Myrtle Beach, a vacation resort on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast, is commonly referred to as the Grand Strand. The area has a 60-mile long stretch of beaches, golf courses, boardwalks, restaurants and amusement parks! It’s also my home. We often take the place we live for granted when it comes to all that is offered for visitors, but I definitely love all there is to do in my area!
The name the Grand Strand came from a newspaper report in the 1940’s. The Grand Strand consists of 60 miles of wide, safe, beautiful, beaches. The beach remains the number one reason why people visit Myrtle Beach. Early-morning beach walks, late night strolls, and all day sunning and swimming along the beaches of the area offer some of the best relaxing vacation spots along the east coast.
Soar like an eagle and see out of this world views of the beach! Myrtle Beach parasailing is an adventure you won’t forget. Over the ocean, but still close to shore, you are safely attached to a harness so the experience is suitable for all ages.
The waters off the Grand Strand are fished for dozens of species of game fish by commercial fisherman, and fishing charters who return home with a freezer full of fish. All-day charters head to the Gulf Stream three hours off shore for Tuna, Wahoo, and Mahi-Mahi. Half day charters can bring home Flounder, Mackerel, and Grouper. The many fishing charter boat captains throughout the area know how to find and help you catch fish. They even clean them for you!
Jet Ski Rentals
Jet skis are fast, fun and very safe when operated responsibly. One rider models are larger for up to four riders, jet ski rentals are abundant along the Myrtle Beach area. The Intracoastal waterway, rivers or the ocean all offer a riders open waters to explore.
Whatever kind of kayaker you are, the choices are endless. You can experience the wildlife and relaxation of the marsh, creeks, and rivers of the South Carolina Lowcountry, or get an adrenaline-filled rush of navigating the breakers in the ocean surf. Self guided rentals and guided tours and excursions by kayak are available, affordable to rent and easy for beginners.
Explore State Parks
Myrtle Beach is home to 2 state parks. Both very different from each other. Myrtle Beach State Park is within minutes of the airport. Huntington Beach State Park is about 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach. Both parks will give you the opportunity to see undeveloped maritime forests that haven’t changed in centuries. Both offer beautiful and pristine beaches for swimming and sites for camping and the beaches of the state parks are rarely crowded.
What better way to get in some family bonding at one of the many campgrounds in the area. Rough it in a tent or glamp in a luxury RV – however you like to camp, Myrtle Beach has a perfect spot for you. Myrtle Beach State Park even offers cabins with heat and air conditioning. Whether you camp or glamp, you’ll be close to nature and save some money too! Besides the two state parks, there are many fabulous commercial campgrounds throughout the area that combine resort amenities with a family and budget-friendly way to vacation.
Segway and Bike Rentals
There are a number of bike and Segway rental companies in the area. Whether you want to leisurely pedal up and down Ocean Boulevard, or enjoy a guided tour on an electric motor-powered Segway, there are options for everyone. You can rent a beach cruise, tandem, or mountain and trail bikes. Be sure to take along a map of the Myrtle Beach Bicycle Trails. Segway is a fun way to sightsee for the whole family. It is suitable for both young and old. Tours appealing to a variety of interests are available, and all Segway tours include instruction and safety equipment.
The Grand Strand area, with its favorable weather and gentle landscape, is home to more than 100 golf courses suited to a range of skill levels. The well manicured courses up and down the coast have attracted golfers from around the country.
Mini-golf has been a popular and affordable form of family entertainment along the Grand Strand for over 50 years. The different and challenging courses present golf in an approachable manner for children and first-timers, while offering a tougher test of putting skills, even for the experienced golfer. Miniature golf courses line the Myrtle Beach area with a wide variety of themes; pirate adventures, jungle safaris, castaway islands, and even prehistoric golf with dinosaurs on every hole. Not surprisingly, the Grand Strand is also host of the Masters of Mini Golf tournament each year.
Experienced helicopter pilots give visitors a bird’s eye view of the coast and interior of the Myrtle Beach area. As low as $25 per person and you can have a quick tour over the area that offers a full view of the city and the beaches. Tours are available daily, weather permitting, and knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect tour. All ages are welcome and photography is a must!
Along the beach or along many of the trails of the Low Country, horseback riding is a favorite of many visitors. Several local equestrian businesses offer lessons, short trial rides, and even overnight adventures all with well-trained, and well cared for horses. Summer camps offer young riders a group experience they’ll never forget, and in the winter, as the law allows, you can even horseback ride on the beach, as part of a guided tour.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
Nothing says “summer” quite like a visit to an iconic seaside boardwalk; great songs have been written in its honor. Because of the great weather, Myrtle Beach’s boardwalk runs all year long. The new updated Boardwalk and Promenade opened in 2010 and stretches from the 2nd Avenue Pier to just north of the 14th Avenue Pier and 8th Avenue No. Along the Boardwalk you will find great food, great drinks, a beautiful ocean view and lots of fun and games! An evening stroll “along the boards” is a highlight for many visitors and locals too!
Zoos & Wildlife Attractions
The area is full of zoos, animal sanctuaries, aquariums and wildlife attractions. Featured on National Geographic, The Travel Channel, and other national and international media outlets, these very special places should make it to every visitor’s (and local’s) bucket list. From the rare and exotic, to the cute and cuddly, they’re all here and waiting for your visit. Alligator Adventure and Tiger Preservation Station are my favorites!
Haunted Houses & Attractions
Everybody loves a good haunted house! Vacationers to the Grand Strand flock to our interactive haunted houses and spook zones in large numbers all year long. Dazzled by Hollywood special effects, you’ll be amazed at the skill from the creators of all this mayhem. From the granddaddy of haunted houses, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, to its spooky neighbor, Nightmare Haunted House, to the newcomer, Outbreak at the Hollywood Wax Museum, there are thrills and chills for all.
Myrtle Beach is home to several pirate adventures – from miniature golf to dinner shows, pirate lovers won’t be disappointed when they get to Myrtle Beach. Dolly Parton’s Pirates Voyage Dinner Show will have everyone in the family wanting to be a pirate! Myrtle Beach is home to several ways to escape to the time of ships, booty, planks, and rum.
One of the newer adventures popping up along the Grand Strand is zip lining. What a great way to get a birds eye view of the area. Low to the ground or high up in the trees – there’s a zip line for everyone!
Myrtle Beach SkyWheel
This 187-foot Ferris Wheel made its debut in 2011. The wheel consists of 42 glass enclosed gondolas with temperature control for the hot summer sun or heat for the winter months. Each car can hold up to six riders. A normal ride is about ten minutes long (and boy what a view!) or go for the VIP ride in a leather seated gondola car that last twice as long.
Obviously we have the beach and the Atlantic Ocean but sometimes you just don’t feel like building sand castles. Myrtle Beach has a few water parks to choose from full of slides, wave pools and lazy rivers.
Art Museums & Galleries
Myrtle Beach is home to several galleries where fine art is on display throughout the year. Handmade work by local artists, exhibits by renowned painters, photographers, and sculptors from all over the world ~ there is always a wonderful variety of artwork to spend an afternoon enjoying.
Historical Sites & Plantations
Located just south of the Myrtle Beach, the Low Country of South Carolina is one of the most scenic and history-rich regions around. Just a short drive outside the city will have you right in the middle of many cultural beauties. You can visit several in one day trip.
There are numerous shows throughout the area. You can see several during one stay at the beach. Professionally created and carefully choreographed song and dance shows are a perfect way to spend an evening.
Some of the best tribute entertainers call Myrtle Beach home. Did you miss seeing your favorite artist while they were in their prime. Don’t worry – Elvis and the Blues Brothers are performing here! The shows are full of action and many made more enjoyable through audience participation.
Although the Myrtle Beach area is full of shops that sell fireworks (for you to take home) it is technically illegal to possess or discharge fireworks within the city limits or on the beach. So if you don’t want to add a $200 fine to your vacation budget, don’t set off what you buy. Instead, spend an evening viewing one of the many fireworks shows along the beach. With many attractions in the area offering at least one show per week you will be able to witness some great fireworks.
There’s no better way to spend an afternoon or evening than sipping a cold one along the beach! There are so many spots along the beach – each offering their own theme. Karaoke, dancing, sing-alongs – you name it, you will find a beach front bar that has it gong on!
Live Music Venues
Everybody loves a good concert! There is quite a large variety of spots to catch live music in Myrtle Beach. Big names in the entertainment business fill large area venues regularly. Small local spots showcase smaller groups. Whatever you like, you’ll be able to find it in Myrtle Beach. Free summer concerts during the summer months help families enjoy music without breaking the bank.
The Market Common
Upscale dining and shopping all nestled together in a picturesque spot right outside the city limits. Formerly the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, now the Market Common, the location is a popular spot with locals and visitors. Dining outdoors in the warm weather, walking the dog, segway rentals, running trails, bakeries, movies – all in one place!
Barefoot Landing is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex located in North Myrtle Beach. Both the Alabama Theater and the House of Blues are located at Barefoot Landing. SummerFest is hosted each year with weekly fireworks, outdoor performers, family entertainment and more!
Broadway at the Beach
Broadway at the Beach offers a mix of shopping, dining and entertainment right in the heart of Myrtle Beach. Specialty shops, eateries, speed-boat rides, mini-golf, and ziplines ~ Broadway at the Beach has something for everyone. An ideal spot for family friendly activities as well as nightlife for the young at heart.
Hammock Shops Village
The Hammock Shop Villages located south of Myrtle Beach in Pawleys Island offers a unique shopping and dining experience. The Hammock Shops feature winding brick paths through cottage-style stores. Southern charm and hospitality at it’s finest!
The third-oldest city in South Carolina, Georgetown offers a glimpse of the state’s history along with great shopping, dining and scenery. Georgetown is located halfway between Myrtle Beach and Charleston with a Main Street feel of traditional old south downtowns. The wooden boat show is a yearly event held in Georgetown that shouldn’t be missed.
Hundreds – yes, hundreds of seafood restaurants call Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas home. Shacks, fine dining, large expansive buffets – all serving fresh seafood cooked in typical southern Calabash style or any other way you choose! Fleets of fishing boats bring in the freshest catch daily making the area a seafood lovers dream!
Enjoying a meal at a restaurant with a waterfront view is one of the best ways to spend an evening along the Carolina coast. Each restaurant on the water offers a special view for diners whether you choose to enjoy your meal overlooking the ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, a creek, the inlet or a marsh.
Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk
What started as a simple creek side boardwalk in a little fishing village, the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk is now one of the most visited destinations for food, drinks and live entertainment along the Grand Strand. Family friendly, full of good food and good times, the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk is just a short 20 minutes south of the heart of Myrtle Beach.
Wine Bars & Wineries
Along the Grand Strand, the options for enjoying wine start begin right at the grocery store and go all the way to fine dining restaurants. There are many wine bars in the area focusing on pairing really good wine with really good food. No matter what you prefer – crisp white wines, medium bodied pink and blush wines, or rich reds – there’s a perfect flavor and style for all. Myrtle Beach Wine Tasting and Shop (Duplin Wines), La Belle Amie Vineyard and Carolina Vineyards are just a few of the locations that offer tastings, festivals and fun!
Minor league baseball, Division I collegiate athletics, a world-class high school basketball tournament during the holidays, and numerous amateur youth baseball tournaments throughout the year make Myrtle Beach a great place for sports. There’s nothing quite like hearing the crack of the bat, the shoes squeaking on the gymnasium floor, or the crowd celebrating when you are cheering on your favorite team.
FOOD FESTIVALS: Any area that has hundreds of restaurants has multiple food festivals and competitions each year. The perfect way for area chefs to show-off their creations while visitors and locals get to try some knew things. and bars, which is a good thing for locals and visitors alike. Myrtle Beach is home to festivals that showcase food, wine and craft beer.
GENERAL FESTIVALS: Myrtle Beach likes to party and welcome visitors so the area definitely likes to throw festivals. Whether it be food, nationality themed, drinking celebrations or seasonal – there is usually a festival on the calendar in the not too distant future and are a great way to celebrate during your vacation. The Carolina Country Music Festival takes place in Myrtle Beach in June and welcomes big name country stars to the stage during a weekend of old fashioned country fun. The 2017 festival will welcome Kenny Chesney center stage!
Myrtle Beach has a long history of hosting car shows and events that have vintage autos, classic cars, Corvettes or Mustangs lined up on exhibit and touring along the Grand Strand. The area plays host to multiple car shows each year.
Concert Series & Music Events
If you’re a fan of live music events, Myrtle Beach is the place for you. Along with the many venues that host bands nightly, Myrtle Beach is also home to several concert series during the spring and summer. No matter what you like – rock & roll, country, jazz, pop – there’s always something for everyone. The series also take place at a variety of locations along the Grand Strand, from under the live oaks at Brookgreen Gardens to oceanfront in downtown North Myrtle Beach or at an outdoor bar. One thing for certain is you won’t be disappointed.
Waterfront dining is a great way to enjoy a meal. In Myrtle Beach you have the option to dine aboard large ships that offer views you will never be able to see from the window of a restaurant. Take a dinner cruise Vegas style on one of the casino boats in the area! Dinner cruises in the area are affordable and fun!
No matter what you decide to do when visiting Myrtle Beach, one thing for sure is that you will never be at a loss for something to do. Unless of course you just want to sit on the beach!