A Weekend of Gorgeous Views in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, one of the top beach vacation destinations in the US, is jam packed with waterfront activities, entertaining shows, year round events, top notch attractions, excellent restaurants and shopping, and beautiful sandy beaches.
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 of the fun activities that Mike & I enjoyed on our recent trip:
SkyWheel 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 obtained 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 $13 per adult, so this is a great discount).
A close up of one of the gondola seats, which can comfortably seat 4 people.
Check out these fantastic views!
Because of its’ recent completion (did you know that it just opened in 2010?), this boardwalk appears to be 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 prevented us from being able to book a cruise, but it’s definitely on our list for the next time around!
Tip: If you are looking for direct access, be sure to consider one of the several lodging options located directly on the boardwalk (Bay View Resort, Holiday Sands North, etc.)
A view of the boardwalk from the SkyWheel
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.
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.
Tip: Ripley’s offers a $2 off coupon and Hard Rock offers $5 off lunch in the Monster Coupon Book. Check for discount coupons to other restaurants, shops, and attractions in Monster and other booklets around town. Also, stock by guest services for a free magnet. The Myrtle Beach Hard Rock is one of the friendliest and most uniquely decorations locations I have visited thus far!
Ripley’s Aquarium is South Carolina’s most visited attraction
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.
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.
Located just outside of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet is 2500 acre coastal Huntington Beach State Park, which includes 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 smooth white sand and warm water. Before your trip stop for a breakfast at Island Vistas resort, complete with excellent food, affordable prices, and incredible views.
Paddle boat rentals and tours
Guided Kayak tours
Pirate Voyage – a pirate themed dinner and show
Legends in Concert
Myrtle Beach State Park
Dozens of uniquely themed miniature golf courses
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 $13 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. $5 per vehicle entry fee.