Calabash was named after the gourds that grew in the region, which were used for drinking. Since the 1930s, Calabash has been known for its distinctive style of fried seafood, which has come to be known as “Calabash Style” Calabash style buffets are common in many eastern Carolina coastal towns. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is home to a large number of these restaurants as the city is just 25 miles (40 km) from Calabash. The town also has its own Emergency services with Calabash EMS serving the towns of calabash,carolina shores and sunset beach. Mark Powers chief of Calabash EMS says CVEMS is proud to serve the area with 24/7 coverage at an ALS level of service.
In 1998 a large portion of the town of Calabash split to form the town of Carolina Shores. The split came as the result of years of bickering over “sewer, garbage collection and sign restrictions”. The town limits of Carolina Shores currently interlock with those of Calabash.