Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Conway, SC

  • Published 2022/09/27

There’s plenty of excitement to anticipate in a visit to Conway, South Carolina.

This city, after all, is the seat of Horry County, and certainly, a lot of fun gravitates toward its approximately 64-square-kilometer territory.

Moreover, Conway is part of the vibrant Myrtle Beach metropolitan area, promising more points of interest near its borders.

A tour to Conway, though, may be enough to sate your travel itch and yearning for outdoor activities.

There is also much to explore around the history, arts, and culture of Conway, as it takes pride in being one of South Carolina’s oldest cities.

So, gear up and consider which of these 20 things to do in Conway will be your priorities in a visit to this city.

Check Out the Coastal Carolina Campus

A building at Coastal Carolina Campus

Sk5893, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Consider a visit to Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in Conway, especially if you’re scouting for a suitable college for enrollment.

Notably, the 630-acre CCU campus has been named by the website Best Value Schools as one of the “Most Beautiful Coastal College Campuses.”

View of Coastal Carolina Campus

Sk5893, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Booking a CCU tour will not only brief you about the various courses and facilities that this university offers.

Chanticleers Baseball Springs Brooks Stadium at Coastal Carolina Campus

ChicagoPhotographer /

If you’re into golf, you can also book a round of play at the CCU campus’ 18-hole, par 72 General James Hackler Golf Course.

If in luck with your CCU visit’s timing, you may likewise be able to catch the home games of the CCU Chanticleers basketball, baseball, and softball squads in one of the sports arenas on the campus.

The grounds of Coastal Carolina Campus

Sk5893, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Waccamaw Riverwalk

Stroll the 1.3-mile path of the Conway Riverwalk along a serene, meandering stretch of the Waccamaw River.

This out-and-back trail is moderately trafficked and is accessible all year round.

While the Conway Riverwalk is primarily devoted to hiking and walking, licensed visitors can also fish here.

For most visitors, though, enjoying the beautiful view along the trail is already enough.

Take this trail and marvel at the magnificent trees and lush foliage by the riverbanks and the impressive bridge along the way.

Your Riverwalk trek will also allow side trips to marinas, picnic areas, a playground, restaurants, and an arboretum.

Discover the Ocean Fish Market

In Conway, great offerings often come in small packages, and the Ocean Fish Market is one of them.

This restaurant and seafood market is in a small building next to the Kingston Lake tributary of the Waccamaw River.

The Ocean Fish Market has been operating for over 60 years at its original site tucked at the southeastern quadrant of Kingston Street and 4th Avenue.

Here you can dine al fresco and sample its servings of Deviled Crab Cakes, Ocean Scallop, and Lobster Tails.

Fresh frozen seafood available at the Ocean Fish Market includes salmon, red snapper, tuna steak, crabs, and grouper.

Let Your Kids Enjoy Riverfront Park

Bring your kids to the Riverfront Park at Elm Street near Marina Drive—it will be truly worth it.

This park has incorporated playground structures that very well match its association with the Waccamaw River.

Conway’s city authorities adopted for this park playground facilities with a steamship design theme to recall the historic mode by which local waterways are navigated.

The colorful playground structure at the Riverfront Park comes complete with a pilothouse and steam stacks.

This double-decker playground steamship also features interactive panels that ask playing kids: “Ticket please!”

Check Out the Conway Downtown

The road of Conway Downtown

Pollinator at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a self-guided walking tour of Conway Downtown to better appreciate its historic buildings quaint in their brick structure.

This way, you can ponder on the historical markers dotting the downtown area to capture glimpses of Conway’s past.

Exploring the city’s Main Street on foot also allows an enjoyable walk amidst canopies of old trees well-protected by a city ordinance.

A small church at Conway Downtown

Chris Perello /

The Conway Downtown hosts a unique array of homegrown shops and restaurants that evoke a quiet, small-town feel.

One downtown retailer that deserves a quick stop is the Bodega, touted as South Carolina’s largest family-owned kitchen and tablescapes store.

Visit the L. W. Paul Living History Farm

Visit the L. W. Paul Living History Farm to experience what local farm life was like during the 1900s up to the 1950s.

The Horry County Museum opened this showcase in 2009 at the northern part of Conway near the corner of Harris Short Cut Road and US 701 Highway.

On this farm, not only can you observe the traditional farming activities of local families in the past, but you can also participate in plowing the field with mules and milking cows, among other farm chores.

This History Farm also hosts quarterly events to show the activities that happen seasonally in traditional farms of the past.

Explore the Waccamaw River

The waters of Waccamaw River

Drw7116 /

The Kingston Pointe Marina on Elm Street can be your jump-off point to explore the Waccamaw River.

Your excursion to explore stretches of this 140-mile long river can either be through single or double kayak rentals or guided boat tours.

At the Elm Street marina, you can seek the outfitters for a family-friendly river adventure.

The route to follow for this thrilling experience would be the Waccamaw River Blue Trail, a federally-designated National Water Trail.

This trail passes through the enthralling Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge and the Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve both lush with their protected bottomland hardwood forests.

With all these, you can fully enjoy the historic riverfront ambiance of Conway.

Watch Local Shows at the Theatre of the Republic

You won’t miss out on popular stage plays and musicals in a visit to the river town of Conway.

The city nurtures its talents in the Theater of the Republic that proudly presents its productions in its home on the corner of Main Street4th Avenue.

Proclaiming itself as “Theatre for the People by the People,” this Conway center for local performing arts talents has been producing live shows for over 50 years.

The Theatre of the Republic has built itself as a major cultural resource by providing affordable, quality theatrical performances.

Be sure to check out this Theatre if you happen to pass Main Street, for perhaps your must-see play or favorite musical may be on its marquee.

Trace Local History at the Horry County Museum

Outside View of Horry County Museum

Pollinator at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Step back in time to appreciate snatches of history at the Horry County Museum on the Main Street of Conway.

This museum is not only a showcase about the county’s past and that of Conway that dates back to the 1700s.

The Horry County Museum also presents entertaining and educational pieces delving into Southern cultural heritage in general.

The museum’s collection includes old farm tools, vintage clothing, and old pictures.

The Horry County Museum also features an exciting exhibit about birds of prey, bears, and alligators.

Entrance to the museum is free, and it’s open from Tuesday to Saturday.

Discover Agritourism at the Thompson Farm and Nursery

Visit Thompson Farm and Nursery and discover how it is pioneering agritourism in Horry County.

Let your kids tag along to its picturesque location at 100 Brickyard Place on the southern side of Conway.

At the 156-acre historic plantation that Thompson Farm now occupies, children will have a fun-filled educational experience about farm life.

Thompson Farm can accommodate large groups and offers primitive camping and kayak access to the Waccamaw River.

On completion of your farm visit, you can take home some farm produce, including food preserves available for sale at Thompson Farm.

Enjoy the Outdoors at the Cox Ferry Lake Recreation Area

Check your gear for biking or hiking for an outing at the Cox Ferry Lake Recreation Area on Gary Lake Boulevard in the lush woodlands at the southern side of Conway.

Visit this area of 325 acres, and you will be rewarded with outdoor adventures in 3 miles of nature trails.

Besides these pathways for hiking and mountain biking, this recreation area also provides a boardwalk, kiosks, and a sheltered picnic area with tables.

If you want more of the outdoors, extend your adventure just a bit farther south to the 30,000-acre Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.

It has a visitor center providing state-of-the-art environmental education, an auditorium, an exhibit hall, and a nature store.

Go Glamping at Laurel Oaks Estates

Have a vacation in the non-traditional way of glamping—a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping.”

For this experience, book a stay at the Laurel Oaks Estate at 4025 Copperhead Road on the southern side of Conway.

Bookings at Laurel Oaks allows you a choice from a tent, trailer camper, or cabin.

Although you’ll essentially be camping, the Estate will provide you with a modicum of resort-type amenities.

Laurel Oaks provides its “glampers” access to fire pits, hammocks, picnic tables, and gas grills.

These you can use after a hike on the Estates trails meandering on the flanks of the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.

Aside from side-treks in the nearby refuge, you can also enjoy fishing and boating at the pond in Laurel Oaks Estate.

Go on a Birdie Hunt at the Burning Ridge Golf Club

Try scoring pars and birdies at the Burning Ridge Golf Club, a Conway contribution to Myrtle Beach’s collection of Prime Time Golf Courses.

Appreciate why these links previously bagged Golf Course of the Year awards for Myrtle Beach and all of South Carolina.

This 18-hole course offers play over 6,780 yards amidst lush pine forests and serene lakes.

The Burning Ridge Golf Club provides golfers post-round relaxation at its clubhouse with a grill and a spacious deck.

Shift to an alternative golfing experience comes easy at the 54-hole Myrtle Beach National just east of Burning Ridge.

For undisturbed play, consider the Witch Golf Course on 500 acres of a secluded forest isolated from any commercial and residential development in Conway.

Enjoy a Water Excursion with River Rats

Since 2009, River Rats has been run and owned by a family.

Since he was a little child, Barry Frick, the originator of the River Rats, has paddled Lynches River.

In 2008, Barry acquired six vintage canoes from a friend, loaned them out to his buddies, and one day they began paying him for using them.

Suddenly, other people started requesting to use them, and RiverRat was born.

They currently take excursions down Lynches River seven days per week while housing 100 or more boats.

They provide discounts for group and corporate events and offer a children’s camp for boys and girls ages 8 to 12.

River Rat’s offers a paddle choice, whether you’re searching for a quick excursion or a long paddle!

Look for Unique Items at Conway Glass

The headquarters of Conway Glass is located in the storied Mayfair district in a 100-year-old brick structure.

For more than thirty years, Conway Glass has produced blown glass masterpieces and windows of stained glass.

Its distinctive designs, high-quality glass, handcrafted items, and personalized gifts are renowned.

Ed and Barbara Streeter, two local artists, love glass and like making blown glass centerpieces, decorations, and other objects along with mixed media sculptures.

Additionally, they occasionally hold Pop-Up Glass Galleries outside in the parking lot.

Shopping here is enjoyable, secure, and comes with free fresh air.

Have a Friendly Round of Golf at Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club

Enjoy golf at Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club in Conway, South Carolina!

Discover the traditional English design golf course Clyde Johnston imagined coming to life, complete with all the splendor of a prominent national championship golf site.

It is a marvel of expansive, traditional rectangular tee boxes, exhilarating fully open runways, and high, immense, beautiful Bent lawn greens where the quick game is in full swing.

Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club is a real championship course dubbed inventive, alluring, complex, and enjoyable.

Make a trip to the Shaftesbury Glen English manor clubhouse, where there is a top-notch pro shop, a fine-dining restaurant, and a bar lounge, to learn more about the sport’s history.

Practice Shooting at the Gun Store and Indoor Shooting Range

The Gun Store and Indoor Shooting Range provide the greatest shooting adventure in the city.

Their 10-lane target range is gun-rated at 25 yards, and they also have HEPA air filtration to ensure customers are firing indoors in a healthy atmosphere.

The Gun Store can accommodate any number of individuals, whether you’re a lone shooter looking to engage in some practice time or a group planning a shooting party.

Every one of your indoor shooting range requirements, including ammunition, soft targets, hearing protection, and a broad choice of firearms, may be rented or purchased from leading producers worldwide.

Handguns can’t be fired on the range by anybody under sixteen; nobody is permitted on the range under twelve years old.

Buy Home Decors at Carolina Marketplace

Carolina Marketplace is a great site to look for new and used products to keep or give as presents.

Twelve thousand square feet of antiques, artwork, jewelry, vintage antiquities, driftwood, home décor, handcrafted container plants, upcycled items, and much more are available at Carolina Marketplace.

They have over 60 vendors, making it the ideal area to look for unusual items.

It is open for shopping from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

It is wheelchair-accessible and convenient for buses.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the Myrtle Beach State Park

Sand trail leading to Myrtle Beach State Park

Jacklyn Viazanica, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are 114 public beach accesses in the city of Myrtle Beach, and one of your best choices is at the Myrtle Beach State Park.

This park, located at 4401 S Kings Highway, is less than 30 minutes’ drive from Conway via the US 501 Highway.

Nature trail at Myrtle Beach State Park

Tony Gatlin /

Myrtle Beach State Park features several wooded trails with a shifting landscape of swamps, forests, and beaches.

People at the beach of Myrtle Beach State Park

Joanne Dale /

The park also maintains a nature center, beach campgrounds, picnic areas, and a fishing pier.

Adult admission in the park is $8, $4 for kids age 6–15, and free for those below 5; seniors get a discount.

View of Myrtle Beach State Park's pier

ehrlif /

Max the Fun at Ripley’s

Exterior of Ripley’s Aquarium

Sherry V Smith /

Visit the fun facilities of Ripley’s Entertainment at Myrtle Beach to maximize the delights of a vacation in Conway.

Start the excitement at the Ripley’s Aquarium, which offers such delights as “Sleep with the Sharks” and “Stingray Experience.”

Building sign of Ripley’s Aquarium

StacieStauffSmith Photos /

Turn the tour to wacky and weird, with a visit to the pop-culture museum Ripley’s Believe It Or Not of TV series fame.

Dare yourself next to frightening displays at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure that can elicit screams and surprises.

Shark cave in Ripley’s Aquarium

MusikAnimal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Strap your seat belt for a realistic bumpy ride at the Ripley’s 5-D Moving Theater simulating it all on film.

Lastly, try to navigate Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze where the lights and reflections can lead you to confusing dead ends.

Exterior of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum

StacieStauffSmith Photos /

Final Thoughts

There will never be a dull moment once you go on a vacation in Conway, South Carolina.

As the seat of Horry County, it offers plenty of things to do woven around its rich culture and history.

The geography and landscape of Conway too form a dynamic template for plenty of outdoor recreational activities.

Exploring the surroundings of the Waccamaw River and Kingston Lake already promises hours and hours of excitement for you and the entire family.

The farmlands and two expansive wilderness areas within or abutting Conway also provide a motherlode of experiences to remember.

Furthermore, Conway’s proximity to the city of Myrtle Beach brings even more eclectic destinations to enrich a fun-filled travel itinerary.

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