Conway: A Riverfront Historic Town to Visit in South Carolina

The Bridge of Conway

Conway is best known as a historic riverfront town that was founded in 1734 as the “Village of Kingston.” The Waccamaw River made trade and commerce convenient by producing lumber and turpentine and hauling them down the river. This made Conway’s economy strong and prosperous for many years, long before any touristy-resort communities were developed.

I recently moved to the Red Hill section of Conway since I wanted a quiet, less touristy place to live. Now, I have always liked the Myrtle Beach area with restaurants, beaches, and shopping — you name it was all there. I just enjoy the beach community atmosphere, which is how I started my blog on Myrtle Beach Transplants. Conway, South Carolina, is a wonderful place to visit or pull up your roots and settle in!

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Downtown Conway

Conway is a growing community and only about 15 miles from the beach, and I grew to love it as much as anyone that moves here. Conway has a small-town community feel to it. Wherever you go, people know you by name — it has got an old-style charm that is full of old southern traditions, which is rich in history and folklore. If you love the ocean, Myrtle Beach is only 15-20 minutes to get to the shoreline and piers. So, if you move here, you get the best of both worlds.

There are two ways to get to Conway from the beach — Highway 501 and 544. If you go on 501 N., you will pass Carolina Forest, big car dealerships, and the Tanger Outlets, but this road usually gets very congested with traffic. Highway 544 can get a lot of traffic as well, but it is more scenic, and passersby can view several golf courses. There are fast-food restaurants, stores, and Coastal Carolina College. You travel 2 more miles and over a bridge, and that is the heart of downtown Conway.

The best way to see everything is to walk along Main St. with the majestic oak trees lining Conway’s streets. You can visit the mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, see the painted murals on the sides of buildings, and notice historical markers that dot certain spots in town. If you are a history buff (like me), you can go to the Visitors Center on 5th Ave & Main, and they will give you a map of a historic trail.

“The Train Mural” – Kingston Park, Downtown Conway

My Favorite Restaurants in Conway

The Trestle Café & Bakery: This establishment is a staple in Conway that serves a large array of breakfast and lunch meals. The bakery is 4 doors down where they whip up frosting for cakes, danishes, and other delightful, mouthwatering sweets. I like to get a coffee and Danish if I am downtown in the morning at the Trestle Bakery.

Rivertown Bistro: The Rivertown Bistro has two floors, and the upstairs patio is where I usually sit. The breezy view overlooks downtown Conway and plays rock music. They serve a unique blend of southern-style dishes with an upscale flair.

Bonfire Taqueria: The Bonfire Taqueria has an old rustic feel to it and sits upon the bank of the Waccamaw River. It has a stunning view of the river, so I like to sit outside and watch the boats go by. They serve the most delicious BBQ-Mexican style meals! After the meal, we do the Riverwalk, which has a winding pathway along the crest of the Waccamaw that is at least 2 miles ending up in the marina. The Bonfire has seen its share of misfortunes with two hurricane floods and fire — but they keep coming back!

Kösta Bowls: Located at 412 Main Street in Conway, Kösta Bowls opened its doors in June of 2019. The restaurant’s main ingredient is the acai, a superfruit that is full of antioxidants and is known to boost the immune system and increase energy. It is mixed in smoothies, fruit bowls, oatmeal, and Koshi — this is a haven for the health nut and workout enthusiasts. After calling and speaking to the manager, I asked if the business is doing well, and she said, “yes, it is doing really good.” Not even a slowdown with the coronavirus shutdown of businesses. I think I will stop down and get me a nutty bowl- yum!

Other Points of Interest

Another interesting place is Theatre of the Republic that has held live performances for decades and offers shows year-round (before the Coronavirus). Hopefully, it will open soon.

Visit the unique shops on Main St. like the Thistle & Clover, Sa’Shay, Pink Ivy, Amanda’s Collection, and Papa’s General Store. Up the road is the Conway Library and the Horry County Museum, which features exhibits year-round —I visited there last year, and you do not want to miss it!

Since the Coronavirus, the Museum and Library are not open to the public. There have been some businesses that have closed the doors and others that have thrived even though they have opened up in the last year or two.

Tru Mission K9s is a dog boarding and training facility in Conway and was founded in 2016. Don White is the owner and keeps busy all the time with his clients’ dogs. Tru Mission K9s offers several packages for different needs that your dog may need. They offer 3-week board and train packages, behavior modification training, private lessons, and a 2-week puppy starter program. Tru Mission K9s is now partnered with the Humane Society of Conway. On his site, Don states, “Training is meant to make life with your dog enjoyable.” When we get our dog from the shelter — I know who I will be seeing!

Located at 304 Main St., Southern Roots Boutique is a chic woman’s clothing store that displays fashionable clothes for summertime and accessories. Lisa (the owner of the store) says, “We have been open for about a month and a half, and we have our decent days and slow days.”

About the Author:

My name is Kathy Tonery, and I have a passion for writing. I have always been interested in finding out about new things and writing about them ever since I was a young girl with my notebook and pen. I wrote short stories in college and hoped to keep going, but as life got in the way, I put the pen down. So now, I decided to write a blog about what interests me the most. I moved into this beachfront community 4 years ago and fell in love with the area called “The Grand Strand” in South Carolina. I now publish many articles on my blog about what life is like down here and how it is growing and changing. It is my go-to source for everything Myrtle Beach! Check out my blog and subscribe!