With more than 20 million annual visitors, it’s safe to say that Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. And for good reason: with gorgeous beaches, perfect weather, and incredible food and entertainment options, it’s no wonder people flock to the 14 unique communities that make up Myrtle Beach.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about visiting Myrtle Beach, including where to stay and what to eat, when to visit, and how to spend your time while you’re there.
The area around Myrtle Beach is jam-packed with hotels, so you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to stay, no matter how busy the area is. To get you started on your search, here are a few hotels in the area that we recommend:
- Dayton House Resort
- North Shore Oceanfront Resort Hotel
- Bay View Resort
- Grande Cayman Resort
- Compass Cove Resort
Dining at Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is famous for its incredible southern cooking, so we’ve brought together a few restaurants in the area that you won’t want to miss.
● The Sea Captain’s House. Built in 1930, this storied eatery offers warm southern hospitality and famous (and award-winning) seafood dishes.
● Gulfstream Café. The Gulfstream Café is a laid-back spot serving tried-and-true southern classics as well as a bountiful Sunday brunch.
● Peaches Corner. At Peaches Corner, you’ll find foot long hotdogs and ice cold beverages and beer, which they’ve been serving up since the 1930s.
● Mammy’s Kitchen. Homestyle country-cooking is the name of the game at Mammy’s Kitchen, a classic American diner spot.
● Captain Juel’s Hurricane. For fish sandwiches that can’t be beat, as well as stuffed grouper and golden hushpuppies, Captain Juel’s Hurricane is the place to be.
What is the Best Month to Go to Myrtle Beach?
Generally, the best time to visit Myrtle Beach is June through August. That’s when the weather is just right, and when you’ll have the most fun lying out on the beach and splashing in the Atlantic. Keep in mind this is also the busiest time of the year in Myrtle Beach, so you might experience some crowds as well.
Exploring Myrtle Beach Neighborhoods
With more than 60 miles of coastline, Myrtle Beach encompasses a wide variety of different towns and communities. In fact, there are 14 distinct coastal communities, or neighborhoods, that you’ll be able to enjoy during your stay. We’ll discuss a few neighborhoods below, but for a full list you can check out Myrtle Beach’s Official Visitor’s Page.
North Myrtle Beach
North Myrtle Beach is a cute nine-mile long beach community that hosts annual festivals throughout the early summer. Expect plenty of small-town charm, as well as great restaurants, like Duplin Winery, and shopping and entertainment options, including Action Water Sportz, Barefoot Landing, and the Alabama Theatre.
Surfside Beach is a classic family beach abounding in games — plus, the town boasts seven public parks with playgrounds, perfect for a picnic. It’s an incredibly inclusive beach environment, with pristine sand that’s cleaned daily, beach access points with showers, restrooms, and accessible ramps for persons with disabilities.
Garden City Beach
Garden City Beach is a small beach community famous for its fishing and watersports. Here you’ll also find the Pier, the perfect place for fishing in the daytime — and maybe doing a little bit of dancing in the nighttime. And if you’re into surfing, the beach here is known for tossing up great waves.
The oldest town in the Myrtle Beach area, Little River offers a laid-back atmosphere that’s the perfect change of pace. Love fishing? A number of deep-sea fishing charters depart from Little River at dawn, and there are shorter fishing trips during the day as well. For a little bit of evening fun, check out the town’s casino boat if you’re feeling lucky.
Conway has a rich history. Its oak-lined streets and gorgeous historic district create a rich atmosphere that visitors tend to fall in love with. Take a stroll on the Conway Riverwalk or visit the Horry County Museum, which offers a glimpse into the town’s storied past. When you’re ready for something a little more relaxing, Conway is the place to be.
Museums, Parks, and Shopping, Oh my!
You’ll never have trouble finding something to do in Myrtle Beach, but if you’re in the mood for something specific, check out our list of special attractions in the Myrtle Beach area below.
- Looking for something a little more exciting than the beach? Myrtle Beach boasts several water parks with slides, oceanfront rides, and even more activities to beat the heat!
- Got a car lover in tow? Then check out Wheels of Yesteryear, a vintage automobile museum packed to the brim with classic hotrods.
- Wondering where celebrities hang out in Myrtle Beach? Why, at the Hollywood Wax Museum of course. For lifelike wax figures, this institution can’t be beat.
- For a cool camping experience, check out Myrtle Beach State Park! Admission is only $8, and all the gorgeous greenery is well worth it.
- If you’ve got a few bucks burning a whole in your pocket, take advantage of the abundant shopping opportunities in the area to snag a quick memento, a sleek pair of shades, or anything else that catches your eye!
Myrtle Beach Broadway and Second Pier
There are a few other attractions you’ll want to keep in mind when visiting Myrtle Beach as well. First in line is Myrtle Beach’s popular Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade. Running from the Second Avenue Pier to 16th Avenue North, the 1.2 mile boardwalk offers stunning shoreline views of the glittering Atlantic ocean.
And speaking of the Second Avenue Pier. Located in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach, the pier gives visitors a chance to venture far out over the ocean — from there, some visitors like to fish for sea bass, flounder, and more. Restaurants and bars like The Wicked Tuna make the pier a perfect place to hangout and watch the sunset.
Finally, don’t forget about Broadway at the Beach, which offers a wide variety of family-friendly entertainment options, including Broadway Grand Prix, The Simpsons in 4D, Ripley’s Aquarium, the WonderWorks interactive science museum. And of course, you’ll find shopping, restaurants, and more in the area!
Myrtle Beach Parking and Transportation
Most parking in Myrtle Beach will be meter-based. The parking meters in Myrtle Beach are broken up into three tiers that offer different prices and time limits:
- Tier 1. $2.00 per hour, or $10 to park all day.
- Tier 2. $1.75 per hour, with a three hour maximum.
- Tier 3. $1.75 per hour, and $8 for all day parking.
For a full list of parking meter locations, you can check out Myrtle Beach’s Parking Meters page. At the link, you’ll also find information on visitor parking passes and more.
Absolutely free parking can be difficult to find in Myrtle Beach during the peak season. However, there is some good news — from November through February, all parking at public beach accesses in Myrtle Beach is free.
When it comes to accessible parking, South Carolina allows any vehicle displaying a valid handicapped license plate or placard to park for free at any public-operated parking meter.
Finally, you might consider looking into other transportation options. Check with your hotel to see if they offer a shuttle service, or look into renting a golf cart, a popular method of getting around favored by locals.
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