Chances are, it’s been ages since you and your family were able to gather for a group vacay (thank you, 2020). So your next vacation better be good to make up for all the ones you’ve missed. Myrtle Beach is the perfect destination for you and your loved ones to come together for your greatest escape yet. Easily accessible by car or by plane, Myrtle Beach offers a picturesque paradise with 60 miles of coastline—and literally something to do for everyone in your crew. From action-packed amusement parks and animal attractions to championship golf and family entertainment, discover all the excitement beyond the surf and sand. Get ready to pack your bags and hit The Beach.
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If your group is the thrill-seeking kind, Myrtle Beach has adventure at every turn. Rev your engine at The Track, where everyone from kids to grandparents can take a go-kart wheel and go for a spin on tracks appropriate for all ages and levels. For something more stationary, kids and grownups alike have the chance to see their favorite Simpsons characters come to life at The Simpsons 4D. The experience brings Springfield’s favorite TV family to South Carolina on the big screen, along with special effects. Adrenaline junkies in your squad will appreciate all the action at The Funplex, an outdoor theme park featuring seven gravity-defying rides to fill every adrenaline fix (including several appropriate for little daredevils, too).
Just a few miles inland, you’ll find the scenic rivers, creeks, and marshes of South Carolina Lowcountry. By water is the best way to explore the diverse ecosystems. Black River Outdoors offers a variety of kayak tours that take you through the Murrells Inlet Salt Marshes to the Cypress Swamps. To explore the waterways without a paddle, hop aboard the Barefoot Queen Riverboat for a leisurely cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway while enjoying dinner. Or, if taking a walk on the wild side is more your thing, visit Brookgreen Gardens Zoo. You’ll have close (but not too close) encounters with animals like alligators, bald eagles, red foxes, and river otters, which are native to the region.
Myrtle has—count ‘em—sixty miles of pristine coastline, which means, making waves is always a good idea. Whether fast-paced thrills or leisurely glides are your family’s speed, Island Adventure Watersports rents jet skis, wakeboards, kayaks, and paddle boards to suit every whim. Should you want to take your water experience to new heights (300 feet above the ocean to be exact), check out Downwind Sails Parasailing, where the views are the once-in-a-lifetime kind. To get the group together in a more organized fashion, consider a guided tour on the water. At Action Water Sportz your crew can hit the Intracoastal in search of dolphins aboard a jet ski or cruise to Sunset Beach or Ocean Isle Beach by pontoon boat for an all-day chill while navigating out-of-the-way the islands.
Beaches for the Whole Family
No matter where you are on Myrtle Beach, you don’t have to go far to dip your toes in the tide. One of the best beaches for the whole family is Surfside Beach, where there’s always a lifeguard on duty and several access points that have showers, restrooms, and accessible ramps for those with disabilities. Surfside’s true claim to fame, however, is it’s the first Autism-Friendly Travel Destination in the world, where neurodiverse families can feel comfortable, thanks to adapted areas and establishments. Just south of Surfside is Garden City Beach where watersports, fishing, and crabbing are the main pastimes. The Pier comes alive at night with restaurants and music. Should you seek a quieter beach day, visit Myrtle Beach State Park located in the Grand Strand coastline. There are 278 campsites here as well as nature trails and equestrian trails if you prefer to get a little cozier among nature.
A true golf-lover’s locale, Myrtle Beach has some of the world’s most challenging courses and picturesque greens. Ranked in the Top 100 courses in the nation, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club has played host to tournaments including the PGA Senior Tour and the USGA Women’s Open. Test your swing on the sandy, rolling terrain that stretches 7,450 yards. Tidewater Golf Club, on North Myrtle Beach, is as scenic as it is demanding. Situated on a peninsula overlooking the Ocean, Tidewater features eight holes that play along either Cherry Grove Inlet or the Intracoastal Waterway. And if the golfers in your group lean more toward mini, Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf takes putt-putt to fantastical proportions in a Peter Pan-themed course.
Family-focused hotels abound in Myrtle Beach—just take your pick. Crown Reef Beach Resort & Waterpark is a destination in and of itself that kids will never want to leave. It has its own waterpark with 15 water features, including a 575-foot lazy river as well as several indoor and outdoor pools and game center. Choose from standard rooms and three-bedroom condos to spacious beach bungalows. With five towers filled with everything from suites to four-bedroom condos, The Breakers Resort has accommodations for every size group and myriad pools, including one with a sunken pirate ship for kids. At Dunes Village Resort, all rooms have ocean views and can fit from four-to-sixteen people. Amenities and activities abound. There’s an indoor waterpark for kids and a spa for grownups—so everyone can fit in their brand of fun.
Coastal cuisine reigns supreme in Myrtle Beach, so sampling the freshest catches from the sea is all but a prerequisite. A seaside family-owned since the 1960s staple, The Sea Captain’s House serves up ocean-variety eats like grilled fish and fried oysters—along with a generous helping of warm Southern hospitality in a resto right on the ocean. Enjoy kids-welcome vibes and fine dining at Cypress Dining Room, within the Island Vista Resort. Here, Lowcountry cuisine is made with local ingredients and packed with love. At Hook & Barrel, seafood is the main attraction. And it’s a feast you can feel good about eating since every ingredient is sustainably sourced, including the dinnerware. Try the oyster stew, which is prepared right in front of you at the bar.
Special Needs Travel
One of the qualities of Myrtle Beach that sets it apart from other vacation destinations is inclusivity. The area makes everyone feel welcome, and especially those traveling with an autistic family member. Families with special needs will find many sensory-friendly experiences with autism-aware trained staff, such as the mermaid show at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, which features no music and noise-canceling headphones if needed. Kids of all ages and abilities will love Savannah’s Playground, which has ADA-approved equipment throughout, wheelchair access, and a special music park. Big Air Myrtle Beach, which is certified autism-friendly through the Champion Autism Network (CAN), is a trampoline park that offers a sensory-friendly jump.
Finding fun and laughs for all ages is easy here, thanks to entertainment geared to the whole group. Kids will love seeing pirates IRL as they battle it out aboard full-sized pirate ships during the Pirates Voyage dinner and show. If medieval jousting is your jam, go to Medieval Times to see knights duel with swords on horseback. It’s also the one place where it’s socially appropriate for kids (and adults) to eat with their fingers. Broadway at the Beach brings all kinds of action, all year round, from rides and games to shopping, dining, and live music at the largest entertainment venue in the state. Check the schedule for upcoming concerts and performances.
Why stay home when you could be on the vacation of a lifetime? Book your trip to Myrtle Beach today.