Socastee is a residential community located inland between Highway 17 and the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. It lies along the Intracoastal Waterway, adjacent to the Market Common, near the junction of Highways 544 and 707. As of the 2010 census, the population of Socastee hovered just below 20,000.
The unincorporated community is comprised of neighborhoods of large, single-family homes, town houses, and multi-family complexes. The area is home to some of the most affordable waterfront real estate along the Grand Strand— featuring homes with private docks along the Intracoastal Waterway.
The expansion of Highway 31 to Highway 544 has made Socastee more accessible to other areas along the beach, and has inspired an increase in development of the town. Socastee has its own elementary, middle and high schools which are part of the Horry County school system, as well as parks and recreation facilities and a library. It is an historic town that features a still-functioning swing bridge that crosses the Intracoastal Waterway; the bridge was built in 1935.
The history of Socastee stretches back to the Native Americans who lived in the area and called the land Sawkastee. A small skirmish between American and British troops occurred here during the American Revolution. In later years, the area was a hub for the production and distribution of goods such as turpentine and tar due to it’s geographical location as well as the inhabitants’ access to acres of pristine pine forests. This area included a saw mill, turpentine distilleries, cotton gin, grist mill, cooper shop and a general store. Socastee was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Every April, crowds gather for the Socastee Heritage Festival; and Island Adventure Watersports offers jet skiing and boating adventures along the Intracoastal Waterway.