A Weekend of Gorgeous Views in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, one of the top summer beach vacation destinations in the Southeastern, is jam packed with entertainment. With an abundance of waterfront activities, entertaining shows, year-round events, touristy attractions, excellent restaurants and shopping, and beautiful sandy beaches…it’s summer all year-round here!
All of these activities, on top of year-round warm, sunny weather, make Myrtle Beach a popular vacation destination amongst all different demographics, including: college students on spring break, snowbirds, and families taking summertime vacations. There are so many things to do that it would be impossible to squeeze all the fun into a single trip!
Here are a few exciting activities to add to your to-do list!
At 187 feet, Myrtle Beach’s beachfront Ferris Wheel stands tall as one of the largest in the US. You get to sit in an enclosed air conditioned gondola (perfect for those extremely hot & humid summer days) as you circle around 3 times, all while gazing at incredible views of the Atlantic coast.
The views are absolutely incredible and worth the admission fee. Some of the best views of the beach, pier, and boardwalk can be enjoyed here. Be sure to plan an evening visit to the boardwalk as well as the wheel is transformed into an LED light show, complete with a million LED lights!
Tip: Look through the Monster Coupon Book for $2 off your ride! (rides are normally $17 per adult, so this is a great discount).
Because of its’ recent completion (the boardwalk opened in 2010), this boardwalk appears to be much newer, cleaner, and less hectic than many others I have visited. Myrtle beach’s boardwalk often ranks amongst the best in the country (it earned a spot on both Travel + Leisure and National Geographic’s best boardwalks in the US list).
There are a handful of restaurants and shops, but not too many that you feel overwhelmed. You can either walk or bike (hours for biking vary seasonally) across the scenic 1.2 mile stretch. The boardwalk is also home to the famous SkyWheel. Summertime is filled with events and festivals.
During the early morning hours, you can often spot a dolphin. Or, you can always book a cruise with guaranteed sightings! Unfortunately, time constraints prevented us from being able to book a cruise, but it’s definitely on our list for the next time around!
Broadway at the Beach
You will never run out of vacation activities at Myrtle Beach’s premier entertainment, dining, and shopping destination. Here you will find numerous popular themed tourist restaurants such as: Hard Rock Cafe, Margaritaville, Johnny Rockets, Planet Hollywood, Joe’s Crab Shack, and more. Great attractions such as Ripley’s Aquarium are a must-do while in town. Ripley’s Aquarium is South Carolina’s most visited attraction.
Other popular activities include: Myrtle Waves Water Park, the Hollywood Wax Museum, Encounters: UFO Experience, and scenic helicopter rides just to name a few. You will also find plenty of nightlife including bars and nightclubs. Hard Rock is my favorite vacation dining choice as their menu includes a diverse variety of “healthy” and comfort fare to suit basically everyone.
The tunnel of sharks exhibit is pretty neat. You will get to see sharks swim right over your head!
“The Swarm” – An interesting exhibit where you can place your hand into a tank filled with Garra rufa fish (toothless Turkish fish that eat dead skin). As you can see in the photo below, the fish will run to your hand and eat away any dead skin or calluses. It doesn’t hurt at all, but rather feels like a light tickle. Afterwards, your hands will feel smooth and exfoliated.
Tip: Look for attraction and dining discounts in the Monster Coupon Book. Stop by guest services for a free magnet.
Pier 14 is a waterfront restaurant offering local specialties and fabulous views. There is also a gift shop for picking up a few local souvenirs. For only $1, you can walk to the edge of pier. The views are beautiful and you will be able to get some pretty good shots of the board walk and Ferris Wheel. Save some money by making your own souvenir: this is an excellent location for trip photos! Fishing day passes are also available for only $7.
Huntington State Park
Located just outside of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet is the 2500 acre coastal gem Huntington Beach State Park. This state park is loaded with beautiful views of the coast, salt marshes, and maritime forests. There is a scenic 3 mile bike path (6 miles round trip) through the forest portion of the park. I highly recommend taking a break from all the Myrtle Beach commotion by taking a relaxing morning ride. Here is your chance to enjoy some rural recreation and healthy exercise away from the crowds. What a nice change of pace, and scenery!
Tip: Plan your ride or walk early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the extreme heat! For those of you not interested in biking, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at this beautiful park, including: strolling along the 3 mile beach, camping, picnicking, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, and swimming. Note: This bike path is technically not part of the state park, but rather a portion of the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway, which crosses through the park.
The beaches here rate amongst the best in the country. The Grand Strand refers to the extensive 60+ miles of gorgeous coastline found in South Carolina. Get up early and enjoy a nice quiet walk along the coast: if you are lucky you may spot a few dolphins. Be on the lookout for washed jellyfish along the shore. Enjoy digging your feet into the smooth white sand and dipping your feet in the warm water before the afternoon crowds hit. Before your trip stop by for a quality breakfast at Island Vistas resort, complete with excellent food, affordable prices, and incredible views.
Tip: Visit during the off season for fewer crowds!
Other recommended activities in the area:
- Paddle boat rentals and tours
- Guided Kayak tours
- Dolphin cruises
- Sunset cruises
- Pirate Voyage – a pirate themed dinner and show
- Carolina Opry
- Legends in Concert
- Medieval Times
- Myrtle Beach State Park
- Themed miniature golf courses
- Shopping. There is an unending selection of discount beach themed stores (Eagles, Beach Life, etc) – Great for finding budget bathing suits, towels, chairs, souvenirs, etc.
…and so much more!
Learn more about each attraction listed above on the Myrtle Beach website.
One things for sure you will never run out of interesting activities and events to keep you busy! I will definitely plan a return trip to engage in some of the activities that I missed out on the first time around. Myrtle Beach is located on the coast of South Carolina, in the center of the 60+ mile stretch of beach known as the Grand Strand. Most hotels are open year-round, however, a majority of the restaurants are only open seasonally. For more information on Myrtle Beach vacations & coupons, visit the Myrtle Beach website.
Have you ever visited Myrtle Beach? What are some of your favorite restaurants and attractions in the area?
Attraction Address and Pricing Info:
SkyWheel: Located on the boardwalk (14Ave N to 2 Ave N). Rides cost $17 per adult
Broadway at the Beach: Located at 1325 Celebrity Cir, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 (Parking is free)
Pier 14: Located on the boardwalk (14Ave N to 2 Ave N). $1 entry fee. $7 for fishing.
Huntington Beach State Park: Located at 16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576. $8 per adult.