Highway 17

Highway 17

1929

In modern times, Highway 17 has been instrumental in bringing tourists to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand, especially during the first half of the twentieth century, when Myrtle Beach was not connected to other major interstate or intrastate highways.

Also known as the Ocean Highway, U.S. Highway 17 enters South Carolina at the North Carolina border near Little River, then hugs the coast for almost two hundred miles before exiting the state at Savannah, Georgia. It is the linear descendent of the King’s Highway, a colonial-era post road that connected the American colonies by 1750. Traces of the colonial highway can still be found. In 1931, when Highway 17 was being expanded from New York to Miami, developer John T. Woodside paid to have the highway routed around his hunting preserve, which protected a vestige of the original road. The land was later occupied by the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach.

In modern times, Highway 17 has been instrumental in bringing tourists to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand, especially during the first half of the twentieth century, when Myrtle Beach was not connected to other major interstate or intrastate highways. General Holmes Springs was largely responsible for opening up the roads to the resort. The first straightening and paving of the King’s Highway in South Carolina began in 1927, when bridges were built to cross the main inlets. In 1929 it was completed from the North Carolina state line, south along the coast to Georgetown. The modern route extends to Interstate 95 near Beaufort, closely following the route that Native Americans, early settlers, and even President George Washington traveled many years ago.

Floyd, Blanche W. Tales Along the Grand Strand of South Carolina. Winston-Salem, N.C.: Bandit, 1996.

Wilcox, Henry Trezevant. Musings of a Hermit. 4th ed. Murrells Inlet, S.C.: The Hermitage, 1973.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Highway 17
  • Coverage 1929
  • Author
  • Keywords Ocean Highway, linear descendent of the King’s Highway, tourists,
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date May 9, 2021
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update May 17, 2016
Go to Top