“A” is for Atlantic Beach
“A” is for Atlantic Beach (Horry County; 2020 population 310). A historically Black beach community, Atlantic Beach is located fifteen miles north of Myrtle beach. Atlantic Beach was chartered as a municipality in 1966, and most of its property remains in the hands of African Americans and is known as the “Black Pearl of the Grand Strand.” Atlantic Beach flourished in the 1940s and 1950s as one of the few places on the East Coast where Black families could enjoy beach vacations during the era of segregation. Hurricane Hazel in 1954 destroyed many beachfront homes and hotels that were not rebuilt. Integration in the 1960s hastened the town’s decline as Black families had more vacation choices. Today, the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Black Pearl Cultural Heritage and Bike Festival attracts thousands of visitors to historic Atlantic Beach.