Myrtle Beach Day Trips

Day trips away from Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand can include visiting a plantation, exploring state parks and historic sites, or even riding a ferry. You’ll also find some great restaurants, museums, and shopping.

Your first question, though, is why leave? Myrtle Beach has everything, right? Why go anywhere else? The answer is, because you can.

The Grand Strand is situated in a part of the southeast that makes for easy car travel to some fun and fascinating locations. If you plan to travel with kids, there are lots of kid friendly attractions within an hour or two from Myrtle Beach.

History lovers will find Revolutionary War and Civil War sites, historic towns and plantations. There are also historical figures like Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, Blackbeard the pirate, and, yes, George Washington slept here.

There are plenty of outdoor adventures and off the beaten path places to explore, from wildlife refuges to state parks. Try a swamp tour, fly through the air on a zip line, see live alligators, and climb to the top of a real, working lighthouse.

I’ve divided road trips from Myrtle Beach into two categories, day trips and weekend getaways. Some people like to take their time on a road trip while others like to just get there, so for one day travel I’ve limited trips to about 100 miles distance or 2 hours or less of travel time. Anything over that becomes a weekender, so you can decide what best fits your travel style.

Candy and gift shop in Southport, NCSouthport has many unique shops.

If you need some road trip ideas, try these to start.

Day Trips From Myrtle Beach

Georgetown is at the south end of the Grand Strand. This historic river town has a Riverwalk with shops and restaurants, and features several buildings on the National Historic Register that you can visit. Don’t miss the Rice Museum, which tells the story of the rice planters along the Waccamaw, the Gullah Museum, which features the Low Country African culture, and the South Carolina Maritime Museum for ships and nautical tales.

Sunset Beach, on the Brunswick Islands just across the North Carolina state line, has the area’s only working planetarium. This popular attraction also features a small science museum and is a great place for both kids and grown-ups.

There are lots of other things to do in Sunset Beach. While you're here, you might want to stop in at the Old Sunset Beach Bridge Museum and see how locals and visitors used to get across to the island on the last pontoon bridge left on the east coast.

Kid playing at Ingram PlanetariumGetting spacy at the planetarium.

Southport is a historic river town on the Cape Fear River that has been home to seafarers, explorers, and pirates. The downtown features shops and restaurants, a riverfront park, and a super maritime museum. There are lots of great waterfront restaurants as well and the town is very walkable. If you like to sail, you can even rent a sailboat.

Wilmington, NC RiverwalkThe Riverwalk in Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington, another river town on the Cape Feat River, is the only port going southward until you reach Charleston, hence the nickname “Port City.” There’s a lot to see here from museums to historic buildings, with some great restaurants and unique shopping. The EUE/Screen Gems Studios is located here and has offered studio tours in the past. They suspended the tours in 2016, but hope to resume in 2017. To check if tours are operating call the film tours hotline at (910) 343-3433.

Charleston – need we say more? This can qualify as a day trip or a weekender depending on how much time you have. Great restaurants, lots of history, museums, walk along the Battery, take a harbor cruise, the list is endless.

Fort Sumter and the riverboat, Charleston, SCThe Charleston harbor cruise takes you past Fort Sumter.

I’ll be adding more trips, itineraries, and travel suggestions, so check back often. Meanwhile, you can start your adventures by clicking below.

Day Trips from Myrtle Beach       Miles  Times*

Sunset Beach                                           32      45 min

Georgetown                                             38      56 min

Ocean Isle Beach                                      41      53 min

Tom Yawkey Wildlife Refuge                      48      1 hr, 11 min

Hampton Plantation                                  56      1 hr, 16 min

Southport                                                64      1 hr, 18 min

Wilmington                                              74      1 hr, 23 min

Charleston                                               99      2 hr, 14 min

Fayetteville                                            112       2 hrs, 11 min

(*Mileage and travel times are approximate starting from downtown Myrtle Beach.)

Happy Travels!

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