For the earlier part of my life, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was my family’s favorite vacation spot. We went almost every year to this gem on the Atlantic Ocean, and it seemed to get better each year. After not having been able to go for a decade, I was finally able to join my family down the coast once again this past summer.
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Best Things to Do in Myrtle Beach
1. Go to a Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the local minor league baseball team, and going to the games is always a blast. Being a single-A team, tickets are always dirt cheap; in fact, they’re sold at flat rates.
Depending on where you want to sit, you’ll pay anywhere from $11 to $15. $15 for seats behind home plate is a pretty good deal! The team is always fun to watch, as it really seeks to make games a fun experience for tourists.
Instead of a batboy, they have a bat-dog. They offer awesome promotions throughout the season, and the prices of food and drinks inside the stadium are low compared to a major league game. Spending a night at the ballpark is definitely one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach! For tickets, check out their website.
2. Walk Around Broadway at the Beach
Broadway at the Beach is a sprawling outdoor complex filled with stores, restaurants, and activities. From popular chains like Señor Frog’s and Margaritaville to local favorites like the Grumpy Monk, you’ll never run out of dining options here.
There are carnival rides, cool spots like Ripley’s Aquarium, and even a Dave & Buster’s arcade. In my opinion, the best time to visit Broadway at the Beach is right after dinner, when you can indulge in a sweet treat while you explore the area.
Be prepared to walk, because Broadway at the Beach is definitely expansive, but the wide range of things on offer definitely puts Broadway at the Beach on the list of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. For a full list of restaurants and stores at Broadway at the Beach, check out their website.
3. Go Shopping at Barefoot Landing
Barefoot Landing is very similar to Broadway at the Beach, except it is a bit more relaxed and upscale. There are no amusement parks here, and the stores tend to be a bit more on the expensive side. This shopping community is located in North Myrtle Beach.
While this area is certainly kid-friendly, I’d call Barefoot Landing the Broadway at the Beach for adults. There are some fantastic restaurants here, some really nice boutique stores, and a stage that often has live music playing.
For a fun afternoon, grab some beers and play some cornhole at Crooked Hammock Brewery! For a full list of stores and restaurants in Barefoot Landing, check out their website.
4. Relax on the Beach
I mentioned earlier that I don’t think the actual beach at Myrtle Beach is anything special. I’d say it’s pretty comparable to the Jersey Shore, for reference. Whether you agree with this judgment or not, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid the beach on your Myrtle Beach vacation!
The beach here is still very enjoyable. In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach is to lay out and read a book or throw some football along the Myrtle Beach coastline. Our favorite spot is Surfside Beach because it is a bit quieter and more family-friendly.
The Myrtle Beach area covers a 60-mile stretch of beaches, meaning there is plenty of space for you to find a spot to hang out for the day! I personally love catching sunrises and sunsets on the beach, and at Myrtle Beach, the sunrise certainly doesn’t disappoint. Depending on where you’re staying, there may be a free shuttle offered to take you back and forth to the beach, too.
5. Enjoy a Nice Calabash Buffet (or Several)
One of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach is eating. When I say eat, I mean eat a lot. The food in Myrtle Beach is incredible, and the best way to enjoy the local Calabash food is by grabbing a table at a local seafood restaurant. For a few good ideas, check out the section on the best restaurants in Myrtle Beach below.
Being by the beach, seafood is definitely the best and most available kind of food you’ll find here. For many visitors, the Calabash food is actually the main draw to the area.
6. Play a Round of Golf
Myrtle Beach has a reputation as the Golf Capital of the World, and if you are a golfer, you will quickly understand why. Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular spots to go golfing in the United States due to its comfortable, sunny weather and affordable cost of living. Many of the top golf courses in Myrtle Beach were designed by the esteemed golfer Jack Nicklaus, who is one of the biggest names in American golf.
The ocean view you can have while swinging your irons is unbeatable, and this is why the heart of the Grand Strand is absolutely loaded with great courses. Prices go way up during the high season, but you can find some really great deals on greens fees if you are willing to visit during the shoulder seasons.
If you aren’t great at real golf, there are countless miniature golf courses in the surrounding area that you can try out! Mini golf is always a great time when visiting a tourist town, and Myrtle Beach is filled with fun mini golf courses.
What Is Calabash Food?
Calabash is an extremely popular local style of seafood. This local style of cooking is named after the town of Calabash, which is a bit under an hour north of Myrtle Beach. Basically, Calabash-style seafood is lightly breaded, deep fried, very fresh seafood. It might not sound too special, but if you like seafood, it really is some of the best-fried food you’ll ever have.
The offerings range from shellfish like scallops and clams to fresh fish like cod and flounder, to hush puppies! Calabash food is traditionally found in giant Calabash buffets where you can try as much of everything that you want.
Best Places to Eat in Myrtle Beach
1. Crabby Mike’s
Crabby Mike’s is easily one of our favorites and without a doubt belongs on any list of the best places to eat in Myrtle Beach. Like I said before, there’s no better way to eat Calabash food than at a buffet, and Crabby Mike’s is one of the best ones you’ll find.
One of the best parts about Crabby Mike’s is that they offer things that aren’t seafood in their buffet as well. Not everyone is a seafood fan, and they recognize that. This is a great place to go to suit the whole family!
2. The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood
It’s a tough call between Crabby Mike’s and the Original Benjamin’s when deciding which one tops this list. While Crabby Mike’s won out in our opinion, The Original Benjamin’s is still world-class. You can’t go wrong with either of these places! The Original Benjamin’s feels a touch fancier than Crabby Mike’s does, which is a nice thing if that’s what you’re looking for.
The food is incredible, the prices are extremely similar, and the range of Calabash dishes they offer is pretty expansive. I’m pretty sure that The Original Benjamin’s shows up on just about every list of the best places to eat in Myrtle Beach, and for good reason.
3. Captain Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood Buffet
Captain Benjamin’s is another classic Calabash seafood buffet in the Myrtle Beach area. We’ve always enjoyed it, but it is probably the least worthy of a spot on this list out of all the Calabash buffets we’ve listed. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it – in fact, it’s really, really good!
It’s just that the other two are so good that this one doesn’t quite match up. Still, it absolutely belongs on this list of the best places to eat in Myrtle Beach.
4. The Grumpy Monk
The Grumpy Monk is a local chain with a few different locations throughout the Myrtle Beach area. This place is one of my favorites. It is much more of a bar-style restaurant and is probably best known for its expansive list of beers – especially local brews.
Even if you’re not a beer person, you’ll probably still love the Grumpy Monk! The food is really tasty and their menu is pretty diverse. This is a spot that you shouldn’t miss on your Myrtle Beach vacation.
5. Carolina Roadhouse
If you’re looking for a break from the seafood and don’t feel like checking out the Grumpy Monk, make a reservation at Carolina Roadhouse. As one of the best places to eat in Myrtle Beach, this place is always very busy…but once you taste your food you’ll understand why.
While it is predominantly a steakhouse, Carolina Roadhouse has options that appeal to anyone and everyone. It’s not an especially fancy place, either, so you don’t need to worry about dressing up before dinner. If you want to make a reservation, just head to Opentable.com.
6. The Dead Dog Saloon
The name merits a little explanation. I’m not sure who came up with the slightly charming, fairly morbid idea of The Dead Dog Saloon, but essentially the restaurant’s defining quality is that its walls are lined with happy pictures of people’s dogs that have since passed away. It’s a weird concept, but at the end of the day, it’s a clever idea.
The food here is really good and they have a pretty extensive beer list, too. It skews toward pub food and is pretty fairly priced. After dinner, you can step outside and enjoy a great view of the inlet. The uniqueness of the idea is the main factor putting The Dead Dog Saloon on my list of the best places to eat in Myrtle Beach.
How to Get to Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is located in the northeast corner of South Carolina, which is about a third of the way up the East Coast from the tip of Florida. For many East Coast residents, driving to Myrtle Beach is definitely possible. As a kid, this is what my family always did.
For us, it was about a 10-hour drive, but it was easily the best option. Being a small airport, flights to Myrtle Beach were always exorbitantly expensive and driving enabled us to bring all of the beach essentials, like boogie boards, chairs, and a cooler.
If you’re not an East Coast resident, don’t worry! Over the past decade, Myrtle Beach has become increasingly popular. As a result, several airlines have opened up flight routes into Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR). If you’ve read some of my other posts, you probably know that I’m a budget airline fiend, and I fly on them every opportunity that I get.
Two airlines with a lot of routes into Myrtle Beach International Airport are Spirit and Allegiant. Honestly, I love them both. If you’ve heard bad things about budget airlines, are scared to fly on them, or are generally curious about why I love them so much, be sure to check out my tips for flying on budget airlines.
How to Get Around Myrtle Beach
RENTAL CAR | BUS | UBER
Myrtle Beach is very spread out. I mentioned before that the area stretches over 60 miles from north to south. As a result, don’t bank on being able to walk from place to place. Don’t bank on biking, either. Public transportation is definitely a solid option if you’re willing to wait on buses, as the Coast RTA bus network is pretty well connected. However, I personally would only recommend this as a budget option. If you don’t want to shell out for a rental car or pay for several Ubers per day, this is your best bet.
If you’re looking for convenience, I definitely recommend renting a car or sticking to Uber. Uber is one of my favorite ways to get around when I travel, but if you’re staying at a resort it may just be more convenient to rent a car.
Being able to go where you want, when you want is definitely important when it comes to making your Myrtle Beach vacation relaxing. Like anywhere, you can rent a car directly from the airport. I’d make a reservation in advance, as there are sometimes not enough cars available!
Is Myrtle Beach Worth Visiting?
Over the past several decades, Myrtle Beach has really become a hot spot for family vacations. What used to be just a small beach town has turned into one of the biggest beach destinations on the East Coast.
My dad once told me that he visited as a kid, and it was a village compared to what is is today. Major resorts have sprung up and the city has become one of the biggest economic centers of the Carolinas. We visited one time just before the 4th of July, and locals told us that this small town of 33,000 people often hosts millions of people during the summer months. That’s just a little bit crazy.
So, is it worth going on a trip to Myrtle Beach? Is Myrtle Beach worth the hype? Apparently, millions of people would say yes. While I don’t think the actual beach is anything special, the city and all that the area offers are incredible. I would say yes, it absolutely is worth going on a trip to Myrtle Beach.
While the beaches within the city limits are pretty average, the miles of beaches extending out into the surrounding areas from downtown Myrtle Beach are some truly beautiful beaches. On top of that, the countless nearby state parks, like the popular Myrtle Beach State Park, provide excellent opportunities for a nice walk just a short drive from the city.
From the stereotypical Myrtle Beach Boardwalk to the many water parks and world-class golf courses, Myrtle Beach is the perfect place to visit for family fun. While the beach is usually the main attraction, other entertainment venues like the Carolina Opry, Hollywood Wax Museum, Myrtle Waves Water Park, and Myrtle Beach Skywheel are all a few of the top things in the area that really make Myrtle Beach worth visiting.
Is Myrtle Beach Safe to Visit?
Many people hear mixed reviews about safety in Myrtle Beach. I want to set the record straight based on my own experiences. Simply put, Myrtle Beach is a safe place to go on vacation. There are very few issues at all in Myrtle Beach, and we’ve never experienced any reason to worry.
Like anywhere, take general precautions. If you don’t go looking for trouble, you have very little to worry about. Myrtle Beach is a very safe, family-friendly place to vacation. This is another reason that I think Myrtle Beach is worth the hype.
That’s all we have for you about Myrtle Beach! Hopefully, this post answered any questions you had about visiting South Carolina’s most popular beach. After reading this post, is Myrtle Beach worth the hype? I hope you think so!
So is Myrtle Worth the hype?? Comment your vote below!