders of nature and art into a beautiful tapestry in a lovely Lowcountry landscape. Guests can also visit the Native Wildlife Zoo to see alligators, otters and birds of prey, or take a backwater cruise through the old rice fields. Admission is good for the entire week, so you can come back and see more for free.

* Golf: The Grand Strand has more than 80 courses to choose from, and some of the best are located in a small cluster around Pawleys Island known as the Waccamaw Golf Trail. Here, nearly a dozen Lowcountry layouts offer four- and five-star golf experiences in scenic setting of wetlands and woodlands. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and sister course True Blue rank among the top courses in the Southeast, and Litchfield Country Club, Willbrook Plantation, River Club and The Tradition Club are among the most coveted tee times on the Strand.

* The Hammock Shops Village: Before Pawleys Island became a popular seaside resort town, the area was known for its handmade hammocks. No product better fits the tempo of the town, where relaxation is a way of life. The tradition lives on today at The Hammock Shops Village, where the old shed out back still turns out quality hammocks for sleeping in the shade. The village features a variety of shops and boutiques that reflect the unique Pawleys Island lifestyle, like Pawleys Island Wear, The Beach House and the The Freckled Frog.

* Huntington Beach State Park: Experience the great outdoors Lowcountry-style at this 2,500-acre oceanfront park. Guests can enjoy the natural beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests and swamps, as well as Atalaya, a historic Moorish castle that stands guard over the coast. The nature center offers interactive educational programs, including activities such as crabbing, fishing and bird-watching, and there are picnic shelters, changing facilities and a campground store where you can make a full day of it.

* Restaurants: Fresh seafood and Southern cooking collide to create a delicious selection of dining options in Pawleys Island. Fine-dining establishments like Frank's Outback and Chive Blossom Cafe serve local classics such as shrimp and grits, oysters Rockefeller and she-crab soup in an upscale atmosphere. For a more laid-back experience, Pawleys Island Tavern and Quigley's Pint & Plate offer great food and good times.

After a long day exploring Pawleys Island, come back to the oceanfront Compass Cove Resort for a little rest, relaxation and recovery. After all, you still have plenty of things left to do and see in Myrtle Beach.