#1 Family Favorite Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Whether you want to shop boutiques or browse bargains at an outlet mall, indulge in hip and trendy food or eat at a classic beach seafood buffet, spend your day laying by the pool or boating on the water, playing golf or visiting a museum, Myrtle Beach has something for everyone.
For years, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has been regarded as the #1 family beach destination in the world, and the sheer number of activities offered is a large reason why. Families come to Myrtle Beach summer after summer and hopefully this article will help you see why!
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Shopping And Dining Complexes
Myrtle Beach has three very nice outdoor shopping and dining complexes.
1. Broadway at the Beach
Myrtle Beach’s crown jewel is Broadway at the Beach. This #1 rated tourist attraction has 350 acres of dining, shopping, attractions, and nightlife to choose from. Just wandering around the huge complex and people watching can be a fun and free thing to do. Stop in Myrtle Beach staple stores, such as Tiki Jim’s, Christmas a the Beach, Broadway Magic, and Klig’s Kites, or larger retailers like Victoria’s Secret, the Stupid Factory, Southern Living Store, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Del Sol, and It’s Sugar.
Home to 24 restaurants, there is no shortage of food at Broadway at the Beach! Popular restaurants include Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Joe’s Crab Shack, Hard Rock Cafe, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Landry’s Seafood, Yamato Steakhouse Japan, Johnny Rockets, and Wahlburgers. Grab a snack from Kilwins, Cold Stone Creamery, The Fudgery, or one of two Ben & Jerry’s locations.
Broadway at the Beach boasts 23 attractions, with several onsite (Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf, Ripley’s Aquarium, WonderWorks, Soar & Explore zipline, Beach Rider Jet Boat) and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Myrtle Waves Water Park, Broadway Grand Prix, and Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center just across the parking lot. Beat the heat by seeing a movie at the Broadway 17 theater. Visit Broadway at the Beach at night for some fun at the Carolina Comedy Club, Fat Tuesday, Señor Frogs, and Wet Willie’s.
Tip: Parking is free!
2. Barefoot Landing
Barefoot Landing is located on the cusp of North Myrtle Beach along the Intracoastal Waterway. This entertainment complex is full of specialty shops (Barefoot General Store, Christmas Mouse, Tiki Jim’s, Rock N Roll Factory), restaurants (Greg Normal Australian Grille, Joe’s Crab Shack, House of Blues, River City Cafe, Dick’s Last Resort), and attractions (Alabama Theater, Alligator Adventure, Salt Shaker Boat Tours). Wine drinkers will definitely want to visit the Duplin Winery (right across the parking lot) and partake in one of their fun Muscadine wine tastings.
Note: Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s is opening at Barefoot Landing this Spring.
3. The Market Common
Experience exceptional shopping and dining in a beautifully-designed village setting at The Market Common. Retail stores include J.Jill, Tommy Bahama, Orvis, Pottery Barn, Southern Living, Anthropologie, White House Black Market, and Chico’s while dining spots are Nacho Hippo, P.F. Chang’s, Co Sushi, Crepe Creation Cafe, Travinia Italian Kitchen, King Street Grille, and Tupelo Honey Cafe. Afterwards, see a movie at the Grand 14 Cinema, take a class at Paint & Unwind, participate in a Yoga In Common class, or get pampered at the Dolce Lusso Salon & Spa (an AVEDA Salon).
Myrtle Beach’s Culinary Scene
Good eating is easy to find in Myrtle Beach, since there are more than 1500 full-service restaurants. Whether you are in the mood for Seafood, Mexican, American, Japanese, Barbecue, Steak, Italian, Chinese, Australian, Thai, Greek, Irish, Asian, French, or Korean, Myrtle Beach has it!
Head to Croissants Bistro & Bakery for the best breakfast in town or one of River City Cafe’s seven locations in the area for an incredible burger at a great price. For innovative cocktails and great views of the ocean, stop by ART Burger Sushi Bar.
Buffets are abundant, but they can be extremely pricey, especially since many charge an additional fee for crab legs. If you must have a buffet meal, I recommend Captain George’s.
For fine dining, The Library sets the standard for classic dining perfection, but there is a dress code and I strongly suggest making reservations. The Melting Pot fondue restaurant is very romantic and the #1 rated restaurant in the area on TripAdvisor. Dining at The Melting Pot can be overwhelming, but no worries! We wrote a Melting Pot Dining Guide to help.
For the best seafood around, drive a few miles South to Murrells Inlet. Here, you will find more than 20 restaurants, many overlooking the salt marsh. Captain Dave’s Dockside, Drunken Jacks, The Wicked Tuna, Costa, Dead Dog Saloon, and Creek Ratz are all great choices. During season, these places fill up quickly and will be on a wait all evening. Plan to arrive early!
My favorite restaurant in Myrtle Beach is Greg Norman’s Australian Grille at Barefoot Landing. Everything I have eaten from Greg Norman’s is scrumptious, visually appealing, and prepared to perfection. Be sure to try the Crab Cakes and Parmesan Risotto!
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The largest indoor shopping arcade in Myrtle Beach is the Coastal Grand Mall. The stores are typical, but there is also a Cinemark movie theater and a large food court. Belk and Dillard’s are the anchor stores.
Myrtle Beach has two Tanger Outlets, one on Highway 17 and the other on Highway 501. If you are looking for a good bargain, you will definitely find them here. Pick up a Tanger Outlet coupon book for additional savings. Enjoy pilfering through lots of goods? Visit Hudson’s Flea Market, the largest covered open air market selling the very best on the beach.
Golfers have to stop by one of the PGA Tour Superstores, offering up to 50% off of golf gear.
Other Things to Do
Myrtle Beach is a golfer’s paradise, with more than 100 courses. Some recommended courses are The Legends Complex, Wild Wing Plantation, Fazio Course, Dye Course at Barefoot Resort and Golf Club, and Pearl Golf Links. Green fees are very expensive, so look for deals online.
See one of five live entertainment shows at the Calvin Gilmore Theater: Time Warp (hits of the 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s), Thunder & Light, Pure Magic, The Christmas Show of the South, and The Carolina Opry, the most famous show in Myrtle Beach.
Fishing and water sport opportunities are endless. Whether you want to night fish off of a pier, charter a boat for the day, or spend a peaceful morning kayaking, you will never run out of things to do on the water in Myrtle Beach.
Spend some time at the La Belle Amie Vineyard. Stop in for a tasting (Tuesday-Friday) of the vineyard’s Twisted Sisters Muscadine wine, listen to live music during Wine Down Fridays (12:30-4:30PM), or attend one of their Saturday festivals. This is one of our favorite spots in Myrtle Beach!
You can’t visit Myrtle Beach and not play putt putt. Although there are a plethora of places to choose from, our favorites are Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf, Gilligan’s Island Funland, Cancun Lagoon, and Shipwreck Adventure Island Golf.
The Heart Of Myrtle Beach
The old heart of Myrtle Beach is Ocean Boulevard, now the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. The Boardwalk runs from 1st Avenue North to 16th Avenue North and is full of restaurants, shops, arcades (Fun Plaza Family Fun Center), and attractions (Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Haunted Adventure, Moving Theater, and Mirror Maze). Riding the colorful Myrtle Beach Skywheel is a must. This is the first observation wheel of its kind in the United States, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and downtown Myrtle Beach.
Be sure to stop by The Bowery, where the country group Alabama got their start, and the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, the most unique shops in Myrtle Beach since 1946. Check out the Boardwalk’s year-round festivals.
Come Experience Myrtle Beach
As you can tell, Myrtle Beach is the #1 family beach in America for a reason. 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. Be sure to check out the surrounding areas (like the Hammock Coast); they are definitely worth a day trip. Safe travels and have a great vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!
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