If you're looking to escape on the ultimate beach getaway, head to Grand Strand in South Carolina. With 60 miles of sandy white shores and welcoming waters, there's plenty of beach here to keep you occupied throughout your whole vacation.
When you're ready to come inland, you'll find an awesome assortment of restaurants featuring delicious meal options and local flavors, unique shops where you can pick up souvenirs, exciting live entertainment for a fun night out and plenty of opportunities to learn about the area's culture.
Things to Do in the Grand Strand Area
- Myrtle Beach Boardwalk: Wander along the 1.2 miles of oceanfront on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.Opening in 2010, the boardwalk runs from Pier 14 to Pier 2 and is considered one of the best in the United States. The boardwalk is home to numerous festivals and events throughout the year like Ocean Boulevard's Hot Summer Nights. Stop into any of the restaurants along the boardwalk to enjoy a meal as you gaze over the ocean or step into a shop for a little souvenir.
- Family Kingdom Amusement Park: For the perfect day of family fun, plan a trip to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, the only seaside amusement park in Myrtle Beach. With 37 rides suited for adults and children of all ages, there's more than enough fun to be had. Thrill rides, kiddie rides, family rides and go-karts provide plenty of opportunity to wheel and whirl all around the park. Family Kingdom is one of the few remaining free-admission parks - meaning there is no additional cost to enter, and you only pay to ride the rides. Don't miss a ride on the Swamp Fox wooden coaster, one of only 122 remaining wooden roller coasters still operating in North America.
- Brookgreen Gardens: Get a bit of history and nature combined with a visit to Brookgreen Gardens, which broke ground in 1931. The majestic oak trees and world-renowned sculptures are sure to astound and delight as you stroll through the area. It's an ideal place to come and relax, and there are tours, exhibits and programs offered every day for people of all ages. Experience natural history as you walk along the Lowcountry Trail or cruise in a pontoon boat. Keep an eye out for local wildlife in this natural habitat.
- Rice Museum: Located in the Georgetown area of Grand Strand and topped by a clock and tower from 1942, the old market building was converted into a most unique museum detailing the history of rice from maps, tools and dioramas. Locally known as The Town Clock, the museum brings to light a society dependent on the rice crop through the ages.
- The Carolina Opry: For a fun night out, check out a live performance of The Carolina Opry, which is frequently voted best show by readers of the Myrtle Beach Sun News. In its own 2,200-seat theater, the show features comedy and music, providing you with two hours of serious, high energy entertainment. You'll get a little taste of everything from dance and comedy, to music spanning from Broadway to country, pop and gospel.
Shopping and Dining in Grand Strand Area
- Broadway at the Beach: This 350-acre shopping complex is home to more than 100 specialty shops as well as three theaters and 17 restaurants. Enjoy a day of perusing various stores and break for a quick meal.
- Coastal Grand Mall: The Coastal Grand Mall opened in 2004 and is the largest indoor mall in South Carolina. It features both indoor and outdoor shopping areas and houses well-known stores as well as smaller, unique shops. There's also a 14-screen movie theater and food court if you need a shopping break.
- Thomas Cafe: This luncheonette serves up a tasty fried chicken, homemade biscuits, grits, eggs, country ham and other tasty options. You can dine at the counter with some of the regulars or grab a booth or table if you've got a group. This 1920s storefront offers plenty of charm and comforting, home-style flavors.
- Nance's Creekfront: Oysters are the specialty here and are available raw or steamed in an iron pot and served deliciously with butter. There's also different seafood options like flounder, shrimp and grouper, or steaks and chicken for the meat lovers. You'll definitely want to save room for dessert, because the 10-layer chocolate cake made specially for this restaurant by a local baker is worth those extra calories!