Most folks know Conway as a cluster of fast food joints that you drive by about 20 minutes before you reach your “real” destination — the beach!

But take a detour off of U.S. 501 and you will discover eclectic shops and friendly bistros that invite you to rediscover quaint with a dash of southern hospitality.

The Historic Downtown District, which spans six square blocks, is filled with independent retailers that offer treasures you can’t find anywhere else and food you’ll never forget.

From home décor to clothing, to soaps, shoes, jewelry and outdoor gear, the shops of Downtown Conway will delight your senses and invite you to escape the sea of retail sameness. The friendly service provided by the merchants of Downtown is second to none.

Housed in historic buildings dating from the 1800s, many of the town’s shopkeepers are present in the stores daily and provide a unique insight and experience that can only be found in the hidden gems of a Main Street based shopping district.

If shopping gives you an appetite, then you will not be disappointed!

Regionally, recognized restaurateurs offer upscale southern cuisine and casual eateries beckon you to stay a while to enjoy a delicious sandwich, salad and maybe even a sweet treat.

The Downtown District spills onto the Conway Riverwalk.

This elevated boardwalk borders the Riverfront Warehouse District, which is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Conway Marina.

The marina area offers transient and resident boat slips, gas, kayak rentals and pontoon tours. Showcasing the black water of the Waccamaw River, the Riverwalk is a scenic 1.7-mile roundtrip stroll.

Nestled among the charming shops and restaurants, you will find interesting and varied historical sites dating to the establishment of the town in 1732.

But no trip to Downtown Conway is complete without snapping a few photos of the magnificent Live Oak trees that drip Spanish Moss.

Many of these majestic giants are five centuries old and tell tales of the town and people that shaped it. You might notice several roads built around the Live Oak trees. In Conway the trees have the right-of-way, as they are our oldest citizens!

Come shop, dine and discover Downtown Conway.

For more information on the businesses in Conway visit or


Steve Robertson is owner and publisher of the Waccamaw Publishers family of community newspapers

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