Thanks to its sandy beaches and warm Atlantic waters, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has emerged as a popular tourist destination. Located in the north of the state, about 40 kilometers from the North Carolina border, the city is an ideal getaway destination for visitors from across the Eastern Seaboard, but its promise of warm skies and sunny climes has led to it also becoming a popular choice with visitors from other parts of the United States as well as from abroad. Nearly 100,000 visitors a year are estimated to come from overseas, with tourists from Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom becoming more and more regular.
High season is considered to be between June and August, coinciding with school holidays where the hotel occupancy rate is considered the highest based on a statistical research report from Myrtle Beach's Chamber of Commerce. Unlike Florida, Myrtle Beach isn’t considered a winter getaway destination, and travelers making their way to the region during the winter months – which are by no means inhospitable – may find some attractions and amenities closed.
The big draw though is the sunshine. Temperatures in Myrtle Beach during the summer generally measure in at 83-91 degrees Fahrenheit (57-61 degrees Celsius). While this can lead to a hot and humid atmosphere, the Atlantic waters and coastal breezes quickly eliminate any uncomfortableness. The waters themselves are ordinarily about 20 degrees warmer than you’d find in New York during the summer months, making them a perfect tourist attraction in themselves.
Visitors choosing Myrtle Beach as their holiday destination find it to be well appointed, both in terms of accommodation options and attractions and activities to be enjoyed. The city and surrounding area is served by Myrtle Beach International Airport. With regular flights to and from destinations such as Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Washington, the airport itself is well connected for both domestic and international tourists visiting the region. The airport also serves as a seasonal gateway to and from the likes of Chicago, Dallas and Toronto.
Visitors planning on traveling by road will find the city located between Wilmington, N.C., and Charleston, S.C., with U.S. Route 17 serving as the main transport link for those journeying from the north and south. The city of Charlotte, N.C., is around a three-hour drive away.
In terms of accommodation, Myrtle Beach is home to somewhere in the vicinity of 200+ hotels with estimates suggesting that the city is capable of hosting as many as 89,000 visitors and tourists at any one time according to Myrtle Beach Local Government Page. The official tourism board indicates that 14 million visitors make their way to the region each year, a number that has steadily increased over the last decade.
Visitors planning a trip to the region will be spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation options. From budget motels to luxury resorts, there’s something here for everyone, and every pocket.
The majority of accommodation establishments in the region can be found near to or on the seafront. Ocean Boulevard runs parallel to the Atlantic through the entirety of Myrtle Beach, and is home to some of the biggest names in the hotel industry as well as plenty of independent establishments. Visitors can choose standard hotel rooms, condos, luxury suites and resort rooms here, while private beach houses are also available to rent.
As a rule of thumb, South Ocean Boulevard is the quieter end of the street, with North Ocean Boulevard being somewhat busier. The Family Kingdom Amusement Park acts as the unofficial marker between the two. Still, each end is known to have its busier hotels as well as its relaxing establishments.
The benefits of seafront hotels are plain to see. As well as offering easy access to many of the city’s attractions, including the beach itself, the view on offer can be stunning, even in rooms that don’t face the sea. Because Myrtle Beach – a man-made island – is separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway, even west-facing rooms offer scenic, natural landscapes to enjoy.
There are of course hotels and motels located elsewhere in the city, including some close to the airport, many of which are available at less expensive rates. These hotels are suited to those on a strict budget as well as visitors looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city during summer months. Business travelers are known to opt for such hotels during their stays in the region. It’s also worth noting that there are a number of hotels situated near to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which also prove popular with those in town on business.
The amenities on offer vary from hotel to hotel but most are equipped with air-conditioning, perfect for warm nights or getting away from the sunshine for a few hours. Hotel swimming pools are not uncommon, and some establishments are known to have as many as eight pools ready for guests to enjoy. Some resort hotels also feature health spas and other premium amenities. visitors know that there’s more to Myrtle Beach than what hotels have and have not.
Throughout the city and surrounding area, visitors will find plenty to see and do, and plenty to keep them occupied throughout the day and night. The beach serves as a natural starting point for visitors. The Grand Strand, upon which the city’s beaches sit, is 60 miles long, and features some of the best beaches in the region. Made up of soft, sandy dunes, the beach is perfect for relaxing or getting involved. From sunbathing and reading to beach sports and swimming, almost every visitor to the city spends at least some of their time here. Some spend all of their time here.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is another of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, and is just mere steps away from many of the city’s hotels. Flanking the beach, the boardwalk is home to an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafés, stores and shops, bars and clubs, as well as some of the best-known attractions this part of the world has to offer.
Along the boardwalk you’ll find a new addition to the attractions. An observation wheel, known as SkyWheel, offers those that dare ride it the chance to see some magnificent sites. Rising almost 200ft into the air, the device’s gondolas offer a picturesque view of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the mainland. Elsewhere along the boardwalk, visitors will find Ripley’s Aquarium and the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, both extremely popular with children and families.
Myrtle Beach is known to be a popular choice with golfing aficionados. With more than 100 courses in and around the region, there’s plenty of choice whatever your handicap. A number of the courses have been designed by PGA legends, while those wanting to take things a little less serious can always find pitch and putt and mini-golf.
International visitors looking to enjoy a big slice of Americana should head out to Pelicans Park and take in a baseball game featuring the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The city is also home to a professional soccer club (Myrtle Beach FC) as well as the Myrtle Beach Speedway, home to stock car racing. All of this is easily accessible from most hotels in the city.
Many visitors to the region enjoy taking to the high seas for a spot of excitement. Boat tours along the coast, dolphin spotting and charter fishing trips are all popular, while the more daring often enjoy jet-skiing and banana boat rides.
Other popular Myrtle Beach tourist attractions include:
- the Hopsewee Plantation,
- Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum,
- the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
- Myrtle Beach State Park.
The latter is home to more scenic beauty. The Carolina Opry is renowned for its variety shows and musical performances, while Legends In Concert showcases the very best performers of all time. Watch as some of the best impersonators play all of your favorite hits.
In addition to all of this, comedy clubs, nightclubs, shopping malls, outlet stores, museums, galleries and much more can all be found just a few steps from most Myrtle Beach hotels.
Of course, whatever you choose to do, be it a relaxing day on the beach or a hectic attempt to take in as many sights as possible, you’re going to want to eat.
Myrtle Beach is home to a large selection of restaurants and eateries. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a cheap meal, or something a little more extravagant, you’ll find plenty to choose from. American cuisine, including steaks and pizza, is of course prevalent, but you’ll also find the option of Italian, Asian and much more. Seafood is particularly fresh and delicious, as you’d expect of a coastal location. Many of the city’s hotels also feature their own restaurants, although these can sometimes prove to be more costly. In this case, it pays to explore. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is considered one of the best boardwalks for food in the United States.
So, whatever your budget and whatever your intention, there’s an attraction, an eatery and a hotel in Myrtle Beach that’s just right for you.