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The Ultimate Myrtle Beach Travel Guide

myrtle beach tourist guide

Welcome to Myrtle Beach! If you’re looking for the perfect blend of sun, sand, and endless fun, you’ve come to the right place. This guide is packed with everything you need to know to make your Myrtle Beach trip unforgettable, from where to stay and what to do, to the best places to eat and how to get around. Check here best Myrtle Beach Travel Guide.

Getting to Myrtle Beach

By Air

Flying into Myrtle Beach is a breeze. The Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is conveniently located just a few miles from the beach, offering flights from many major cities. Once you land, you can easily rent a car or grab a taxi to your hotel.

By Car

If you prefer a road trip, Myrtle Beach is accessible via several major highways. Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 17 are popular routes that will get you there in no time. Just pop the address into your GPS and enjoy the scenic drive.

Public Transportation

For those who’d rather not drive, Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains provide service to the area. Once in Myrtle Beach, you can use the Coast RTA public buses to get around town affordably.

Best Time to Visit Myrtle Beach

Seasonal Breakdown

Myrtle Beach is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for. Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) offer mild weather and fewer crowds. Summer (June to August) is peak tourist season, perfect for beachgoers but can be quite busy.

Weather Considerations

Temperatures in Myrtle Beach can range from the 50s in winter to the 90s in summer. If you’re a fan of warm, sunny days, aim for a summer visit. For cooler, more comfortable weather, spring and fall are ideal.

Special Events and Festivals

Myrtle Beach hosts numerous events throughout the year. The Carolina Country Music Fest in June and the Myrtle Beach Marathon in March are just a couple of highlights. Planning your trip around these events can add an extra layer of fun to your vacation.

Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach

Oceanfront Resorts

Nothing beats waking up to the sound of waves. Myrtle Beach is home to numerous oceanfront resorts that offer stunning views and direct beach access. Options range from luxurious to budget-friendly, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Budget-Friendly Accommodations

Traveling on a budget? No problem. Myrtle Beach has plenty of affordable hotels and motels. Look for accommodations a little further from the beach to save money, or consider vacation rentals which can be a cost-effective option for families.

Family-Friendly Hotels

Traveling with kids? Many hotels in Myrtle Beach cater to families with amenities like pools, lazy rivers, and kids’ clubs. These hotels often offer spacious rooms and family suites to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Luxury Options

If you’re looking to splurge, Myrtle Beach has several high-end resorts and boutique hotels. These offer top-notch amenities such as spa services, gourmet dining, and private beach access, perfect for a lavish getaway.

Top Attractions in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade

Stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade for a taste of the local culture. This mile-long walkway is packed with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Don’t miss the nightly fireworks during the summer.

SkyWheel Myrtle Beach

For a bird’s-eye view of the coastline, hop on the SkyWheel. This towering Ferris wheel offers enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas, making it a comfortable ride any time of year.

Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach is a must-visit entertainment complex. Here you’ll find attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium, WonderWorks, and a variety of dining and shopping options. It’s a great spot for families and groups.

Exploring the Beaches

Popular Beaches

The main beach area near the boardwalk is always bustling with activity. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and people-watching. Lifeguards are on duty during peak season, making it a safe choice for families.

Hidden Gems

If you’re looking for a quieter spot, head to some of the less crowded beaches like Garden City Beach or Surfside Beach. These spots offer a more relaxed atmosphere and are great for a peaceful day by the water.

Beach Activities

Myrtle Beach isn’t just for lounging. Try your hand at parasailing, jet skiing, or paddleboarding. Many local businesses offer rentals and lessons, so you can dive into the adventure with confidence.

Outdoor Activities in Myrtle Beach

Golfing

Known as the “Golf Capital of the World,” Myrtle Beach boasts over 80 golf courses. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you’ll find a course that suits your skill level. Mini-golf is also a fun option for families.

Water Sports

From kayaking and fishing to surfing and sailing, water sports are a big deal in Myrtle Beach. Rent equipment from local shops or join a guided tour to explore the waterways and ocean.

Hiking and Nature Trails

Nature lovers will enjoy the many parks and nature reserves in the area. Huntington Beach State Park offers beautiful trails and bird-watching opportunities, while Myrtle Beach State Park provides a serene escape with miles of wooded trails.

Family-Friendly Activities

Amusement Parks

With several amusement parks like Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Myrtle Waves Water Park, there’s no shortage of thrills for kids of all ages. These parks feature rides, slides, and attractions that will keep the whole family entertained.

Aquariums and Zoos

Ripley’s Aquarium is a top choice for families, offering interactive exhibits and a mesmerizing shark tunnel. The T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station at Barefoot Landing provides a unique chance to see exotic animals up close.

Interactive Museums

Museums like the Children’s Museum of South Carolina offer hands-on exhibits that make learning fun. WonderWorks, an indoor amusement park with interactive science exhibits, is another great option.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Live Music and Shows

Catch a live show at The Carolina Opry or Alabama Theatre for some fantastic local entertainment. From country and rock to comedy and magic, there’s something for everyone.

Bars and Clubs

The nightlife scene in Myrtle Beach is vibrant. Check out Broadway at the Beach for a variety of bars and clubs, or head to the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk for a more laid-back vibe with live music and waterfront views.

Dinner Theaters

For a unique dining experience, book a show at the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show or Medieval Times. These dinner theaters offer entertaining performances alongside a hearty meal, making for a memorable night out.

Shopping in Myrtle Beach

Malls and Outlets

Myrtle Beach is a shopper’s paradise. Visit Coastal Grand Mall or Tanger Outlets for a mix of high-end and bargain shopping. These centers feature a wide range of stores, from popular brands to unique local shops.

Local Boutiques

For something more unique, explore the local boutiques scattered throughout the city. These shops often carry one-of-a-kind items, including handmade jewelry, local art, and trendy fashion.

Souvenir Shops

No trip to Myrtle Beach is complete without a few souvenirs. The boardwalk area is filled with shops where you can pick up t-shirts, keychains, and other mementos to remember your trip.

Dining in Myrtle Beach

Seafood Restaurants

As a coastal city, Myrtle Beach is famous for its seafood. Enjoy fresh catches at restaurants like Sea Captain’s House or Hook & Barrel. From crab legs to shrimp and grits, you’re in for a treat.

International Cuisine

Myrtle Beach offers a diverse dining scene with options from around the world. Try Ethiopian at Redi-et, sushi at Soho, or Italian at Villa Romana for a global culinary adventure.

Budget Eats

Eating out doesn’t have to break the bank. Look for local diners and cafes like Mammy’s Kitchen or River City Cafe for delicious, affordable meals.

Fine Dining

For a more upscale dining experience, book a table at places like Aspen Grille or The Library Restaurant. These spots offer gourmet meals, excellent service, and an intimate atmosphere.

Day Trips from Myrtle Beach

Charleston

Just a two-hour drive from Myrtle Beach, Charleston offers a rich history and charming Southern hospitality. Explore historic homes, cobblestone streets, and the famous Battery promenade.

Wilmington

Another great day trip is Wilmington, located about 90 minutes away. Visit the Battleship North Carolina, stroll through the historic downtown, and enjoy the scenic riverwalk.

Pawleys Island

For a quieter escape, head to Pawleys Island. Known for its laid-back vibe and beautiful beaches, it’s a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy nature.

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Best Kid-Friendly Attractions

Make sure to hit up spots like the Myrtle Beach Safari or the Children’s Museum of South Carolina. These attractions are sure to keep the little ones engaged and entertained.

Safety Tips

Always keep an eye on your kids, especially near the water. Lifeguards are present, but it’s important to stay vigilant. Pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, and water to keep everyone protected and hydrated.

Packing Essentials

Don’t forget to pack beach gear like swimsuits, towels, and beach toys. A good stroller or carrier is essential for getting around with younger children. Also, bring snacks and drinks to keep everyone happy and energized.

Cultural and Historical Sites

Museums

Explore the area’s history at the Horry County Museum or the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. These museums offer a glimpse into the local culture and heritage.

Historical Landmarks

Visit sites like the Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park or the Hopsewee Plantation to learn more about the region’s past. These landmarks provide a fascinating look into the history of the South Carolina coast.

Cultural Festivals

Check out local festivals such as the Myrtle Beach Greek Festival or the Art in the Park events. These festivals showcase the diverse cultures and artistic talents in the area.

Conclusion

Myrtle Beach truly has something for everyone. From its beautiful beaches and outdoor activities to family-friendly attractions and vibrant nightlife, it’s a destination that promises fun and relaxation. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, Myrtle Beach is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

FAQs

What is the best time of year to visit Myrtle Beach? The best time to visit Myrtle Beach is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are smaller.

Are there any free attractions in Myrtle Beach? Yes, there are several free attractions including the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, various public beaches, and certain events and festivals throughout the year.

How can I save money on my trip to Myrtle Beach? To save money, consider visiting during the off-season, staying in budget accommodations, and taking advantage of free attractions and affordable dining options.

What are some must-try foods in Myrtle Beach? Seafood is a must-try in Myrtle Beach. Be sure to sample local specialties like shrimp and grits, crab legs, and fresh fish dishes.

Is Myrtle Beach a good destination for solo travelers? Absolutely! Myrtle Beach offers a range of activities that are perfect for solo travelers, from relaxing on the beach to exploring local attractions and enjoying the vibrant nightlife.

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