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Waties Island — Horry County, South Carolina


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Waties Island

Waties Island (WAY-teez) is an undeveloped barrier island located just north of North Myrtle Beach, extending nearly three miles to the South Carolina / North Carolina border.

Waties Island Horry County

Meridith Grimsley of Greer, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The island is named for William Waties, Jr., an Indian trader who discovered and claimed the land in 1735. There are several discrepancies regarding initial ownership, but the island was eventually acquired by Horace Tighlman in 1920.

The property remained in the Tighlman family until 1995, when Anne Tighlman Boyce donated over 1,000 acres to Coastal Carolina University. Waties Island is an integral part of the university’s Marine Science program and has become increasingly significant as an ecological research facility.

Reflections on Waties Island


Contributor Meridith Grimsley says of her photo: “I have grown up going to Sunset Beach, North Carolina, and have spent many summers exploring the shores of Bird Island and had only seen Waties island from across Little River inlet. This time we decided to get as close as possible to the island (sans a boat), and this is how we ended up on the north end of Cherry Grove Beach. It was at dead low tide, and a thunderstorm was rolling in over the tops of the trees.”

Add your own reflections here.

Waties Island Info


Address: Off SC Highway 236, Near Little River, SC 29582
GPS Coordinates: 33.848784,-78.574734

Waties Island Map

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One Comment about Waties Island

Angie says:
August 4th, 2015 at 7:05 pm

I am a resident of NMB. Is there any way I can gain access to Waites Island beside taking a UTV or kayak tour? Is there anywhere I can obtain a pass to enter this property? Thanks




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