Myrtle beach is a pretty small city in South Carolina, and while it’s a pretty popular vacation spot for people that know about the city, most first-time tourists have no idea what to expect.
Our article will tell you about the major attractions of the city and where to stay in Myrtle Beach in order to be close to the ones that most appeal to you.
Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is a pretty popular destination for tourists, especially those that like to spend their trips swimming or sunbathing on the beach. Since the whole city is basically by the coast, there’s no shortage of lounge chairs and cold drinks with little umbrellas.
However, since there are so many beaches, deciding which one to go to when planning where to stay in Myrtle beach can be a bit difficult. That’s why we outlined what we consider to be the most interesting attractions, and hopefully, you’ll be able to decide by the end of the article.
There are quite a few animal parks that you might like to walk through, plenty of different sorts of entertainment centers that you might have fun visiting, and even several amusement and water parks where you can spend an entire day just having fun.
Also, it probably goes without saying, but we should still probably point out that a city like Myrle Beach has plenty of water sports that you can play and about a dozen or so thrilling water-based attractions that you can try out, like paragliding or jet skiing.
The 5 Best Parts of Myrtle Beach
The city is divided into several areas, and the following are what we consider to be the spots with the most interesting attractions for tourists.
- Downtown: The place where you can find all of the major attractions of the city
- Surfside Beach: Has a great water park that you can have some fun in
- Cherry Grove Beach: There are plenty of water and land sports that you can try here
- North Myrtle Beach: The animal parks in the area are a definite must-visit spot
- The Market Common: This area has a little bit of everything
Myrtle Beach’s Best Areas and Hotels
As you go through the article, you might notice that certain areas don’t have as many listed hotels as others. The truth is that despite being a city that’s pretty heavily reliant on tourism, Myrtle Beach really doesn’t have hotels everywhere.
This is really only a problem if you want to stay in a certain region of the city, and all of the hotels there are already booked full.
Luckily, most of the places that we go over in our article border each other, so even if it might not be ideal, you can still find a room that’s relatively close to the attractions that you want to see.
The downtown area of Myrtle Beach is the second largest attraction that the city has to offer, with the beaches being the only bigger attraction that tourists come for. Here, you’ll find some of the most fun spots in the city, which include the Family Kingdom amusement park, the SkyWheel, and the Ripley building.
Without a doubt, the most famous attraction in the area is the SkyWheel. This started out as a standard Ferris wheel, where you can get a great view of the city but has since expanded.
Nowadays, the SkyWheel has a snack bar, a minigolf course, and even a ropes course, all located around the Ferris wheel. The Ripley building is actually called “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” but that really doesn’t explain what you can expect to see here.
In fact, there are so many attractions that it’s actually pretty difficult to put them all in one category. You’ll find an aquarium full of exotic fish, a haunted house where you can test your courage, a 5D moving theater where you get to feel like you’re actually in the movie on the screen, a mirror maze, and many other fun activities.
The Family Kingdom amusement park has all sorts of rides and plenty of food stands, which means that you can have fun until you get hungry, quickly refuel, and then get back to the fun.
You definitely won’t get bored in downtown Myrtle Beach, but keep in mind that this is a major tourist destination, so you’ll more than likely run into crowds at every attraction that you want to visit.
Things to Do
- Visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not if you want to check out all of the fun exhibits and attractions that are on display there.
- The SkyWheel offers the best view of the city, especially if you go at night when all the lights illuminate the city.
- Both the Family Kingdom and the Funplex amusement parks have plenty of thrilling rides that you can try out if you’re in the mood for an adrenaline kick.
- If you’re tired of the constant amusement park rides, then you can take a nice walk by the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade and take a breather.
Where to Eat
- 8th Ave Tiki Bar & Grill is where you go if you want some BBQ.
- Dirty Don’s Oyster Bar is the best place to grab some seafood and some oysters.
- Take a walk down the boardwalk and check out the many food stands if you want to grab something quick on the go.
Downtown Budget Hotels
- Bar Harbor is a small hotel that comes with comfortable rooms, a front desk that’s always open, as well as an indoor pool.
- Windsurfer Hotel has rooms that come with a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and free wifi.
Downtown Mid-Range Hotels
- Sunburst Hotel offers a coffee maker, a flat-screen TV, and an AC unit in every room, as well as an ATM in the hotel itself.
- Ocean 5 Hotel has a flat-screen TV in every room, as well as an outdoor swimming pool and a snack bar.
Downtown Luxury Hotels
- Holiday Inn at the Pavilion comes with a fully-equipped fitness center where you can go to work up a sweat, a lazy river ride that’s very popular with kids, and the property itself is just a short walk away from the SkyWheel.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton comes with plenty of fun activities that you can try out, like the water slides, the rec room that comes with billiards and ping pong tables, and a hot tub where you can relax.
2. Surfside Beach
Surfside is a popular spot, largely thanks to the nearby water park you can visit. Wild Water & Wheels is home to plenty of fun attractions like wave pools and massive water slides that shoot you out at amazing speeds.
There are also plenty of standard swimming pools that you can use, as well as kiddie pools and smaller slides for children. If you’re interested in trying out some water-based sports, then surfside has you covered. You’ll be able to find gear and lessons for everything from surfing to paddleboarding.
The waves aren’t that high, so it’s ideal for beginners to intermediate surfers. You might also be interested in trying out a jetski, and luckily, there’s a place for that as well. If you’ve grown tired of the beach and water, then you might also enjoy visiting some of the inland spots.
There’s a bowling alley, a music theater, a flea market, and plenty of souvenir shops that you can peruse as well. Surfside Beach is a great spot, but it’s sort of lacking in terms of hotels, so if you want to stay in this area, you’ll need to make sure that you book a room in one of the few hotels around here ahead of time.
Things to Do
- Wild Water & Wheels offers plenty of fun for children and adults alike, and you can easily spend an entire day just running around the park.
- If you’re confident in your bowling or your billiard skills, then you can play a few games with your friends in the nearby recreation centers.
- Rent out a surfboard or a paddleboard and have some fun on the water.
- Check out the local market, souvenir, and clothing shops and look through all of the different items that are on display.
Where to Eat
- Benjamin’s Bakery & Cafe is where you can grab a coffee and a pastry.
- Crabby Mike’s has an amazing all-you-can-eat buffet.
- Hamburger Joe’s of Surfside offers classic diner fare.
Surfside Beach Budget Hotels
- Quality Inn Surfside Myrtle Beach comes with a complimentary breakfast every morning, as well as a cable TV and a coffee machine in every room.
Surfside Beach Mid-Range Hotels
- Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel has rooms that come with a flat-screen cable TV and free wifi, and some rooms even come with a microwave and a coffee maker.
Surfside Beach Luxury Hotels
- Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach provides the guests with access to coffee and tea-making facilities, a fitness center with a lot of gear, and an on-site restaurant with a pretty large menu to choose from.
3. Cherry Grove Beach
Cherry Grove has some rather interesting attractions. If you’re partial to exploring nature, love golf, or are up for an adrenaline rush that doesn’t necessarily have to involve waves, this part of the Grand Strand has you covered.
If you’d like to just relax and maybe try a bit of fishing, then the Russell Burgess Coastal Preserve is the spot for you. However, if you’re a bit more of a thrill seeker and want something a bit more action-packed, you can try out the numerous water sports like kayaking or parasailing.
Parasailing is great fun, and you’ll be able to get a kick of adrenaline while also getting a fantastic view of the city from the air. Kayaking, on the other hand, can either be great exercise or incredibly relaxing.
You might also be interested in the kayaking tours that take you through some of the most scenic spots in the area. You don’t need to bring your own clubs since you can just rent a pair from the nearby golf course, and you can play a round of 18 holes with your friends.
Finally, you also have the escape room, which puts you in a situation where you need to use your brain to “Break Out” of the situation that you’re in, and it’s incredibly engaging once you’re inside the room.
Unfortunately, Cherry Grove Beach has the same issue as Surfside Beach — there aren’t nearly enough hotels, and the few that are there are usually booked weeks in advance.
Things to Do
- If you’re tired of jetskis, then you might be interested in renting out a quad bike and trying out the local dirt paths.
- Paragliding is always fun, and if you want, you can try a bit of water skiing while you’re at it as well.
- Get yourself a fishing rod and try to catch something in the Russell Burgess Coastal Preserve.
- The local golf course is always a popular attraction, even if you don’t want to play the holes and only want to visit the driving range and hit a few balls.
Where to Eat
- Beach Burger & Shakes is where you can grab a hot burger and a cold shake.
- Art Burger Sushi Bar offers sushi with a unique twist.
- Sharkey’s Oceanfront Restaurant has a great menu full of seafood specialties.
Cherry Grove Beach Budget Hotels
- Sea Pond Villa Unit 3 is a seafront property that comes with two bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen, a washing machine, cable TV, and free wifi.
Cherry Grove Beach Mid-Range Hotels
- Towers at North Myrtle Beach comes with a hot tub, a flat-screen TV, and a DVD player in every room, as well as unlimited movies that you can choose from at the front desk and en suite laundry facilities.
Cherry Grove Beach Luxury Hotels
- Prince Resort has free wifi throughout the property, several outdoor pools that you can use at any time, a fitness center that’s equipped with all of the gear that you might need, and even unlimited DVDs that you can use in the player in your room.
4. North Myrtle Beach
North Myrtle Beach is located slightly to the south of Cherry Grove Beach and is considered to be its own separate city. We’ve already gone over the different water sports that you can try out in our previous entries, but this area has some other types of entertainment that you might find amusing.
Here you’ll find the Alligator Adventure animal park, where you’ll see the closest thing to living dinosaurs that we still have roaming around. All of the alligators are behind fences and walls, so they’re perfectly safe to observe, and the only people that are seemingly in danger are the trained professionals that feed and perform with these animals.
The sense of danger surrounding these animals makes them more interesting and makes this park a must-visit spot for any tourist. You also have the T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station, where you can go and actually touch and pet most of the animals.
The list of animals includes apes, elephants, wolves, and of course, tigers. If you’ve ever wanted to get close to exotic animals, this is your best chance. This part of the city also has a few wineries as well.
You can go to places like the Duplin Winery, book a tour and try the local vintage while also learning a bit more about the whole fermentation and preparation process that goes into making these bottles.
You better have brought some comfortable shoes with you on your trip because North Myrtle beach is pretty big, and unless you plan on renting a golf cart or taking the bus, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking to get from one attraction to the other.
Things to Do
- Visit the T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station if you want a chance at petting and maybe even feeding some of the exotic animals that can be found here.
- Go to the Aligator Adventure animal park and maybe try to catch one of the scheduled feeding sessions of these massive creatures.
- Take your friends and schedule a wine tasting where you’ll be taught about the local selection and the distinct flavors that they have.
Where to Eat
- O D Lounge is where you go if you want to enjoy a drink and a game of pool.
- Flynn’s Irish Tavern offers cold beer and Irish tunes.
- Golden Griddle Pancake House offers a great breakfast menu that you can try.
North Myrtle Beach Budget Hotels
- Baymont by Wyndham is a hotel that offers rooms that come equipped with a flat-screen cable TV, a microwave, a small refrigerator, and a coffee maker.
- Comfort Inn N Myrtle Beach has a front desk that’s always open for anything that you might need, free wifi throughout the property, and an on-site restaurant.
North Myrtle Beach Mid-Range Hotels
- Ocean Creek Resort comes with free wifi in every room, a hot tub and an outdoor pool, and a game room full of fun activities.
- Avista Resort comes with a children’s pool, a heated outdoor pool, and even a lazy river ride that’s very popular with kids and adults alike.
North Myrtle Beach Luxury Hotels
- Bahama Sands Luxury Condominiums is a hotel that comes with both a fully-equipped fitness center and a business center, a hot tub and several swimming pools, and rooms that come with a flat-screen cable TV.
- Beach Cove Resort has rooms that come with a balcony with an ocean view, a flat-screen cable TV, and a full kitchen, and the resort itself has three outdoor pools, a children’s pool, and an in-house restaurant with a game room.
5. The Market Common
The Market Common is where you’ll find the most restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. This means that this area is essentially the nightlife district in the city. Aptly dubbed “Myrtle Beach’s Uptown Downtown,” it also houses plenty of boutiques and all sorts of different shops that you can check out.
If shopping isn’t really your style, then you can visit some of the more notable entertainment venues in the city, like the Seacoast Artists Gallery. This is where you’ll find more standard pieces of art like paintings, sculptures, and photographs as well as some less standard exhibits of fiber art, metal engraving, and pottery.
If you have any children, they might also like to go to the EdVenture children’s museum, where they’ll be able to find plenty of exhibits that are aimed to hold their interest. There’s also a playground where you can take them if they’d prefer to run around for a bit instead.
The Market Common is also the home of a lot of entertainment venues like cinemas and theaters as well. Here, you’ll be able to catch a movie or a play or even see the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival that’s held at the end of April every year.
This area of the city is pretty crowded, and the entertainment venues and even the bars might be a bit more expensive than you were expecting, so bring a bit more cash with you if you’re looking to have some fun out on the town.
Things to Do
- Get a ticket to the EdVenture children’s museum and see if your kids like the interactive exhibits.
- Pay a visit to the Seacoast Artists Gallery and check out all of the different paintings, photographs, and sculptures that are on display.
- Walk around the area and look through all of the different stores to see if there’s anything that catches your eye.
Where to Eat
- Nacho Hippo is a Mexican restaurant where you can grab something spicy.
- Peace, Love and Little Donuts of Myrtle Beach is where you go if you’re in the mood for a coffee and a donut.
- Crepe Creation Cafe is the best place in the city to get some crepes.
The Market Common Budget Hotels
- Vancouver Motel offers rooms at pretty reasonable prices, and they all come with a microwave, a small refrigerator, and a cable TV.
- Tropical Seas Hotel comes with an AC unit and a refrigerator in every room, as well as a hot tub, a 24-hour reception desk, and an in-house pizza restaurant.
The Market Common Mid-Range Hotels
- Sun N Sand Resort has a fully-equipped fitness center that’s always open, an on-site laundrette, and rooms that come with a flat-screen cable TV and free wifi.
- Aventura on the Ocean has a flat-screen TV and an AC unit in every room, as well as free wifi and parking.
The Market Common Luxury Hotels
- Compass Cove comes with a flat-screen cable TV and free wifi in every room, as well as a complimentary breakfast every morning, a games room, and several outdoor pools, water slides, and other fun attractions.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Myrtle Beach has a staggering six swimming pools and even two lazy rivers that guests can enjoy, a traditional breakfast buffet is available every morning, and all of the rooms come with a cable TV, a microwave, and a coffee maker.
So, Where Should You Stay in Myrtle Beach?
Myrtle beach, as a whole, is a pretty fantastic vacation destination. In our opinion, regardless of where you’ll stay, you’re bound to have a good time. However, if you’re looking for specific attractions, then here’s everything that you really need to know:
Downtown is where the most famous tourist spots can be found, like the SkyWheel, the amusement parks, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and so on. Surfside Beach is the home of the biggest water park in the city, where you can try out plenty of different water sports and activities.
Cherry Grove Beach has kayaking tours that you can try out, as well as some fantastic fishing spots that you can visit. North Myrtle Beach is probably best known for the animal parks that you can visit, as well as the wineries that you can tour as well.
The Market Common has the most bars and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat and a drink, as well as quote a few different entertainment venues. Happy travels!