Myrtle Beach is a major tourist destination and the central focus of the Grand Strand coast of South Carolina. It is widely known for its wide beaches, numerous golf courses, seafood restaurants, and outlet-style shopping, as well as one of the highest concentrations of miniature golf courses you'll find anywhere. A popular spring break destination, Myrtle Beach is heavily developed and crowded, in contrast to other Southern beaches, such as the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and attracts a lot of tourists from other Southern states or "Snowbirds" from the North, who may own a condominium or timeshare along the coast.
Myrtle Beach International Airport (IATA: MYR), 1100 Jetport Road. Myrtle Beach International is a work in progress as expansion plans are underway. Most guests arriving from either the west coast or overseas fly into a major hub, such as Atlanta, before connecting to their final destination in Myrtle Beach.
The busiest routes from MYR are to Atlanta (Delta) and Charlotte (American), with several flights each day. Spirit Airlines offers regular flights to New York (LaGuardia) and Boston, among other destinations. American Airlines and United Airlines each have one daily flight to their hubs in Dallas and Newark respectively.
Grand Strand Regional Airport in North Myrtle Beach also serves the area and is used mostly by private or chartered flights.
Myrtle Beach sits at the intersection of US 17, which runs along the coast of the Carolinas, and US 501, which travels inland. From Interstate 95 South, take US 501 south for 66 miles.
There is no direct rail service to Myrtle Beach. The closest passenger stations are in Dillon, North Charleston, Florence and Kingstree, which are served by Amtrak's Silver Service and Palmetto trains.
Florence, SC is the closest station but it is located approximately seventy miles away from Myrtle Beach, so the best option is to pre-arrange a limousine, or a shuttle or bus service for the final hour or two ride to the beach.
One aspect of Myrtle Beach that is less-than hospitable are its roads. A tourist may find the style of driving in Myrtle Beach to be aggressive, reckless and hard to manage. Myrtle Beach has one of the highest accident rates in the state, due in part to its impatient drivers and oddly-placed roads.
If you must drive, plan ahead - if you are going a short distance (under five miles), then take one of the main roads that runs adjacent to the beach. If you are going a longer distance, try and take one of the interstate roads that branches further out - these are generally clear of traffic, and thus are much more bearable than the city roads.
There are several car rental companies located in Myrtle Beach, including Alamo Rent-a-Car, National Car Rental, Avis Rent-a-Car, and Budget Car Rental.
Coast RTA is the bus system for the Myrtle Beach area. Routes run along major thoroughfares and to and from neighboring towns. Service hours are quite limited. Schedules are available at all Myrtle Beach Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau offices. Fares are $1.50 adults, $1.25 students, $0.75 children.
Another alternative for those without cars are charter buses. Coach buses are cost-effective for large groups of people who want to relax and enjoy personal service, and travel locally as well as out of state. Reservations for charter buses are best made a few weeks in advance and prices are determined by the location of the destination.
There are several private cab services in the area which can run up to $50 for a trip across the Grand Strand. The rate is $2.80 a mile $1 for extra passenger, rates are set by the City of Myrtle Beach.
The North Strand is serviced by Absolute Taxi, +1 843 333-3333, Yellow Cab of North Myrtle Beach, +1 843 420-1200 and North Myrtle Beach Taxi Cab, +1 843 421-3662.
Taxi companies in the South End are Murrells Inlet Taxi Cab, +1 843 474-0707, and Pawleys Checker Taxi Cab, +1 843 283-8706.
- The namesake of Myrtle Beach is, of course, the beach. During the high season the beach can be crowded and parking scarce. Staying at a beachfront hotel or within walking distance can make for a more pleasant visit. For those on a budget, however, don't fret - the beach is still public, although you may have to fight for a spot during the day. Never underestimate the beauty of the shoreline at sunrise, when the sands are basically abandoned, the temperature modest, and the seashells from the night before have yet to be picked.
- Broadway at the Beach. A huge cluster of bars, nightlife, shops, a movie theater, an aquarium, and even a zip line. It's crowded, although worth a visit.
- Barefoot Landing, along the Intracoastal Waterway at the intersection of 48th Avenue South and Route 17. Lots of shops, eateries, steakhouses and a brewery, a reptile park, and the Alabama Theatre and House of Blues, which offer live entertainment nightly. Kid favorites are the carousel and fish feeding along with weekly fireworks. Visitors are greeted upon arrival and receive a shopping bag that includes a discount card and list of participating merchants and a complimentary meal voucher. It is advised that you schedule your arrival date with them at least one week in advance.
- Ripley's Aquarium, 1110 Celebrity Circle, toll-free: +1-800-734-8888. Su-Th 9AM-9PM, F,Sa 9AM-10PM. Large aquarium including a ray touchtank, stingrays, and sharks.
- Broadway Amusement Rides (pavilion park), 1171 Celebrity Circle, ☎ +1 843 839-0303, e-mail: email@example.com. Mo-Su 4PM-10PM,. Amusement park. New rides and nostalgia rides.
- Carolina Wake Sports, ☎ +1 843-855-0024. Your one stop shop for all watersports needs. They operate on the intracoastal waterway out of Osprey Marina. Offers half-day, full-day and multi-day wakeboarding camps as well as hourly lessons, cruises and half day & full day captained boat rentals.
- Myrtle Beach State Park. One of the few underdeveloped natural areas to be found along the Grand Strand. Boasts a mile of beachfront and includes a large campground, a fishing pier and nature trails that lead through a maritime forest. There is a nature center with exhibits on local marine, bird, and plant life. There is Wi-Fi availability for park guests at the campground store and pier, pets are allowed in most outdoor areas year round, and there are tours and programs for visitors. $5 for adults, $3.25 for South Carolina seniors, $3 for ages 6-15, and free for children 5 and younger.
- Myrtle Beach Speedway, off of US 501, ☎ +1 843-236-0500. Hosts events weekly such as NASCAR Late Model Stock Car races, Spring Fling Swap Meet and car shows, the year-ending Seneca 400 weekend, and drifting events. It is a NASCAR sanctioned short track. For many years, it has been the training grounds for some of NASCAR's biggest competitors.
- Myrtle Beach Pelicans. BB&T Coastal Field, at the intersection of 21st Avenue North & Robert Grissom Parkway, directly across from Broadway at the Beach. An Advanced-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. There have been a few Major League Baseball players who have worn the Pelicans' uniform since the team began play in 1999.
- Myrtle Beach FC. Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, on 33rd Avenue. A pro soccer team playing in the National Premier Soccer League. The regular season runs from May to July and tickets are free for kids aged 10 and under.
- Palace Theater. One of the Palace Theater's staple shows is Le Grand Cirque: Adrenaline. Le Grand Cirque features dozens of amazing acrobats, including contortionists, tumblers, and aerial performers from all over the world. The Palace Theater also focuses on seasonal shows, such as Christmas On Ice, a nostalgic two-hour Christmas special featuring some of the best ice skaters in the business, and specific interest shows such as Broadway at the Palace, Hooray for Hollywood and the Spirit of Ireland.
- The Carolina Opry, 8901-A Business 17 North, toll-free: +1-800-843-6779. Regular music and dance shows.
- Legends In Concert. Shows featuring a live band and dancers that pays tribute to pop stars.
- Throughout the year, there are tons of festivals and events, celebrations, and special events like parades. Festivals of note include the Sun Fun Festival, the Beach Boogie & BBQ Festival, and the Canadian-American Days Festival.
- Hollywood Wax Museum, 1808 21st Ave. N, ☎ +1 843 444-0091. The Hollywood Wax Museum is the only wax museum in the country devoted entirely to celebrity figures. Get close to some of the most famous people in show business and step right into the spotlight with icons of the silver screen, recreated so faithfully that you'd swear they are were alive. The Hollywood Wax Museum houses tons of uncanny replicas, from Hollywood stars to television personalities to characters from your favorite movies.
One of the main reasons many people come to Myrtle Beach is the many golf courses in the area, of which there are so many that Myrtle Beach can rightfully be (and has been) called the golf capital of the world. Most of the courses in Myrtle Beach are available to be played as part of a package deal with other courses, lodging, and meals. It is usually much less expensive to play, eat and stay in Myrtle Beach if you take advantage of this option.
- Dunes Golf and Beach Club.
Myrtle Beach is not only known for its world-class golf courses, but also for its numerous miniature golf courses. There are over 60 miniature golf courses in Myrtle Beach and many of them feature the latest designs and technology in the mini-golf industry.
- Mount Atlanticus. Open every day of the week other than Christmas day. Located directly behind the Pavilion, it is a 36-hole miniature golf course that is the best minigolf this city can buy. With two courses, a mountain with waterfalls, streams, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex that tries tirelessly to disrupt the golfer’s concentration, bizarre wall art (including a mural in which God looks suspiciously like Kurt Russell, complete with shades), and strange Ewok-like huts, this place is a must-play. If you make a hole in one at the 19th, you get your polaroid on the wall and a lifetime free pass. Avoid the gift shop and the nauseating blue water and you'll find this a great place with a tongue-in-cheek sense of beachy trash. $9 for adults and $8 for ages 12 and under.
Kings Highway, the main road through town, is lined with many discount beachwear stores. Be warned though: the prices they advertise on the signs out front are often flat-out false. As it turns out, there's an awful lot of leeway when it comes to the "Nothing Over $5.99" signs you'll see driving through town.
- Coastal Grand Mall. A recently-built massive mall that services large crowds year-round.
- Myrtle Beach Golf Store, ☎ +1 910 575-7377. Large variety of golf equipment including golf clubs and other golf accessories.
- The Gay Dolphin, 916 North Ocean Blvd. Claiming to be the "nation's largest gift shop," the Gay Dolphin is a must see if you're walking along the main strip, if just to gawk at their eclectic collection of gifts, ranging from the typical beach trinkets to statues of ancient Egyptian sarcophagi. In the past, you could access the roof for a great view of the beach, but the roof is no longer open to the public.
- Amici's, 1310 Celebrity Circle, ☎ +1 843 444-0006. Brick oven pizza.
- Athen's Pizza, 5419 Dick Pond Rd, ☎ +1 843 650-0044.
- Boston Pizza Plus, 2005 Oakheart Rd, ☎ +1 843 236-4777.
- Fiesta Del Burro Loco, 960 Jason Blvd, ☎ +1 843 626-1756. Mexican food.
- Fiesta Mexicana, 410 70th Ave N, ☎ +1 843 497-2781. Mexican food.
- Mexico Lindo, 2801 N Kings Hwy, ☎ +1 843 626-4566. Mexican food.
- Mr. Fish, 6401 N. Kings Hwy, ☎ +1 843 839-3474. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 11AM-9PM. A marvelous seafood restaurant that is noted for its shrimp and grits and also makes excellent soups. There's also a sushi bar inside. And if you want to take some seafood home, Mr. Fish also runs a seafood market just down the road in a strip mall at 3401 N. Kings Hwy. $12-$20.
- The Whole Food Mediterranean Grill, 3711 Hwy 17 S ,North Myrtle Beach, ☎ +1 843 273-0805, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 7:00am-9:00pm. Greek Food~Organic Breakfasts,burgers soups & salads.
- SeaBlue, 503 Hwy 17 N, ☎ +1 843 249-8800. Seafood restaurant and steakhouse noted for its shrimp and grits, kobe beef, and scallops.
- Sea Captain's House, 3002 N. Ocean Blvd, ☎ +1 843 448-8082. Seafood in a 1930s cottage overlooking the beach.
- Soho Cafe, 406 21st Ave N, ☎ +1 843 443-9441. Japanese and Mediterranean seafood and steakhouse, with a popular bar.
- Dunes Village Resort, 5200 North Ocean Blvd. Has a very large indoor water park complex featuring an array of water attractions, including a 250+-ft long river ride, adult sized indoor waterslides, a massive swimming pool with water volleyball and basketball, a variety of hot tubs, and a kiddies' pool with games and slides. Oceanfront studios, 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom condominiums.
- Long Bay Resort, 7200 North Ocean Blvd. Numerous pools, sauna, exercise equipment, and game room. Two choices for dining as well as Starbucks on site. A wide variety of rooming options are available, including oceanfront rooms, suites and 3-bedroom condominiums. All units are equipped with free high-speed wireless internet access.
- Myrtle Beach Resort, 5905 S. Kings Hwy. A 33-acre, gated complex just south of the city limits offering a variety of condominiums including efficiencies, studios and 1-3 bedrooms. Available views include direct ocean front, ocean view (side of ocean front building) and park view. In addition to the beach, guests can enjoy a water park with lazy river, an ocean front cabana bar, 6 pools (1 beach front, 2 indoors), lighted tennis courts, saunas, jacuzzis and exercise rooms.
- Ocean Reef Resort, 7100 North Ocean Blvd. Oceanfront rooms and efficiencies and angle oceanfront 1-4 bedroom condominiums. Also offers numerous amenities, including a children's waterpark, lazy river, and a cafe. All rooms are equipped with high-speed wireless internet access.
- Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway, 1351 21st Avenue North. One mile from the ocean.
- Compass Cove Resort, 2311 S. Ocean Blvd, toll-free: +1-800-228-9894. One, two and three bedroom condos, oceanfront and ocean view rooms, water and pool features, tournament shuffleboard courts, free high-speed internet, fully equipped kitchens in condos and suites, free airport shuttle.
- Grande Shores, 201 77th Ave N, toll-free: +1-877-798-4074. Private balconies, free high-speed Internet, and fully equipped kitchens in each condominium and hotel room.
- Kingston Plantation, 9800 Queensway Blvd. The resort sits on 145 acres and includes the Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach Hotel, Kingston Plantation Villas & Condos, and the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort.
- Sands Ocean Club, 9550 Shore Dr (Arcadian Shores). 450 rooms, suites, efficiencies and executive suites. On-site spa, indoor/outdoor pools, lazy river, beach bar, lounge, conference facilities, free Wi-Fi, free airport shuttle.
- Springmaid Beach Resort, 3200 South Ocean Blvd. Pools, rivers, and sports facilities.
- Westgate Myrtle Beach Resort, 415 S. Ocean Blvd. Oceanfront resort.
- Yachtsman Resort, 1304 North Ocean Blvd. Features a distinctive 20 floor glass tower in the center of Myrtle Beach.
Several smaller towns to the north and south (Briarcliffe, Atlantic Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island, and Garden City) in addition to Myrtle Beach make up what is known as the "Grand Strand".
- If you're looking to get away from the crowds of Myrtle Beach, you can't do much better than the undeveloped beaches of Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, a nature lover's paradise with a pristine stretch of shoreline and a large salt marsh home to alligators and many kinds of birds.
|Routes through Myrtle Beach|
|Wilmington ← Briarcliffe Acres ←||N S||→ Surfside Beach → Charleston|
|Southern Pines ← Conway ←||N S||→ END|