Myrtle Beach Travel Guide
The clean beaches are the main draw in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but there's more to this vacation hot spot than its 60 miles of brown sand. One of the most popular East Coast family vacation destinations, Myrtle Beach boasts amusement parks that offer everything from water slides to roller coasters to race tracks. While the shopaholics of the family spend time at the outlet malls, golfers of all skill levels can flock to ... continue» Read More
The best time to visit Myrtle Beach is from June to August when the weather is just right for enjoying the beach. You can expect some afternoon rain showers during this time of year (especially July), and keep in mind that the region's hurricane season will last from June through November. You'll also experience some warm temperatures and slightly cheaper rates if you visit March through May, but you may have to contend with spring breakers from area colleges crowding the beach and nearby hotels. Autumn ushers in room bargains and cooler temperatures that range from the high 70s to the mid-40s. During winter, chilly temperatures introduce the lowest rates (and fewer crowds), but be aware that some area attractions and restaurants will be closed or offer shortened hours.Read More Best Times to Visit Myrtle Beach»
Myrtle Beach Neighborhoods
There's no question that the main attraction in a small town like Myrtle Beach (a little more than 20 square miles), located along the length of the South Carolina shore, is the surf and sand. Most of the beach is open to the public and very clean, but the area can get crowded during the summer months. It isn't a bad idea to stake out a spot early in the day.
Unlike other beach destinations like Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Ocean City, Maryland, the beaches here are not backed by a boardwalk; rather, hotels and houses sit right on the sand. Ocean Boulevard is the road closest to the water and is lined with hotels and shops. U.S. Highway 17, also called Kings Highway, lies parallel to Ocean Boulevard. Kings Highway is a major thoroughfare into the city and is sometimes nicknamed Restaurant Row for the dining establishments that line it.
Broadway at the Beach
This bustling part of the city sits only about 2 miles inland. Highly recommended by locals and regular vacationers, this complex is a large group of bars, restaurants, shops and the popular Ripley's Aquarium. We recommend visiting for the Dangerous Reef exhibit, where sharks swim past visitors on all sides as they walk through.
North Myrtle Beach
Located about 11 miles north of the Grand Strand, North Myrtle Beach is known for being quieter and more residential than Myrtle Beach proper. The town still offers lots of activities and some beachfront for guests.
Recent travelers suggest making a stop at the Barefoot Landing complex, which also has a good collection of shops and restaurants. There is also live entertainment here, such as Alabama Theatre and the House of Blues.
South of the city is the Myrtle Beach State Park. Located on 312 acres of oceanfront, there is a campground, fishing pier and a nature trail to take in the natural sights.
About 15 miles west of Myrtle Beach is the city of Conway, which is filled with art studios and funky galleries as well as cute bistros and shops. For those on a budget, hotels here are relatively more affordable than those you might find in Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach is relatively safe. That said, you should still use common sense when walking around. Pickpocketing and theft are the most common crimes committed on tourists, so keep an eye on your valuables.
When in the ocean, be sure to swim near a lifeguard and pay attention to all posted warning signs about surf conditions. Also, stay alert for jellyfish as they're a common marine pest in these waters. If you're stung, wash the afflicted area with salt water, rather than fresh water, and see a lifeguard.
The best way to get around Myrtle Beach is by car. If you're going to spend most of your time around the beachfront hotels, you can easily manage on foot. However, a car is handy for traveling farther distances since the bus is your only public transportation option. Car rental agencies are located just beyond the baggage claim area in Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), and plenty of taxis and hotel shuttle services are lined up outside the terminal.Getting Around Myrtle Beach»