Cherry Grove Amid Covid-19

With all of the beach closings throughout the Carolinas due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been a challenge to enjoy what we love so much about where we live. The beaches of NC had for a while been effectively open but only for residents of the specific islands by closing off all public parking on the islands. The beaches of South Carolina implemented similar restrictions, for the most part not specifically closing the beaches but closing all public parking which effectively closed off the beaches to anyone but residents with beachfront properties. This is how it has been in N Myrtle Beach & Cherry Grove, until yesterday when all the boat ramps were reopened for public use.

Given the gorgeous weather, we decided to pack our bicycles on the truck and bike through town to get an idea of how everyone was coping with the restrictions. While the town was relatively quiet, there was a surprising level of activity around. We went to the Cherry Grove Park & Boat Ramp to get a glimpse of the activity and to begin our ride through town. The parking lot was 75% full and boats were cruising up and down the inlet. There were 15-20 boat trailers staged in their parking area. A number of folks were also fishing from the shore and the small pier while maintaining more than sufficient social distancing.

Things changed however, once we made our way through town and along Ocean Blvd where we didn’t experience quite the same degree of compliance. While all the beach access points were roped off, we witnessed a number of folks, beach chairs in tow, coming across Ocean Dr from 2nd, 3rd and beyond rows and simply walking through driveways or paths in order to bypass the access point. More suprising was seeing 2 parking lots, (private, not city owned) open for business: one for golf carts and one for vehicles. The view from the road and the lots dispelled any notion of social distancing.

In any event, we continued along our way covering a good portion of town on our bikes. After our ride we stopped for a great take out meal from Eugene Platts which we brought back to the park and enjoyed at the picnic tables while waiting for what would be a lovely sunset. You can see the route we took through Cherry Grove just below and there is also a gallery of some of the photos taken along the way. You can view more from Cherry Grove as well as all along Our Carolina Shore in our galleries.

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