The city of Myrtle Beach in Horry County, South Carolina, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting nearly 20 million tourists each year.
For comparison, that figure is almost four times as much as the entire population of South Carolina in 2020.
The city sits at the heart of “Grand Strand,” a sprawling beach stretching continuously around 60 miles, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The city enjoys a warm, sub-tropical climate thanks to this perfect location.
For most of its history, Myrtle Beach had been a quaint, little coastal community.
Its namesake is the wax myrtle, a shrub commonly found in the area.
In the mid-1520s, the Spanish arrived and established a short-lived settlement 20 miles north of the city’s present-day location.
The area’s population grew very slowly over the next few centuries, reaching the 5,000 mark only in 1957 when it became a city.
Nonetheless, by the turn of the 20th century, drawn in by the beach’s beautiful environment, people were starting to visit the coastal community to have their vacation.
Incorporated in 1938, Myrtle Beach is relatively young compared to most American cities.
Moreover, the city also hosted an Air Force base from the 1950s to 1993.
Today, Myrtle Beach is a lively city laden with attractions and activities of all kinds.
Home to about 90 golf courses, many consider the city the “Golf Capital of the World.”
Here are the best things to do in Myrtle Beach:
Shop, Eat, and Enjoy at Broadway at the Beach
The most-visited spot in Myrtle Beach, Broadway at the Beach is the city’s all-in-one place for shopping, eating, and entertainment.
Home to more than 20 restaurants, there’s plenty to choose even for the pickiest eaters.
There are also several bars to explore and experience the nightlife.
You can also shop in its 80 stores, offering a wide range of items, from tasty treats to luxury goods.
Moreover, you can also watch live shows from any of its four theaters, ranging from fun musical acts to outstanding acrobatic performances.
Additionally, Broadway at the Beach also contains over 20 amazing attractions, including amusement centers, water activities, and unusual landmarks.
However, you can also choose to relax and enjoy scenic views of the lake nestled within it.
From gourmet experience to fun entertainment and everything in between, Broadway at the Beach offers a plethora of things for everyone to enjoy.
Go Biking at The Hulk - Horry County Bike & Run Park
The Hulk - Horry County Bike & Run Park is Myrtle Beach’s go-to place for cross-country biking and outdoor adventure.
It features an outdoor trail stretching over seven miles across various landscapes.
Snaking through the woodlands and grassy hills, some portions of the trails also provide scenic views of the river nearby.
As with its imposing name, thrill-seekers will love the challenging features, including steep climbs, curves, and downhill areas.
However, the trails also contain more manageable flat sections perfect for beginners and casual bikers.
The park is popular for hiking and nature walks thanks to its fantastic environment.
Whether you’re into biking or hiking, The Hulk – Horry County Bike & Run Park allows you to experience a memorable and fun outdoor adventure.
Go Fishing at Apache Pier
Stretching over 1,200 feet into the sea, Apache Pier holds the record as the longest wooden pier on the East Coast.
A popular fishing spot, the pier features a bait and tackle shop offering rod rentals.
Thanks to the pier’s length, anglers can go further into the sea’s deeper waters for a bigger catch.
You can also indulge in fresh seafood served at the pier’s bar and restaurant while enjoying scenic ocean views.
It also hosts nightly live entertainment and musical performances from local acts during summer.
Moreover, the pier contains an arcade where you can play on classic and modern machines.
However, you can also swim and relax on the pristine sandy beach below the pier.
Offering a fantastic fishing experience plus more, Apache Pier is one Myrtle Beach attraction that you should not miss.
Stay at Ocean Lakes Family Campground
Packed with tons of amenities, Ocean Lakes Family Campground is one of Myrtle Beach’s top staycation spots.
Covering an area of over 310 acres, it features over 800 transient RV campsites complete with water, electricity, and Wi-Fi internet access.
On the other hand, non-RV travelers can stay in any of the campground’s 300 rental units.
Many of the campsites and rental units also offer stunning oceanfront and lakeside views.
Ocean Lakes Family Campground offers so many excellent amenities that it resembles a mini-city within Myrtle Beach.
Most notable among these is the Sandy Harbor Family Fun Center.
An all-in-one family entertainment center, it features swimming pools, a water park, an arcade, and a mini-golf course.
You can also dine at the full-service restaurant or grab a quick snack at the several snack bars right within the campgrounds.
Moreover, it hosts various fun and exciting events all year, like music concerts and family activities.
With all these fantastic amenities and more, it’s easy to feel at home at Ocean Lakes Family Campground.
Go Wildlife Watching With Waccamaw River Tours
Myrtle Beach may be known primarily as a coastal city, but further inland, you’ll find Intracoastal Waterway and Waccamaw River cutting through lush forests and beautiful cityscapes.
With its fleet of leisure boats, Waccamaw River Tours allows you to explore and enjoy the scenic views of the river and the surrounding landscapes.
They have small boats that can take up to six people, while their biggest ones can accommodate up to 46 passengers.
Its Nature and Wildlife Boat Tour takes you on a one-and-a-half-hour cruise along the river to catch glimpses of various animals like birds and alligators.
Budding and professional wildlife photographers can also take the Osprey Photography Boat Tour to get up close with the mighty birds of prey.
On top of the recreational value, the tours are also educational, as the boat crew provides the guests with information about the river ecosystem.
With Waccamaw River Tours, exploring the other side of Myrtle Beach has never been more fun and pleasant.
Relax at Myrtle Beach State Park
Compared to most areas of the city, Myrtle Beach State Park is a relatively simple and quiet spot in the middle of the bustling beach.
With its nature trail, a boardwalk, and a mile-long undeveloped stretch of pristine beach, the park is the perfect spot for relaxing walks.
It also features a wooden pier where you can go fishing while enjoying the breathtaking oceanfront views.
Moreover, you can set up an RV or tent camp at the park’s designated campgrounds.
However, you can also choose to stay in one of its six rental cabins for ultimate comfort and convenience.
The park also contains several picnic shelters, perfect for gatherings with families and friends.
With its pristine scenery and valuable amenities, Myrtle Beach State Park is the ideal place for a much-needed breather from the urban environment.
Have a Blast at Jack Axe Throwing Myrtle Beach
Jack Axe Throwing Myrtle Beach stands out among the sea of amusement centers in the city with its one-of-a-kind feature.
As its name implies, it allows the guests to have fun throwing axes at the target board several feet away.
On top of throw axes, they also feature knives and shurikens where you can channel your inner ninja skills.
Welcome to all ages, Jack Axe Throwing Myrtle Beach provides throwing axes of various sizes to match their users.
They also put safety as their utmost priority, providing instructions to every guest on proper handling before allowing them to play.
Offering hours of pure, simple fun for everyone, Jack Axe Throwing Myrtle Beach is a must-try in the city.
See Amazing Ocean Creatures at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
An underwater garden teeming with marine life, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is one of the city’s most impressive attractions.
It features six different aquariums, each with its unique ecosystem and inhabitants.
Rainbow Rock has schools of colorful fish swimming magnificently against the backdrop of live corals.
As with Planet Jellies, where thousands of jellyfish glide freely with the current, the Living Gallery contains invertebrates like octopus, sea anemones, and crustaceans, among others.
You can find fascinating sharks, sawfish, green sea turtles, and other larger fish living peacefully inside the massive 750,000-gallon Dangerous Reef.
The Rio Amazon houses exotic freshwater fish from South America, such as piranhas, red-tail catfish, and the gigantic arapaima.
Overall, all of the aquariums in its facility hold a combined 1.4 million gallons of water circulating in over 40 miles of pipes.
Along with a special behind-the-scenes tour, visitors are also allowed to get up close and interact with the stingrays in its designated facilities.
Your trip will not be complete without visiting Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, which offers fantastic learning and recreational experience for everyone.
See the Amazing Cars at Wheels of Yesteryear
A car-lover’s paradise, Wheels of Yesteryear boasts an impressive collection of classic American cars on this side of the East Coast.
As its name suggests, the museum features over 50 classic muscle and sports cars, primarily from the latter half of the 20th century.
One of the oldest cars in its collection is the vintage 1941 Plymouth, along with a handful of old trucks.
It also contains several iterations of iconic American cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Challenger.
Moreover, in its collection, you can find rare ones like the 1970 Plymouth Superbird and the 1976 Cosworth Vega Hatchback.
The cars were meticulously restored, from the glossy finish in the paint job to the tiny details in the interiors.
Each car also contains useful information such as production number and price when it had gone to market.
As a bonus, the museum also contains a number of pop culture memorabilia and a gift shop.
With its extensive collection of cool American cars, Wheels of Yesteryear isn’t just a must-visit for car enthusiasts; it’s also for everyone.
Visit Warbird Park
For nearly 50 years, Myrtle Beach was home to an air base for the two branches of the United States military.
An army airfield was established in the city during the height of World War II in 1943 until 1947.
It was later converted into Myrtle Beach Air Force Base from 1956 until its decommissioning in 1993.
The land has since been transferred to the city, with Warbird Park a stark reminder of the city’s role in maintaining the nation’s aerial defense for almost 50 years.
As such, several aircraft from the former base serve as the park’s main attractions.
Dominating the park’s grounds are the A-10 Thunderbolt, F100 Sabre, and A-7 Corsair.
Beautifully restored, the warplanes have retained their original paint schemes and other fine exterior details.
The park also erected a Wall of Service to honor the hundreds of men and women who served at the former air base.
Moreover, it also features a Circle of Heroes as a tribute to POWs, MIAs, Purple Heart recipients, among others.
Along with its cool and quiet environment, the park contains shaded picnic areas, which are perfect for family relaxation.
A simple spot with incredible attractions and great history, Warbird Park ranks as one best places in Myrtle Beach to spend some quiet time.
Experience Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
With its castle towers rising out mightily in the city’s heart, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament stands out among the plethora of family recreation centers in Myrtle Beach.
As its name implies, it offers a fun and one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family by transporting them to the time of medieval chivalry.
Guests can tour the castle and marvel over the various items on display, such as armor, weaponry, and banners bearing different coats of arms.
However, the highlight of Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is its awe-inspiring live shows.
The audience are treated to thrilling knight duels and competitions, which include jousting, sword fighting, horsemanship display, and falconry.
They are also honored to dine with the royal court and enjoy a sumptuous meal of garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roast chicken, and other side dishes and tasty desserts.
For a totally unique and fun experience in Myrtle Beach, few can match what Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament offers.
See Fascinating Items on a Tour at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Across multiple platforms, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has been delighting generations of audiences with fascinating facts and relics from some of the most exotic corners of the world.
One of the most popular attractions in Myrtle Beach, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! allows its visitors to have a firsthand experience with many of the items most people would only see in TV shows and books.
Soon as you step into the museum’s premises, you’ll find replicas of Egyptian relics such as mummies, statues, and wall hieroglyphs.
It also contains numerous ancient and indigenous weapons from various tribes.
Of course, you’ll also find bizarre and otherworldly items like taxidermies of a six-legged cow and a two-headed lamb.
You’ll also see scary stuff such as Tibetan Skull Mask and Trophy Skull Rack with actual human skulls from the Igorot tribe of the Philippines.
Moreover, along with pop culture art, they also display several unique artworks made of discarded motor parts and other junk.
With its collection of unique and fascinating items, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! ranks as one of the most memorable places to visit in Myrtle Beach.
Conquer Your Fear of Heights at Radical Ropes Adventure Park
With their obstacle courses hanging up to 55 feet above the ground, Radical Ropes Adventure Park isn’t for the faint of heart.
Take on the challenge, however, and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most thrilling and exciting experiences in Myrtle Beach.
Nestled within the park’s 5-acre forest is a network of hanging bridges, ropes, and wooden platforms connecting and forming the three levels of Aerial Park.
The park also features a 70-foot climbing wall, where, after you conquer it, takes you to a so-called “Leap of Faith” and lets you land gently on the ground.
There’s also a kids’ course so children can enjoy the same thrill and excitement.
The park also takes everybody’s safety as the top priority, ensuring every guest is fully equipped with safety harnesses and other gear.
With all these fun and exhilarating features, Radical Ropes Adventure Park is guaranteed to give you the adrenaline rush.
Hit the Greens at World Tour Golf Links
Among the 90 golf courses in Myrtle Beach, World Tour Golf Links stands out as one of the best.
The award-winning golf course features 18 holes for a par 72, with great fairways and perfectly manicured greens for a smooth roll.
Many seasoned players will find some holes within the course’s immaculate landscaping challenging.
Additionally, World Tour Golf Links is famous for its Open Nine courses.
These were patterned after some of the best golf courses in the world, allowing the players to simulate the experience of playing at some of the exotic locations without leaving Myrtle Beach.
Moreover, the golf course also contains a Pro Shop and a beautiful clubhouse reminiscent of the antebellum architecture of the past.
With Myrtle Beach often regarded as the “Golf Capital of the World,” World Tour Golf Links takes center stage as one of the best golf courses to play in the city.
Ride at SkyWheel Myrtle Beach
Rising 187 feet aboveground, SkyWheel Myrtle Beach has become the city’s most famous landmark since opening in 2011.
For a time, the observation wheel also held the title of the second-tallest Ferris wheel in the United States.
It features 42 glass-enclosed gondolas, each one accommodating up to six passengers.
Thanks to built-in air-conditioning in each gondola, passengers can ride in comfort while enjoying 360-degree views of the city and the ocean.
With each revolution taking over three minutes to complete, you’ll have plenty of time to take pictures and enjoy the views during its 10-minute duration.
It also operates during the night, allowing you to enjoy the bright city lights contrasting against the dark expanse of the ocean on the other side.
Moreover, the observation wheel also transforms into a visual spectacle during the nighttime with multi-colored lights beaming on its spokes.
Offering breathtaking views of the city like no other, Myrtle Beach is a must-ride for everyone.
Simply put, every type of attraction that you can think of, you can find it in Myrtle Beach.
From dozens of amusement centers offering unique experiences to beautiful golf courses and everything in between, the city has them all.
Its seaside attractions alone are enough for you to fall totally in love with the city.
Time and time again, the city has proven its worth as a top tourist destination in the world.
Join the hype and book a trip to Myrtle Beach today.