4 ways to experience Myrtle Beach this summer

May 16, 2024

While Myrtle Beach has long lured beach lovers with its 60 miles of South Carolina coastline, the area appeals to many other traveling types, too. With an incredible amount of dining options, it's a foodie paradise, while its plethora of family-friendly activities make it a no-brainer for making core memories for your children. This low-maintenance vacation also comes with a soundtrack as you'll be able to hear live music from sunrise to sunset if you choose as well. 

You can, of course, relax and do nothing but soak up the sun. If you'd rather stay active and attend events to get the local flavor of the area, Myrtle Beach hosts plenty of those too. Get the mobile-exclusive Passport to Fun guide so you can hit the ground running; you'll receive discounts at various places in Myrtle Beach and enter to win prizes. 

Read on for four ways you can have the best summer vacation in Myrtle Beach.  

For beach lovers …

Coastal connoisseurs know this place as "The Beach," and for good reason. Its golden shores, warm waters and fun-packed piers are a surefire ticket to relaxation. Get (re)acquainted with this part of the Grand Strand by walking along the 1.2-mile-long Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade, which offers people both the chance to enjoy pristine oceanfront views as well as an entire section dedicated to entertainment. (Think beachfront shops, restaurants, plus the 187-foot tall SkyWheel Myrtle Beach.)

After nearly four years of construction, the new Surfside Beach Fishing Pier re-opened this past March. The 814-foot pier is free to stroll, so take a walk and make sure you stop by Drippy’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop, whose wide variety of flavors include red velvet, vegan lemon poppyseed and salty goat (caramel ice cream packed with roasted pecans and butter pecan cookies). This summer, Perry’s Bait & Tackle Shop will also reopen and fishing will once again be permitted on the pier; children under 12 years of age are allowed to fish for free with a paying adult (standard fishing is $12 daily).  

Surfside Beach Fishing Pier

The average water temperature in Myrtle Beach hovers around the high 70-degree mark from May through October, making it effortless to dip more than a toe in the water. Swim under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards along the Grand Strand or rent paddleboards or kayaks with companies like Downwind Sails or J&L Kayaks. Spend an afternoon bouncing along the waves with a banana boat ride via Banana Boat Express or consider parasailing in the sky with Shoreline Watersports.

Get close to nature with Crazy Sister Dolphin Tours. These small group experiences are a chance to spot dolphins, turtles, fish and stingrays living in the area. One unique feature of the tour is a hydrophone on board, so that you can actually hear the dolphins as well. 


For families...

From the lazy rivers at area hotels to Elvis impersonators onstage, Myrtle Beach knows how to cater to all generations. Tear yourself away from the sand and head to Myrtle Waves Water Park, the largest in the state with 22 slides, pools and play areas. Just down the road is Broadway at the Beach, an entertainment complex full of attractions and casual restaurants like The Hangout and Voodoo Brewing Co. Here, you can lock yourself in a room with your family (for fun, we swear) and solve the puzzle of The Escape Game. Or you can “meet” your favorite celebrity at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Get in the swing of things at PopStroke, which combines mini golf with traditional golf, using synthetic fairways and tricky bunker shots in its two 18-hole putting courses.

PopStroke

If that whets your whistle for mini golf, you’re in luck: Myrtle Beach is the "Mini Golf Capital of the World," with more than 30 courses. Pick your favorite theme, from dinosaurs (Jurassic Golf) to pirates (Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf). Register for the free Myrtle Beach Mini Golf Trail Pass, where you can check in at each course you play to accumulate points and earn prizes.    

In addition to two mini golf courses, Broadway Grand Prix also has seven outdoor go kart tracks, an arcade and a bungee ride. It’s located across from Broadway at the Beach.

Broadway Grand Prix

Take a break from the water views and see green for a bit. Brookgreen Gardens is home to the nation’s largest collection of American figurative sculptures, to say nothing of the lush botanical gardens. And if you’ve got the kids in tow, be sure to take them to the onsite Lowcountry Zoo, where they’ll learn firsthand about local wildlife—and the efforts underway to conserve some of the rarest species.


For foodies...

Thanks to the 60 miles of coastline and the countless creeks, rivers and marshes, the local waters are one massive daily market—at least in the eyes of chefs and seafood lovers. Take Hook & Barrel, a relative newcomer known for its environmental cred, where sustainably sourced local seafood is an essential element. You'll taste the day's catch in everything from the house bouillabaisse to the fish bites appetizer (famously breaded, fried and served with jalepeño dressing and remoulade). Indulge in oceanfront views at Sea Captain’s House or people watch along Murrells Inlet MarshWalk from Drunken Jack’s

Hook & Barrel

Located along the Intracoastal Waterway, Barefoot Landing is a retail and entertainment village built around a lake and dotted with restaurants, a theater and a carousel. Many of the shops sell gourmet foods—for example, Savannah Bee Company, Spice & Tea Exchange and The Olive Shoppe. Rest your feet (and your bags) at newly opened Big Chill Island House for dishes like fried oysters, tuna poke, vegetarian curry as well as shrimp and grits. Stop by Duplin Winery, located just in front of Barefoot Landing, for some Muscadine wine to take home, or to sample a flight on the scenic outdoor patio.  

Duplin Winery

With such a hopping beer scene across 60 miles, you might need a guide to make the most of this flourishing craft brewery landscape. Follow along the Myrtle Beach Beer Trail by downloading the free digital pass; not only will your taste buds be rewarded, but you can also earn prizes as you go. Tidal Creek Brewhouse in Market Common offers 12 different beers, plus coffee for your designated drivers, along with a large breakfast, lunch and snack menu. North Myrtle Beach’s Crooked Hammock Brewery offers yoga in the yard every Sunday along with cold brews. Located within walking distance of the SkyWheel, Grand Strand Brewing Company has 16 taps on rotation as well as an outdoor patio with games and live music; try their soft pretzels served with beer cheese. 


For music lovers...

Myrtle Beach is known for its vibrant nightlife, so make live music and dancing part of your plans. After a little libation, adults can test out their dance moves at numerous indoor and outdoor venues along Murrells Inlet MarshWalk. Musicians perform nightly here at places like Dead Dog Saloon and Wahoo's Fish House. While you're in Myrtle Beach, expect to see a bit of line dancing as well as the Shag, a partner dance involving twirls and fancy footwork—the official state dance of South Carolina. Fat Harold's Beach Club offers Shag lessons for beginners. Break out your best dance moves from the 1970s-1990s by dancing at Club Rewind, one of the three different dance floors at 3001 Nightlife; the other two floors are techno and country.

Dead Dog Saloon

You’ll find that live music is a summertime staple, but for fans of full-blown entertainment productions, Myrtle Beach comes through, well, on a theatrical scale. To see for yourself, start with ICONIC, which blends comedy, country, classic rock anthems, Broadway and pop power ballads at the Alabama Theatre to fans’ eternal delight. On nights off, the show cedes the stage to everyone from country stars to Motown and Beatles tribute bands.

The return of Myrtle Beach’s summer music scene is so hotly anticipated that one of the big-ticket items—the Carolina Country Music Fest (June 6-9) lineup—is already sold out, but there is an official ticket exchange for any last-minute stubs that become available. Performers include Old Dominion, Lady A, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen and Parker McCollum. Be sure to check out the lineup for the House of Blues and Greg Rowles Legacy Theater before your visit for other shows you might want to attend.     

ICONIC at Alabama Theatre 

One thing is for certain: Myrtle Beach has rhythm. No matter where you go here, you'll find yourself tapping your toes or swaying your body to the music. The Pier at Garden City often has live entertainment for people strolling along the Atlantic. The Music on Main Concert Series (June 6 – Sept. 26) in North Myrtle Beach creates a pedestrian-only zone along Ocean Boulevard so everyone has a chance to just sit and enjoy the tunes. The warm breeze just sweetens the deal.


Ready to go? Start planning your trip to Myrtle Beach with this guide

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