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The Pelican Inn, Pawleys Island: 2008 (open again)   19 comments

Posted at 11:37 pm in Uncategorized

Well, I suppose it had to happen, but it is rather jarring to see The Pelican Inn up for sale. Built about 1830, this landmark inn has been part of the Pawleys Island landscape forever, and has been an inn or boarding house since the turn of the 20th century and has been the locus of several sightings of South Carolina's most famous ghost, The Gray Man. It is also possibly the last inn in South Carolina not to be air conditioned!

The web site is mostly zombie now, but an archived version explains some of the place's appeal:

Our goal has been to maintain the historical feel and share
the Inn with our friends. The Guest Rooms are comfortably furnished and have a Queen and, depending on the room, one or two Twin Beds. The Rooms are cooled by ceiling fans over the beds and breezes through large windows. Guests will also notice the absence of telephones, TVs, radios and other modern distractions.

They were in the news just this year for taking on a new chef, so this closing is rather surprising. I hope that when the place sells, the new owners will continue to run it as an inn, but I don't really expect that to happen.

UPDATE 14 Aug 2009: Well, note the rental plaque in this picture:

The property is now a Pawleys Island Realty Property

This beautiful Historic Inn is located in the heart of Pawleys..Rented as an entire house it's a 10 bedroom that accomodates 24 with 6 baths. Beautiful wooded property that has with stood the test of time. Oceanfront but not ocean view with the largest creek dock on the island for crabbing, fishing, kayaking. Large restaurant style kitchen with attached dining area, Cable TV, washer and 2 dryer, Ceiling fans, Central Heat/Air.Grill. Oceanfront Gazebo with hammock. Come create lasting memories, great for family reunions and weddings.

UPDATE 25 March 2010: Good news! Check the comments. It appears that the inn will be back in business.

UPDATE 23 April 2010: And here is the Pelican Inn's new blog.

UPDATE 21 August 2010: here is the Pelican Inn's new official web site.

Written by ted on November 8th, 2008

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19 Responses to 'The Pelican Inn, Pawleys Island: 2008 (open again)'

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  1. Did anyone ever buy and reopen the inn?

    John Norris

    7 May 09 at 1:13 pm

  2. When I was there Easter, the "For Sale" sign was gone, and there appeared to be activity, but no indication that it was open as an inn.


    7 May 09 at 1:24 pm

  3. Been going to Pawleys Island every summer and/or fall for 47 years... I now live in Wrightsville Beach but still consider Pawleys to be one of the most unique spots I've been to and still my favorite beach bar none. There is actually nothing quite like Pawleys.

    Sadly, the Pelican Inn, while still existing in structure, is now PRIVATE with multiple "No Trespassing" and "Private Property" signs around the grounds, including the beach walkway to the area on either side. It's a depressing sight for sure and a sad reminder that there is no stopping change.

    The writing was on the wall for the place, up for sale for quite a while. I remember them asking six million at one point. I've not checked to see what it went for. Once can only hope the people will keep the structure intact but judging by the countless "No Trespassing" signs, I somehow find it unlikely. They seem so completely out of place for this beach. Although I bet they were getting a lot of people wandering up, wondering if still open.

    The Sea View Inn, up the road North by a mile or so, is still going strong, relatively unchanged. In a bit of irony, I just realized I'm sitting here typing this post while looking at a photo of the Pelican Inn, framed right over my desk. It's an amazing structure. Let's hope they preserve it.

    - kh

    Kelly Holsten

    6 Oct 09 at 11:46 am

  4. Hey, tube amps -- cool!

    Anyway, this site is mostly Columbia oriented, but you may be interested in this Hurricane Hugo pictorial.


    6 Oct 09 at 12:10 pm

  5. Wow...the Hugo pictorial sure did bring back memories. We drove down to Pawleys the first days they let non residents back on. I couldnt believe the damage to some places, while others right next to the cottages would be totally spared. I remember Tip Top Inn toppled over. I have a slew of photos I might throw up if you're interested.

    On the Pelican Inn front, this site moved me to write Pawleys Island realty today. I just now got a response and it appears the Inn IS still for rent, but only weekly and for the entire building. I guess the "No Trespassing" signs must come down when occupied....or not.

    At least it appears to be more of a chance of it staying the same. See the response below:

    "Hi Kelly,
    Got your e-mail and yes the Pelican Inn only rents for
    one week at a time and it's the whole building the do
    not rent single rooms any longer and I highly doubt
    that the property will ever be torn down as it is on
    the HIstorical Registry for Georgetown County."

    Cecile C. Connell
    Pawleys Island Realty Co.
    (843)237-4257 * (800)937-7352

    Too bad it does not appear to be running as an Inn now. We'll see how long it goes.

    Here is a screenshot of the 2009 entry for Pelican Inn their brochure:

    - kh

    Kelly Holsten

    6 Oct 09 at 5:31 pm

  6. Can anyone tell us if the Pelican was sold? My husband and I love that place and tried to buy it and restore it to a single family home. The owners were just not realistic about the price they were asking: LOTS of work needs to be done.....but we still think about it ~

    Sandra Doell

    9 Oct 09 at 9:29 am

  7. here's what i know: the current owners lovingly restored this old building, reinstating its original arches among other improvements (main exterior staircase, etc) in keeping with the responsible stewardship espoused & encouraged by the State Historical Preservation Office and National Register of Historic Places. For almost 40 years, the owners and their family enjoyed operating the Inn as a Bed & Breakfast as much as their guests enjoyed vacationing and feasting there. It was with much regret and heavy hearts that the owners, feeling their hands were tied (after at least one cease-and-desist order for catering an Inn guests' party and for allowing persons who were not guests currently staying at the Inn to enjoy meals there), finally acquiesced, and contracted a local realty company to rent out the house just like all the other properties on the island; a proposition they could not stomach offering directly themselves.
    I don't know what unrealistic price they have asked for or are currently asking, but i would imagine renovating/modernizing a building on the Historical Registry would meet with much bureaucratic red tape, even more so re-opening it as a bed & breakfast; pretty sure the town has ordinances against businesses being run on the island (the two Inns were operating under the grandfather clause; now just one Inn remains open) . The times have indeed changed; good luck to the SeaView.

    someone in-the-know

    22 Nov 09 at 2:36 am

  8. It is known now as Evans Pelican Inn. It was listing for 5 million when it was on the market. This sounds high but the average home is worth 3 million there. Pawleys is known to have the highest real estate values on the East Coast.


    16 Dec 09 at 8:05 pm

  9. Recent word is that the Inn may have a new owner soon who will bring it back as a details yet, but look for it to be open again by mid-summer 2010.


    17 Feb 10 at 2:23 pm

  10. As of 2/21/10 the Pelican Inn has a contract on it, closing the last of March, it will be open this summer. Yes as a B&B.
    Be sure to tell your friends.


    21 Feb 10 at 7:58 pm

  11. Well good!


    21 Feb 10 at 10:20 pm

  12. Just found this on the net.........and cried . Stayed here in "95 on our honeymoon for a week. The best week of my life ever with the girl I married ! Was almost the closest thing to heaven I'd ever seen......The Inn . The memories come flooding back so sweet. And now it is closed..... just memories. So sad ........


    17 Mar 10 at 8:48 pm

  13. The Pelican Inn was bought yesterday by a very nice Carolina girl and her husband. They have loved the Inn for 40 years and will take good care of her.

    They will honor the existing rental reservations for 2010 but will re-open fully as an inn for the 2011 season.

    We'll have your rooms ready for you...

    Pawley's Pelican

    25 Mar 10 at 7:02 pm

  14. Glad to hear it..


    25 Mar 10 at 9:05 pm

  15. I'm curious how the Pelican will be able to be re-opened as an Inn if the previous owners were claiming that the town was making it hard for them to run their business what with the town having ordinances against businesses being run it. Or were the previous owners essentially running a catering business and they were given the cease and desist for that? I guess I just don't understand in what manner the previous owners felt their hands were tied? I'd hate for the new owners to get in the same situation. Sorry if I'm a little dense :)

    At any rate, glad to see it will be an Inn again!


    26 Mar 10 at 12:17 pm

  16. Existing Inns are allowed to continue operation. Restaurants, catering and other retail businesses are not allowed on the island.

    Pawley's Pelican

    26 Mar 10 at 5:35 pm

  17. Who were the previous owners ? I went to Wofford College years ago with someone who owned it, but can not remember their names. Thanks.


    31 Mar 10 at 11:03 am

  18. We do not have an official website, but here is our temporary blog (if anyone is interested). I will post the link here because it is difficult to find on the web.

    Pawley's Pelican

    22 Apr 10 at 5:15 pm

  19. The official website is up and running now:


    19 Aug 10 at 10:22 am

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