The Grand Strand is a large stretch of beaches on the East Coast of the United States extending from Little River to Georgetown in the U.S. State of South Carolina. It consists of more than 60 miles along an essentially uninterrupted arc of beach land, beginning around the Little River and terminating at Winyah Bay. The population of the Grand Strand was 329,449 at the 2010 United States Census.
The term Grand Strand dates back to a November 19, 1949 The Myrtle Beach Sun column titled “From the Grandstand” and another titled “From the Grand Strand” on December 3, 1949 in The Myrtle Beach News. “Strand” itself derives from the German Strand, meaning “beach”.
The area has become a major tourist attraction along the Southeastern coast, with its primary city, Myrtle Beach, attracting over ten million visitors each season. It is home to numerous restaurants and theme parks, making it popular with families and college students in the summer and snowbirds during the winter.In magazines and newspapers, on billboards, storefronts and phonebooks, wafting on the airwaves of radio and television, and rolling off the tongues of residents and tourists alike, you’re bound to notice the much-loved expression “The Grand Strand.” The terminology is perfect and most folks are so accustomed to the phrase, no one seems to give much thought to where it originated and what it means. For the record, here’s the story.
In 1949, a local reporter, named Claude Dunnagan, needed a title for a gossip and publicity column he was writing for a weekly paper called The Myrtle Beach Sun. The information in his column covered a stretch of communities from Little River to the south end of Windy Hill Beach. He wanted something short and punchy, but pertinent to the various areas on “his beat.” Like every good writer, he scored his dictionary and thesaurus, arranged and rearranged different words, and came up with the very apt term “The Grand Strand.” The original column appeared on December 3, 1949, and was filled with a brand of chatty news found in today’s society columns. Very quickly, the term was picked up by other media and it came to include a whole string of communities from the fishing village of Little River to the history-steeped streets of Georgetown.
Accolades to Mr. Dunnagan for coining the perfect phrase for one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the whole world!]