Entertainment, Shopping, Dining, & Golfing, Still in Full Swing Well Into Fall & Winter Months
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Located in the heart of coastal South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is the epi-center of the 60 mile stretch referred as the grand strand. Stretching from Pawley's Island at the northern tip of Georgetown County to Little River at the northern end of Horry County the grand strand includes Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, and Garden City.
However, it is Myrtle Beach proper (est. 40K population) and its little brother North Myrtle Beach (20K) that attract a majority of visitors on a yearly basis due to the plethora of resorts, hotels, celebrity-designed golf courses, miniature golf, boardwalks, shopping, attractions, water parks, shows, and exceptional dining. While one person or a couple could have tons of fun in Myrtle Beach for a day, it's best to enjoy Myrtle and North Myrtle Beach over a long weekend or a seven day vacation.
Without question Myrtle Beach is the sun and fun capitol of the United States, with young couples bringing their kids as well as the grandparents to the grand strand to enjoy the beach, shows, shopping, attractions, golf and a variety of eateries. But don't think for a skinny minute the popular beach destination goes silent after Labor Day, because businesses, organizations, and the city Myrtle Beach do all they can to attract tourists well into the fall and holiday season.
Take it from this four decade plus Charleston resident, Myrtle Beach and the surrounding grand strand has lots to offer visitors from mid September right up until Memorial Day, so much so that it is easily the most sought out haven for weekend golfers, with plenty of resorts offering unheard of three and four day packages including accommodations and tee times. Fore (pun intended) more check out https://www.myrtlebeachgolf.com/packages/#/packages
Because Myrtle Beach is positioned along the southern seaboard and often enjoys wind streams from the Gulf of Mexico, the weather is pretty moderate throughout the winter season, with day time temperatures sometimes reaching into the upper 70's and low 80's on occasion. You're guaranteed almost no chance of snow, and cold snaps usually last a few days at best.
While there are many who enjoy the beach and resort pools well into October and again in April, strolling along the beach or the boardwalk on a sunny day when it's 68 degrees is awesome in December, and there are plenty of businesses open ready to welcome shoppers or those seeking incredible food and drink. Easily the weekends remain the most active time in Myrtle Beach during the less trafficked months, with sports bar carrying college and NFL games, alongside great menu specials to further whet the appetite.
A variety of festivities keep Myrtle Beach buzzing after Labor Day, with festivals celebrating Irish, Greek, and Italian heritages, as well as festivals paying tribute to the military, seafood, shag & beach music, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. When November arrives the theaters and larger shopping (Market Common, Barefoot Landing, & Broadway at the Beach) locales kick into full holiday mode, getting visitors in mood for Christmas and New Years.
Business owners realize they garner less foot traffic after Labor Day, and some will adjust their schedules, perhaps closing earlier or not opening on Monday and Tuesday. Still a select few (smaller businesses) will shut down during the winter season choosing to prepare to welcome tourists in the spring. However, that percentage is not enough to deter visitors during late fall and winter months looking for something unique to do and enjoy less crowds.
For 30 years the Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing has been a premier attraction in North Myrtle Beach. Opened in 1993 the theatre hosts family friendly shows throughout the year, bringing in name entertainers on the weekends from country music (Lee Greenwood, Josh Turner), rock & pop, as well as magicians and top name comedians (Jay Leno, Leann Morgan).
Billed as the best show in Myrtle Beach and all new for 2023, ICONIC a cutting-edge show on stage and overhead, features incredible visual elements and a state-of-the-art video wall. The revue includes comedy, dancing, country music chartbusters, classic rock anthems, Broadway show tunes and powerful pop ballads. Fun for the whole family, reunions, church and civic groups. Catch the wave at https://www.alabama-theatre.com/
Just down the way from Barefoot Landing on Hwy 17 you'll discover two Myrtle Beach gems side by side. Founded in 1986 by Calvin Gilmore, the legendary Carolina Opry is the longest running theatre show in Myrtle Beach, offering up Broadway quality productions throughout the year with their annual Christmas Show of the South a yearly tradition for many South Carolinians.
It is Carolina Opry's main show 'Time Warp' a rocking celebration of classic songs from the 60's, 70's, & 80's that bring regulars and tourists into the theatre night after night especially spring through the fall seasons. The award winning revue assembles singers, dancers, musicians, and comedians, offering up hits from pop and country alongside hip-hop cloggers All That!, with several of the artists having competed on The Voice or America's Got Talent.
When 'Time Warp' is not showing patrons can see veteran performers and amazing tribute bands such as Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience, Creedence Revived: A CCR Tribute, Stayin' Alive (Bee Gees), or Arrival From Sweden: The Music of ABBA. Want to catch a show your grandparents and kids can see together than check out all that happening at https://thecarolinaopry.com/
Alabama Theater continue their Iconic show well into October with special guest artists on weekends before they transition to the South's Grandest Christmas Show early November through New Year's. The Carolina Opry do the same offering up their namesake show as well at the popular Time Warp (hits of 60's, 70's & 80's) through October, debuting their legendary Christmas of the South special throughout the holiday season. Both theaters are epic and provide spectacular shows for all ages.
Next door to the Opry you'll find Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show (a Dolly Parton owned company), where swashbuckling pirates do battle amid the backdrop of a 15 foot lagoon, beautiful mermaids, high-diving stunts and acrobatics. Prior to the show little ones can enjoy a pirate or mermaid makeover. Bring a hearty appetite. Your four course meal includes sugar cured ham, pan-fried chicken, and herb-basted potatoes. Top it all off with their scrumptious peach turnover (southern favorite). Vegan options available. Check out the most fun place to eat at https://piratesvoyage.com/
Just across the parking lot from Alabama Theatre is the renowned North Myrtle Beach House of Blues. When the historic nightclub isn't hosting name artists from pop, rock, and country music or tribute bands, they're offering up their signature Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, a popular 'interactive comedy whodunnit'. Dinner and a show for $55. Beginning at 9am on Sunday enjoy their world famous Gospel Brunch. $42 adults, kid 4-10 $20, and 3 & Under free. Eat, drink, & rock at https://www.houseofblues.com/myrtlebeach
Known for its outstanding tribute shows, Legends in Concert pays homage to some of the greatest performers from rock, pop, and country music. You would need a time machine or big bucks to see several of the actual artists portrayed at Legends. However, for around $40 (adult) and $16 (child) you can experience the likes of Elvis, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Whitney Houston, Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Dolly, Prince, and Steven Tyler to name just a few of the more than 80 icons they bring to life at Legends.
Using look-alike artists backed by an all-star band, state of the art sound system, lighting, and special effects, the performers clad in makeup and costumes bring the hit songs of the icons they portray to life, leaving audience members totally in awe of the authenticity of the performances. Open Mon-Sat with shows kicking off at 7:30pm. The Blues Brothers are certain to bring a smile to your face every time you visit. Find Legends in Concert at 2925 Hollywood Drive and online at https://legendsinconcert.com/locations/myrtle-beach-sc/
Visitors to Broadway at the Beach might want to check out Broadway Theater, a 400 stadium seat theater showcasing some of the hottest shows in Myrtle Beach. Among the three revolving shows include Le Grande Cirque's Zero Gravity 2.0 utilizing hand-picked performers from around the globe executing death defying stunts. Hot Jersey Nights profiles the music of the legendary Four Seasons, adding holiday favorites along with their iconic hits during the Hot Jersey Nights Christmas Special!
If you love to be mystified, than Magic & Mayhem is the answer. Enjoy a totally immersive, interactive and unbelievable night of wonder and laughter featuring the World Famous 'Dizzy' the lead Magician for 'The Illusionists - Live From Broadway' show. Expect to be blown away at Broadway Theater. For more visit https://www.broadwaytheatermb.com/
Any article describing all the great restaurants in Myrtle would be exhausting and read like a encyclopedia of food & drink, so for the sake of argument I'll profile a few and provide a link to the masses. Just know there is a plethora of dining choices in greater Myrtle Beach.
Whether your stay is a couple days or close to a week, I would forsake the national brunch (7am-3pm) chains and drop by Johnny D's Waffles & Benedicts for the most amazing breakfast you'll get along the grand strand. With locations including Surfside Beach, North Myrtle and their signature restaurant at 3301 N Kings Hwy. Johnny D's is just minutes away from your hotel and well worth the visit.
If owner Jamie Daskalis happens to be in the location you're dining in, then you're in for a special treat. While her kitchen staff and servers may be top notch, if Jamie prepares your entree it comes to your table with extra panache. Johnny D's is the epitome of a breakfast and light lunch emporium, with more breakfast items than you can shake a stick at, and all of them highly recommended by locals. Whether you dine on a variety of skillet plates complete with eggs, hot Italian sausage, cheese, and potatoes or opt for the melt in your mouth Red Velvet Waffles, everything on the menu is how the kids say 'freakin' awesome'.
Enjoy a dozen or more selections of eggs benedict or omelets, alongside a half dozen signature French Toast and pancake dishes including Chunky Monkey and heavenly Churro French Toast drizzled in cream cheese and fresh strawberries. Need a unique gift for the chef or baker in your family, than maybe pick up a copy of Jamie's 'Making It Delicious': 98 Flavorful Recipes for the Everyday Home Cook'. Her cook book focuses on inexpensive and easy recipes you can make with ingredients you most likely have in your pantry.
If you love BBQ, chicken, Italian, Asian, Mexican, Greek, steakhouses, sandwiches, donut shops, all day breakfast, and good old southern cooking than you'll not be disappointed during your stay in in 'fertile Myrtle' aka 'producing multiple places to enjoy great food & drink'. From sunrise to sunset, and well into the night Myrtle Beach offers a wealth of places to satisfy both hunger and thirst!
If you're staying in the heart of Myrtle Beach there are a few spots locals rave about including Magnolia's at 26th (corner of 26th Ave North & Ocean Blvd). Formerly Magnolia's Cafe, the homestyle buffet is a family restaurant started by visionary Bobby Anderson over three decades ago. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week Magnolia's at 26th offers catering and a conference room available to rent for business meetings or wedding receptions. If you're looking for affordable all you can eat cafeteria style comfort food (served by staff) where diners become instant family visit https://www.magnoliasat26th.com/
Northerners often wonder can they get NY style pizza or great deli sandwiches while vacationing in Myrtle Beach. The answer is a resounding yes. Many former Yankees have found their way to the Grand Strand, opening authentic Italian style pizzerias including by the slice. Among the preferred pizza joints are Ducatis Pizzeria & Trattoria, Toffino's Italian Bakery Deli Pizza, Gino's Real New York Pizza, and Scotto's where you'll find garlic knots, meatball subs, calzones and all your Italian ristorante favorites.
The Tin Roof located at 1410 N. Ocean Blvd. is a solid Myrtle Beach stand up triple offering food, drink, and entertainment with epic seaside views. Featuring three full bars, a music stage, and an open air rooftop patio, Tin Roof is an awesome live music joint on the weekends, with the Grand Strand's hottest DJs playing Top 40 music on the other side of the club.
Ideal for families through early dinner, somewhere after 8pm Tin Roof becomes one of Myrtle Beach' hottest live entertainment spots with acoustic artists during the week and livelier bands Thursday thru Saturday, usually offering up classic rock and country until 2am. See up and coming bands and alongside veteran acts at Tin Roof. Ideal for corporate events and bridal parties.
While the post Labor Day crowds are thin earlier in the week, The Tin Roof may choose to close on Monday, rather focusing to the vibrant party and sports patrons hump day through Sunday, providing food and drink specials during college and professional games. Whether you're coming in for lunch, afternoon cocktail, live music or the dance club Tin Roof is the place 'Where Everybody is Somebody’. Party on the roof at https://tinroofmyrtlebeach.com/
Recognized as the 'golf capital of the world' Myrtle Beach is home to nearly 90 golf courses including the PGA Tour Caliber TPC course. Weekend warriors can tee it up at National’s West Course by Arnold Palmer, Pawleys Plantation Golf Club by Jack Nicklaus, and the Barefoot course by Greg Norman.
Tens of thousands already know, when the weather gets colder up north or snow covers the ground, men and women alike make their way to Myrtle Beach to play several rounds on any number of their world class golf courses. For a comprehensive list visit https://www.playgolfmyrtlebeach.com/golf-packages/ or https://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/things-to-do/golf With warm and mild weather year round Myrtle Beach is a golfers paradise where foursome can stay & play often for less than $100 a day including lodging and a round. Build your own package at https://www.myrtlebeachgolfpackages.co/
The ladies and some of the men in your party may prefer a bit of specialty shopping. Myrtle Beach is home to four area malls, with 20 year old Coastal Grand (off Hwy 17) the most trafficked. Myrtle Beach supports two Tanger Outlets, each with over 70 stores.
By far a majority of tourists opt for either Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing, or Market Commons, with Broadway at the Beach the number one destination, with its combined retail shops, specialty boutiques, dining, shows, movie theater, amusements, Legends in Concert, and eclectic nightlife including the very popular Crocodile Rocks, featuring dueling pianos. Fireworks on select days Light up the night at https://www.broadwayatthebeach.com/directory/eat-drink/nightlife
Set on the intracoastal waterway, Barefoot Landing is one of the Grand Strand's most unique & popular shopping, dining & entertainment destinations. While smaller in size, Barefoot Landing is home to Alabama Theatre and the House of Blues and carries similar shops found at Broadway, while surrounded by unique eateries such as Flying Fish Public Market & Grill, Crooked Hammock Brewery (enjoy bocce ball), and Lucy Buffett's LuLu's (food, fun, & southern hospitality). Experience 'life in the slow lane' at https://www.bflanding.com/
The Myrtle Beach Convention Center is one of the most happening places in Myrtle during the off season with their annual Taste of the Town, a Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals, a Golf Trade Show, and the Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show all before year's end. After the holiday season enjoy the annual Grand Strand Bridal Expo or the Horry Georgetown Home Show taking place in February. For a complete list of all the events and exhibits visit https://myrtlebeachconventioncenter.com/
Want to take in a few world class shows, maybe do some holiday shopping, play golf on some unique courses, all the while have a variety of dining options than consider Myrtle Beach after September right through April, and then again maybe plan to bring the kids and your parents when school lets out. Myrtle Beach is happening year round. For more on all Myrtle Beach has to offer visit https://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/