xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Myrtle Beach FAQ: When to visit, what to do and more

Everything you need to know to have a successful trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C.:

Best time to visit: While summer is peak season, autumn is Myrtle Beach's best-kept secret — temperatures are still summery, but crowds have dissipated and deals are everywhere, recommends Myrtle Beach's Visitors Bureau.

Advertisement

Worst time to visit: If you're not a fan of revving motorcycles and crowds, best to avoid Bike Week Spring Rally, May 13-22.

Beach rules: Beaches are free. No tents, cabanas or sports umbrellas permitted. If you dig a hole, it must be filled in before leaving. Dogs are permitted before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. May 1-Labor Day, but unrestricted the rest of the year.

Advertisement
Advertisement
When/where to go if you're ...
Advertisement

A young family: Downtown's Broadway at the Beach is an outdoor entertainment complex that includes Ripley's Aquarium and Myrtle Waves water park, and amusement rides.

In need of personal space: Huntington Beach State Park is a coastal preserve with towering dunes, a secluded beach and a walkway over the salt marsh for viewing wildlife.

Into people watching: "We're the Times Square of Myrtle Beach," says Rick Sarver, owner of Boardwalk Coffee. "People sit outside, sipping a caramel frappe, watching everyone walk the boardwalk.

Into beach sports: "We've been here the longest, and have it all: parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking and a paddleboarding/surfing school," says Downwind Sails Watersports' Morgan Williams.

Advertisement

Into marine life: Along with Ripley's Aquarium, Myrtle Beach State Park is a haven for sea turtles, mollusks, and nesting sea birds.

Into fishing: Various public piers sell fishing passes that allow you to fish but don't require a license. Individual licenses are not required on licensed for-hire fishing charters. Saltwater fishing licenses are required to fish from the shore. "Cast a line at any pier," recommends Ann Marcum, of Visit Myrtle Beach. For deep-sea excursions, try Captain Ricky Long's.

Into surfing: 29th Avenue South at Myrtle Beach, between 38th and 44th, is where local surfers hang.

Into craft brewing: Try Myrtle Beach's American gastropub The Brass Tap, or sample handcrafted ales and lagers at New South Brewing.

A foodie: Fishermen unload fresh catch into the kitchen of Murrells Inlet's Wicked Tuna. Little River's Brentwood serves French/Low Country fusion in an elegant Victorian home.

Doing as the locals do: Take in a Pelicans game, Myrtle Beach's High-A minor league team. Afterward, try local barbecue at Little Pigs Bar-B-Q.

Looking for fresh, local seafood to cook where you're staying: "Our seafood comes in fresh every day," says Ted Hammerman of Mr. Fish Seafood Market.

Into nightlife: The Bowery is the birthplace of the band Alabama. 2001-Nightclub offers two clubs under one roof.

Looking to go upscale: Marina Inn at Grande Dunes has a golf course and a private beach. Or check into the penthouse at North Beach Plantation.

In need of a rainy-day diversion: The Myrtle Beach Art Museum exhibits local and national works. For kids, try The Children's Museum.

New this year

GTS Theatre, 1220 Port Drive, gtstheatre.com. This 1920s Parisian cabaret-themed theater will present summer shows including "Motor City Musical: A Tribute to Motown," "Vaudeville the Show" and a hypnosis comedy show.

High Flyer Extreme Air Sports, 568 George Bishop Parkway, Suite B, 843-636-8075. A 20,000-square-foot sports center, featuring a trampoline dodge ball stadium, flying trapeze and Olympic-size foam pits.

The Chemist, 300 9th Ave. North, chemistbar.com. Molecular gastronomy drives the sophisticated cuisine and inventive libations, including liquid nitrogen cocktails at this dining spot.

Big events

Sun Fun Festival: Myrtle Beach's official kickoff to summer (June 3-5), this fest features games, a parade and beach concerts.

Held in conjunction with the Native Sons SALT surfing competitions, and lifeguard games. Various locations, Myrtle Beach. sunfunmb.com

Carolina Country Music Fest: Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Jake Owen are just a few of the headliners rocking the stage here, plus performances by least 30 additional big-name artists. June 10-12. On Myrtle Beach by the boardwalk.

Conway Riverfest: Wholesome, family-friendly festival in a charming town, 25 minutes from Myrtle Beach. Events include a color guard opening ceremonies, a bass fishing tournament, a Jell-O jumping contest, bull rides, a Gulf Cart Parade and artisans' market. June 25. conwayriverfest.com

Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade: Whatever floats … will likely be sailing by, decked out in Independence Day regalia. July 4.

In the afternoon, join a fishing charter or rent a paddleboard.

Have sunset dinner at Captain Dave's dockside before the big fireworks show.

Advertisement

Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival: Deemed the Official BBQ Competition of South Carolina, it offers food vendors, grill master competitions, live music, beer gardens, wakeboard demos and a fireworks finale. Sept 2-5.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement