Is Living In Conway South Carolina A Good Idea?
South Carolina has always been the top destination for retirees and domestic movers. With laid back lifestyle, sunny weather, natural adornments, ocean, and the beach there are plenty of reasons to validate its popularity. Add to that the low and affordable living cost, this is the perfect location for relocating. And when it comes to settling down in South Carolina, there are many towns, cities, and villages that you can consider, each having its quirks and benefits. For relocators, it can often get confusing to choose just one from so many deserving options.
However, if you want to get away from the lights and crowds of the big city and live a quiet life, the small historic town of Conway might be the perfect place to indulge yourself in the southern charm and hospitality. Besides, the proximity to South Carolina’s prime tourist attraction Myrtle beach makes it ideal for getting the best of both worlds- occasionally enjoying the crowded tourist city vibe while not sacrificing the need for solitude and slow-paced life. Here we have discussed the various sides of living in Conway. Give it a read to gain some insight into life in Conway.
A Brief Overview of Conway
Conway is a city in South Carolina located in Horry County. This County is part of the Myrtle Beach area and is just a 15-20 minutes drive along the northwest part of Myrtle Beach. This proximity makes it the second-best relocation destination after Myrtle Beach. Despite being overshadowed by Myrtle Beach, the city holds its history and heritage. With a total population of 22800 and median demography of 30 years, Conway is a thriving city backed by its history.
With Lake Busbee, located in the south and the eastern part surrounded by the Waccamaw River, Conway is a city with scenic beauty. Even if you don’t get the blue Atlantic and sandy beaches of Myrtle Beach, these natural features are more than enough to make up for it. Competing with other South Carolinian cities, it ranks 148 on the livability chart. With a population consisting of all the major ethnic groups, Conway is one of the most diverse cities in South Carolina. If you love history, laid back lifestyle, and a small-town vibe, living in Conway SC will be the best option for you in South Carolina.
History and Origin
Conway is one of the oldest towns in the USA and the rich history of the city is evident in its streets and architecture. Conway was there even before all the tourist attention in Myrtle Beach. As with most cities, Conway was evolved into a city from a humble village known as Conway borough. From its inception, the city has undergone many name changes. When it was under English colonialism, it was known as the king’s town which later turned to Kinston. In 1731, the settlement plan of the city was passed, spreading across the west bank of the Waccamaw River emerged the Kinston village. After the revolution in 1801, it was renamed Horry to honor General Peter Horry, the legendary revolutionary hero of that area. In 1883 the courthouse Town of Horry County was named Conway by general Robert Conway.
Conway is etched with history rooting back to British colonialism and the American Revolution. There are many campsites and war sites spread across Conway bearing testimony of civil war. After the second world war, the city largely became known as the gateway to Myrtle Beach.
The Historic Downtown of Conway
Strolling through downtown Conway is a pleasure for history and architecture buffs. Many structures around here were built back in British colonialism and are the silent witness of the civil war. These structures are listed in national historic registers. Most of the structures were built from 1900 to 1940. The Horry County courthouse, the town clock, and the holiday theater built in art deco style are the most notable among the structures.
The Horry county courthouse, also known as Conway city hall designed by architect Robert Mills, was built back in 1824. The Greek revival style architecture has undergone several renovations over the years, and still retains its original identity. The live oak trees near the courthouse bear the testimony of many public executions held during 1830-1900.
The state of South Carolina is not only renowned for its sunny weather and southern hospitality, but the low cost of living is also a reason for potential buyers to consider relocation here. The average household income of the residents is $39957. With a family of four, you will have to spend about $4748 per month to comfortably live in Conway. The living cost is 5% lower than the national average. Besides, Conway holds the lowest tax rates in South Carolina. The superior transportation and connection system with other states also make the price of commodities lower than in many places in America. In terms of grocery, housing, health, and transportation cost, Conway is well below the national average.
The entire state of South Carolina is tax-friendly for new homebuyers. However, this also makes the competition high among the retirees, vacation home buyers, and new families to buy their homes in South Carolina. Conway has several residential parts where mostly new families live the home-owning rate in Conway is 65%.
The average home price is $187000, which is nowhere near the high price of a Myrtle Beach property. The housing prices here are about 22% lower than the average national housing price in the USA. If you prefer renting, the average rent will be around $825.
About 60% of the population is currently in the workforce in Conway. With a total of 1309 businesses operating, most residents work within Horry County. However, you can also find jobs in the nearby cities of Charleston or Myrtle Beach. The unemployment rate in Conway is about 4.4%, well below the national average of 6%. Almost 21% of the population in Conway holds a college degree and most of this population prefers civil service or academia for living.
Since its formation, the transport plan of Conway has always followed the natural river route of Waccamaw. If you are going to explore, walking will be the best way to do so. Even if you travel by personal car, you will find that parking is mostly free.
There are plenty of public transportation options available in Conway. You can get buses from the coastal regional transport authority (RTA) in any part of Horry county. Besides, all important public buildings are located in downtown Conway, close to the historic district. The Conway airport is located just 6 km west of the downtown. The average commute time in public transportation is about 22 minutes.
Conway is only 50 minutes drive away from interstate 95- the major interstate on the east coast, making it easier for residents to travel the interstate. Other major highways like 378,701, 22,23 17 are located at a suitable distance from Conway.
Despite the slow-paced life and residents living here for generations, South Carolina has a crime rate that is about 35% higher than the national average. While Conway is safer than 7% of US cities, the crime rate here is 53% higher than the US average.
However, most crimes are burglary, theft, or auto theft. With stricter law enforcement and new resettlement taking place, the crime rate in Conway is mostly on the decline. But if you choose a secure neighborhood you do not have to think about the high crime rate.
Schools and Education
90% of the population in Conway are high school graduates. There are many public and private institutions for education in Conway, and they operate under the Horry county school system. The Coastal Carolina University and Horry Georgetown technical college are the two renowned institutes for higher studies in Conway.
Although the entertainment opportunities in Conway will fall short compared to Myrtle Beach, considering the scale and location of the city, there are still plenty of activities to do here. For instance, you can find many water activities near the Waccamaw River and trekking or hiking opportunities in the wildlife conservation near Waccamaw. The Waccamaw Riverwalk among the ancient oaks draped in dark Spanish moss, old wooden buildings, bridges, and marinas surrounded by native trees and foliage is sure to entice nature enthusiasts.
And there is no short option for fine dining with quaint restaurants and antique shops. Some restaurants will even offer you a refreshing farm-to-table dining experience. Conway also has many shopping opportunities with its many retail shops in laurel street. If you crave the ocean or beach it will only take a 15-minute drive to get to Myrtle Beach.
The Bottom Line
For its rich history, Conway is known as the historic river town of South Carolina. However, Conway is not just a testament to British colonialism and the civil war; it is a growing city with vibrant communities and culture. While life in Conway might not provide you the excitement of city life, it is still worth it for those who want a quiet life surrounded by history and nostalgia.