The Best of Myrtle Beach ~ South Carolina

Beach chairs on the shore ~

I’ve been going to the Carolina beaches for years ~ this year on our annual trip I thought I would share the best of Myrtle Beach, well at least my favorites. Over the years I have traveled up and down America’s east coast and arguably the Carolina coastline is some of the best. Soft sandy beaches, lots of fun things to do and great eats!

Welcome to Myrtle Beach
Welcome to Myrtle Beach

Logistics were a little bit more challenging since our home base right now is in Germany ~ but we made it happen and fit in a family visit too. Our Marriott timeshare is here and we have been going there for almost 19 years. It’s become a summer go-to place that is just part of the fabric of my family. My peeps in Alabama feel the same way about Gulf shores and Orange beach too. It’s a fun “home away from home.” So with that I’ll share some of my favorite things to do, beaches to chill out on, and grab some great vittles.

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Stormy days at the beach - Myrtle
Myrtle at dusk
Views from the balcony
Views from the balcony

Myrtle Beach

Considered to be the golf vacation capital in the world,  according to the Travel Channel, to me Myrtle Beach has more golf courses than bars. O.k. maybe that’s a stretch. However, if golf is your favorite, like it is for my husband, then this is the place for you. Over the years the landscape, the boardwalk and even the shoreline has changed a bit. A notorious spring break destination and also for Biker Week, Myrtle Beach is now a destination for golf enthusiasts, beach goers, and more. 

The Strand and its beauty is captivating and draws thousands of people every year to chill, relax and bask in the sweet South Carolina sands.  This year on our visit we had a little rain, this happens sometimes in June, well and with climate change. So what to do at the beach when the sun doesn’t cooperate, here’s a list of “things to do” when you’ve been rained out, sun-burnt or just want to shop ’til you drop.

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1) The Pavilion & Boardwalk

The Pavilion and Boardwalk have changed quite a bit. After Hurricane Matthew swept through shores last October, a great deal of the Pavilion and Boardwalk were lost. This tragedy affected the whole southeastern seaboard.  This year we were delighted to see the new renovations included a “walking history” museum on the promenade. This lovely walk down memory lane made me realize how the Strand has meant a great deal to a lot of people throughout the years. 

While we were there, I was thrilled to know they were celebrating the new annual event called the SALT GAMES. The Games included surfing clinics, yoga, Cross*Fit, Skating contests and I so wish I had seen the “Beach Brawl” competition. That just sounds so civilized, not. HA! The pictures looked GREAT!

2) Broadway at the Beach

One of the coolest outdoor malls in Myrtle Beach is Broadway at the BeachWe have a blast every time we go, whether you check out the World Class Aquarium or catch a bite at one of the fun eateries like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville or Liberty Brewery & Grill, you’ll end up having a blast and spending the day!

3) Barefoot Landing

Another great outdoor walking mall is Barefoot Landing. This smaller, yet gorgeous mall destination is complete with real alligators, tigers and much more, oh, my! No kidding! We didn’t make it for the fireworks this year ~ every Monday night they have fireworks on the docks and it’s breathtaking, they do a GREAT job. There are some really fun shops, like the “It’s Sugar” candy store, the ECCO shoe store that’s my husband’s favorite shoe and FUDGE! 

4) King’s Famous Pizza

A Myrtle Beach tradition for us is a stop into King’s Famous Pizza. It’s a straight-up Italian-American no frills restaurant that has addictive pizza and all things fast-food Italian. LOVE it~ would not think of going to Myrtle Beach without a stop here. Plus a family of five can get out of there pretty affordable not paying beach prices. 

Time to Chill

So maybe the crowds of the Strand and the bumper to bumper traffic have you fried. It’s understandable. Summer traffic is epic at Myrtle Beach, just know it’s also quite normal and part of the charm. However, if you would like to find a destination a little slower in pace and not too far away from all the “busy-ness” think of Pawley’s Island

Pawley’s island to me is like Nagshead, NC meets Hilton Head, SC but not quite the price tags of Hilton Head. This quieter beach has a lot of amenities but more privacy and serenity. Here are some shots I captured albeit, more rain.

Grab a bite in Pawley’s Island

If you use the app, FourSquare, for restaurants, it works great in the states too. Our adventure to Pawley’s Island led us to lunch at the Rustic TableThe food was spectacular and affordable, however it looked like there might be lots of GREAT restaurants to choose from in this coastal town. Sounds like a challenge!

It really doesn’t matter which east coast beach you choose to visit, whether it is in Virginia, North Carolina’s Outerbanks, or somewhere in South Carolina. One of them is sure to capture your heart. Maybe you’ve been and have a favorite ~ share your comments below, I would love to hear where and why it’s your must-see shore.

Sunrises in Myrtle
Sunrise in Myrtle

It’s always an adventure when you ©Travel with Wendy!

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