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Paradise Expert City Guide to Myrtle Beach

You belong at The Beach. More specifically, Myrtle Beach, one of the liveliest and most colorful stretches of shoreline on the Atlantic Coast. And the locals can’t wait to welcome you with their one-of-a-kind slice of Southern hospitality. 

This 60 miles of South Carolina coast, known as the Grand Strand, strings together 14 unique communities—each with a rich local flavor and history. Together they make for an unexpected and unforgettable vacation experience. 

Want to get to know Myrtle Beach a little better? Check out our ultimate travel guide, with everything you need from accommodations and attractions to exceptional dining and bar venues. We’ve got the perfect itinerary. You bring the sunscreen.


Elevated Dining at Sea Captain’s House

Sea Captain’s House

Originally built in 1930 at a family vacation home, the oceanside cottage that houses the Sea Captain’s House restaurant first served diners in 1954 when Mrs. Nellie G. Howard cooked up three meals a day for her boarding guests. Plans were made in the ’60s to tear down the cottage for a high-rise, but financial issues delayed the project, and the owners turned it into a restaurant. Sixty years later, this Myrtle Beach treasure still serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The seafood lover’s menu includes Southern favorites like local fried green tomatoes and the award-winning she-crab soup, with blue crab and a touch of sherry.

Oyster Platter at Hook & Barrel

Hook & Barrel

Walk into this nautically themed venue, and you’ll get a taste of what awaits you. Raise up a Bloody Mary oyster shooter before delving into the chef’s handpicked selection in the seafood tower. And while seafood certainly shines on the menu, other highlights include the very shareable bourbon bacon and the filet mignon, served with asparagus and whipped potatoes. 

Marry your entrée with a suggested wine pairing or choose your own concoction from the well-stocked bar.

Big Mike’s Soul Food

Michael “Big Mike” Chestnut opened his eatery “to have a place where people could come and enjoy a good meal like it was made in my mama’s house.” Mike wears many hats (he’s also a family man, city council member and deacon), and the restaurant he runs with wife Maxine expands on his love of the Myrtle Beach community—employing long-term residents and inspiring other minority-owned business ventures. Order Big Mike’s Special with fried chicken, collard greens, baked mac & cheese, lima beans and cornbread. You won’t be disappointed.

Blueberry & Raspberry Tart at Croissants Bistro & Bakery

Croissants Bistro & Bakery

For an indulgent brunch, cup of espresso or sweet treat to go, swing by Croissants Bistro & Bakery (two Myrtle Beach locations!). Since 1995, both locals and visitors rave about the comfort food classics on the menu, like shrimp & grits, a Monte Cristo sandwich and bananas Foster French toast. But we hope you’ve saved room for dessert. Their pastry counter beckons with lemon iced cookies, red velvet cupcakes and Key lime pie for two.


Outdoor Tables at The Bowery

The Bowery

Folks have been raising beers at fabled watering hole The Bowery since 1944. The brew flows seven days a week late into the night, carried in mugs by the handful (waiter Scuba Osborne holds the Guinness record for 34 without a tray), while patrons take their boots to live music. Speaking of tunes, the Country Music Hall of Fame band Alabama called The Bowery home from 1973 to 1980. Feels so right to us.

Wine Bar Seating at Duplin Winery

Duplin Winery

Makers of “America’s favorite muscadine wine,” Duplin Winery is the perfect spot for an afternoon glass of something cool and sweet with friends. Wine tastings pour samples of 10 preselected Duplin wines with expert guidance on the flavors and history of each bottle. For $15, they’ll throw in a gourmet cheese dip, homemade gourmet crackers and a glass of wine after the tasting has been completed. Cheers to that!

LuLu’s in North Myrtle Beach | Photo by Major Adam Colbert

LuLu’s North Myrtle Beach

Known for her legendary gumbo, chef and entrepreneur Lucy Anne Buffett loves summertime. And no season is celebrated more year-round at LuLu’s. With a colorful and casual beach shack atmosphere, the LuLu’s team offers tasty bar classics, tropical cocktails and of course, plenty of gumbo. But things really come alive after 5 p.m. when the live music kicks in. Order a famous bushwhacker (vanilla ice cream, coffee liqueur and Cruzan coconut rum, topped with a rum floater), sing along shamelessly and “hang on, hang on, hang on.”


The Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort at Grande Dunes

Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort at Grande Dunes

Located on the beautiful northern end of Myrtle Beach, this recently renovated oceanfront resort offers guests in need of a little R&R a perfect slice of paradise. With The Beach at your back door, the views can’t be beat—whether from your nicely appointed guest room or while enjoying the international fare at Ocean’s on 82nd. The resort also boasts both an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center and the wonderfully rejuvenating Hibiscus Spa for treatments of your choice. Golfers will love the proximity to the championship courses at Grande Dunes.

King Room with Balcony at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort


Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort

Also on the northern end, the Hilton provides a scenic escape just minutes from the area’s best attractions. Before checking in to your Oceanview King Suite (those balcony views!), enjoy a poolside cocktail at the Wet Whistle Bar, a Surfrider Foundation Ocean Friendly Restaurant. Kids will especially enjoy the Splash! Waterpark, making this property a great choice for families with younger children. But don’t let the kids have all the fun. Check out the golf simulator that lets you play more than 100 courses from the convenience of the fitness center.

Outdoor Pool at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes

Marina Inn at Grande Dunes

This charming boutique resort wants you to take full advantage of the 2,200 acres of the Grande Dunes Resort Club. With ocean sports like jet skis and pontoon boats to one side and walking/biking trails, golf and tennis to the other, the message couldn’t be clearer: Get outside. Visitors can choose from 200 guest rooms and suites for their stay, dine at signature restaurant WaterScapes and pull up a chair on the private beach. If this feels like good, old-fashioned vacation fun, that’s because it is!

Compass Cove Resort

Dunes Realty and Condo-World

Prefer total flexibility and a little more privacy? Then a home or condo is the way to go. Rentals abound in Myrtle Beach, so you should have no trouble finding accommodations that meet your preferences. Dunes Realty hosts home rentals for all needs, whether you need a dock for your boat, a pool for entertaining or an oceanfront morning view. If a condo is more your size, Condo-World will put you into a world-class rental with amazing amenities in the location you desire. Check in, unpack and welcome home. |


Savannah Bee Company at Barefoot Landing

Barefoot Landing

Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, Barefoot Landing brings together both national retailers and smaller boutiques in a charming outdoor setting. But it’s not only shopping bags here. The sprawling venue also hosts several restaurants, outdoor games, a carousel, Alligator Adventure and music venues House of Blues and Alabama Theatre. During the summer months, the skies light up with a crowd-pleasing fireworks show each Monday at 10 p.m.

The Market Common

Built on land that was previously home to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, this exciting destination pays homage to Main Streets of years gone by. In addition to great shopping (and you’ll find all your favorites here), visitors can take in a movie at the Grand 14 Cinema, grab a bite at one of 

more than a dozen dining spots, get their game on at 810 Billiards & Bowling, or drop in to a daily event like trivia or live jazz.

Hard Rock Café on Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach

You won’t have any trouble locating Broadway at the Beach with its colorful Broadway 360 observation wheel and amusement park rides. One of the most popular destinations in Myrtle Beach, shoppers will delight in the unique selection of stores to browse. Build on that excitement with one of the star attractions, like Topgolf, Helicopter Adventures or a game of baseball with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Tsunami Surf Shop

If you plan to surf while in Myrtle Beach, a stop at this respected Carolinas supplier is a must. They carry all the big names, from Billabong to VonZipper, and will make sure you have everything you need to ride the waves in style.


SkyWheel at Oceanfront Boardwalk & Promenade


Offering elevated thrills since 2011, SkyWheel, the centerpiece of the Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade, paints a dazzling picture along the Myrtle Beach coastline. If you think it’s fun to look at from below, just wait until you climb into one of the 42 glass-enclosed and climate-controlled gondolas. Each private flight takes you and up to six guests soaring 200 feet above town. If you’re an early bird, check out the Sunrise Flight, with coffee, pastries and 30 minutes in the sun-dappled sky. The VIP package puts you in a special gondola with Ferrari leather seats, glare-free glass, a glass-bottom floor and double the flight time.

Downwind Sails Watersports

You can’t come to Myrtle Beach and not dip your toes in the warm waters of the Atlantic. The more “aqua-adventurous” will want to take full advantage of Downwind Sails Watersports. Jet ski rentals, parasailing, banana boat rides…they have you covered for a day or more of fun. Downwind Sails also offer sailboat rentals and lessons for beginners and experienced sailors alike. They conveniently serve two locations in Myrtle Beach: 3rd Avenue South and 29th Avenue South.

Fighting Stallions at Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens

A thriving center for art, history and nature since 1931, Brookgreen Gardens offers a cultural oasis just 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach. Highlights include 250-year-old live oak trees that harken back to the property’s legacy as rice plantations; a horticulturally rich butterfly garden; an American sculpture garden with 2,000 works by 430 artists; and the Lowcountry Zoo.

Ripley’s Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium

An incredible exploration of all things ocean, this family favorite puts you up close and personal with flora and fauna of the deep. The Penguin Encounter remains a star attraction, with a VIP experience that includes touching a penguin and a special painting project you can take home. A Ripley diver guides guests through the Stingray Experience, where a lucky participant might get a kiss from a southern stingray.

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