Myrtle Beach Welcoming & Saving Vacationers $$ During Summer & Year Round

Family Fun, Food, Nightlife & Golf Among the Many Reasons People Flock to SC's Grand Strand Year After Year

Jeff Walker, Travel 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.

aaaaaaaamb993However, 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.

If your budget allows find a resort hotel on front beach, most accommodating families with several including arcades, restaurants, nightlife, multiple pools, as well as the ever popular wave pools. If you love the water, than a all encompassing resort just might do the trick at Myrtle Beach.

High-rise resorts and hotels have aligned front beach for decades. Again depending on your budget and requirements it's best to research before you go, check out hospitality review sites, and surf the travel sites for the best deals. If you're seeking upscale accommodations it's best to stay at the resorts tied to hotel chains such as Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton.

If you want to stay in the heart of Myrtle Beach, close to a bevy of wonderment including food, fun, shopping, and nightlife than the Ocean Enclave (a Hilton Resort) is a preferred choice for seniors looking to relax, and families with young children who are seeking lots to keep little ones amused (daily supervised kids activity room). Built in 2019 Ocean Enclave has all the amenities, including two pools, hot tub, pool side bar, fitness center, Marketplace (a combined Starbucks & convenience store), and a sports bar & restaurant. aaaaaaaamb1

Enclave's one, two, and yes three bedroom suites are beyond luxurious, and with full kitchens allow guests to cook their own meals (save a few dollars) and come complete with in room laundry rooms and patios providing epic Atlantic Ocean views. Just two blocks from the beginning of the historic boardwalk area. Begin to be 'inn-spired' at https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/myroegv-hilton-grand-vacations-club-ocean-enclave-myrtle-beach/

Finding a safe, secure, and accommodating place to stay is of the utmost importance, but beyond the walls of your hotel or beachfront resort there is so much more to do at South Carolina's most visited beach.

While there is world class dining, Myrtle Beach is more known for its everyday comfort foods with a host of locally owned, yet renowned restaurants along the strip catering to every food group known to man. Unless you're satisfying a picky child's craving I would avoid the run of the mill fast food places and chain restaurants. When in Rome, or in this case Myrtle Beach, savor the local cuisine.

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!

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.  aaaaaaaamb2

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. Fresh food served with a heaping amount of southern hospitality at no extra charge. 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.

Who doesn't love a good sandwich shop and a neighborhood watering hole. Drop by 400 Mr. Joe White Ave. and you'll experience a taste and or sip of both. Dagwood's Deli and the adjoining Bumstead's Pub have been bringing a little bit of merry old England to Myrtle Beach for 35 years. aaaaaaaamb3

You can build your own mile high or a mile long sandwich much like Dagwood does in the Blondie comic strip, or you can order up one of their signature grinders including an authentic Philly Cheesesteak, Cuban Sammich, or a traditional Reuben (corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese & thousand Island dressing on rye toast). Just because you're on vacay doesn't mean you have to surrender everyday comfort foods. The Shag and the Beach Boy are local favorites. A sister location at 600 US-17 BUS, Surfside Beach.
Taste freshness at http://dagwoodsdeli.com/dagmb.htm

With over 150 beers on tap or in the cooler Bumstead's Pub has the right brewski to accompany your meal or if you just popped in to enjoy a local musician or catch the game with friends. Daily happy hour Mon-Fri with reduced prices on domestic and imported drafts and bottled beer, alongside wine and cocktail specials. I recommend the Hurricane, a delightful blend of Kracken Black Rum, Peach Schnapps, with hints of orange, cranberry, & pineapple juice. Totally refreshing!! Chill out at http://bumsteadspub.com/

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.

Serving up 'better than bar food', the chefs at the Tin Roof know how to rock your appetite when it comes to lunch or dinner, adding their own zing to several handheld delights including wings, wraps, quesadillas, burgers, and sandwiches. Their Nashville Hot Chicken and Sloppy Nachos are legendary! Combine great food with daily drink specials, 16 draft beer selections (including local brews), and refreshing cocktails and you have a one two punch that will satisfy hunger and thirst. aaaaaaaamb5

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 alongside veteran acts at Tin Roof. Ideal for corporate events and bridal parties. 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/

If you're searching for one of Myrtle Beach' best breakfast spots than find your way to 3301 N Kings Hwy (Business 17), the home of Johnny Ds Waffles & Bakery. Open 7am-2pm Chef and New York native Jamie Daskalis proclaims it's 'love at first waffle' no matter what time of day you come in. Jamie and her kitchen staff offer up a bazillion ways to enjoy waffles including blueberry, pecan, bacon, and two southern favorites the Red Velvet Waffles or Chicken & Wafflesaaaaaaaamb6

But Johnny Ds is more than just great tasting Belgian waffles, and their menu runs from everyday comfort food to thinking outside the lunchbox. Locals rave about their Eggs Benedict, Breakfast Burger, Brisket Tacos, Build Your Own Grilled Cheese, Short Stack Pancakes & French Toast, as well as NY Style Cheese Fries (blanketed under American cheese & homemade brown gravy). Jamie has pretty much designed a menu that combines NY diner meals with southern flair. Additional locations in Surfside and North Myrtle. Taste the difference at https://johnnydswafflesandbakery.com/

Don't let the name fool you. The Grumpy Monk is neither ill-tempered or related to a member of a religious community. Rather the locally owned eatery with three destinations in greater Myrtle Beach include a really cool location at Broadway at the Beach. Their concept is simple. Quality food and great beer in a socially acceptable setting. The Grumpy Monk provides a relaxed rustic atmosphere appealing to families and groups for any occasion, as well as a small arcade area to keep the kids from getting bored. Voted 'best happy hour' six years running (2017-23)aaaaaaaagrumpymonk

The Grumpy Monk carry a mish-mosh of beach bar favorites, with a dose of share-ables, wraps, and a half dozen each full plates and signature burgers. Their namesake Famous Monk Burger would make the King (Elvis) content. A full half pound patty blanketed under pepper-jack and applewood bacon, with a slather of creamy peanut butter. 'Thank you very much'. Southern favs include Fried Green Tomatoes and Honey Pecan Chicken. Raise your glass at https://www.grumpymonkmyrtlebeach.com/

Southerners have known for decades that Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are a treat no matter what time of day you enjoy them. And when the red neon 'hot now' light is on it's even more inviting to drop in and pick up a dozen glazed or assorted doughnuts, whether for breakfast, an afternoon delight, or a late night sweet treat after an evening out. aaaaaaaakrispyk

A variety of yeast, cake, and cream filled delicacies compliment hot, cold, and iced coffees, lattes, and shakes. Three locations including 1806 N Kings Hwy in the heart of Myrtle Beach. Experience the handheld dessert southerners are drawn to when they need to put a smile on their face and yummy in the tummy! https://site.krispykreme.com/sc/myrtle-beach

Myrtle Beach is ripe with award winning entertainment, everything from magic shows to riverboat cruises complete with dinner and music. However, vacationers would be remiss if they didn't take in one or more of five historic entertainment venues in Myrtle Beach.

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). aaaaaaaamb7

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 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

aaaaaaaamb8Just 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 during the summer season. 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. aaaaaaaamb9

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/

Just across the parking lot from the Opry is 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 eataaaaaaaamb92 at  https://piratesvoyage.com/

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. Find Legends in Concert at 2925 Hollywood Drive and online ataaaaaaaamb93
https://legendsinconcert.com/locations/myrtle-beach-sc/

If you or your family members are seeking carnival type rides and games, don't worry Myrtle Beach has tons of options.

The Skywheel a 200 feet gondola Ferris wheel located on the historic Boardwalk at Promenade in Myrtle Beach provides riders with an epic view of the beach, and makes for a romantic setting to watch the sunset. As a kicker to your pre or post Skywheel experience, riders can take a trip to Margaritaville at Landshark Bar & Grill located alongside the famed attraction. aaaaaaaamb95

Located at 300 S Ocean Blvd. Family Kingdom is a mix between an amusement park and county fair, featuring more than 35 thrilling rides, including two roller coasters, a log flume ride, and bumper cars. $50 provides unlimited ride access, with a wristband providing come and go privileges thru out the day. Open 11-11pm daily. Miles of smiles and oodles of fun at https://www.familykingdomfun.com/

Drop by 1201 N Ocean Blvd. just north of the Sky Wheel and get ready for the ultimate rush at Free Fall Thrill Park. The Sling Shot propels two people 300 feet in the air at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Feeling adventurous, maybe strap in for a death defying Sky Fall, as riders plummet 175 feet at 55 mph. Get your thrill on at https://freefallpark.com/

Located at Broadway at the Beach, Pavilion Park (Myrtle Beach's biggest) is an ideal dual carnival experience. Parents with young children might prefer the Fun Park, featuring a 65 feet drop tower, the scrambler, merry go-round, and the Broadway 360, a 36 gondola Ferris wheel rising up over 150 feet, allowing for epic views of the surrounding grand strand. Older kids and parents might prefer the Action Park with the Rock n' Roll Express and the Beast, aka a breathtaking pendulum that rotates 120 degrees while taking riders to heights of 125 feet. $45 lets you ride all day. Thrills a plenty at https://pavilionparks.com/

aaaaaaaamb96Recognized 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. For a comprehensive list visit https://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/things-to-do/golf

God forbid you left home without all the necessary beach attire and water gear. Much like there's a pizzeria every few blocks in NYC, the same can be said for beachwear in Myrtle Beach. Eagles and Pacific Beachwear have you covered for swimsuits, beach toys, towels, T-shirts, hats, and souvenirs. Check their websites for details.

Absolutely no trip to the grand strand is complete without visiting Myrtle Beach' premier gift shop the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove (GDGC). Located at 916 North Ocean Boulevard the GDGC bills itself as 'the nation's largest gift shop'. With 26K square ft. the mega gift store which opened in 1946 has over 50 distinctive coves offering up everything from t-shirts, toys, sharks teeth, and seashells to nautical themed decor, one of a kind figurines, artwork, and the occasional cigar store Indian. aaaaaaaagaydolphin2

Bleak, chic, to ultra unique the Gay Dolphin has something for kids of all ages, and carry thousands of name tags. Don't miss this one of a kind gift shop when visiting Myrtle Beach. You'll find gifts and souvenirs for everyone on your list at the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove. Wait for it 'this place is legendary'. See for yourself at https://www.gaydolphin.com/

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.aaaaaaaamb97

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 Tuesday and Friday nights. Light up the night at https://www.broadwayatthebeach.com/directory/eat-drink/nightlife

Do you wonder where all the death defying acts from America's Got Talent end up if they are not the overall winner and receive a Vegas show? Look no further. Several of them find their way to the Broadway Theater at Broadway at the Beach. Adrenaline, the latest spectacle from Le Grand Cirque, is a heart-pounding acrobatic extravaganza that re-defines the limits of physical artistry and performance. aaaaaaaabroadwaytheater1

Think side show carnival meets masterful stunt performers and you have Adrenaline. Breath-taking aerial acts will keep audience members on the edge of their seats for nearly two hours, as old school comedy keeps the crowd amused between acts. Adrenaline is a show for all ages, with current performers entertaining crowds through October 2024. Experience the human potential at https://www.broadwaytheatermb.com/adrenaline

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). Enjoy fireworks on Mondays. Experience 'life in the slow lane' at https://www.bflanding.com/

aaaaaaaambaquarYou could stay for a week, a month, or the entire summer and never run out of new things to do each and every day in Myrtle Beach. Kids love the Penguin Encounter and Stingray Experience at Ripley's Aquarium (Broadway at the Beach). Love the water, maybe want to spend time on a jet ski, pontoon, maybe enjoy a dolphin cruise, Myrtle Beach Water Sports invite you to 'come and get wet'. Prefer adventure on dry land maybe rent a three wheel ryker or a modified Jeep. Your thrill ride begins at https://www.myrtlebeachwatersports.com/

aaaaaaaamb98The attractions, adventures, activities, shows, golf, food and drink, Myrtle Beach has it all. Enjoy endless arcades, all you can ride go-kart parks and breathtaking helicopter rides. Myrtle Beach and the surrounding grand strand is one of the premier family vacation destinations in America and most assuredly on the east coast.

If you're smart, choose the right resort or hotel, split your time eating in and eating out, pick and choose your activities than your hard earned dollar will go much further in Myrtle Beach than in Orlando, where a family or four could spend more at Disney in three days than you'd spend for an entire week in Myrtle Beach. I urge people, especially families with young kids to consider Myrtle Beach when planning summer fun. 

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/

For many 18 holes is an epic way to spend a vacation in Myrtle, which is why many Canadians flock to the grand strand in early spring for rounds of golf. However for those who don't want to spend four hours on the course, Myrtle Beach provides a plethora of miniature golf including Treasure Island, Black Pearl, Captain Hooks' and Mayday. With nearly 30 miniature golf courses available it's easy to drive on up and enjoy some quality time with family. Find your favorite putt putt at https://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/things-to-do/attractions/mini-golf

Maybe you want take your miniature golf experience to the next level, than I would recommend taking your family or friends to PopStroke. Founded over a decade ago, PopStroke is one of the fastest growing mini-golf and sports-themed restaurant establishments in America, with legendary PGA player Tiger Woods becoming an investor in 2019. Simply PopStroke is to putt putt as TopGolf is to driving ranges. It's a stroke (pun intended) of genius! aaaaaaaatopgolf1

With two 18-hole putting courses, jumbotrons, and large TVs all throughout the property as well as a full-service restaurant providing upscale sports bar food & drink, PopStroke is very inviting for weekend hackers and those who just want to compete in a family friendly atmosphere. Additional amenities include corn-hole, foosball, and an ice cream parlor. By their own standards PopStroke has re-invented the classic pastime. Located at Broadway at the Beach. Eat, putt, & drink at https://popstroke.com/venues/myrtle-beach/

For more on all Myrtle Beach has to offer visit https://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/