A short drive from the Grand Strand (about 15 miles from the Atlantic), the downtown area of this historic river town is home to a unique array of shopping, dining, and scenic views. Founded in 1734, Conway is rich with both American and natural history.
A drive through the town will take visitors down streets built around live oaks that are protected by a tree-ordinance designed to preserve its “Oldest Citizens.” Several historical markers also dot the downtown landscape, providing curious visitors with an idea of the area’s past.
Unlike Myrtle Beach, the best way to get the most out of your time here is probably by foot, as the main attractions of downtown Conway are confined to a few blocks in each direction. Parking is free, so choose a spot and make your way to Main Street, which is the best starting point for any self-guided tour. There you’ll find boutique shops like Bodega (a kitchen and tablescapes specialty store), and restaurants such as The Trestle, which has highly-revered by locals for years and years.
Another Main Street attraction is Theatre of the Republic, a decades-old live performance venue where locals and visitors alike take in shows year-round. The other main downtown thoroughfare is 3rd Avenue, which dissects Main Street right beside City Hall. A trip down 3rd will take visitors past several mom-and-pop shops; Rivertown Bistro, a creative Southern farm-to-table eatery and one of the top restaurants in the region; a full-service salon and spa; and the county courthouse, which is a grand structure that’s over a century old.
Another must-see is Ocean Fish Market, a small building tucked beneath old oaks just off of Main Street. With Spanish moss draping the top, it’s not only one of the most scenic buildings in town, but a great place to pick up some fish that’s fresh from the coast. After you finish there, take a stroll down to the Riverwalk, a serene wooden path that winds along the blackwater of the Waccamaw River.
And if you like festivals, some of the best times to visit downtown Conway are during the many festivals throughout the year, which include holidays parties, food fests, music and art celebrations, and more. (See events calendar). But if not, a self-guided tour during any daylight hour any day of the week is a perfectly fine way to take in the Southern charm and beautiful sights of this historic river town.
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