- South Carolina
It’s easy to see why Myrtle Beach is such a popular beach destination: This active, family-friendly escape offers 96 kilometers of stunning beaches and a variety of water sports.
There are many outdoor activities and areas to explore, from relaxing parks and gardens to challenging golf courses. Be sure to leave time for shopping, inspired dining and entertainment.
Sun and Sandy Beaches
No mention of Myrtle Beach would be complete without talking about the beaches, which are part of the "Grand Strand,” a 100-kilometer stretch of beaches on the east coast of the United States. Be as active as you like. Try kayaking, parasailing and diving. Hop on a boat for a dolphin-watching tour, or just relax and enjoy the beautiful weather as you lie on the silky sand.
Families love hunting for shells and playing in the waves at Myrtle Beach State Park. For a small park entrance fee, you can enjoy a wide beach, nature trails, camping, surf fishing or a fishing pier. Huntington Beach State Park also has a gorgeous beach and fantastic bird watching, hiking trails and the beautiful National Historic Landmark called Atalaya Castle, the Moorish-style winter home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, philanthropist and Spanish scholar, Archer Huntington.
The two-kilometer Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is breathtaking and offers activities and attractions for all ages. Located on the oceanfront, the boardwalk is also home to variety of shops, restaurants and entertainment options. This is where you’ll find the SkyWheel, a Ferris wheel measuring more than 50 meters high with climate-controlled cabins affording unforgettable views of the Atlantic coastline and the city beyond. Visit in the evening to see the SkyWheel brighten the sky with a light show that features over 1 million LED lights.
Next, continue to nearby Broadway at the Beach and enjoy more than 141 hectares of shopping, dining, activities and nightlife, including different venues to dance the night away at. At this lively spot, you can ride a virtual roller coaster at WonderWorks interactive science museum, see the sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium, drive bumper cars and watch a film at the cinema. Among the many attractions are an aquarium, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball field, a water park and miniature golf. Don’t miss the Soar and Explore zip line and ropes course at WonderWorks.
After dark, the nightclubs and bars of Broadway at the Beach open their doors. Choose from many options, including an energetic nightclub, a piano bar and a stand-up comedy club.
If you are partial to activities that get your heart racing, the Myrtle Beach Speedway is a perfect stop for you. Here, you can drive a real NASCAR stock car in the racing experience attraction, do some laps with a professional driver or watch a death-defying stunt show every Wednesday night at the Wheels of Destruction Thrill Show.
Located in Huntington Beach State Park, Brookgreen Gardens is an outdoor museum that stretches along four former rice plantations. Voted by TripAdvisor users as one of the Top 10 public gardens in the United States, it features beautiful gardens and more than 1,000 sculptures.
After Brookgreen Gardens, make your way to nearby Murrells Inlet, an old fishing town south of Myrtle Beach, that is known as South Carolina’s seafood capital. Murrells Inlet also offers fishing charters, a pirate ship adventure for children and dolphin-watching opportunities, so no matter what age your family members are, there is something for everyone. When you’re ready for food, quaint and welcoming shops and restaurants line the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk. Here, watch fishermen come in on their boats to unload the fresh catch. When it gets dark, tiny lights illuminate the boardwalk.
T.I.G.E.R.S. (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) is a must-see for those with a sense of adventure. Located close to central Myrtle Beach but still off the beaten path, the T.I.G.E.R.S. Wild Encounters Tour is a guided walk through the 20-hectare preserve; visitors can meet tigers, wolves, chimpanzees, orangutans and other endangered species, many of them up close and uncaged. During the tour, professional photographers shoot pictures and video, giving you the opportunity to take home incomparable souvenirs.
In Myrtle Beach, you’re sure to find many ways to explore the outdoors. A round of golf at the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, voted one of the Top 100 public courses in the United States by Golf Digest, will take you through dense forests and marshland. The course’s landscape is carved out of coastal forest, and the live oaks and thousands of flowers make it a spectacularly beautiful place to play. After your game, enjoy a meal at the well-appointed clubhouse.
Another notable golf course is the Tidewater Golf Club. This course has received accolades as a best public course by Golf Digest and Golf magazines. The views are wonderful here with a saltwater marsh and ocean inlet to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway bordering several holes on the north and west.
There are more than 100 championship golf courses in and around Myrtle Beach, which is why it is a perfect destination for golf lovers.
Nature on the Water
As a coastal city, there is certainly much to see and do on the water in Myrtle Beach. Consider going on an eco-tour, a truly amazing way to get close to dolphins, turtles and other marine wildlife. For a more active experience, try parasailing, water skiing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Many of the same establishments that offer eco-tours also offer equipment rental and instruction for these exciting water sports.
Huntington Beach State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. The park, which is directly on the beach, is a prime spot to watch more than 300 species of bird. You can also spot alligators in the park’s freshwater lake and fish off the pier. If you feel like staying for a while, camping sites are available. The park also is a perfect place to hike or just bring a picnic and enjoy the peace.
Myrtle Beach has so much to offer beyond its beautiful beaches and lively attractions. This is a true outdoor paradise with a beautiful and diverse environment for any kind of traveler.