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10 Best Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

SmarterTravel

Myrtle Beach has all the ingredients for a classic American vacation. Its vibe is a combination of youthful fun mixed with nostalgia. What does that mean? It means everyone can feel like a kid at Myrtle Beach, and you’re sure to return home with fond memories that will help you maintain your vacation glow long after you’ve returned to work. Here are the 10 best things to do in Myrtle Beach.

Find a Secluded Stretch of Sand

Okay, the beach is obvious. But, the question is where on the 60 miles of coastline are you going to plunk down your blanket and sandcastle bucket? Make sure you find the stretch of sand with the atmosphere that matches your beach style. Huntington Beach State Park has more than three miles of secluded sands flanked by dunes.

South of town, Surfside Beach and Garden Beach are even quieter options for families who want a place to sun and swim.

Insider Tip: Lack’s Beach Service lifeguard locations dot the coast to keep swimmers safe. But simply renting your beach chairs and umbrellas from them is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach, too.

Eat Seafood

While you can’t go wrong with just about any seafood joint in the area, Murrells Inlet is the place to go for local catch. The fishing village, located south of downtown Myrtle Beach, has a MarshWalk lined with waterfront eateries. For you-know-its-local fare, head to Wicked Tuna. The eatery only serves fish caught locally by its own boats, and you’ll also find tons of fare for the turf lovers.

Downtown, family-run Mrs. Fish is another local favorite due to its down-to-earth vibe (food comes on paper plates) and super low prices (at lunch you can get a fried seafood platter with flounder, shrimp, bay scallops, and oysters for $13.99). Placing a takeout order for an instant picnic at the beach is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach.

Insider Tip: Even if you’re not hungry, hit the MarshWalk on a summer night and you’ll more than likely hear several live bands—no cover charge.

Catch Your Dinner

Myrtle Beach State Park is known for its surf fishing for flounder, trout, king mackeral, and more. You’ll need a saltwater fishing license, available at bait shops or online. Nonresidents can expect to pay $11 for a 14-day license. You can also opt to hire a fishing charter. Some for-hire services will even clean your fish for you.

Insider Tip: For fishing without a license, several public piers sell daily fishing passes, including Myrtle Beach Pier. For $5 you can fish all day.

Walk the Boardwalk

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade is home to it all: rides, restaurants, and hotel rooms. You’ll often stumble on live music in the summer in addition to fireworks displays. But no trip to the 1.2-mile boardwalk is complete without a Ferris Wheel ride. The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel takes you high above the coastline—more than 180 feet high—for arguably the area’s best view of the Atlantic. Tickets are $9 for kids three to 11 and $14 for adults.

Insider Tip: Head south to Garden City Pier for similar fun on a smaller scale. The pier has an arcade, a bar with live music and karaoke, and plenty of fishermen reeling in their catch. It’s one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach one a smaller, less-crowded scale.

Get a History Lesson

Hopsewee Plantation, former home of one of the signer’s of the Declaration of Independence, sits along North Santee River and takes you back to life on an 18th-cenutry rice plantation. For $20 (discounts for children under 17), the one-hour tour covers every room in the National Historical Landmark, while also tackling the area’s more difficult history when visiting slave cabins on the grounds.

Insider Tip: Reserve seats for tea at Hopsewee Plantation in advance. There’s a small fee to reserve in advance, but the entire cost gets applied to your meal.

Drive Fast … Really Fast

Myrtle Beach Speedway lets you get behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car. After training and instruction, you get behind the wheel for a five-minute timed racing session that’s easily one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. You’ve got the track all to yourself. No instructor riding with you, just in-car communications making sure you stay on track. When it’s over, you’ll find out your top speed.

Insider Tip: For a more affordable experience, you can go for a ride with a professional racing instructor behind the wheel of a NASCAR.

Fly Through the Sky

While you can literally fly through the sky on a helicopter ride, you can get a little more wind in your face with Soar + Explore. Located at WonderWorks, which also hosts science exhibits and laser tag, this rope course lets you navigate 33 different elements by climbing and balancing your way across ropes and cables for $11.99. You can add on trip across the 50-foot-high zipline. Radical Ropes has a ropes course and ziplines, but also lets you free fall from 70 feet.

Insider Tip: Ditch the swim attire if you plan to tackle one of these courses. Swap flip-flops for closed-toe shoes and wear pants or shorts to comfortably navigate the ropes.

Get Outdoors

A city on the water inevitably has a bunch of water-based activities, and there’s no better time to try something new than when you’re on vacation. Coastal Scuba has classes and dive charters for SCUBA, while Kokopelli Surf Camp offers not only surf lessons, but also kayak and paddleboard tours and rentals. For something more laidback, Waccamaw River Tours take you down the creeks that line the area’s National Wildlife Refuge.

Insider Tip: When you need a break from the sea, strike it out on land on the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway. Eventually the path will stretch more than 25 miles from Murrells Inlet to Georgetown as part of the East Coast Greenway.

Take a Day Trip

If you’re the type of traveler that gets fidgety after a couple of days, then you’re in luck. Myrtle Beach is perfectly positioned not just for access to the Atlantic, but also to several of South Carolina’s best small towns. Pawleys Island, a barrier island south of downtown, is a quiet, historic resort town with untouched dune-backed beaches.

Away from the coast, Conway is worth a visit, too. The town’s Riverwalk is lined with shops and restaurants, and on Saturdays the Farmers Market is the place to go for food-based souvenirs like jams and jellies.

Insider Tip: Look for cooking classes at Horry Georgetown Technical College, so when you head home you can prepare your own fish, shellfish, or barbeque to perfection. Classes are also available for kids ages nine to 13.

Golf

It’s no secret that golfing is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. Many legends of the golf game have designed some of the more than 100 golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area, but the best part is that the area’s public golf courses are just as beautiful. River Oaks Golf Plantation lets you get your golf game on among its three, nine-hole courses.

Insider Tip: If you’re not into formal golf, there’s a themed mini golf course to fit your style: Hawaiian, Jurassic, pirates, and even a course that requires a ride in a mining car.

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