Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is packed with things to do and everyone should be able to find something they love doing here. For years now, countless travel sites have voted Myrtle Beach as the #1 family beach destination in the world. With hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking there for the weather, entertainment, food, and shopping it is easy to see why. Although it is all one “beach”, Myrtle Beach encompasses many different areas.
Broadway at the Beach
Myrtle’s crown jewel is the mega-shopping/dining/entertainment complex known as “Broadway at the Beach”. This is going to be your premiere destination. Just wandering around the property and taking in the ducks, fish ponds, rides, stores, sculptures, and crowds can be a fun and free thing to do. Parking is free as well. Broadway at the Beach offers restaurants such as Key West Grill, the Crabhouse, and Landry’s Seafood, with nightclub/bar scenes including Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe, and Señor Frogs. Entertainment options include Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf, a 16-movie theater cineplex, an IMAX 3D Theater, amusement rides scattered throughout, and dozens of shops and photo opportunities. The big draw in the past couple of years seems to be the high speed boat rides that race through the waters for $17 per person. Teens will love the David & Goliath- The Stupid Factory store, and all ages will enjoy browsing at Klig’s Kite Store.
Barefoot Landing is located on the cusp of North Myrtle Beach along the Intracoastal Waterway. The huge entertainment arena has many specialty shops, restaurants, and attractions. Unique offerings include the family friendly Alligator Adventure and live concerts from the Alabama Theatre and House of Blues. House of Blues also features a beloved Sunday Gospel Brunch. You can take riverboat cruises from Barefoot Landing as well.
The best restaurant in Myrtle Beach, hands down, is Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, located in Barefoot Landing. Everything I have eaten on their menu is scrumptious, visually appealing, and prepared to perfection. I recommend any of Greg Norman’s Steaks, Crab Cakes, and their Parmesan Risotto.
Eating in Myrtle Beach
Good eating is easy to find at Myrtle Beach with its 1,950 full-service restaurants. For finer dining, The Library sets the standard for classic dining perfection, but they have a dress code and I would strongly suggest making reservations. The Myrtle Beach Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, is one of the most beautiful Melting Pot locations that I have been to. They win awards each year as the most romantic restaurant in Myrtle Beach.
Seafood buffets are abundant, but constantly changing and extremely pricey. Most of the seafood choices are deep-fried and often charge an additional fee for crab legs. I recommend Captain George’s if you have to go to a buffet. Some cheaper eats include Villa Romana, for Italian, Harry’s Breakfast Pancakes or Croissants Bistro & Bakery for breakfast, and River City Cafe, where I recommend any of their Burgers, Zucchini Fries, or the Blackened Mahi Reuben for lunch. Have their perfect sweet tea and bring home River City’s souvenir cup.
My favorite place to stroll around is Market Commons. Here you can shop ladies apparel stores, browse Barnes & Noble, check out the latest outdoor gear at Orvis, and visit two of my favorites, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma. There is also a movie complex, Grand 14 Cinemas, as well as several fun places to dine. Unfortunately Tommy Bahama Cafe has now closed, but the remaining P.F. Chang’s, Nacho Hippo, Gordon Biersch, and King Street Grille are all tasty choices.
Travel to the old “heart” of Myrtle Beach, Ocean Boulevard, and you can find Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not Museum, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, and the colorful Myrtle Beach Skywheel. Though today there is quite a lot of riffraff and congestion a few of the downtown streets, the City of Myrtle Beach has made great strides in cleaning up the area. They have started with the boardwalk that runs parallel to the ocean. Stop in the 1946 Myrtle Beach iconic “Gay Dolphin” for the max in tourist shopping. Ocean Boulevard still has plenty of adventure filled arcades, too. I love all the cheesy things still offered on Ocean Boulevard.
The only indoor shopping arcade in Myrtle Beach is the Coastal Grand Mall, a perfect choice for rainy weather. The mall stores are typical, but they do have a movie theater and popular food court. Anchor stores include Belk and Dillard’s. There is also a Books-A-Million and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, one of my favorite burger joints.
A nice place to shop for ladies apparel is the Country Vogue, located at 7207 N Kings Highway. For golf enthusiasts, Martin’s is the ultimate golf superstore. Myrtle has two Tanger outlet malls for bargain hunters. Each mall offers well over a hundred stores each. Coupon booklets can be found for decent savings throughout different locations in Myrtle Beach.
Being from West Virginia, going to Myrtle Beach for vacation was not only an annual trip, but a way of life. Things sure have changed in the forty years I have been going, but the good ole days memories linger on. For those of you who remember the scary wax museum, Castle Dracula, and bingo on the corner across from Peaches, and the cool and fun Myrtle Beach Pavillion, you were “Myrtle Beach” cool from the get-go. Nice memories to have in my arsenal.
Other Things to Do
Myrtle Beach is a golfer’s paradise and some recommended courses include The Legends Complex, Wild Wing Plantation, The Fazio Course and the Dye Course at Barefoot Resort and Golf Club, and Pearl Golf Links. Green fees are very expensive so look for hot deals online. Other entertainment options include The Palace Theater, at Broadway at the Beach, is home to many live shows, including Le Grande Cirque, an acrobat based show with dazzling costumers and unique talents (not to be confused with the world famous Cirque du Soleil). The shows last around two hours.
As you can tell, Myrtle Beach really is the #1 family beach in America. The fun never stops and there is something to interest every age group. This is a perfect spot for multigenerational travel and rather than staying in a hotel, consider renting a family sized beach house. There are plenty of day trips within minutes from Myrtle Beach so do not be a stranger to them either. Safe travels and have a great vacation. Feel free to drop us a line if there is anything you would like to know that we did not address.
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