Intracoastal Waterway Communities


The Intracoastal Waterway is a vital part of many communities in the Grand Strand area. From Little River south to Pawleys Island, the Intracoastal Waterway weaves and winds its way down the South Carolina coast. In 1808, The United States government first began discussions about the creation of a large-scale waterway for commerce and travel. Albert Gallatin, Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury, pioneered the concept by pitching an inland waterway between Massachusetts and Georgia. The ideas were not immediately implemented due to doubts from leaders and the onset of The War of 1812. The idea of a large-scale waterway was finally implemented in 1912. The first phase of construction was to connect Boston, Massachusetts to Beaufort, North Carolina. The second phase of construction was introduced in 1913 to connect Beaufort, North Carolina to Key West, Florida. The second phase was broken into smaller sanctions and completed one small piece at a time. During the 1920’s, the Louisiana and Texas waterways were constructed following World War I. These were designed to connect with the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida, and make most of the United States accessible without using the Atlantic Ocean. The final push for completion occurred during World War II when United States ships were being sunk by German submarines off the coast. The Intracoastal Waterway made it possible for military ships to sail up and down the East Coast without the threat of being sunk. As time progressed, the use of the water for trade and commerce became less prevalent and more widely used for recreational purposes.


Today, the Intracoastal Waterway in the Grand Strand is popularly utilized and loved by both locals and tourists alike. From dining at a restaurant with spectacular views of the waterway to actually spending the day out on the boat, the Intracoastal Waterway is an integral part of many people’s lives. Many different local attractions have developed along the waterway. In Little River, the waterfront consists of various boat charter businesses, a luxury casino boat, and many restaurants and bars with patios overlooking the water. Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach is also located along the Intracoastal Waterway. Barefoot Landing offers world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment. Public docks are available for visitors to the shopping center to dock their boat while they shop and dine at a number of restaurants that offer a vast array of cuisines. Many beaches and islands such as Bird Island and Sandy Island are accessible for boaters via the waterway.

Waterway Palms Plantation

Waterway Palms Plantation is a luxury home community in Carolina Forest that backs up to the Intracoastal Waterway. Conveniently located only minutes from everything Carolina Forest and a 20 minute drive to Myrtle Beach, this neighborhood is one of the most highly desired along the Grand Strand. For residents who enjoy boating, this neighborhood offers community boat storage, as well as boat launches. In addition to the waterway amenities, Waterway Palms Plantation provides tennis courts, a swimming pool, and large clubhouse for its residents. The homes in this community are colorful, Charleston-style homes. Home prices in this neighborhood have risen greatly in the past five years. The average sales price has increased nearly $180,000  from $387,468 in August 2016 YTD to $567,286 in August 2021 YTD. The increased sales price in this community has not deterred buyers, as homes sell for 82 days faster in 2021 compared to 2016.

Lauderdale Bay Estates

Lauderdale Bay Estates is a Mediterranean-style inspired community located in Myrtle Beach. This community is centrally located to shopping centers, restaurants, and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Lauderdale Bay Estates, located on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway, offers waterfront homes and a private community dock for fishing. This neighborhood is still being developed with custom-built homes by a local builder. A variety of floorplans are available to fit any family’s needs or wants. Development of this neighborhood began in 2018 and home prices have remained steady. The average sales price as of August 2021 YTD was $491,075 and homes have sold in 195 days on average.

The Battery on The Waterway

The Battery on The Waterway is a small, high-end community located in Carolina Forest. This neighborhood consists of 99 homes and lots. With the community lying along the Intracoastal Waterway, all homes feature water views and access to a boat dock. A unique community, with every home in the neighborhood sharing a boat dock with three other homes. The neighborhood also offers a walking and biking trail for its residents. Each home is custom-designed and built with gorgeous amenities. Many of the homes feature a private swimming pool, elevator, and large decks overlooking the waterway. With many of the homes being waterfront mansions, home prices can reach upwards of $1,000,000.  In recent years, home prices within the community have skyrocketed. The average sales prices in August 2016 YTD was $356,000 and as of August 2021 YTD, homes are selling for currently at $885,142. In addition to over a $500,000 price increase, homes are selling for 97% of list price. 

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