When the original Developers, Movers and Shakers thought about Myrtle Beach attractions they only had one thing in mind – the Beach. They soon realized that in order to keep people
coming back, staying longer (and therefore spending more money) they needed something more to attract them. So, the first golf course was built. Soon, like an badly mowed fairway, things mushroomed, and by the end of the 20th Century there were over 100 Grand Strand golf courses (not to mention the mini-golf) and hundreds upon hundreds of other things to do.
Many of the golf courses came and went, along with some not so great ideas that withered and died (see Lost Myrtle Beach for tales of what has been). But new things took their places, and although the Beach is still our biggest and best attraction, visitors and locals today want a more varied experience. Then too, you have to have something to do when it’s raining.
Although we're still about sun, sand, surf, and fun, Myrtle Beach attractions have expanded to include everything from arts and culture to mud slings (yes, you can still find them). All along the Grand Strand you'll find museums, outdoor adventures, parks, gardens, and classic amusement parks, some that have been around for years, as well as smaller attractions offering the element of an “old fashioned” beach experience. North Myrtle Beach has developed a huge community park just west of Carolina Bays Parkway (Highway 31) where Go Ape the zip line and tree top adventure company has put zip lines over the lake.
You'll find that most communities have some sort of historical museum, even if it's only a few artifacts on a shelf in the Chamber of Commerce. But the area has some really good museums covering a variety of interests from history to boats to local art. Some of them are free (but they are happy to accept donations) and some of them charge a small entry fee. All of them offer a fascinating and fun experience. Click on the photos below to go to that museum. (We're still working on some of them, so not all photos are linked.)
The Gullah Museum
Coastal Carolina Museum
Georgetown County Museum
North Carolina Maritime Museum - Southport
The Rice Museum
We're in the South, so of course we have lots of parks. There are two state parks, Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park that offer access to the Beach as well as hiking, paddling, and wildlife in a natural setting (don't feed the alligators).
There are also several zoos and wildlife parks featuring native and not so native animals, and gardens such as Vereen Memorial Gardens and Brookgreen Gardens feature art, nature, history and the outdoors.
When it’s too hot, too wet, or too dark to be outside the area offers several places to shop, eat, and hang out. Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing both offer hours of activities. These super-sized shopping, restaurant and “things to do” venues have everything from an aquarium to a zip line.
At Broadway at the Beach, you’ll find the Ripley’s Aquarium, which is a great place to see sea creatures up close and personal. There's also WonderWorks, Broadway Grand Prix racing, and amusement park rides from the original Myrtle Beach Pavilion.
There are also live shows at Legends in Concert, as well as fun places to eat like Hard Rock Café, Key West Grill, Dave & Buster's, and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Visit a real South Carolina winery at Boardwalk Winery. Take a helicopter tour, a boat ride on the lake, cool off at Myrtle Waves Water Park, or explore the Hollywood Wax Museum. You can’t miss it. Just look for the building with King Kong on it.
Further north and east on U. S. Highway 17 is Barefoot Landing, another multi-entertainment restaurant and shopping attraction. Located on the waterway, the style is Carolina Low Country with boardwalks crossing a large central lake. Here you’ll find Alligator Adventure, Mirror Maze, T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station (a free living tiger exhibit), and two of Myrtle Beach’s hottest shows, Alabama Theater and House of Blues.
Fun eats at Barefoot include Fire Island Grille, Greg Norman’s Australian Grill, Joe’s Crab Shack, and Johnny Rockets. There are also two wineries here, Carolina Vineyards and Duplin Wine Cellars, both offering wine tastings. Barefoot Landing and Broadway at the Beach both feature fireworks displays during the summer.
Miniature golf courses seem to be on every street corner and there are dozens of arcades, games, and boat cruises and tours. There are also two other area wineries, La Belle Amie Vineyards in Little River and Silver Coast Winery at Ocean Isle Beach. Both offer tours of the winery and vineyards, wine tasting, and special events.
A day at one of the local farms is a great way to get some fresh air and some fresh produces. In season you can pick strawberries and blueberries, or go to a farmer's market where it's already picked for you. When it's time to pick the very best ever Christmas tree, check out Booth's Christmas Tree Farm where you can pick out your tree and cut it down yourself.
There are lots of events and festivals throughout the year, parks and playgrounds, gardens, hiking trails, places to paddle, the list is endless.
So, there is simply no excuse for being bored at the Beach, unless you want to be. Myrtle Beach attractions and activities are everywhere. The hard part is deciding on what to do.
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