• Sarah S.

Must-Visit Attractions in Myrtle Beach

Updated: Apr 11


Myrtle Beach is for Families


There is a reason we ended up in Myrtle Beach twice. For one, it is a great place to visit with a family. The beach is accessible, affordable, and there are so many options for fun.


The best time for us has been from September through the winter months as there are some great deals to be had in both living arrangements and amusements.


The weather is still warm enough in September and October to swim on the beach and still comfortable in November. It is 72 degrees as I write this and we are in mid-November.



Surfside Beach


The best-kept secret is “The Family Beach,” Surfside Beach. We just love this town and surrounding Garden City and Murrell’s Inlet. It is a sleepier town and more mellow than Myrtle Beach. It is a nice getaway from the touristy area of Myrtle Beach.


Surfside is low-key but puts on some really fun and free events. We attended the Surfside Hot Rod Trick or Trunk this year. Last year we caught the Santa golf cart parade. The golf carts were all decked out in the season and the passengers on board threw candy to the kids as they went by. The kids ended up with more candy than Halloween.


There is a small Farmer’s Market that takes place every Tuesday next door to the library. Speaking of which, the library is amazing. Someone from out of town or state can get a temporary library card for 6 months for $10. The staff there are very friendly and helpful.


Surfside Beach Eats


Hanging at the River City Cafe

Surfside Pizza has some of the best pizza in the area and is very reasonably priced.

River City Cafe overlooks the ocean and has great food at really good prices. And while they are known for their burgers, I still dream of the Blackened Grouper Reuben sandwich, so good.



Prot tip: At Neal & Pams the sign only says Bar & Grill

Neal & Pam’s Bar or just “Bar and Grill” as it appears on the building, had a surprising breakfast biscuit that blew our mind, but not our budget. We took many walks past this place but hadn’t considered eating there. From the outside, it looks like just a local bar rather than a place to get some breakfast, but as luck would have it we strolled in. We sat outside and enjoyed the ocean view. We were originally going to have breakfast at Surf Diner, a very popular breakfast spot right on the beach, but as luck would have it the restaurant shut down that morning to make repairs, as was the entire surfside pier, which was being torn down and rebuilt. As of November 2021, the pier is still under construction.


Pirate’s Voyage Dinner & Show



After repeatedly driving past billboards for the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, we decided to take the kids. It sounded like it was going to be similar to Medieval Times and it is in the way you are seated and the style of the meal. But the show itself was really good. The performers were talented in acrobatics, gymnastics, and circus-type stunts. The mermaids are a real bonus and we enjoyed all the animals incorporated into the show.


Sakura Hibachi Buffet


The prices at Sakura for an all-you-can-eat buffet were so reasonable. Included are sushi and hibachi, with many Chinese and American-style dishes in the buffet. There was a nice salad bar and a small fresh seafood selection. Dessert and fresh fruit were plentiful and ice cream was available for you to scoop as if you were at the ice cream parlor. Adults about $13, kids about $8. The Monster coupon book gives you $2 off per person if you bring that along with you.


Wonderworks



Wonderworks is a blast. Kids and adults alike, we had so much fun. There is a mash-up of science, history, amusements, and virtual reality all rolled into one place.


The minute you walk through the gate there is a psychedelic walk down a “spinning” tunnel. Then right into how it would feel to be in hurricane-level winds (hold on to your hat). We loved the virtual reality game Beat Saber on the big screen. My 16-year-old liked pointing out how I hold the handles too high and how I shouldn’t be lasering walls. But I did get a little crowd that clapped for me at the end.


We had a great group for our laser tag game and we loved the rope obstacle course. Our 8-year-old loved the 6-D XD Motion Theater experience (Simulator Ride), complete with wind, sounds, and lights that coordinated with our ride.


A nice bonus is they do stamp your hand and you are allowed to go in and out of the building. So if you want to leave to have lunch or just take a rest and come back later in the day you can do that. It was worth visiting and everyone agreed they would go back again.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground



It was brought to our attention that it is a best-kept secret to locals, but we discovered it. The kiddos enjoyed our stay there so much, especially Vallen. This campground is mostly RV, with an occasional tent on one side of the grounds and the other half are homes, which we rented for a month. In between the homes and campground is a restaurant, laundromat, and swimming pool/waterpark.


There was so much to do. Once you are checked in the grounds (security guarded), you are in your bubble from the outside world. They even have private security that constantly patrols the grounds. Ocean Lakes has private beach access, with many accesses provided throughout the grounds. Our place was a short 2 block walk (3-minute walk) to the beach. Additionally, a golf cart was included that we loved to take joyriding all over the grounds.


Vallen loved the number of kids that were here and playing on the playgrounds went on from morning until night, so it was very easy to find friends. We were there at the very end of September through October so we were able to use the waterslides and lazy river before they shut down for the season.


We took advantage of watching feedings and learning about the animals in the nature center, riding our bikes all over the place, and the trick or treating is something not to be missed. And what kid wouldn’t love miniature golf and an arcade just outside your door?! We made it to the rec center for many games of Bingo, playing basketball, and swimming in the ocean.


It would be so much fun to go back again, even just for a weekend. If you have kids you have got to visit.


Broadway At The Beach


After not going out without the kids, we decided to have a date night and head over to Broadway at the Beach. There’s a cool shopping center/entertainment complex/amusement park. There are always events happening that you can view on their website.


We went out on a Sunday, so quiet night, but it does bring out the kid in you. We took a ride on the Ferris wheel and walked across Lake Broadway and watched the 100’s of carp staring up at onlookers waiting for food. Continuing along we happened upon King Kong Sushi and grabbed a bite. I had the sushi, Anthony is not a seafood eater and went with the chicken, which was delicious, too.


After walking around we came to the Crocodile Rocks, a dueling piano bar. This place is as easygoing as South Carolina. Just a fun place to wet your whistle and sing along with some of your favorite songs from almost every decade. You can make a request, but don’t forget the tip when you bring it up to the pianos. There was a $5 per person cover charge. No food is served.


Oceanfront Helicopter Rides

Oceanfront is located on Business 17 near the Market Common and only 2 minutes from where we were staying. We loved seeing the helicopters taking off all day long. With billboards boasting $20 helicopter rides and a chance to check that off the bucket list, we decided to go for it. There was a $5 off coupon in the Monster Coupon Book.


On the day of our ride, it was sunny and clear, but cold and windy. It was a blast. Just know that the $20 deal is their intro package that gets you a 2 mile trip along the Grand Strand (beachfront). It is short, but, we loved everything about riding in one of these; the way the chopper hovers, wearing the headset to communicate with your companions, and the way it moves up and down. When in your whole life would you ever get to ride on a helicopter? I felt elated that I had such a wonderful opportunity.


Miniature Golf


There are so many miniature golf courses here. A couple of them we played were Adventure Golf in Murrell’s Inlet and Jurassic Golf in Myrtle Beach. If you are down south in Murrell’s Inlet you can play Adventure Golf for $6 all day. Jurassic Golf just happened to be within walking distance to our place but will run you $9. That seems to be the average price at most around here per person.


Myrtle Beach State Park



Myrtle Beach State Park is a little gem near the beach. They offer lots of events year-round. I enjoyed going for their animal feedings at the nature center. For Christmas, they had photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There was a Birds of Prey event. Not to mention horserider/adventurers along the beach. You can go there to hang out at the beach, take a hike, fish, or camp. As a bonus, you can borrow the State Park Pass from the library with the purchase of a temporary library card ($10).


810 Bowling Alley


Whether you are going for a night out or a family day, this bowling alley’s got it all. We went for a date night out and were treated to inexpensive drinks and a band. Besides a bowling alley, there are billiards, ping pong, darts, blacklight mini-golf, a small arcade, and a very busy milkshake bar called The Crazy Mason.


Savannah’s Playground/Crabtree Memorial Gym


Savannah’s Playground is the best around. If you have kids, this is the place to be. It is located in the Market Common and surrounded by a lake, where you can run, skate, or walk. It is guaranteed to bring smiles.


Next to the playground is the Crabtree Memorial Gym. Vallen loves to go here and play basketball during open gym times for $1. So if it’s too hot, or too cold, stop in and let the kids shoot some hoops. Also, we were able to sign Vallen up for the winter recreational basketball league, which was so much fun. Watching the kids play on game nights was a blast.


Toffino’s Italian Bakery and Deli



We went into Toffino’s for the first time after seeing how busy it was all the time. The pizza was incredible. Authentic Italian pastries, dishes, and subs. Definitely, worth stopping in for some pizza or a cannoli.


Checkmate Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


We signed Vallen up for class here after trying a class. Since we were renting for 6 months, we wanted to get him involved in an activity. He loved it so much. Master Léo is great with the kids. He made friends and had a fun time getting in shape.


Duck Donuts



I planned to take the family to the Duck Donuts location in Greenville, SC while we were there, but it didn’t work out.


As fate would have it, we made it to the Myrtle Beach location. They are known for freshly, made-to-order donuts. You select from a menu with an infinite number of topping combinations, pre-made flavor fusions or ask for secret menu ideas. All donuts are a cake base type. They are light on the inside with a soft crunch on the outside. We enjoyed ordering a dozen, slicing them into bites, and tasting a bite of different combinations.


Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor



How could I forget Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor? If you are in the Surfside/Myrtle Beach area for any length of time, you are bound to hear about this local favorite. Family-owned and family-friendly, you cannot get better-tasting ice cream in a fun environment. With an array of choices, there is something for everyone. While there you can keep your sweet tooth going with a visit to Gretel’s Candy House next door. It is a fun place to wander around and explore nostalgic and sour candies, chocolate, fudge, souvenirs, and apparel.

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