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Is Calabash, NC Part Of The Grand Strand?

Local residents may say that Calabash, North Carolina is not a part of the Grand Strand, but vacationers may have a completely different opinion.

Jesse Broadt: Contributor

Calabash, NC Has a Reputation For Great Seafood

For most Myrtle Beach visitors and locals, the word “Calabash” refers to seafood that is battered or lightly coated in cornmeal and flash fried. In fact, if someone completes an Internet search using the word Calabash, they will likely turn up more results for seafood restaurants on the Grand Strand than results about the town where this type of seafood got its start, which is the fishing village of Calabash.

Calabash Style Seafood Is Their Trademark.

For decade after decade, a high percentage of Myrtle Beach restaurants have been embracing this cooking technique and regularly use the term “calabash style” on their marquees and menus.

The Town of Calabash, NC Sits At The NC/SC Border.

The actual town of Calabash, however, is located just a quick hop over the state line, in Brunswick County, North Carolina, and is a thriving fishing town as well as a great day trip destination for those vacationing on South Carolina’s Grand Strand. Even though it is geographically located in North Carolina, in the minds of many Myrtle Beach visitors, its true location is simply the northernmost edge of the Grand Strand.

Offering much more than delicious seafood, Calabash is a fast-growing area that may just give vacationers the best of both worlds.

Yong boy fishing from dock in Calabash, NC

Tranquil day trips can be found in Calabash, North Carolina

Calabash is the Top Day Trip Destination Among Myrtle Beach Visitors

 For many years, Calabash has been a popular day trip location for South Carolina visitors who want to enjoy a calm day away from the boisterous heart-of-Myrtle Beach atmosphere associated with peak season on the Grand Strand. Such individuals quickly discover that Calabash is not only easy to reach from virtually any area of Myrtle Beach, but crowds, traffic and long restaurant lines also diminish significantly along the way. This is even the case during Myrtle Beach’s peak season, which is something few areas on the Grand Strand can boast.

Calabash Waterfront Offers Relaxing Sightseeing

On any given day in Calabash, North Carolina, the busy waterfront offers relaxing sightseeing opportunities, such as commercial fishermen coming and going with their hauls, as well as recreational fishermen frying up baskets of seafood from that morning’s catch. There are also several riverfront eateries that offer lunch specials, such as fish baskets prepared in the classic style for which the village is known.

Plenty of fishing opportunities are also available for tourists who enjoy the sport, and most will find that even though the Waterfront is a busy section of the town, it is not necessary to fight the type of crowds one would encounter at most Grand Strand piers.

Coconut fried shrimp platter in Calabash, NC

Calabash famous for its fresh seafood options

Calabash Downtown District Is Popular With Tourists

Leading in the opposite direction from the waterfront, River Road is another popular section of Calabash, which features landmark restaurants, old beach style, family-owned establishments, boutiques and numerous independent businesses still thriving amidst the many big-box retailers and chains of the 21st Century.

So The Question Remains, “Is Calabash Part of the Grand Strand?”

Maybe…. maybe not. Depends on who you ask.

With its interesting characteristics and quaint, old-time fishing village charm, it is not difficult to see why many visitors in Myrtle Beach enjoy taking day trips to this area. However, whether or not it is an actual part of the Grand Strand essentially depends on the person to whom one is speaking. There are some who adamantly insist that this town is simply a North Carolina fishing village that has little or nothing to do with Myrtle Beach tourism.

Nevertheless, there are small signs that indicate there are many other people who believe that Calabash is most definitely–at least in theory–part of the Grand Strand. For example, there are several businesses in the Calabash area that use the phrase “Grand Strand” in their name, such as the Grand Strand Coffee Bar on Ocean Highway in the center of Calabash’s shopping district. Such proprietors may simply be cashing in on the popularity of the Grand Strand name, or their titles may be reflective of the way visitors think about the blurry tourism line between North and South Carolina.

Of course, the official ruling would probably have to be that Calabash is not a part of the Grand Strand, since the latter is technically a region in South Carolina. However, in the minds of tourists, the opinion may tip the other way.

Ultimately, regardless of whether or not the general public will ever agree on this matter, one thing is certain; Calabash, North Carolina is a fun and interesting place to visit for essentially any traveler.

Calabash Restaurants Directory

Bagel Dock 10009 Beach Dr. 910-575-1200 Breakfast, Bagels, Bakery, Deli, Sandwiches
Becks Seafood 1014 River Rd. 910-579-6776 Seafood, Steaks, Appetizers, Bar
Bella’s Pizza & Deli 10136 Beach Dr. 910-579-0000 Pizza, Italian, Wings, Salad, Sandwiches, Pasta
Boundary House 1045 River Rd. 910-579-8888 Seafood, Steaks, Pasta, Burgers, Bar, Take Out
Calabash Deli 9929 Beach Dr. 910-579-9801 Sandwiches, Salads, Bakery
Calabash Seafood Hut 1125 River Rd. 910-579-9500 Seafood, Sandwiches, Take Out
Capt. Nance’s 9939 Nance St. 910-579-2574 Seafood, Sandwiches
Capt. John’s Seafood 9887 Oak St. 910-579-6011 Seafood, Salads, Appetizers, Steaks
Christopher’s Pizza 9869 Ocean Hwy 910-575-4500 Pizza, Italian, Wings, Salad, Sandwiches, Pasta
Dockside Seafood House 9955 Nance St. 910-579-6775 Seafood, Salads, Pasta, Appetizers, Steaks
Ella’s of Calabash 1148 River Rd. 910-579-6728 Seafood, Salad Bar, Steaks, Sandwiches
Grapevine 9991 Beach Dr. 910-575-6565 Mediterranean, Steaks, Seafood, Pasta, Burgers, Bar
Gravy Southern Eatery 1165 Carlyle St. 910-579-4733 American Diner, Burgers, Sandwiches, Seafood
Sunny Side Up Diner 10068 Beach Dr. 910-579-5101 Breakfast, Buffet, Lunch
Sunrise Pancake House 10008 Beach Dr. 910-575-1001 Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, American Diner
Tony’s Pizza 1150 River Rd. 910-579-3531 Pizza, Italian, Pasta, Sandwiches
Waterfront Seafood 9945 Nance St. 910-575-0017 Walk-Up Window, Seafood, outdoor tables

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