There are so many reasons to visit Myrtle Beach from the plethora of outdoor activities, to the night life and restaurants. CSL has done our best to narrow down the list to just 9 of our favourites. But, of course, all it takes is a visit to see for yourself.
#1 See one of the unique maritime forests in the USA
Coastal areas of forest primarily found on barrier islands or backdunes, maritime forests are affected by sea salt spray. At the 312 acre Myrtle Beach State Park, a short drive from city centre, see this phenomenon for yourself. Large cypress trees, among others are bent from wind and spray making for a Dr. Seuss-type scene.
#2 Sail the Intracoastal Waterway
Unbelievably, you can navigate the 3,000-mile (4,800 km) inland waterway from the north Atlantic coast to the Gulf of Mexico without ever touching open sea water. Get a glimpse of this amazing series of inlets, bays, and sounds in Myrtle Beach. The Barefoot Princess Riverboat offers guided city tours of the waterway and Coastal Expeditions provide kayak tours (you’ll also get a small taste of the waterway aboard the ferry to Bulls Island).
#3 Explore Saltwater Creeks in a Kayak
If you’re driving along highway 17, a whole world of creeks, inlets and waterways lays hidden behind forested greens. But, turn off the highway and an array of wildlife and water activities waits to be discovered. Black River Outdoors Huntington Beach Salt Marsh tour is a relaxing way to birdwatch, learn about local folklore (including the infamous plough mud) and soak up the beauty of the waterways.
#4 Watch alligators sunbathing
Even if you’re accustomed to them, spotting alligators in their native habitat remains a real treat. One almost surefire way to see them in Myrtle Beach in the wild is at Huntington Beach State Park. To one side of the main causeway is a small sandy pit – one of their favourite spots for sunbathing. Just use common sense around these animals!
#5 Stay at a resort perfect for your golf holiday, family retreat or girlfriend getaway
The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes is a great hub for golf holidays, family retreats or girlfriend getaways. Friendly staff make it easy to find anything and most take a genuine interests in guests’ activities. With a diverse choice of dining, indoor and outdoor pools, and excellent amenities, it’s a great location from which to explore Myrtle Beach.
#6 Enjoy fresh seafood
Myrtle Beach is situated on the Atlantic coast with lots of surrounding waterways. Translation? Fresh, delicious seafood. Try the scallop ramekin at Thoroughbreds Restaurant (absolutely jam packed with the seafood), the Southern fried oysters at Aspen Grille, the Porcini Mushroom Dusted Sea Scallops at Café Amalfi at Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort or the she-crab soup at Sea Captain’s House.
#7 Embrace Your Inner History Buff
This area of South Carolina was once known for its Carolina Gold rice. For centuries this crop reigned and with it came the establishment of rice plantations. To gain an understanding of the Gullah culture based on the traditions of African slaves, and see firsthand former rice fields slowly being returned to nature head to Brookgreen Gardens. For those with an interest in how the rice plantations fared in the 20th century (including visits by former presidents) visit Hobcaw Barony. For a mix of history and culinary delights tour Hopsewee Plantation (don’t forget to have a cuppa at the onsite River Oak Cottage Tea Room). Down the road in Georgetown, The Rice Museum provides lots of information.
#8 Amp Up the Energy
Legends In Concert Myrtle Beach provide tons of sing-along entertainment and fun, and hey, you may just get your picture taken with Elvis (wink, wink). With singing, dancing and other performance acts The Carolina Opry at the Calvin Gilmore theatre is a fun way to spend an evening out in Myrtle Beach.
#9 Play at the Beach
They don’t call this the Grand Strand for nothing. 12 communities make up the 60-miles of white sand beach along the Atlantic Coast. With this much coastal real estate one thing’s for sure, there’s a spot on the sand just waiting for you.
This piece is based on an original article that initially appeared in the Winter 2015/16 issue of City Style and Living Magazine. Looking for 8 Great Eats in Myrtle Beach?