The northernmost stretch of the Grand Strand is home to the community of Little River. It derives its name from the Little River that flows between North and South Carolina, and empties into the Atlantic. Lying right before the border of North Carolina and encompassing almost 11 miles, Little River is the oldest community found in this area. It was established as a trading post and fishing village in the early 1700s, when merchants capitalized on the abundant fish and other natural resources of the area; it has been known as a fishing village, celebrated for fresh seafood, ever since.
The earliest known families to settle in this area were those of Lewis and Waitie, and Vereen and Tilighman. George Washington, on his Southern tour along Kings Hwy., spent the night in Little River in the cabin of Jeremiah Vereen, a tavern keeper who became famous due to the fame of his guest.
Little River, with a current population of about 10,000, has a vibe of charm and tranquility amongst the bustle of its surrounds. It’s roughly twenty miles north of busy Myrtle Beach, and adjacent to the pulse of the equally busy North Myrtle Beach. Property value and real estate prices in Little River have been steadily increasing in the past few years, as more people look to relocate or vacation in an area where a slower pace of life is the norm, and centuries-old live oak trees, as well as a myriad of flora and fauna, wrap the landscape in beauty.
As with many communities with ocean access, Little River’s past is checkered by the colorful escapades of the pirates, buccaneers, and other enterprising individuals of history who made good use of the coastal estuaries and tidal pools as hideouts, as well as the river leading to the open expanse of the sea to further their ends. Today, the access points to the water delight with opportunities for some of the best deep-sea fishing on the coast, jet skiing, private charter boats, casino cruises, and personal watercraft pursuits.
Crickett Cove and Coquina Harbor marinas offer dock space for privately owned boats, as well as a myriad of boat rental options. And there are plenty of opportunities to simply watch all the activity, including the commercial fishing and shrimping boats that go out with the sunrise and return at day’s end with their catch to distribute to seafood markets and restaurants.
On land, Little River offers a range of activities— La Belle Amie is a local vineyard with tastings, live music, and beautiful grounds that beckon to be walked. There’s the historic waterfront, and plenty of golf. Go Ape Treetop Adventure lets you explore the forest canopy from a treetop rope course. And every May, Little River hosts its world famous Blue Crab Festival, held for over thirty consecutive years. Thousands turn out for this local tradition and to savor blue crab prepared in a myriad of ways while enjoying the beats of live music. In October, the shrimp and the sounds of jazz take center stage at Shrimp Fest.