Myrtle Beach is fun for one, fun for all
No matter how many people you’re traveling with—and who they might be—Myrtle Beach has you covered with everything from mellow me time offerings to lively crowd-pleasers.
Read on to pair your own travel party with a plan of action, bearing in mind that you can never go wrong just taking in the stunning, 60-mile stretch of local coastline known as the Grand Strand.
Indulge in the ultimate me time at one of Myrtle Beach’s many spas. An excellent starting point? The Binge Package section of the menu at the Anderson Ocean Club Awakening Spa, where, for example, the Pure Indulgence blends three popular treatments into one session: the Warm Stone Massage, the Essential Facial and the Aroma Sea Salt Soak. Or—to completely cocoon yourself in sybaritic solitude—head to the Mist Spa at the Caribbean Resort & Villas for the Mud Body Treatment. You’ll be coated in warm, therapeutic mud, wrapped up to allow for maximal mineral absorption—and ultimately rubbed down with a rich cream.
If you need to ease into the concept of solo dining—or even if you’re already perfectly comfortable with it, but wouldn’t mind some company in exchange for an excellent culinary experience—join a Carolina Food Tours outing. One favorite explores the so-called Seafood Capital of South Carolina: Murrells Inlet, where the Marshwalk Food Tour leads you through the old stomping grounds of Blackbeard the pirate and pairs the freshest hook-to-platter coastal cuisine with sightings of great white herons in the marsh’s cordgrass and—for good measure—goats on a nearby island.
You may also want to take advantage of alone time to devour a stack of beach reads. If you’ve brought your own, great. But you can also shop the aisles at the beloved Back Again Bookshop, a family-owned purveyor of new and used titles, where author events are also a great solo-traveler activity. If you happen to be in town on May 7th, for example, stop by for the release party of Death on the Causeway, the latest installment in Grand Strand writer Caleb Wygal’s Myrtle Beach Mystery Series.
There’s one spot so dreamy that it’s become an iconic place to propose: Brookgreen Gardens. But even if you don’t intend to pop the question—or expect that your partner will—be sure to stroll through the site’s Live Oak Allée (home to majestic, moss-draped trees that date to the early 1700s), plus the butterfly garden, the countless seasonal blooms and the renowned art installations. If you’re there before April 24, you can catch the Rodin: Contemplation and Dreams exhibit, but no matter when you go, check the calendar for events such as the recurring Breakfast with Birds (mornings are especially magical here).
Another magical time of day, of course, is sunset—and Myrtle Beach serves up a wide array of couple-friendly activities at that hour. You’ll want to book at least one, whether a sunset cruise, sunset horseback ride—or sunset kayaking trip. Then again, you can’t go wrong with sunset drinks at Barefoot Landing, or a simple sunset stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
For a proper date night, head to the nearby 18th-century town of Conway. You’ll want to allot time for wandering along the Riverwalk, having a dinner (Bonfire Taqueria for something quick; Rivertown Bistro for a more leisurely meal) and taking in a performance at the historic Theatre of the Republic, where you can catch Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men during select dates in March and April.
Friends group getaway
Crowd-pleasers are another local specialty, so whether you’re in the area for a girlfriends’ getaway, a guys’ weekend—or any configuration for a friends’ foray to the coast—you won’t want for fun pursuits. Depending on the vibe of your travel party, one great option is fishing, as the Grand Strand is home to everything from fishing piers to fishing charters and even kayak fishing. Big-game, inland, saltwater, fresh or brackish water fishing…it’s all here.
Not to be outdone, golfing is another legendary local pastime, with more than 90 courses to choose from, two of which made the most recent Golf Digest Top 100 list of public courses across the U.S. (The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and the Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, if you're wondering). And if your group packs a fair number of shoppers, don’t leave without hitting the Tanger Outlets.
Come happy hour, round everyone up for some brewery-hopping among the standouts on the ever-growing scene. One favorite is Crooked Hammock, where you’ll have fun in the game-filled yard whenever you go, but especially on Thursdays between March and May, when the brewery presents Beers, Burgers & Bluegrass (or a $4 hotdog bar if you prefer dogs to burgers). Another to check out is the Grand Strand, with creations like the Salty Golfer Pineapple Blonde and Atalaya Imperial Stout that nod to local life (more on the Atalaya reference shortly).
By night, catch one of the local shows with big group appeal. The GTS Theatre alone is home to numerous options, depending on the date and day of the week you want to go: the Original Motown Tribute Show, the Elton John Tribute Show, a Garth tribute, a magic and comedy show—and Elvis at GTS. Then there’s the global brand Legends in Concert, which has its own dedicated theater in Myrtle Beach, where you can catch the so-called “pioneer of live tribute shows.”
Myrtle Beach is practically synonymous with multi-generational travel thanks to the age-spanning, something-for-everyone menu of amusements. For starters, there the epic array of mini golf spots, with themes to cater to everyone from aspiring pirates (Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf and Pirate’s Watch Adventure Golf, among others) to the dinosaur-obsessed (Jurassic Mini Golf). Then again, the sloth-obsessed among you (and honestly, who isn’t a bit sloth-obsessed these days?) will want to head straight for the soon-to-open sloth habitat at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. Set to debut in late spring, Sloth Valley will welcome ridiculously adorable two-towed sloths (and their admirers). But if there’s one amusement that works for everybody, it’s a go-round on famed, oceanside SkyWheel.
No matter how cool the new Sloth Valley—and the other habitats at the aquarium—the nature beyond those walls calls, too, offering many a family bonding op. In fact, you can find great outdoorsy activities mellow enough for everyone from little kids to their grandparents. Case in point: Huntington Beach State Park, where you’ll find beautiful, bird-filled walks along the easy saltmarsh trails. If you’ve got a bit more energy, three miles of undeveloped beach await within the park, too—as does Atalaya Castle, the Moorish-style National Historic Landmark from which the aforementioned craft brew takes its name. You can boat and picnic in the park as well.
As fun as family picnics can be, the family-friendly dining options are next level in Myrtle Beach. Getting back to the two kinds of kids nearly every family’s got, we’d note that you can eat at a dino-themed restaurant (DinoLand Café, complete with animatronic dinos, a lava mountain and a flying dragon bar) and a pirate-themed restaurant (the Pirate’s Voyage Dinner & Show on a pirate ship, in a lagoon) all in the course of one very ambitious day. For lower-key family-friendly options, check out Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s, with an onsite beach arcade and beach volleyball setup.