1. Huntington Beach State Park
Located just over the Georgetown County border in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, you’ll find the stunning haven of Huntington Beach State Park. Though you’ll be required to pay a per-person fee to access the state park, it’s well worth the asking price of $8 ($4 for seniors and youth, free for young children). Within Huntington Beach State Park, visitors can enjoy several beautiful nature trails, some of which take you over the marsh and along a lovely boardwalk promenade. Guests can also utilize the quiet beachfront of the park and walk inside the iconic palatial residence known as Atalaya Castle (an additional fee of $2 required). There’s a gift shop on-site, offering souvenirs like t-shirts, postcards, and more.
2. Brookgreen Gardens
Located across the highway from Huntington Beach State Park lies Brookgreen Gardens, one of the Grand Strand’s most picturesque spots. The site is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that seeks to collect and conserve Lowcountry plants, animals, and cultural materials of the South Carolina Lowcountry, as well as to collect, conserve, and exhibit sculptural art created by American sculptors. On the property, you’ll find a wide range of plants—particularly beautiful during the spring—and a remarkable display of sculpted art pieces. Visitors can also visit the Brookgreen Gardens Lowcountry Zoo, where they can observe the native animals of the Lowcountry.
Though Charleston tends to get the most hype for outstanding seafood on the South Carolina coast, the Grand Strand is also home to some of the best local seafood along the Atlantic Ocean. You just need to know where to look! We recommend venturing either down to Murrells Inlet or up to Calabash, North Carolina for a taste of some of the Grand Strand’s most delicious offerings from the sea. Try Hot Fish Club in Murrells Inlet for delicious seafood with a view and outdoor music, or try The Boundary House Restaurant in Calabash, a quaint beach town just over the North Carolina border.
4. Broadway at the Beach
Located centrally in Myrtle Beach, Broadway at the Beach is a must-visit district for any Grand Strand vacation. With a seemingly endless array of restaurants, shopping experiences, activities, and nightlife, this entertainment spot has everything you need for a fun-filled day in Myrtle Beach. Popular onsite attractions and hot spots include Dave & Busters, Wonderworks, Beach Rider Jet Boats, Ripley’s Aquarium, and Backstage Mirror Maze. Popular restaurants include Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, King Kong Sushi, Senor Frog’s, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, and Hard Rock Café. Plan at least one day at Broadway at the Beach during your Myrtle Beach getaway!
5. Play Golf
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, Myrtle Beach has a wide variety of golf experiences to enjoy during your beach vacation. The Grand Strand is home to 90 standard golf courses, as well as countless miniature golf courses, so no matter your age or ability, you can participate in a friendly competition while you’re in town. From golf clubs in Pawleys Island to those at Barefoot and beyond, you’ll never run out of chances to hit the links when you visit Myrtle Beach.
6. Ocean Boulevard
During your Myrtle Beach vacation, you simply must take time to explore Ocean Boulevard in downtown Myrtle Beach. There’s something here for the entire family, including oceanfront arcades, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, haunted houses, and plenty of shops and dining spots. Stop by iconic Peaches Corner for a beachfront burger and be sure to browse for souvenirs at the Gay Dolphin, a three-story store, featuring a menagerie of odds and ends that include nautical décor, kitschy gifts, t-shirts, and much, much more.
7. The Beach
Let’s face it, you can’t visit Myrtle Beach without stopping at its namesake geographic feature: the beach! With 60 miles of coastline spanning from Pawleys Island to Cherry Grove, visitors and locals alike love the wide sandy beaches, scenic piers, and seaside attractions scattered along the Grand Strand. Put your toes in the sand, your feet in the water, or just enjoy sunbathing on the shore—no matter which beach activity you choose, you’re sure to have an enjoyable time!
When you spend your vacation time in Myrtle Beach, take a few days to explore the sites and attractions that make our beach town such a fun and beautiful destination. Visit one or all of these Bucket List experiences to see some of the best food, shopping, and activities the Grand Strand has to offer!