Some of you may recall, this summer my mom, cousin, boyfriend, and I went on a vacation to Myrtle Beach. While at Myrtle Beach I knew we were going to do two things: First I was going to try parasailing, and second? We were going to Drunken Jacks.
You see, my family has gone to Myrtle Beach long before I was born and since I can remember, I never once visited without going to Drunken Jacks. So what is this Drunken Jacks, you may be asking? It’s a restaurant located in Murrell’s Inlet, about 30 minutes away from the main Myrtle Beach strip. Located a little out of the way, I have no idea how my family first discovered the place, but once you find it, it’s a wonderful experience and you’ll want to return year after year!
The thing about Drunken Jacks is that it’s not just a restaurant, it also offers visitors the chance to experience Murrells Inlet, a little inlet in a historic fishing village in South Carolina that has incredible charm of its own. When we arrived at Drunken Jacks around 7p.m. on a Friday night, my boyfriend Marc had a small heart attack. The wait is 2-3 hours?!? This is pretty typical and sometimes longer on Saturday nights. One of the best parts about this restaurant is that during the wait, you get the chance to explore Murrells Inlet, literally steps outside of the outside deck in the back of the restaurant. We walked outside the back door to be greeted with the ½ mile wooden boardwalk through a natural saltwater estuary.
The marsh walk along the estuary is gorgeous and holds enough beauty on its own, but in addition there are small stands and peddlers and booths almost like a festival. We stopped and got Marc some ice cream (because the 2-hour wait was daunting) and then traveled along the board walk, taking in the atmosphere. Everyone is friendly and there are a variety of stalls and peddlers in the back of the street of seafood restaurants. There was even a guy with a parrot for pictures!
Murrells Inlet is thought to be one of Blackbeard’s lairs and is known for its history with pirates and swashbuckling tales. In fact, Drunken Jacks itself is supposedly named after Jack, a pirate sailing with Blackbeard who sailed into Murrells Inlet to bury some rum and loot. The next morning the crew left, but forgot Jack sleeping off his rum and he was stranded on the island. He was found years later having drank all the rum, but sadly perishing before his rescue.
We walked around the boardwalk for around and an hour and still had some time to wait before our name was up. Another fantastic aspect of Drunken Jacks is their outdoor deck. It overlooks the beautiful estuary and fishing boats as well as Goat Island. Goat Island is exactly what you would expect, an island full of goats in full view of the deck bar and lounge area. The goats are brought in every summer to keep the grasses down for the island and are so fun to watch!
Since I was a child, one of the best parts about visiting the beach was waiting to be seated out on the deck with a cherry Shirley Temple and watching the goats on goat island. Marc had to see Goat Island to believe it, but as we sat, enjoying some drinks and watching the goats and estuary, he had to admit, the wait wasn’t too bad after all.
Of course, the wait is only part of the experience! Drunken Jacks has some of the most delicious, freshest, and innovative seafood dishes I’ve ever tasted. My cousin swears by the mahi mahi, my mom loved her fried shrimp, and Marc raved about the steak, but my favorite on this trip was the baked stuffed flounder dish. Ugh so delicious! It had a lobster cream sauce to die for. They also serve complimentary hush puppies and have an incredible salad bar. I can’t tell you about the dessert because I’ve always been too full to try any! It’s delicious and you will leave stuffed! And as you leave, don’t forget to get a picture with Drunken Jack!
Drunken Jacks is a hidden gem that is so worth the drive!
So, have you ever heard of or visited Drunken Jacks or Murrells Inlet? Are there any fears, concerns, or questions of the unknown I didn’t cover? Comment below and let me know!
See my helpful trip tips below for more information! 🙂
Per Person Cost: $ (>25) $$(25-50) $$$(50-100) $$$$(100-200) $$$$$(200+)
We thought Ubering would cost too much so we opted to drive. Even though it was only 12 miles away from us, it took 30 minutes to get there (Myrtle Beach traffic!). So Uber might be pricey … it also might be a worthwhile expense. When we arrived the parking lot was full. Across the street there is an overflow parking lot. After driving in circles, we realized the overflow lot was full as well. After about 10 minutes I decided I would just have to stalk someone to take their empty spot when the policewoman who had parked under a tree pulled out and came up to us and told us we could take her spot! This was so nice and she absolutely was under no obligation to do so. We were very thankful and it started the night out with a kind act!
Marsh Walk: Free!
Drunken Jacks: $$
The boardwalk is pretty easy going-no real uphill grade-but it is a ½ mile one way, so make sure you are okay with that distance if you want to travel the whole stretch. Also, the walk from the overflow parking lot is a little bit of a hike so if you have any family member with difficulty walking, it’s probably best to let them out at the door. My mom had a broken foot and it was a long walk for her.
US Dollar: Every payment situation we encountered offered the option for cash or credit. But it might be smart to bring some physical money on hand in case one of the boardwalk stalls only accepts cold hard cash.
Locals and Odd Quirks
Everyone is so nice! (Read in transportation about the extremely kind police officer!) Be careful about the littering—Murrells Inlet villagers pride themselves on a clean boardwalk.
Possibly by pirates and maybe even drunken Jack himself! Who knows! 🙂