The town of Atlantic Beach is located south of North Myrtle Beach, tucked between Windy Hill and Crescent Beach, and boasts an alluring stretch of wide, sandy beaches that span four blocks of completely unobstructed ocean views.
Nicknamed “The Black Pearl,” Atlantic Beach has a rich culture rooted in its African-American heritage and is known as the first and only black-owned oceanfront town in the world. From the annual street festivals to the historical sites scattered throughout the town, Atlantic Beach offers visitors a culturally diverse beach getaway.
Discover the history behind this iconic beach town today!
This area was known as home to the Gullah Geechee descendants of slaves from Sea Island. In 1930, George Tyson helped the Spivey family purchase two tracts of land. One was Atlantic Beach and the other The Black Pearl. In the 1940’s, the two tracts of land were sold and the Atlantic Beach Merchants Association was formed. They decided to only have one name for the area and chose Atlantic Beach.
The town was packed from May to September. Several clubs and restaurants, a movie theater, arcade, open-air pavilion, grocery and liquor stores supplied items to visitors. Blues and Jazz music jam sessions filled the streets with names like Marvin Gay, Ray Charles, The Spinners, The Drifters, Chubby Checker and Fats Domino. In 1954 Hurricane Hazel destroyed the waterfront. In 1966, there was a State Charter that named Atlantic Beach the first and only black owned oceanfront town.
• South Carolina Historical Marker for Atlantic Beach – 26-16
• Atlantic Beach Jazz Festival
• Atlantic Bike Beach Festival Memorial Day Weekend
• Gullah Geechee Festival each August
• Atlantic Beach South Carolina Historical Society