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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 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!

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Credit: bigstock.com
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Stroll the Boardwalk and Promenade

You really can’t miss Myrtle Beach’s boardwalk and promenade because there’s a huge 190-foot ferris wheel towering above 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. 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.

Myrtle BeachMyrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach

Bike through the Beach Towns

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. Bring your bike along or rent one at a local rental shop and take a ride through the cute coastal towns. 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. 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.

Myrtle BeachMyrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach

Have a Picnic on the Beach

It wouldn’t be a trip to Myrtle Beach without spending a good amount of time with your toes in the sand. 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. 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.

Mini Golf
Credit: Tim Menzies
Mini Golf
Mini Golf

Play a Round of Mini Golf

The number of mini golf courses in Myrtle Beach is perhaps only rivaled by other southern tourist towns like Gatlinburg, Tennessee. 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.  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.

CampgroundCampground
Campground

Get in Touch with Nature at a Campground

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 here. But for a different kind of Myrtle Beach experience, consider pitching a tent or bringing your camper to enjoy the nature of the area. 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 ParkAlligator Spotting at Huntington Beach State Park
Alligator Spotting at Huntington Beach State Park

Alligator Spotting at Huntington Beach State Park

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. It’s located south of Murrells Inlet near the Brookgreen Gardens and is a great place to walk, fish, and birdwatch. 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. Walk along the trails and beach here to breathe in the fresh ocean air.

Tour Atalaya CastleTour Atalaya Castle
Tour Atalaya Castle

Tour Atalaya Castle

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. Atalaya is 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. Today, you can take a self-guided tour of their home or even a guided one-hour docent tour during the summer months. 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.

Palmetto MoonshinePalmetto Moonshine
Palmetto Moonshine

Sip Local Spirits at Palmetto Moonshine

The American South is known for a few distinct spirits, namely bourbon and moonshine. And fortunately for spirit and cocktail lovers, there’s a great distillery to visit right here in Myrtle Beach! The original Palmetto Distillery is actually based in Anderson, South Carolina, but the company opened a new store and tasting room in Myrtle Beach on South Kings Highway. The Myrtle Beach location is open every day with free tastings offered every day except Sunday. You can sample and buy delicious flavors of moonshine here, including strawberry, peach, blackberry, apple pie, and white lightening. The distillery also makes its own 21 percent rye whiskey that’s matured in new French oak and very smooth.

Carolina Opry
Credit: facebook.com
Carolina Opry
Carolina Opry

Catch a Show at the Carolina Opry

The Carolina Opry has been in town since the mid-80s and is a favorite spot for live shows. Country and gospel music are big here, and the Christmas special is a big hit each December if you’re planning a winter trip. 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.

Carolina Opry