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Best Things to Do in Myrtle Beach: A 5-Day Guide

Best Things to Do in Myrtle Beach: A 5-Day Guide

Are you looking for a beach vacation that has something to offer everyone in the family? With its miles of pristine beaches, action-packed theme parks, and endless nightlife, the best things to do in Myrtle Beach await you.


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is the perfect destination for a memorable getaway for all budgets. Whether you’re searching for relaxation or adventure, Myrtle Beach is ready to make all your dreams come true!

From leisurely mornings spent lounging by the pool to thrilling afternoons exploring nearby attractions; from strolling along beautiful shores at sunset to listening to live music at multiple venues—Myrtle Beach promises days full of fun and nights overflowing with excitement. Come explore this sunny gem of a location and let your cares wander away as you experience everything it has to offer!


Having visited every year for over 50 and having a second residence for 10 years, we feel versed in all things Myrtle Beach and hope your family loves it as much as we do. 

Day One: Up and Running

Begin your day in Myrtle Beach with a delicious breakfast at Croissants Bakery & Bistro! Dig into their tasty Chicken & Waffles, Crab Cake Benedict, Shrimp & Grits, or maybe even the sweet Bananas Foster French Toast!


Afterward, take some time to enjoy what this beautiful beach city has to offer. Relax on the coastline and lounge by the pool. Or, visit unique attractions like Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center, where you can check out an interactive wax museum and experience a mirror maze and zombie apocalypse adventure.

Then, head to Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach – home to over 6,000 aquatic animals such as sharks, piranha, and jellyfish. Get up close with Penguin encounters and Stingray experiences that will make lasting memories!


Enjoy a delicious lunch from Melt (hand-crafted grilled sandwiches), King Kong Sushi (voted best in town), or Wahlburgers for gourmet burgers with a side of tots flight.

Photo from Wahlburger’s IG page.

Enjoy an evening of exploration at Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach’s lively shopping, dining, and entertainment hub. After you find something special to take home from one of its over 100 shops, enjoy people-watching while soaking up the coastal scenery. 

To cap it off, plan dinner at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, where your exotic appetizers rock out alongside blaring Buffet tunes, topped off by top-shelf margaritas. Landry’s Seafood and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen are other tasty choices.


Landry’s has excellent crab cakes and oyster bar trash (blackened shrimp, crab, rice, and lemon butter), while Paula Deen’s classic Southern fare is guaranteed to satisfy. If you’ve never tried Paula’s baked Mac and cheese, you don’t know what you are missing! 

Save room for a slice of Ooey-Gooey butter cake.


If you’re looking for a late-night activity, play a round of mini golf at Captain Hook Adventure Golf or high-tech golf at TOPGOLF. My family always said that you only pick mini-golf courses with blue water scenery, and this one fits the bill. 


Day Two: Shop, Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Our Myrtle Beach adventure continues with breakfast at Johnny D’s, home to delicious varieties of waffle creations like Red Velvet, Funfetti Cinnaroll, or Banana Split! Don’t forget the classic Benedict options for a scrumptious start to your day.

Photos from Johnny D’s website.

Then it’s shopping time: Tanger Outlets offers an array of stores from Disney Outlet and Simply Southern to Tory Burch – shop ’til you drop! Lastly, take in spectacular lake views while exploring Barefoot Landing, a unique complex that captivated visitors long before Broadway at the Beach came around.


At Barefoot Landing, you’ll find a unique experience guaranteed to surprise and delight. From the Mole Hole to Tiki Jims’ island oasis of fun souvenirs, there are plenty of opportunities for an unforgettable shopping spree. And don’t miss the year-round Christmas Mouse – one visit just won’t be enough.

Photo from Barefoot Landing website.

You’ve probably worked up a hunger from all that shopping. River City Cafe offers delectable burgers and fries, while Taco Mundo Kitchen y Cantina is perfect for satisfying taco cravings. Enjoy a meal al fresco at either spot before completing your day with a sweet Muscadine deluxe wine tasting from Duplin Winery!

Photos from River City Cafe IG page.

This is one of my favorite activities on our Myrtle Beach itinerary.

Alligators and Australian Grille

If wine is not your thing, explore Alligator Adventure, the Reptile Capital of the World, and feast your eyes on 800 alligators and 230 other exotic species.

Then, whet your appetite for dinner with Greg Norman Australian Grille at Barefoot Landing. This is Myrtle Beach’s premier steak & seafood restaurant for over 16 years. Try one (or two!) signature dishes like Hot Crab Dip or Lamb Lollipops before heading off to House of Blues.

You can enjoy some late-night live music while browsing their super cool gift shop with memorabilia.

Photo from Greg Norman Australian Grille’s website.

If you’re looking for a night of entertainment, there’s no better place than the Calvin Gilmore Theater! Enjoy classic performances like The Carolina Opry and Time Warp – featuring all your favorite 60s, 70s & 80s music hits. And if it happens to be November or December while you visit Myrtle Beach, don’t miss out on their annual Christmas Special.


Day 3: Sightseeing Downtown Myrtle

Maybe sleeping in late and spending more beach time is something that speaks louder today. There couldn’t be a better morning to do just that. But, if you’re ready to hit the ground running, have breakfast at the Spring Garden Family Restaurant. It’s a traditional pancake house serving all of your breakfast favorites.


Explore the Boardwalk Entertainment District (“the heart of Myrtle Beach”) today. Walk on the 1.2-mile boardwalk, shopping and enjoying the ocean views and mist. Some of the many attractions in this part of town include Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, Moving Theater, and Haunted Adventure. 

Photo from Sandra Chambers of Southern Traveller.

Don’t miss walking through the legendary Gay Dolphin Gift Cove for an eclectic mix of treasures—some 70,000. The Gay Dolphin is open from 9:30 AM to midnight weekly. As a child, I had a small win by finding a souvenir license plate with my name on it—Melody—not an easy task. 


Step aboard SkyWheel—a luxurious 200-foot observation wheel overlooking stunning views from atop its glass windows and doors…trust me when I say it will be worth every second.

Photo from Sandra Chambers of Southern Traveller.

Dive into nostalgia when you visit the open-air Fun Plaza Family Fun Center, where classic arcade games (think Pac-Man, Skee Ball, and pinball) and retro mirror mazes take center stage. And if country or rock & roll are more your style, The Bowery is the place to go. It’s an institution that gave Alabama their start!

Fun Fact: Locals may share stories of what used to be at 9th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard: 11 acres worth of fun, known simply by this name – Myrtle Beach Pavilion!

Photo from Sandra Chambers of Southern Traveller.

Downtown Myrtle Beach Dining

For those looking for unique lunch options while they explore Myrtle Beach downtown, ART Burger Sushi Bar serves up sushi with a creative twist, as well as delicious burgers crafted from ingredients such falafel, black beans, tuna, and turkey.

Landshark Bar and Grill is a Jimmy Buffet concept with seafood, sandwiches, and burgers.


Visit TinRoof Music Joint, located beachfront, and boasting an incredible rooftop patio, for pub grub. Sink your teeth into the Nashville Hot Chicken and enjoy the live music for a laid back night.

If seafood is more your taste, take yourself to Sea Captain’s House – voted best in town by Southern Living Magazine – and reminiscent of a 1930s cottage with delicious dishes.

tin roof music joint

Day 4: Get Outdoors

Kick off the morning with an adventurous kayak ecotour through Black River Outdoors; we suggest taking on the salt marsh tour, but you can also choose from fishing trips or swamp tours as well. All equipment is provided, just wear appropriate clothes, water shoes, and bring lots o sunscreen!


Grab your friends or family and head to The Market Common – a 114-acre “lifestyle center” bursting with energy, for a super fun day Shop till you drop (Chico’s Anthropologie, Pottery Barn), catch the newest blockbuster flick at Grand 14 Cinema, or try one of the 60 craft beers on tap at The Brass Tap.

Renting a Pedego E-bike is also an exciting way to cruise around the Market Common property in style.

Don’t forget lunch either – Nacho Hippo serves up crazy fun Hip Fries (queso, roasted pork, banana peppers, and pico).

Photo from Nacho Hippo IG page.

For more thrills throw yourself into Backstage Mirror Maze or bravely tackle some waves while riding the high seas aboard the Beach Rider Jet Boat thrill ride!

Photo from Broadway at the Beach IG page.

If you are visiting during baseball season, see the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs), play ball.


Fan Favorite Myrtle Beach Eateries

For those looking for a delicious and luxurious dining experience, look no further than Hook & Barrel. With its swanky setting and nautical theme, this eatery offers up some of the most exquisite seafood dishes you can find. My favorite is the Smoked Shrimp & Grits.

For families eager for something more casual, yet still generous portions at value prices, Ultimate California Pizza is your best bet coming fresh off the #1 favorite pizzeria’ title.


Day 5: A Dose of Nature and Amazing Food

At Harry’s Breakfast Pancakes, located in the heart of Myrtle Beach on North King’s Highway, start your day with a hearty breakfast. Try the fluffy pancakes and cooked to perfection omelets that have kept us coming back for over 40 years.

Photo from Harry’s Breakfast Pancakes IG page.

After breakfast, journey to Huntington Beach State Park where turtles, alligators, and birds are plentiful. For a close look at herons and egrets, head over to Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail’s viewing deck.

Then take yourself to The Claw House in Murrells Inlet, the seafood capital of South Carolina, for New England-style waterfront dining. Feast on a tasty Lobster Roll or the flavorful and filling Low Country Shrimp & Grits.

Pair your meal with one of the nearly 100 craft beers on tap.


After lunch, stroll along the picturesque Murrell’s Inlet MarshWalk, an attractive fishing village area that provides a feast for your eyes and senses with live music and fantastic scenery.


A Top South Carolina Attraction

Since you are already in Murrells Inlet, discover the beautiful 9,100-acre Brookgreen Gardens nestled on former rice plantations. Marvel at priceless sculptures created by the talented Anna Hyatt Huntington and many themed gardens that are fun to photograph.


Looking for a golf experience? Barefoot Resort is rated the 2013 “Golf Course of the Year” with four spectacular courses to choose from: Love, Norman Dye, or Fazio. This course is mentioned often on Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.

myrtle beach golf course
Photo from Sandra Chambers of Southern Traveller.

After an afternoon spent conquering 18 holes, reward yourself with dinner at Villa Romana Italian Restaurant – famous since 1985 for its romantic atmosphere and delicious homemade meals! From Veal Parmigiana to baked Manicotti, Shrimp San Marzano to Fettuccine Alfredo, you’ll find mouthwatering classic Italian dishes here.

Photo from Villa Romana FB page.

Enjoy a unique dining experience at Captain George’s Seafood Buffet. Take in all the colorful and delicious flavors this seafood lover’s paradise has to offer with items like fried oysters, smoked brisket, snow crab legs, New England clam chowder.

Photo from Captain George’s IG page.

Afterward explore the iconic 668-ft long Garden City Pier, featuring live music plus numerous seating spots overlooking the ocean and a primo spot for night fishing. There is an old school arcade to play in, too.

This family-friendly venue is where the locals like to hang out, but also known as the “party pier”.

Photo from The Pier at Garden City’s FB page.

Myrtle Beach Vacation Tips

Looking to create a romantic night or celebrate something special in Myrtle Beach? Try The Melting Pot! It’s known for being the finest location around, and our favorite Melting Pot location in the country.


For those rainy days that can happen in South Carolina, explore Coastal Grand Mall with its restaurants stores galore while catching up at Cinemark Theater. Or consider paying a visit to the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B Chapin Art Museum. Ever heard of it?

Here, you can appreciate the sophisticated Southern artworks in eleven galleries. Admission is free, though donations are graciously accepted. The art museum is closed on Sundays & Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly for this unique cultural experience.


Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach

Relax in luxurious comfort while staying just blocks away from beautiful beaches when you book a room with Sheraton Myrtle Beach. Enjoy modern amenities like floor-to-ceiling windows, complimentary Wifi, and an indoor pool to make any day vacation perfect even if it rains!


A handful of these meals and attractions were paid for by the Myrtle Beach Tourism office. My hotel was comped for attending the Travel South conference. As always, reviews and opinions are 100% ours and unbiased.

Taylor Pittman Hardy and Melody Pittman wrote this article.

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Check some of our other South Carolina posts:

Fun Things to Do in Oconee County, SC

South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

Best Restaurants in Myrtle Beach

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5 reasons to visit South Carolina - Grown-up Travel

Thursday 7th of November 2019

[…] Myrtle Beach is a famous resort offering excellent hotels, entertainment and seaside activities, which will be popular with the whole family. If you prefer your beaches a little more adventurous, head to Folly Beach, where watersports are a must. Whatever your preference, South Carolina offers some of the best beaches in the US, and there are plenty to choose from. […]

Corey Snapp

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Such a great review of all the great places in Myrtle Beach!

Taylor Hardy

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Thanks so much, Corey!

Maria Martinez

Friday 2nd of November 2018

Thanks for sharing your detailed experience of Myrtle Beach vacation. It’s a very informative blog for those one who are planning a vacation to Myrtle Beach with the information shared in a very simple yet interesting manner. On top of it, the pictures shared are simply amazing.


Wednesday 10th of October 2018

Hello! Sounds like there is a lot to do in Myrtle Beach? We are thinking of going next Summer. Do you need a car to get around? Or are things within walking distance. We might rent a VRBO. Which side of the beach would be best to be close to restaurants and bars? Thanks in advance :)


Thursday 11th of October 2018

I honestly think you need a car to get around in Myrtle Beach because everything is very spread out. If you rent one, make sure to get it a stand along car rental company and not the airport, which inflates the price by 80% or so. I would pick downtown Main Myrtle if it is your first time as that is where most of the family attractions are. There is plenty to do for sure! ;) Have fun.


Friday 13th of July 2018

I love Myrtle Beach!!! Growing up Panama City was our yearly vacation destination. Then I was taken to Myrtle Beach in my 20's and that's where I have taken my family since. I am familiar with a lot of the places you visited, and some always wanted to visit, but there is so much to do in Myrtle Beach. I really enjoyed reading your blog. A few places I haven't tried, but after reading about your visit I have put them on our list for a trip this year in September. River City Cafe is one of my Favs, as burgers are my favorite food. They have a few locations, and I try to eat at least once while I am there. I was trying to decide on Ripleys Museum or Hollywood Wax Mueseum..... This was one decision you did't make easy for me.....Anyways enjoyed your thoughts! Thank you!

Taylor Hardy

Friday 13th of July 2018

Thanks for reading Stacey! We love hearing that other people love Myrtle Beach as much as we do :) Have a fantastic trip!

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