Are you looking for the ideal vacation spot where smiles, sun, and sand all come together? Look no further than the radiant shores of Myrtle Beach, SC! From sunrise to sunset, Myrtle Beach, located in the heart of the extensive 60-mile Grand Strand along the Atlantic coast, has something special for everyone.
Myrtle Beach is all about having fun, no matter your age. During the daytime, enjoy the vast and endless sandy beaches. As the sun sets, head out to Broadway on the Beach for a night filled with shopping, food, and an exciting show.
Beyond the beach, there are numerous attractions and activities for the entire family to enjoy. Try your hand at mini-golf, enjoy the thrills of water parks, ride thrilling roller coasters, or discover the wonders of aquariums – the options are endless.
So, are you wondering where to start your vacation in this charming town? No worries! We've got you covered with our travel guide – 16 exciting things to do in Myrtle Beach on your vacation! Let the adventure unfold!
1. Explore Marine Wonders at Ripley's Aquarium
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be inside a giant aquarium? Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach allows families to experience just that! Here, you can walk right through a cool acrylic tunnel winding through the Dangerous Reef aquarium. Inside, you'll be surrounded by thousands of fish, including sea turtles, stingrays, and even gigantic sharks! It's like being in an underwater world. Are you feeling extra adventurous? How about spending the night in that tunnel? There's also the option of diving with sharks!
But that's not all. The aquarium has several habitats, including an Amazon River zone, an Indo-Pacific section with colorful clown triggerfish, and a lagoon with stingrays. Want to learn more about marine life? Visit the Discovery Center for some hands-on fun. You can also visit the control room, which oversees the huge habitats.
From sea dragon and shark feedings to dive shows and even a mermaid performance, Ripley's Aquarium is packed with aquatic wonders. The aquarium is open every day, starting at 9 a.m.
Location: 1110 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC
2. Go on a Nature Walk at Brookgreen Gardens
If you're looking for an amazing garden experience in Myrtle Beach, Brookgreen Gardens is the spot for you! It's just a 30-minute drive from Myrtle Beach near Murrells Inlet. This unique 9,127-acre property is not just your average garden – it's a blend of a sculpture garden and a wildlife preserve. Now, let's talk about the cool things you can see here.
First up, there's the Lowcountry Zoo with native animals like otters and alligators – a must-see! And don't miss the Butterfly House, where you can get a close-up look at these delicate creatures fluttering about. As you stroll through the gardens, you'll be surrounded by a colorful mix of plants like magnolias, azaleas, and camellias. It's like a natural wonderland!
There are also awesome sculptures all around the gardens, created by some of the world's most famous artists. It's like an outdoor art gallery! If you're curious about history, there's a remote historic plantation house.
So, if you're craving some peace and beauty, Brookgreen Gardens is the place to be. It's a perfect little getaway near Myrtle Beach, waiting for you to explore its serene wonders!
Cost: $22 for adults and $12 for kids
Location: 1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC
3. Myrtle Beach SkyWheel: Experience Sky-High Thrills
Are you up for an adventure high in the sky? The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is your ticket to an unforgettable ride in one of its 42 gondolas above the city. This Ferris wheel is no ordinary ride – it stands 187 feet high and proudly next to the Landshark Bar and Grill on North Ocean Boulevard. Each ride lasts approximately eight to ten minutes, and the gondolas can carry two to six passengers. Special rates are available for large groups, making it a budget-friendly option.
Feeling fancy or want a romantic twist? Take the VIP ride! This special gondola seats up to four guests and features free souvenirs, glass floors, leather seats, and even a bottle of water for the journey.
When the sun sets, the magic begins. One million LED lights illuminate the wheel, turning it into a distinctive landmark you can't miss. The SkyWheel Myrtle Beach is open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Location: 1110 North Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC
4. Enjoy sunset views at Myrtle Beach State Park
Are you looking for a peaceful escape in the heart of Myrtle Beach? Myrtle Beach State Park is the place to be! It's a serene spot that attracts sea turtles and fish, making it a popular surf-fishing destination.
From sandy beaches to maritime forests, the park is vast and ideal for exploration. What can you do here? Well, there's a Nature Center to explore, nature trails to hike through the forest, a lovely beach to relax on, and even a fishing pier where you can try your luck with a fishing rod.
Looking to stay overnight? Camping at Myrtle Beach State Park is affordable and an unforgettable experience. At 278 campsites, you can set up your camp and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of waves. If sleeping on the ground isn't your thing, there are six historic Civilian Conservation Corps cabins from the 1930s. So, if you're looking for sun, surf, and sand, this is the place to be.
Location: 4401 S Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
5. Bask in the Sun on Myrtle Beach
When it comes to Myrtle Beach, the number one thing to do is visit the beach, which is why the area is named after it! The stunning 60-mile stretch of white sand beach in Myrtle Beach is the main attraction, but there's much more to discover! This oceanfront paradise is not just for sunbathing. Here, visitors can toss a Frisbee, search for shells, fly kites, or let the kids splash in the water while you relax nearby. For adventures, the options are endless – boating, surfing, fishing, windsurfing, parasailing, and even scuba diving.
As the sun sets, take a walk along the beach to admire the twinkling hotel lights and the soothing sounds of waves breaking on the sands – it's pure magic. If you're feeling hungry or thirsty, the beach has many restaurants and bars serving delicious bites and refreshing drinks.
6. Explore Myrtle Beach's Boardwalk and Promenade
Stretching 1.2 miles along the dazzling Atlantic Ocean, the Boardwalk and Promenade are a treat for anyone up for the trek!
This boardwalk is a one-stop shop for all your needs, featuring restaurants, shops, entertainment, and attractions. It is divided into three sections. The North Walkway (14th Avenue North Pier to Plyler Park) is a relaxing hideaway with a rustic wooden deck and beautiful landscaping. The central section (8th Avenue North to Plyler Park) is the boardwalk's beating heart. You'll find arcades, shops, cafes, and beachfront joy galore here. Finally, the South Promenade (1st to 8th Avenue North) has a seaside park, a weekly fireworks display, and plenty of natural spaces with benches to unwind.
And the fun doesn't stop there! The boardwalk hosts many exciting festivals, like the Sun Fun Festival, which kicks off the hot summers with food stalls and live performances. In addition, during Halloween, prepare for the spooky delights of Boardwalk Fright Nights.
So, if you're looking for an unforgettable experience filled with fun, festivals, and incredible views, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade is your go-to spot.
Location: 1st Ave N to 16th Ave N, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
7. Watch a Dinner Show at Dolly Parton's Pirates Voyage
Are you looking for a stellar show and a meal in Myrtle Beach? Look no further than Pirates Voyage, the dinner and entertainment adventure brought to you by Dolly Parton, the queen of country music. This two-hour show is ideal for children and families and promises nonstop entertainment.
From thrilling cutlass fights to enchanting mermaids, the show has it all. This show is more than just singing; it's an evening of dancing, acrobatics, and a captivating story unfolding right before you. What about the food? A delicious four-course dinner follows the night's re-enactments, battles, plays, and other activities.
Pro tip: While you can buy tickets at the door, it's a good idea to call ahead to get the best seats. And, to get the most out of your experience, arrive a little early (but not more than 45 minutes) to get prime seats for the pre-show – it's a first-come, first-served general seating show.
Location: 8907 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC
8. Shop 'til You Drop at Barefoot Landing
Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach is an incredible hub of shopping, dining, and top-notch entertainment. This shopping district has everything from unique boutiques to popular brands. From stylish apparel to unique gifts and jewelry, you'll find it all in these shops. And if you're up for some adventure, check out attractions like Alligator Adventure or the unexpected twists and turns of the Backstage MirrorMaze.
The real magic begins as the sun sets. Catch a show at The Alabama Theater or soak up the soulful vibes at the House of Blues. Mark your calendars for Mondays because Barefoot Landing lights up the sky with a spectacular fireworks display at 10 p.m.
So, whether you're a daytime shopper or a nighttime thrill-seeker, Barefoot Landing is your go-to spot in North Myrtle Beach for a mix of fun and entertainment!
Location: 4898 Hwy 17 S, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
9. Experience Live Entertainment at The Carolina Opry
Step into the world of entertainment at The Carolina Opry Theater! The Carolina Opry has been the exceptional star of Myrtle Beach's entertainment scene for over 30 years, hosting an impressive 9,000 productions and adding up. This exciting show combines music, dance, and comedy, displaying the talents of 35 of the country's top performers.
The Carolina Opry features various genres, from country and gospel to Broadway tunes. For more nighttime adventures in Myrtle Beach, reserve a seat at Legends in Concert, where celebrity mimics pay tribute to legends such as Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley.
If you're visiting between November and January, don't miss “The Carolina Opry Christmas Special,” known as “The Christmas Show of the South.”
Location: 8901 N Kings Hwy 17 S, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
10. Experience Thrills at Family Kingdom Amusement Park
If you're looking for an exciting family destination in Myrtle Beach, look no further than Family Kingdom Amusement Park. This park, which spans 13 acres along the coastline, provides a thrilling experience with 37 rides designed for people of all ages.
You can choose your adventure by purchasing individual ride tickets, an all-day wristband for unlimited fun, or simply strolling through the arcades. The park has introduced four new rides, including the entertaining Magic Bikes, the exciting Jump Around Dune Buggies, and the thrilling Twist ‘n Shout steel roller coaster. The park also features go-karts, bumper cars, a carousel, antique cars, a kiddie train, and Ferris wheels. For adventure seekers, the park has the thrilling 110-foot free fall Slingshot.
Family Kingdom Amusement Park is open daily from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Bring the whole family to the park in Myrtle Beach for a day of classic fun and lasting memories!
Location: 300 Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
11. Play a Round of Golf at Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, known as the “Golf Capital of the World,” is a golfer's paradise with over 100 courses. From champion-level courses designed by legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer to beginner-friendly options, the city draws golfers of all skill levels.
The renowned Greg Norman Golf Course, which features seven holes along the scenic Intracoastal Waterway, is famous among the available options. Other top-tier golf courses include Barefoot Resort & Golf, TPC Myrtle Beach, Captain Hook's Adventure Golf, and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club. Each offers unique challenges and breathtaking scenery for an unforgettable golfing experience.
12. Take a Dolphin-Watching Tour
If you want to see dolphins in Myrtle Beach, you're in luck! Check out the options available for Dolphin Cruise options:
Dolphin Adventure Cruise: Board a 90-foot boat for a complete dolphin-finding adventure.
Sea Thunder Dolphin Cruise: Hop on a speedboat for an exciting dolphin-spotting excursion. They're so sure you'll see dolphins that if you don't, you'll get a free ride back.
For those looking for a little more adventure, consider a 1-hour or 2-hour jet ski tour in North Myrtle Beach's waters, where you might see dolphins, pelicans, sea turtles, and even majestic whales!
13. Make a Splash at the Myrtle Waves Water Park
If you're looking for family-friendly fun near Myrtle Beach, go to Myrtle Waves Water Park. This impressive 20-acre park is South Carolina's largest water park, and it features over 30 water slides. It is the ideal place to cool off in the summer.
Myrtle Waves has been a popular attraction in Myrtle Beach since its inception in 1985. The park's attractions are fueled by over one million gallons of water, and it offers a thrilling array of slides, rides, and rafts for visitors of all ages.
Some popular slides include Night Flight, the King Cobra at Snake Mountain, Turbo Twisters, the high-speed Racing River, and the daring 20-foot enclosed Super Chute. If you prefer a slower pace, go to the Lazy River for a laid-back float, the Flow Rider for wave riding, and the kids' play for little ones.
Location: 3000 Mr. Joe White Avenue, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
14. Shop and Dine at Broadway at the Beach
Beyond being a popular shopping destination, Broadway at the Beach is a lively entertainment hub featuring some of Myrtle Beach's must-see attractions.
Some popular attractions include Old Tyme Portraits, Ripley's Aquarium, the Simpsons-inspired real-life Kwik-E-Mart, and WonderWorks Myrtle Beach, an amusement park. Here, visitors can also enjoy boat rides, mini-golf, a wax museum, a water park, and helicopter tours.
From the flavorful Paula Deen's and Joe's Crab Shack to the iconic Hard Rock Cafe and Margaritaville, Broadway has a variety of restaurants. Visit River Street Sweets for a delicious FREE Praline sample – a real treat for your taste buds!
Catch the magic of Broadway lighting up the sky with a spectacular fireworks display at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays, and weekends.
Location: 1325 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC
15. Get a Glimpse of Hollywood at Hollywood Wax Museum
Rub shoulders with your favorite celebrities – wax versions of them – at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Pose for selfies with lifelike wax figures of iconic stars, including NASCAR drivers, TV show hosts, and pop stars. Inside, you'll find life-size replicas of celebrities like Audrey Hepburn, Robert Downey Jr, and Taylor Swift.
A King Kong tribute, a massive ape towering at 35 feet tall, is a standout feature.
Admission to the single attraction costs $29.99 for adults and is available daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. For $39.99, you can also access Outbreak – Dread the Undead and Hannah's Maze of Mirrors.
Location: 1808 21st Ave N, Unit A, Myrtle Beach, SC
16. Dance the Night Away at The Bowery
Wrap up your Myrtle Beach adventure with a night of live music and dancing at The Bowery. This iconic country music hotspot has been entertaining since 1944 and is conveniently located just 50 feet from the water's edge. The music begins around 8:30 p.m. and continues until late in the evening.
The Bowery has hosted some of today's top country bands and even had Alabama as its house band for seven years in the late 1970s. For decades, this legendary honky-tonk has been a staple of Myrtle Beach nightlife, providing a lively atmosphere to cap off your vacation.
Myrtle Beach is a destination that attracts visitors with a perfect combination of excitement and relaxation. Whether you're seeking thrilling adventures, family-friendly attractions, live entertainment, or delicious dining options, Myrtle Beach has it all. Keep this guide handy as you plan your vacation and have a fantastic time exploring all that Myrtle Beach has to offer. Safe travels!
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.