10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Myrtle Beach
Known as the "Grand Strand", Myrtle Beach is sure to entertain the wide variety of tourists who comes for the endless broad sandy beaches - and stay in the equally endless lines of hotels. Attractions include live award-winning entertainment, a great dining scene, and excellent local shopping. The antithesis to Charleston's historic ambiance, Myrtle Beach offers family-friendly things to do such as mini-golf, helicopter rides, and go-carts. Or, if you'd rather not be busy, head to the beach to do absolutely nothing.
See also: Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach
1 Myrtle Beach
While it might seem obvious, the main attraction in Myrtle beach is the beautiful stretch of white sand beach along the city's oceanfront. Myrtle Beach is blessed with 60 miles of sands. Fly a kite, search for shells, toss a Frisbee, or let the kids enjoy the water while parents watch nearby. Adventurers can enjoy a variety of sports, such as boating, fishing, surfing, para-sailing, windsurfing or scuba diving. Many people come simply to set up a chair and read a book. A nighttime walk on the beach shows off the lights of the hotels with the background sounds of water breaking on the sands.
2 The Carolina Opry
Home to some of the biggest shows on the Grand Strand, The Carolina Opry features four productions with catchy, classic tunes. Each performance showcases talented singers, musicians, comedians, and dancers including acts from "America's Got Talent" and "American Idol". There is a Christmas special during the holiday season, plus a series of laser light shows with accompanying classic rock anthems.
Address: 8901 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach
3 Pirates Voyage
Next door to The Carolina Opry sits Dolly Parton's "Pirates Voyage," a dinner show for landlubbers. Guests are seated in front of a watery stage to enjoy a hearty meal while watching acrobatic pirates from the Sapphire and Crimson crews battle for victory. Sea lions, parrots, and other live animals join the pirates for tricks, comedy, and contests. And audience members can also join in on the fun.
Even though you can purchase tickets at the door, it's a good idea to call ahead to secure the best seats. Also plan to arrive early to get good spots for the pre-show, which is a first-come, first-served, general seating show.
Address: 8901 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach
4 Broadway at the Beach
Visitors can find a variety of activities at Broadway at the Beach, home to attractions such as Old Tyme Portraits, Ripley's Aquarium, and Fantasy Golf. The Legends in Concert, a celebrity tribute show, is also based here in a state-of-the-art facility.
The area has dining options with classic fare (burgers, pizza, steak, and seafood). On a warm evening, take a paddle-boat ride or an after-dark stroll on the Broadway bridges extending over the Intercoastal Waterway. (Pick the bridge closest to Dragon's Lair Fantasy Golf for some light-hearted background music.)
Address: 1325 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach
5 Barefoot Landing
Similar to Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing has quite a selection of shopping, food, and quality entertainment in north Myrtle Beach. During the day, guests can shop for apparel, jewelry, and gifts. Or, pick from a wide variety of attractions such as Alligator Adventure, MirrorMaze, or the T.I.G.E.R.S/Preservation Station, where tiger cubs frolic and pose for photos with tourists.
Come evening, catch a show at The Alabama Theater or the House of Blues. Another option (for brave souls) is a Myrtle Beach Ghost Walk. During these Ghosts and Legends tours, guides relate haunting pirate stories for an enthralled crowd.
Address: 4898 Hwy 17 S, Myrtle Beach
Opened in 2011, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel takes guests way up high in its 42, six-person gondolas. The 10-minute ride offers an expansive view and plenty of photos ops. Advance tickets are available online. And if you want to take your experience one step further, reserve the VIP option for a 20-minute ride in a gondola with a glass floor and views from every angle. At night, one million LED lights illuminate the wheel.
Address: 1110 N Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach
7 Brookgreen Gardens
Intricate sculptures decorate the grounds of Brookgreen Gardens, where guests can also see native alligators, osprey, and waterfowl in their natural habitat. Cruise on a 48 ft pontoon along historic rice fields, which fueled the area's once-dominant rice industry. Interpreters speak about the history of the estate and its surrounding area.
Guests can also tour a Civil War fort site located on the property, the back roads of the Oaks Plantation (once home to the prominent Alston family), and the cemetery where generations of the Alstons are buried.
Address: 1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr, Pawleys Island
8 Mini Golf Courses
Dozens of mini golf courses are located throughout the Grand Strand. In fact, one could almost make a full vacation out of just playing putt putt. Route 17 business, which runs parallel to Ocean Boulevard, is home to the majority of the area's mini golf courses. Some of the biggies are Mt Atlanticus, Jungle Lagoon, Treasure Island, and Captain Hook's Adventure Golf.
But there are also some putt putt courses worth visiting off the main drag such as Dragon's Lair Miniature Golf at Broadway at the Beach. At this course, a large fire-breathing dragon emerges from its cave throughout the day.
9 Helicopter Adventures
To get a bird's eye view of the Grand Strand, board a helicopter and fly over the beach, ocean, or local attractions. Tours start at quick, inexpensive jaunts and lengthen to take in more of the Myrtle Beach area on more expensive trips.
10 Myrtle Waves Water Park
Myrtle Beach is home to South Carolina's largest water park - Myrtle Waves. Over one million gallons of water flow through more than 20 acres of slides, rides, rafts, and chutes. The larger and more heart-stopping slides include Turbo Twisters, the King Cobra shoot on Snake Mountain and Night Flight, but there are also tamer options suited to younger children. Among a thrilling range of water slides, the 20-ft-long enclosed Super Chute slide is for the bravest souls. It will have you screaming before tossing you into the water.
Address: 3000 10th Ave N, Myrtle Beach
Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach for Sightseeing
We recommend these great-value oceanfront hotels and resorts in Myrtle Beach:
- Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes: luxury beachfront high-rises, ocean-view pools, two-bedroom suites with kitchens, BBQ area.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Myrtle Beach/Oceanfront: mid-range pricing, multiple pools, lazy river ride, free hot breakfast.
- Island Vista: affordable beachfront resort, sea views, guest rooms and suites with kitchens, lovely pool and lazy river, spa services.
- Dunes Village Resort: budget-friendly beachfront resort, apartments and guest rooms, indoor water park, kids' activities.