Myrtle Beach and the communities of the Grand Strand offer far more than simply sun and sand. The area is rich in history and has been a tourist hotspot since the turn of the century. Today, Myrtle Beach welcomes more than 10 million visitors per year.
A Myrtle Beach vacation offers an abundance of activities for every interest and age group — whether dad’s a foodie, Uncle Joe is an adventure junkie, mom’s seeking serious relaxation, 16-year-old Jess just wants to work on her tan or the kids have their hearts set on nightly mini golf.
Plan your next family get-together on the coast using the below activity guide as a starting point.
What to Do
The greater Myrtle Beach area offers something for every personality and age range. Young kids will enjoy the water parks while teenagers will get a thrill from amusement rides, and parents and grandparents can tour local historic sites. Here are a few activity suggestions for different traveler personas.
Start with a ride on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, which soars more than 200 feet above the iconic boardwalk. The air-conditioned pods provide 360-degree views of downtown’s high-rise hotels and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Pods rotate four times and rides last 15 to 20 minutes for parties of up to six people. VIP packages can be purchased for experiences featuring longer flight times, Ferrari leather seats and glass floor views.
For another bird’s-eye perspective of town, Helicopter Adventures operates scenic helicopter tours. Flight times vary based on the package, but they start at only $20 for a quick ride over Broadway at the Beach. Other trips go to the boardwalk, Barefoot Landing and nearby golf clubs. Reservations aren’t required, but keep in mind that you may be seated next to a stranger if you’re in an odd-numbered group.
For Culture Vultures:
Head to Murrells Inlet, a community to the south of Myrtle Beach known for fresh seafood, to admire the artwork and grounds at Brookgreen Gardens. The sculpture garden, botanical gardens and wildlife preserve is built on a former rice plantation and hosts sporadic special events such as holiday light shows.
Next stop on the culture circuit: The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is perfect for a rainy day or to beat the summertime heat. The museum, which features a collection of works from around the South, was founded in 1997; exhibits are housed in a building that dates back to 1924.
For History Buffs:
Huntington Beach State Park is a destination in its own right thanks to its pristine sands and unrivaled surf fishing. But one place that makes the park so unique is Atalaya, the Moorish-style winter home that once belonged to Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, a scholar/sculptor duo who also owned Brookgreen Gardens in the early 20th century. Guests can book a private tour of the property.
In neighboring Conway, visit the Horry County Museum, which depicts the history of the Grand Strand communities in a 1905 school. Highlights include a massive aquarium (which has been featured on the show “Tanked”), exhibits about the area’s beaches, Civil War artifacts and a living history farm.
From quirky museums to dinner shows, there’s no shortage of activities to keep younger visitors entertained during a Myrtle Beach family vacation. Don’t miss the many miniature golf courses spread throughout Ocean Boulevard featuring every theme imaginable. Mt. Atlanticus Mini Golf and Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf are favorites.
Or, step back in time at Fun Plaza, an open-air arcade at Myrtle Beach’s boardwalk that dates back to 1938. The venue offers vintage arcade games like Skee Ball and “the claw” as well as a variety of video games. Make sure to bring plenty of quarters!
For Bargain Hunters:
Myrtle Beach offers great shopping, no matter what you’re looking for. Start at The Hammock Shops on Pawleys Island, where you can pick up the original Pawleys Island hammock and some Palmetto Cheese, a famous Myrtle Beach-area delicacy.
Market Common is an open-air shopping center that features some of your favorite brands like Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, Pottery Barn and the Southern Living Store. The plaza also contains a few art galleries and restaurants.
Find deals at the Tanger Outlets, which has two locations on highways 17 and 501. Shop for products like designer clothing, home goods, kids’ clothing, shoes, gifts and toys.
Where to Eat
Myrtle Beach has plenty of fare guaranteed to appease any palate. If you’re traveling with a big group, consider making dinner reservations in advance to avoid a wait.
Dine on quirky dishes near the beach at The Chemist, a laboratory-themed restaurant with playful decor. Dishes include tacos, burgers, flatbreads and drinks that are concocted with unique ingredients and served in beakers and test tubes.
Art Burger Sushi Bar is similarly known for its liquid nitrogen drinks and funky burgers. Fill your bun with patties of beef, turkey, falafel and even “Beyond” vegan patties. They also offer a full menu of sushi and salads.
Don’t miss brunch at Croissants, which has two locations in Myrtle Beach, for crepes, Croissants Benedict, sandwiches and salads. They also sell cakes that you can take back to your room at hotel Blue, which Diamond Resorts members can book with their points.
Start the day at Applewood House of Pancakes in Pawleys Island, which is, of course, known for its pancakes. But the restaurant also serves omelettes, waffles, crepes and specials for both seniors and kids.
For a satisfying snack, Nacho Hippo is a local chain with the best tacos and nachos in town. They have traditional beef and chicken fillings as well as unique varieties and gluten-free options. The restaurant also hosts live music and entertainment.
For a quick bite near the boardwalk, Peaches Corner is one of the oldest eateries in the Grand Strand. The hot dog stand dates back to 1937, and also serves up hamburgers and ice cream — and even breakfast!
Myrtle Beach — and Murrells Inlet in particular — is known for delicious seafood. The Wicked Tuna is a waterfront restaurant with all styles of fish and shellfish including sushi, Lowcountry-style shrimp and grits, and crab legs.
In North Myrtle Beach, head to Flying Fish Public Market and Grill for your fresh seafood fix. The market has a menu featuring sushi, she crab soup, oysters and fresh fish — but those who aren’t into seafood can enjoy burgers and tacos, instead.
Myrtle Beach is the ultimate family friendly vacation spot, whether you’re traveling with groups of family friends or planning a long-awaited reunion. Start booking your visit to Myrtle Beach today by visiting Diamond Resorts online.
Diamond Resorts International Marketing, Inc., its parents, sister companies, and subsidiaries, make no warranty, express or implied, as to the condition, capacity, performance or any other aspect of the activities, events, or service providers listed herein. No inquiry has been made into the activities or events, or the qualifications or the quality of services offered by the providers. Do not consider this an endorsement of or recommendation for any of the activities, events, or providers.