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Myrtle Beach is known as a family-friendly getaway along the South Carolina shore and a place to take you away from your everyday routine. Without a doubt, this is a tourist town through and through. It doesn’t take long to realize that while driving by all the miniature golf courses, beachwear shops, and go-kart racing tracks. But there’s still something magical about it that makes you feel like a kid again.
If you’ve never been to Myrtle Beach, you might want to hit all the top tourist attractions to experience the excitement of this small town. Or if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, you can skip the crowded places and just hang out on secluded areas of the beach and go for hikes at the local state parks. Here are some of our top picks for fun things to see and do at Myrtle Beach!
Stroll the Boardwalk and Promenade
What Is It? You really can’t miss Myrtle Beach’s boardwalk and promenade because there’s a huge 190-foot Ferris wheel towering above it!
Why Do It? The SkyWheel lights up the town’s skyline and offers lovely views of the surrounding area from the top. A SkyWheel ride lasts for about 10 minutes inside six-person gondolas, and advance tickets are sold online. You can walk about a mile on a wooden walkway to check out the shops and cafes with outdoor seating on a nice day. The downtown area has been revitalized and is now a popular spot for window-shopping and people-watching.
Good to Know: Other fun ways to get a new perspective on Myrtle Beach include taking a helicopter ride along the South Carolina coastline or going parasailing, zip-lining, or skydiving with a local guide company during your visit.
Bike through the Beach Towns
What Is It? Bring your bike along or rent one at a local rental shop and take a ride through the cute coastal towns.
Why Do It? As you can imagine, traffic can become a nightmare when you visit Myrtle Beach during peak season. And in a car, you miss out on all the fun little shops and sights to see along the way. This way you’ll get a chance to work off some of those delicious seafood dinners you’ve been indulging in and get an up-close and personal look at the town’s local flavor.
Good to Know: There are some nice bike lanes in the Myrtle Beach area that run alongside the main roads and provide glimpses of the beach and ocean around occasional curves.
Have a Picnic on the Beach
What Is It? It wouldn’t be a trip to Myrtle Beach without spending a good amount of time with your toes in the sand.
Why Do It? Summers are crowded at the beach since this is a top East Coast destination; however, you can also visit in the off-season and enjoy generally mild temperatures and fewer crowds. Myrtle Beach State Park is close to all of the town’s top attractions and has some peaceful areas of undeveloped beach to relax and unwind on.
Good to Know: Myrtle Beach is full of highly-rated restaurants and well-known for fresh seafood, but consider grabbing a take-out version of your favorite dish and heading to the shore to maximize your beach time.
Play a Round of Mini Golf
What Is It? The number of mini-golf courses in Myrtle Beach is perhaps only rivaled by other southern tourist towns like Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Why Do It? Embrace the local tradition and pick up a golf club to play a few rounds. This is a fun activity for families with kids, couples, and groups of friends who like a kitschy challenge.
Good to Know: You’ll find lots of courses to choose from along Route 17, including Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf, Treasure Island, and Jungle Lagoon. But there are some other themed courses worth checking out off the main drag as well if you feel like exploring a bit.
Get in Touch with Nature at a Campground
What Is It? Lots of chain hotels you’ll recognize and small family-run motels line the streets of Myrtle Beach, and there are lots of accommodation options to suit your travel style and budget.
Why Do It? For a different kind of Myrtle Beach experience, consider pitching a tent or bringing your camper to enjoy the nature of the area.
Good to Know: There are lots of campgrounds on the outskirts of town, so it’s an easy drive or bike ride to get to wherever you want to be for sightseeing during the day and nightlife after dark.
Alligator Spotting at Huntington Beach State Park
What Is It? Another great way to take a break from the crowds and experience the beauty of coastal South Carolina is to visit Huntington Beach State Park. Walk along the trails and beach here to breathe in the fresh ocean air.
Why Do It? It’s located south of Murrells Inlet near the Brookgreen Gardens and is a great place to walk, fish, and birdwatch.
Good to Know: It has long piers that are popular areas to spot alligators, so get out of your car and take a slow walk and look for some at a safe distance.
Tour Atalaya Castle
What Is It? While you’re at Huntington Beach State Park, make sure to check out Atalaya Castle, a historic building that seems quite out-of-place in this tourist town.
Why Do It? Atalaya is a Moorish-style castle that was the home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. The couple relocated here as a winter home from New York City after Anna was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and she was a famous sculptor of animal statues. There are over 30 rooms here to explore with a courtyard and direct access to the sand dunes, providing an experience that takes you back in time.
Good to Know: You can take a self-guided tour of their home or even a guided one-hour docent tour during the summer months.
Catch a Show at the Carolina Opry
What Is It? The Carolina Opry has been in town since the mid-80s and is a favorite spot for live shows.
Why Do It? Country and gospel music are big here, and the Christmas special is a big hit each December if you’re planning a winter trip.
Good to Know: The theater is located on the Myrtle Beach strip on North Kings Highway, and ticket prices vary depending on what show you plan to check out.