Myrtle Beach Vacation Guide

If you don't know a lot about Myrtle Beach, you might not realize what a hugely fantastic tourist destination it truly is. This smaller region on the East Coast, known as the Grand Strand, tends to avoid a lot of the crowds that you might see at various beaches in Florida. Being located significantly further north, it also avoids a lot of the oppressively hot weather. Summer in Myrtle Beach can definitely get balmy, with highs in the 80s well into September. But, from May to October, visitors have plenty of time to see the city and hang out at the beach without boiling over.

Don’t let the average yearly population of about 30,000 people fool you – Myrtle Beach is a tourist gem with tons of stuff to do, fun things to see and more entertainment than you could possibly complete in one trip. Pick a theme from the outdoors, fun on the water, country music, South Carolina history, unbelievably tasty food and more. After you have an idea of what to look for, just take your selections from this list and put them together. One would have to stay for a month to even come close to doing it all, so you can easily create one fantastic week or weekend getaway.

Where to Stay

As is the case with most vacations, the accommodations are typically going to be one of the most important aspects to research. Of course, a lot of the time spent on vacation will be spent outside of the room, but it's hard to argue that a great lodging experience doesn't enhance the entire experience. In Myrtle Beach, visitors have a dazzling variety available for their perusal, from a small bed and breakfast to hotels located inside a larger resort complex. All of these hotels feature water access, whether it is your own room overlooking the sandy beach, or a marina that is perfect for boating. Some may choose to select places that are all-inclusive, so they can eat, play and sleep without having to leave the resort. Others may want to make it small and simple so they can get a good night’s rest and have their choices of options for surf and sun the next morning.

Marina Inn at Grande Dunes

Want to take a trip that feels a bit like wandering in your own Mediterranean paradise? The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes is designed to feature a bit of this sunny lifestyle, right in between North Myrtle Beach and South Myrtle Beach. Enjoy the undeveloped landscape for a luxurious walk or run. Take advantage of the private beach, away from the crowds. If you feel so inclined, play on the golf course or book a massage. With this hotel in the Grand Dunes Resort, you can do you just right, whether that is heading out for a dolphin tour on a jet ski, or hanging out in your exquisitely appointed guest room.

Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes

Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes

The Marriott Hotel chain conveys a specific level of quality you can expect pretty much anywhere, and the Marriott in Grande Dunes is no exception. Located on the north end of Myrtle Beach, this hotel maintains high ratings for cleanliness and service from its guests. The rooms are known for their spectacular views of the sandy beach, and are designed to give guests an exceptionally relaxing experience. As you head out from your room, you can enjoy a state-of-the-art spa, or participate in an excellent tennis game. The beach is just a few steps away as well, and when you are done with the sun and fun, you’ve got to try Ocean’s on 82nd for a delightful dinner.

North Beach Plantation

You haven’t seen island or beach living until you have had a chance to check out North Beach Plantation. The hotel is placed in almost an island of sorts between the Whitepoint Swash and the Atlantic Ocean. Water is the main feature here, and guests can get it however they like. The beach is a great destination, but the pool design is outstanding enough to warrant a visit. Visit the lazy river for a relaxing cruise down the water, or get a drink at the swim-up pool bar. When longing for a nosh, visit 21 Main, an award-winning steakhouse and sushi bar. It’s the perfect way to end a day full of joy and comfort.

The Cypress Inn at Myrtle Beach

The Cypress Inn

When looking for something a bit smaller or more intimate, The Cypress Inn may be exactly what you hope to find. This bed and breakfast is a harbor-front hotel situated next to the Waccamaw River, located very close to Lake Busbee. Although The Cypress Inn sits in Conway, it is only a few miles inland from Myrtle Beach. The living areas are designed in a comfortable, accessible design perfect for reading a book or enjoying a fun conversation with friends. Hang out on the porch or take a stroll down the Riverwalk. If you want a little more entertainment on the water, a pontoon boat or kayaks are available for rent.

Regency Towers

Looking for the perfect condominium to rent in Myrtle Beach? Take a look at Regency Towers, located on the Grand Strand coast in South Myrtle Beach. This area is a little less crowded, which makes it perfect for gathering with family and friends for a vacation. The condos are fully-furnished and available in two-bedroom or three-bedroom floor plans – each with two full bathrooms and a private balcony overlooking the ocean. Your stay also includes an exercise room and sauna, outdoor pool available year-round, as well as a wading pool perfect for kids.

Anderson Ocean Club and Spa welcomes families, groups, golfers, romance travelers, and business professionals to our upscale Grand Strand hotel. Accommodations include studios and 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units perfect for families and large groups. The Anderson Ocean Club and Spa delivers luxurious lodging in a premier location. Our guests receive a variety of privileges including free seasonal admission to Wild Water and Wheels, free seasonal day time play at Lost Mine Mini golf, and discounts at local restaurants and attractions. Our onsite spa, The Awakening Spa features a variety of services to pamper visitors with discounts to guests of Anderson Ocean Club.

—Anna Bowers; Anderson Ocean Club and Spa

Anderson Ocean Club & Spa by Oceana Resorts Image credit: Anderson Ocean Club & Spa by Oceana Resorts

Anderson Ocean Club & Spa by Oceana Resorts

There’s something about the designs that come out of southern Spain and Morocco that are unforgettable, and the Anderson Ocean Club & Spa hopes to recreate it for guests right here in the states. Although the hotel is ideal for any stay, it is built for the extended business traveler or a family on the move. Choose lodging that ranges from studio size up to three bedrooms. Guests can start their day with the Awakening Spa and can get a quick workout in the fitness room before they head down to the oceanfront sun-deck or the beach. Your stay might include special amenities such as unlimited admission to Wild Water & Wheels Water Park, a 16-acre water park located near Myrtle Beach.

Dunes Village Resort

The trouble that a lot of families have while planning a beach vacation is how to find activities that are fun for kids but also engaging for adults. The Dunes Village Resort aims to solve this problem, with plenty of activities to keep everyone busy and easily entertained. Check out the amazingly large water park, with adult-sized indoor water slides, and a 250-foot river ride. Take advantage of sports like water volleyball and basketball, with plenty of games for the kids, too. The extensive buffets ensure that everyone gets a great bite to eat, and there are excellent options for room service as well. This will help give you the energy needed to head back into the water for more excitement.

Serendipity Inn at Myrtle Beach

Serendipity Inn

Hoping for a small site for a honeymoon or anniversary getaway? Take some time at the Serendipity Inn, a bed and breakfast that will suit your need for comfort without feeling like you have been lost in the crowd. Check out the classically-designed rooms, ranging from a queen to a king-size suite. Relax around the fire pit during the winter, or sit along the pool to cool off during the summer. The Serendipity Inn is located only a few hundred yards from the beach – this way guests can find their own little hideaway hotel, and still be one of the first to arrive at the beach in the morning.

Where to Eat

Close your eyes, and think about what you might expect from a South Carolina restaurant. Did you picture baby back ribs? Yup, you can get it here. How about burgers so big that you might need a forklift to carry them to your mouth? Oh yes, that’s here too. But if it’s stomach-satisfying seafood that makes you happy, you’ll find it in spades on this list. So close to the coast, Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas are simply dripping in opportunities to sate your appetite with surf, turf and everything in between. Start off early with a breakfast or brunch shop. Follow it up with a savory lunch sandwich or burger. Finish your night with an upscale, trendy meal with fresh local ingredients, and a sophisticated glass or bottle of wine. There are even a couple of places off the beaten path, where only the locals know how awesome it is.

River City Cafe

There are times when you just have to have something battered and fried. At the River City Cafe, there are plenty of options available. Fried pickles, zucchini or mushrooms? They’ve got it. But what a lot of people come for is the burgers. There are so many choices that you might need a moment to decide which one is for you. Are you the kind of person who would dig right into the Peanut Butter Burger? Or is the Nacho Crunch Burger, topped with guacamole and Doritos, more your style? It could be the ‘OMG’ Burger, with two patties stuffed between two fried egg and cheese sandwiches. Whatever the choice ends up being, expect to leave stuffed.

Johnny D's Waffles and Bakery at Myrtle Beach

Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery

On the website for Johnny D’s, you see the phrase “Love at first waffle,” and love is exactly what you will feel once you order a meal at this excellent breakfast restaurant and bakery. One glance at the menu reveals that you are not in an ordinary breakfast joint. Omelettes with tzatziki sauce or a Cajun remoulade? Pound cake French toast? Sure. All the things you ever wanted to do with a waffle iron are right there to be ordered, from cinnamon rolls to red velvet and funfetti. Although there are a lot of traditional favorites here, even the foodie in your group will also be thoroughly pleased with dishes like the mushroom confit benedict.

Carolina Roadhouse is Golf Magazine’s choice for ‘Where To Eat With Your Buddies’. One of Myrtle Beach’s most popular restaurants, this jam-packed eatery takes on Southern favorites, including fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs, giant Seafood platters and the Killer Dog– a foot-long hot dog smothered in chili, cheese and fries. All of the outrageous (and perfectly messy) entrees are available to-go, apart from sizable feasts on the catering menu.

—Amber Stewart; Carolina Roadhouse

Carolina Roadhouse

When reading lists of top places to eat in Myrtle Beach, there is no surprise that Carolina Roadhouse always seems to make the cut. So many items on the menu are larger than life, or at least made for the larger than life appetite. Check out the baby back ribs, so fall-off-the-bone tender that they might just fall off the plate. Sick of disappointingly small chili dogs? Try the Killer Dog, 12 amazing inches of dog just drowning in chili, cheese and French fries. Maybe you came to the coast so you could partake in some of the food freshly-plucked from the saltwater. Just take a look at the seafood platters, with plenty of food to satisfy virtually any appetite.

Eggs Up Grill at Myrtle Beach

Eggs Up Grill

The first Eggs Up Grill opened in 1986 when Chris Skodras and his wife, Pat, put years of experience in the restaurant industry into a family-friendly place with wonderful food. Over 30 years later, visitors and locals can enjoy breakfast or lunch at a variety of Eggs Up Grill locations around Myrtle Beach. You’ll be delighted by the extensive menu, which features plates with creative names like “Egg Bomb” and “Humpty Dumpty.” The kids’ menu is almost infinitely customizable, so you are sure to find something that the little ones will gobble up. With an opening time of 6 a.m., it's a great spot to grab an early breakfast on the way to the beach.

Crepe Creation Cafe

If you have ever made your way to France and had a chance to grab a quick bite from one of the many crepe stands, you know that this is so much more than a type of pancake. The Crepe Creation Cafe aims to bring this appreciation to all who come to Myrtle Beach. Visitors can still order crepes as they might see them elsewhere in the U.S., stuffed with delights such as Swiss cheese and mushrooms, and covered with Hollandaise sauce – but they can also select the Turkey Breakfast, which presents a crepe entrée made like a wrap, just as one might get one on a walk through Paris.

For more than 30 years, Gulfstream Cafe has been a sought-after spot for birthdays, anniversaries and more thanks to the picturesque waterfront view and authentic coastal cuisine. The laid-back atmosphere at this Garden City institution complements the fresh seafood and southern favorites, choice options include broiled Lobster Tail, creamy She-Crab Soup and jumbo lump Crab Cakes. Head back for Sunday brunch, seasonal Oyster Roast or watch the sunset on the rooftop deck, all wildly popular (and Instagram-worthy).

—Amber Stewart; Gulfstream Cafe

Gulfstream Cafe at Myrtle Beach Image credit: Gulfstream Cafe

Gulfstream Cafe

If you have ever made your way to France and had a chance to grab a quick bite from one of the many crepe stands, you know that this is so much more than a type of pancake. The Crepe Creation Cafe aims to bring this appreciation to all who come to Myrtle Beach. Visitors can still order crepes as they might see them elsewhere in the U.S., stuffed with delights such as Swiss cheese and mushrooms, and covered with Hollandaise sauce – but they can also select the Turkey Breakfast, which presents a crepe entrée made like a wrap, just as one might get one on a walk through Paris.

Sea Captain's House

When visiting the ocean for a holiday, there is often a desire to have something to eat that is right on the waterfront. If you come to Sea Captain’s House, you will get an award-winning nosh in the shadow of the sea. After 50 years in business, the owners realize that the best way to win your heart is to create seafood that is even better than you can ever remember eating. The outstanding food is paired with an ambiance that is simply unbeatable. Be sure to ask your server about the seasonal selections – they are bound to be a delight. For perennial favorites, you can’t go wrong with a crab cake sandwich or dish of Jambalaya.

Aspen Grille at Myrtle Beach Image credit: Aspen Grille

Aspen Grille

Eating the local food on a trip is a great part traveling. For Aspen Grille, this is serious business. The restaurant’s goal is nothing short than a perfect meal in the ideal environment, created from local ingredients with a distinct Carolina flavor and attitude. You can find traditional Southern favorites with an interesting twist like fried green tomatoes with crab meat. Come for the excellent food, and stay for the large and carefully curated wine selection. Come a bit early on Wednesday nights for “Wine Down Wednesday,” which offers live music and half-off wines by the glass. Happy hour is a great time to enjoy a lovely meal with plenty of entertainment and wonderful service.

SeaBlue Restaurant & Wine Bar

Nearly everyone loves the cool ambiance of this awesome seafood restaurant, steakhouse and wine bar all rolled into one awesome night out. Start with Wagyu beef sliders or an artisan cheese board. Move on to mouth-watering favorites like the Bluefin tuna tartare. Don’t miss your best opportunity to get a drink, as well. SeaBlue has won awards for its wine and whiskey lists, that are poured by servers who receive a continual education in the art of wine selection, serving and of course, drinking. It is this attention to customer service and delight that earns SeaBlue the Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence” for the past several years.

The Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Company at Myrtle Beach

The Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co.

Sometimes, only a grilled cheese will do. Or a crab cake. Luckily, if both are being craved, you have a great option at The Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co. located in nearby Garden City. The dishes are made from scratch and feature such favorites as the Fiesta Melt, French Fried Lobster Grilled Cheese and the Maryland Crab Cake Sandwich. Each sandwich is dripping with gooey cheese, just like one would hope to see. Your inner child will be satisfied with the simplicity, while your outer adult won’t want to miss all the ingredients inside that are simply bursting with flavor.

Snooky's on the Water

If you're open to taking a short trip inland from Myrtle Beach, you can pass through the city of Little River. Once you arrive, you just have to check out Snooky’s on the Water. Snooky's serves the freshest seafood, with dishes so recently caught you might be surprised they’re not swimming away. Take advantage of the outstanding gulf oysters on the half-shell, the House Creek grouper, or the local favorite, blue crab mac and cheese. Sitting outside comes with lovely views of the Intercoastal Waterway free of charge, and people who are looking for a great deal on an excellent meal should arrive early enough to take advantage of the happy hour menu.

Activities on the Water

The sheer amount of water that flows through this area may come as a surprise to some. The beaches are absolutely lovely, but there is so much more than just the sand and surfing. A 15-minute drive from downtown Myrtle Beach takes you to the winding Waccamaw River, which is rife with opportunity for boating, kayaking and other water sports. One can enjoy a day of sailing, fishing or parasailing from nearby Murrells Inlet. And not much can beat a trip out onto the open ocean where dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and other creatures can be observed. The water here has something that everyone can enjoy, from leisurely boat tours that take hours to a short banana boat ride that won’t make you late for lunch. From the Lowcountry to the high sea, adding water adventures to your trip can provide you with something uniquely South Carolina.

Black River Outdoors Kayak Tours

Looking for an eco-tour that lets you enjoy the local wildlife? Black River Outdoors aims to show the area known as the South Carolina Low Country, full of rivers, inlets and marshes. If you can be quiet and relatively still, you might snatch a glimpse of a warbler or swallow-tailed kites. You can sign up for a two-hour or four-hour guided kayak tour, or hire a guide to take a group on a private fishing trip through some of the best waters. Visitors are often surprised by the size of the fish they can catch in the places accessible only by kayak.

Since 1981, Downwind Sails Watersports has been providing vacationers and locals alike with premium watersport activities at an affordable price. Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, we offer everything you’ll need to make your day at the beach one to remember. With highly qualified and trained professionals, we will cater to your every need on the water. We offer a variety of activities such as parasailing, banana boating, jet ski rentals, sail boat rides, sail boat rentals, sails boat lessons, kayak rentals, paddleboard rentals, and surfboard rentals. Downwind Sails Watersports is fun for the entire family!

—Samantha Martin; Downwind Sails Watersports

Downwind Sails Watersports Image credit: Downwind Sails Watersports

Downwind Sails Watersports

When craving something with a bit more speed than a kayak, check out Downwind Sails Watersports. Take out a couple of jet skis for a ride around the water. Guides will point out sea life coming to the surface during your jaunt. Rent a banana boat with an experienced captain to take you on a quick ride. You can schedule a sailing lesson for your entire group, even if this is your first time on a sailboat. More experienced riders can rent sailboats on their own. Finish up the day with an opportunity to go parasailing. You will be amazed by your view of the Grand Strand from 300 feet up and have memories that will last a lifetime.

Rover Boat Tours

Do you want to participate in a boat tour that gives back to the environment you came to see? You will love Rover Boat Tours, which aims to show many famous and historical sites around scenic Georgetown, with information about the importance of preserving South Carolina’s delicate wetlands. On a tour, passengers see the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina, built in 1811. On the trip, guides will point out the Civil War-era wreck of the USS Harvest Moon. Naturalists on board are happy to direct your attention to the many animals and birds that may come within view of the boat, particularly the alligators, sea turtles and shore birds.

Express Watersports at Myrtle Beach

Express Watersports

When your group has a hard time deciding what it wants to do, consider Express Watersports. It has a little bit of everything, including jet ski rentals, parasailing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, scuba diving and catered cruises for larger groups that book in advance. The best part is groups can get everything they need for the trip right there. Suit up and head out for some paddle-boarding or scuba diving. Come back and take advantage of the facilities to clean up and get ready for evening. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the water, where all you need is your camera and an hour to spend. The cruise features rum punch, wine and a cheese platter for a quick snack before you head back to your hotel.

East Coast BrewBoat

If there is a desire for something really different on the water, it can be found at East Coast BrewBoat. Yes, being able to have a cold brew on the water is enticing, but just wait until you figure out what is powering this boat. In fact, it’s you. East Coast BrewBoat claims that it is the only pedal-powered boat in South Carolina, and it is large enough to seat 15 people. Just remember that it is strictly BYOB. Hit the store and pick up your favorite beer or wine. They provide the coolers, ice and cups to keep it cool. Don’t forget that you’ll be getting a workout while you enjoy a drink and some good company, so dress comfortably for the pedaling.

Cap'n Rod's Lowcountry Tours at Myrtle Beach

Cap'n Rod's Lowcountry Tours

When visiting the Eastern seaboard, there might be an expectation of a number of very specific sights, including a lovely white lighthouse, marshes with plenty of birds and dolphins leaping out of the water. Cap’n Rod’s Lowcountry Tours can offer all of these and more if you take one of its highly accessible tours. Consider the four-hour Lighthouse Shell Island Tour which includes an hour and a half on a beach that is accessible only by boat. You will enjoy snacks and drinks on the boat, which is large and built to comfortably its passengers. Private charters can also be scheduled – this can be perfect for a larger group or family reunion.

Blue Wave Adventures offers the best Dolphin Watch Tour on the Grand Strand. Our custom built vessel has 360-degree viewing, individual forward-facing seats and quiet motors. We have tours daily, including morning tours that provide the optimum viewing time for dolphins and sea life. We are the most experienced dolphin tour, and the only one with a hydrophone, so you may even get to hear the dolphins.

—Amy Collins, Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Tours

Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Tours

Are you hoping for an ocean adventure that is perfect for young, old and everyone in between? Wander over to Crazy Sister Marina and take a ride with Blue Wave Adventures. The company runs six dolphin tours daily, although the staff strongly recommends aiming for a morning session to catch the best views of dolphins as they swim through the water. The boats are large enough to hold a couple of dozen people, so it can be a great activity for any large groups visiting Myrtle Beach together. Keep your eyes peeled above and below so you can see rays, turtles, sharks, herons, osprey and even eagles.

Golf Courses

There are a few reasons to be excited about golfing around Myrtle Beach. First, the courses are generally pretty accessible, with something good practically guaranteed to fit in your budget in addition to its more extravagant courses that major enthusiasts hope to play on one day. There are about 90 courses that fit in the stretch called the Grand Strand, and you could find most of them a perfectly reasonable choice. Second, you get such a variety of courses available, from the beachside courses near the Intercoastal Waterway to the moss-covered courses located deep in the Lowcountry. Third, Myrtle Beach got at least a little of the Mike Strantz magic, a gift of this golf course architect named one of the best of all time. When heading out to play a round, you will be getting some of the best sights and experiences you could find in this part of the country.

Glen Dornoch Waterway Golf Links

People come to Glen Dornoch for two reasons: the difficult holes and the truly outstanding views. Upon arrival, you may immediately see why Glen Dornoch is consistently rated among the best golf courses in South Carolina by many rating outfits. It is so scenic, you might have a hard time paying attention to the green. However, learning to focus is important for any competitive spirit, as the course only gets harder as it goes on. Luckily, the first few holes are fairly simple to allow you to acclimate to the stunning visage. At the 9th and 18th holes, take a quick break to enjoy the views of the Intercoastal Waterway. Just keep your wits about on the last three finishing holes, which some say are as hard as any course in the world.

Built upon the site of a historic 18th century rice plantation in Pawleys Island, S.C., Caledonia Golf & Fish Club is routed around majestic oaks and meandering streams. The picturesque, par-4 18th borders a rice field and requires a precise tee shot that sets up a thrilling second shot to a green overlooked by a famous back porch and an appreciative gallery anticipating your successful navigation over the water and onto the putting surface. The 6,526-yard, par-70 course has been included in “Top 25 Courses in South Carolina” and “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” by Golf Digest; “Top 100 You Can Play” by Golf Magazine; “Top 100 Modern Courses” and “Best Resort Courses” by Golfweek; “Best 10 Courses” by the South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel; and “Top 100 Best Courses for Women” by Golf For Women.

—Bob Seganti; Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club at Myrtle Beach Image credit: Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Mike Strantz left an undeniable mark on this former rice plantation. Although this golf course is only a couple of decades old, you may feel as though it has been around much longer. The course runs next to the Waccamaw River for a long stretch, and just feels like it was cut right out of history. Go to a carefully-tended green next to oak trees that have been growing for over 150 years. Enjoy the clubhouse, which was built in an antebellum style, full of 19th Century charm. The 18th hole is particularly lovely to view, although you should be aware that it is exceptionally difficult. You may be able to see bystanders at the clubhouse near the 18th green betting on your result.

Dunes Golf & Beach Club

As soon as you pull up to this club, you might feel like it is pretty exclusive. It is a semi private club, but there are still ways to book as a vacationer – it is best to do some research in advance. This is an older course, designed in 1948. It can be devilishly tricky at times, with a 13th hole that was the peril of any ball even back in the 1960s. Golf Magazine ranked it in the Top 100 Courses You Can Play, on account of the spectacular playing available. But don’t let its age make you think this course will be passé. In 2013, Dunes Golf & Beach Club got a short overhaul to prepare for the PGA Professional National Championship, and you get to reap the benefits.

Home to the most decorated multi-course golf resort in Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Golf Resort was designed by hall of fame players and architects…Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. They produced the perfect setting for some of the east coast’s top golf layouts. Each one achieved their goal of creating unique, visually striking, and fun to play courses. Each Barefoot Resort golf course has been ranked by every major golf publication. It has played site to Golf Channel’s hit TV show “BIG BREAK Myrtle Beach” and was herald as the #1 “Top 50 Courses of Myrtle Beach” as well as the “Golf Course of the Year.

—Dave Genevro; Barefoot Resort

Barefoot Resort at Myrtle Beach

Barefoot Resort

Going to Barefoot Resort might make you want to do a little personality assessment before you start. This resort features not just one, but four courses, each one designed to bring out a unique bit of your golfing style. Created by Myrtle Beach’s Fantastic Four–Dye, Fazio, Love and Norman–each course is named after its architect. You can choose courses with stunning water views, or a course with rebuilt plantation ruins along five holes. The land is so lush and soft that you might be tempted to take off your shoes and run. If you are looking for a deal, be sure to head over on Wednesdays, where you can get reduced green fees on all courses.

The Witch

One of the problems that can plague golfers in an area where a lot of people live is the presence of a lot of outside distractions. The Witch is the absolute antithesis to suburban golf with a course that is both striking – and sometimes a little odd. Nothing about this place is predictable. Instead of easing you in gently, you start out with a wicked Par 4 and it is all uphill (in some cases, literally) from there. Located on a wildlife preserve, The Witch features outstanding views alongside the wildlife of South Carolina. Don’t get too close to the water, though, because the alligators in this hazard may not have the same passion for golf as you do.

Tidewater Golf Club at Myrtle Beach

Tidewater Golf Club

There are times where golfers want a course that is something more than a spectacle. There are reasons that people call Tidewater Golf Club the “Pebble Beach of the East.” Hint: It may have something to do with the truly awesome 12th hole, which requires you to carry over a marsh to a green on the other side. The views are also amazing. On one side, you have forest. On the other, marshland that has eaten its fair share of golf balls. Once you make it to the 13th hole, you’ll be rewarded with an ocean view that was worth the wait and the work.

Shopping

In the later part of the 20th Century, the role of the shopping complex began to change in the American experience. Once used as a place to make purchases and head back home, it shifted to a source of entertainment, where people could buy the things they needed and also eat or congregate with friends. The malls of Myrtle Beach feature such variety that you are sure to find one that suits your personal style. Those who love the familiar feel of a mall that has an interesting history and plenty of local flavor can discover great options on this list. Families who are looking for predictability, or a fun night out for everyone, will also be pleased by what Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas have to offer. Whether you want to browse through handmade goods made by local residents, or just scope out the nearest Starbucks, you can find it all here.

The Market Common

If you are hoping to come back from your trip with souvenirs for friends or family, you should take some time down at The Market Common. This mall has many of the stores one might expect, which is perfect if you forgot to pack something and need a replacement. It can also be a source of entertainment all its own, with handsome walkways, fountains and a play area for kids. Enjoy a complimentary carriage ride on Saturday evenings during the summer. The Market Common features a number of events, such as a farmers market, free outdoor movies starting at dusk, and local bands playing at Valor Park.

Broadway at the Beach is South Carolina’s number one tourist, shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. Set on 350 acres in the heart of Myrtle Beach, it features world-class shopping, dining and entertainment in a series of magical, interconnected villages, surrounding the 23-acre Lake Broadway. Broadway features nearly 100 shops and restaurants, many with waterfront views. It's home to the Grand Strand's only Dave & Buster’s, as well as Wahlberg brothers' Wahlburgers and Hard Rock Cafe. Attractions include WonderWorks, Ripley's Aquarium, Legends In Concert, boat rides on the lake, and three amusement parks. During the summer, Broadway offers a wide array of free musical entertainment, magic acts and popular characters roaming throughout, and spectacular fireworks displays are staged on Tuesday and Friday nights over Lake Broadway.

—Lei Gainer; Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach at Myrtle Beach Image credit: Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach

When you want to head down to the shops, do you long for a one-stop shop with all the dining, entertainment and attractions you could want? Check out Broadway at the Beach. With a water park, wax museum, mirror maze, zip-line and escape games, you will have more than enough to fill a day or even several days of fun. Be sure to visit the website to see how the event schedule lines up with your stay. Visitors can grab the latest flick, watch legends in concert, or just hang around for the fireworks show that happens several times a month. Dining options range from family-friendly restaurants to some of the best nightlife options in Myrtle Beach.

Hudson’s Surfside Flea Market

Do you love to go antiquing – always hoping to find a perfect treasure among another’s belongings? Hudson’s Surfside Flea Market is for you. In 1975, Joe Hudson’s father Jack opened up an antique shop and small flea market. Joe has kept his father’s vision alive with the largest open-air flea market on the Grand Strand. There are 400 spaces available and 70,000 square feet open for your perusal. Take some time to browse each table. You might find something amazing if you know how to look. Buyers can choose from handmade goods for sale, old tools, trinkets and jewelry, clothing, antiques and more. The only thing you can take for certain is that you will never see the same thing twice.

Coastal Grand Mall at Myrtle Beach Image credit: David

Coastal Grand Mall

Of course, there are scenarios when you just need a mall that has everything, and Coastal Grand Mall undoubtedly meets that criteria. With well over 1 million square feet of retail space, Coastal Grand Mall earns its status as the largest mall in the region and the second-biggest mall in South Carolina. Not too far from the beach, Coastal Grand maintains a beach theme for the entire space with a boardwalk-themed food court. Shoppers can find almost any chain store they'd expect to see, from J. C. Penney’s to Starbucks.

Hammock Shops Village

At times, the mall itself is an attraction you’ve got to see, and the Hammock Shops Village is definitely this type of mall. It all started in 1889 with a fine, woven hammock that riverboat captain Joshua John Ward had created. He opened up a shop to sell his hammocks in 1938 on Pawleys Island and the rest, as they say, is history. The spot was small, and featured all that everyone loves about Pawleys Island: crabs, oysters, fine art and more. In time, they added more buildings to the site, largely local landmarks slated for demolition. The result is an undeniably unique and cozy shopping experience, with a small-town feel that will seem like you have gone back to a simpler time.

It combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping venue with attractions and other leisure amenities to deliver an outdoor-centric recreational experience. Its unique seaport-style architecture, proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway, and lake combine to create a charming coastal village atmosphere ideal for shopping, dining, and social interaction.

—Kim Kelley; Barefoot Landing

Barefoot Landig at Myrtle Beach Image credit: Barefoot Landing

Barefoot Landing

Having a shopping outlet is great, but going to a mall with its own lake is even better. This is what shoppers get when they go to Barefoot Landing on the Waterway. There is a very balanced mix of national chain stores and local boutiques, so that you can find the stuff you expect, as well as the very rare things you'll want to browse. While you are there, stay for a meal in one of the restaurants, snack and treat shops, or pubs. Visitors can hang out and watch the kids on the carousel, or stay late into the evening for the Summerfest! nightly entertainment series. You might also want to sign up for Salt Shaker Boat Tours, a two-person boat tour around the Intercoastal Waterway that you get to drive yourself.

Nightlife

If you did not know how important Myrtle Beach is for the East Coast entertainment scene, you can be forgiven until you arrive. Once you get to know the city a little bit, you have no excuse not to take advantage of the vast options available for music, dancing, comedy and more. Take at least a night or two to make the journey along the Grand Strand, because you will find nothing but fun. You can buy tickets to see shows that are as entertaining for the eyes as they are for the ears, or just arrive at a club for a night of dinner and dancing. From late-night stand-up comedy to Sunday morning Gospel music and brunch, Myrtle Beach has at least a little of everything to entertain all tastes. Hang back and simply watch, or take a chance and become a participant. Who knows? The next great act in Myrtle Beach might actually be you.

Fat Harold’s Beach Club

If you walk into Fat Harold’s Beach Club, you will immediately learn one fact about South Carolina: Dancing is big. In particular, dancing the shag is huge. And if you like to dance, or you always wanted to have a chance to practice the steps of the shag, Fat Harold’s is your best opportunity. With a sizeable dance floor, the beach club fills many evenings with music, dancing and even dance lessons. You can have someone teach you how to dance the shag on Monday and Tuesday nights, and on Tuesdays the lessons are free. While there, grab a burger and a drink, and just enjoy the pleasant beach music.

Comedy Cabana at Myrtle Beach Image credit: Comedy Cabana

Comedy Cabana

When you find a place that does comedy well, you stick with it. That’s why the Comedy Cabana is considered one of the best places for great comedy in Myrtle Beach. The club features the hottest up-and-coming comedians nationwide, with a few old favorites like Lewis Black. There are comedic options in spades here, from family-friendly comedy shows at 6 p.m., stand-up comedy for the grownups at 8 p.m., and even periods throughout the year where you can watch (or participate) in Open Mic. With a mouth-watering combination of food items and drinks, you can come away from the evening with a huge smile on your face and a full stomach.

Established in 1944, the Bowery has been entertaining millions of patrons from around the world with genuine southern hospitality while live bands play requests from the stage and waiters serve ice-cold beer by the gallon. Over the years, our featured performers have included April May, who danced on the ceiling; Count Desmond, the world-famous sword swallower; and “Don’t Cry Joe” Shotkus who poured beer at THE BOWERY from the day it opened until he passed in 1997. In the 1930’s, Joe and his sister Mary set a marathon dancing record of 5,295 hours (7 months, 10 days, 15 hours) that still stands. In his younger days Joe delighted Bowery audiences by being packed in a coffin full of ice for as long as an hour.

—Stuart Shamah; The Bowery

The Bowery

Going to The Bowery is more than just an opportunity to drink some beer and listen to music. It is an experience that you get to share. After all, you never know when the band players cutting their teeth and refining their skills at The Bowery will eventually become huge celebrities. This is exactly what happened for the 1980s and 1990s band Alabama, which got its start as Wild Country playing every night at The Bowery. You will always get a good show at The Bowery, because anyone who plays here knows that they have to work to keep the audience listening and entertained. Order up some food for the whole group and enjoy the future of country music today.

House of Blues at Myrtle Beach Image credit: House of Blues

House of Blues

For 25 years, the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach has made listening to music a participatory activity that you will never forget. It turns an opportunity to sit and be entertained into an chance to become a part of the action. With events like “Glowrage: The Ultimate Paint Party Experience,” you can dance to the latest tunes while glowing paint flies through the air. Engage in a murder mystery dinner theatre, where you can eat and also try to solve a whodunit. Or, just show up on Sunday mornings for the popular Gospel brunch, which features amazing dishes like chicken and waffles, along with popular Gospel songs.

Alabama Theatre

If there is one thing that the Alabama Theatre understands, it’s that people come to see a show. Take your opportunity to see some of the most talented performers and singers in Myrtle Beach all together in a show with outrageous costuming and maximum entertainment. Although the Alabama Theatre mostly features local acts playing the hottest genres of music currently on the charts, you can also buy tickets to shows of current and classic music favorites. Sit down for an outstanding performance of ONE The Show, or plan ahead to see country legends, such as Martina McBride and Clint Black. Check out the website for an extensive list of specials to save money on one or more shows.

The Carolina Opry has become a permanent fixture in the entertainment landscape; many locals cannot remember a time when The Carolina Opry wasn't here, back when the lights of the Grand Strand went down with the sunset.

Carolina Opry at Myrtle Beach Image credit: The Carolina Opry

The Carolina Opry

If you want to know why Myrtle Beach is so important to the music scene, you have to know about the Carolina Opry to understand. Decades ago, Calvin Gilmore, one of the best producers of live entertainment in the industry, opened the Carolina Opry to feature different kinds of music on the beach. Local and national media outlets come from all over the place to watch a show and rave about how engaging the singing, dancing and comedy are at this particular spot. With 2,200 seats available, there's a good chance of grabbing a show before it sells out. Consider the award-winning TCO – two hours of high-energy entertainment – or try Thunder and Light, a group that combines clogging, magical illusions and a laser light show into one amazing evening.

Other Fun Activities

In truth, there are so many ways to combine fun at the beach with a love of good entertainment, that it would be unfair to leave out some of these most popular destinations in Myrtle Beach. For example, no trip to the Grand Strand could be complete without an opportunity to check out at least one of the local state parks. In fact, you could see two without going too far from your hotel. There is ample opportunity for you to let your hair down and see the native animals of South Carolina in their natural habitat. Take the kids to see a few shows before you put them to bed, or partake in a little gambling. This lush landscape and rich city, whether it is unspoiled or just curated a little by loving caretakers, is simply begging for you to get involved.

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park is right on the water around Murrells Inlet. Beautiful views are in abundance here, and visitors can find some of the best spots around for birding. The land was originally owned by Anna Hyatt and Archer M. Huntington, who leased the 2,500 acres to create a small wildlife preserve. Here, you can go hiking on one of three trails, which are all fairly short and easy for people of all ages. Visitors can also take a tour of Atalaya, the Huntington’s lovely, Depression-era winter house. If a trip out on the water is more your thing, plan to go fishing or boating inside the inlet. Just be sure to get your South Carolina fishing license before you go.

Alligator Adventure at Myrtle Beach

Alligator Adventure

Going on a walk through nature is one thing. Learning about the animals of South Carolina in an up-close but safe opportunity is what Alligator Adventure is all about. In 15 acres located next to Barefoot Landing, you can enjoy live animal shows featuring birds, primates, your favorite reptiles, and more. There are at least 200 species of animals living at the park. During the spring and summer, you can watch the alligator feeding and listen to experts share information about these amazing creatures. Learn how to tell the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes and how to handle them. When you purchase admission, you will be given a return ticket good anytime in the following seven days.

Brookgreen Gardens

When visiting Huntington Beach State Park, you may learn that Anna Hyatt Huntington was a renowned 20th Century sculptor. Many of her sculptures are featured in nearby Brookgreen Gardens, and they are all for your pleasure to visit and enjoy. Brookgreen Gardens was created in 1931 by the Huntingtons, and displays an award-winning series of attractions that are absolutely unforgettable. Take time to wander through the gardens with trees draped in Spanish moss. Visit the zoo of native wildlife, and learn about efforts to conserve their habitats. Take time to check out the temporary exhibits, designed to pique your interest in the region. You might even get to take an evening boat ride, or watch a live show guaranteed to entertain.

Mount Atlanticus Mini Golf at Myrtle Beach

Mt. Atlanticus Mini Golf

If a long day at the golf course feels like a bit much for you or your group, there's always the option to take Kings Highway to Mt. Atlanticus Mini Golf. This beach-themed miniature golf attraction may take a little skill to win, but it also ensures some serious fun. You may feel as though you are a castaway on your own private island, or that you are about to have an adventure under the sea with each hole you approach. Make a hole in one at the 19th hole and you will get free admission for a lifetime. Check out coupon books such as the Myrtle Beach Guide and Myrtle Beach Bucks for coupons that will save you a few bucks on your next trip.

Myrtle Beach State Park

Hotels and resorts are certainly fun, but there’s a specific set of people who would rather sleep under fabric and wake up among the trees. For this group, only camping will do. If you are hoping for a fantastic camping and fishing destination along the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach State Park is something you’ve got to see. Located between Kings Highway and the ocean, it features acres of wooded forest and spectacular boardwalks leading to the beach. Visitors can fish directly from the pier without a fishing license, although daily fees are required. All campgrounds have Wi-Fi service (for that awesome pic you want to put up on social media right away) and are just a short walk from the beach.

Big 'M' Casino at Myrtle Beach

Big “M” Casino

When you first click on Big “M” Casino’s website, you may ask a question: Is this a casino or a ship? In fact, it is both. And, actually, there are two ships. Instead of making your way to Las Vegas, you can stay and win big right here in South Carolina. At the Big “M,” you get the best of Vegas-style casino games and the opportunity to win a lot of cash in a hurry. The ships themselves are strikingly luxurious, with a fresh buffet that won’t break the bank. Try your hand at Texas Hold’Em, or put some coins into the latest and greatest slot machines in the industry. Even if you don’t win a jackpot, you’ll win big with a great day or night.

So Much to See and Do

As you put the finishing touches on your Myrtle Beach vacation plan, you might realize that it is just as hard to figure out what you are going to leave out as deciding what you want to do. Many of these destinations are large enough to occupy your time for a full day or more. Anyone could spend an entire trip enjoying the delights of a single resort, leaving you with one conclusion: Myrtle Beach is not something you can do just once– and that, you might be surprised to learn, is just fine.

With 14 million visitors each year, Myrtle Beach has become that sort of all-in-one destination that people can return to every year and never see the same things twice. Whether you want to eat your way through the Grand Strand, kayak deep into the Lowcountry, golf every day until you perfect your putt and drive, hike until you can walk no longer, or just spend every day lounging on the white sandy beaches, you can do it with ease. Myrtle Beach is here to provide the perfect destination to suit any style or preference.

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Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
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