The Grand Strand is famous for more than seafood, golf and live entertainment. Myrtle Beach also offers outstanding shopping opportunities with which few areas can compete.
Jesse Broadt: Contributor
One of the country’s most popular vacation destinations, the Grand Strand is a magnificent section of South Carolina coastline renowned for its resorts, attractions, theaters, and world-class golf courses. However, Myrtle Beach also offers extraordinary retail opportunities. Whether visitors are searching for designer labels and high-end specialty shops or the best bargains on the beach, they are always pleased with what they find on the Grand Strand. Below are 15 shopping excursions that deserve a place on any vacationer’s must-visit list:
The Grand Strand stretches from tranquil Pawleys Island in the Low Country, to Little River, which is found just under the North Carolina border, and there are shopping opportunities all along the way. Shoppers may even slip over the state line to Calabash, North Carolina, the latter of which sometimes masquerades as part of the northern Grand Strand. However, many visitors begin their shopping excursions in the heart of Myrtle Beach at great locations such as The Market Common, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and the Coastal Grand Mall.
Malls of the Grand Strand offer something for everyone
Located in the center of Myrtle Beach directly on the ocean, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk area is a shopper’s paradise, featuring all the items vacationers love to acquire. The latter include apparel, jewelry, surfboards and surfing accessories, beach towels, children’s items, souvenirs and of course, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
The Boardwalk area is also home to the famous Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, where shoppers can purchase any souvenir imaginable. This iconic gift shop was established in 1946 and features over 50,000 items peppered throughout 50 “coves.” Regardless of the specific items for which one is looking, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk District is a shopper’s treasure trove of goodies.
Often referred to as the uptown downtown of Myrtle Beach, The Market Common is a favorite among Grand Strand visitors. This complex offers a fun and fresh way to enjoy acquiring high quality, brand-name items, while meandering through beautifully landscaped pathways complete with bubbling fountains, rocking chairs, park benches and even a play area for children.
From apparel and sporting goods, to jewelry, music, home decor and artwork, visitors are always pleased with this irresistible and impressive shopping destination.
South Carolina’s largest indoor mall, the Coastal Grand Mall is one of the best indoor shopping locations on the Grand Strand. Conveniently located just off Highway 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach, the mall is easily accessible regardless of where one is staying. From large chain stores to specialty boutiques, kiosks, and a food court, the Coastal Grand Mall has something for shoppers of all ages and from all walks of life.
The incomparable Broadway at the Beach is that one all-inclusive attraction every shopper should place on his or her must-visit list. Located on Highway 17 Bypass and offering the best of Myrtle Beach merchandise, this shopping attraction boasts a vast array of specialty shops, nationally recognized chains, and one-of-a-kind boutiques. Featuring a paved walkway that seems to stretch on forever, Broadway at the Beach is home to an endless supply of products including the following:
No one who visits the Grand Strand should miss a shopping excursion to Broadway at the Beach, but vacationers are advised to wear comfortable shoes, as there is plenty of territory to cover at this attraction.
Vacationers who enjoy searching for hidden treasures and unusual items are pleasantly surprised with the Grand Strand Vendor Mall. Featuring five air-conditioned buildings situated over 80,000 square feet of shopping area, this market gives visitors a chance to locate those hard-to-find items or simply “shop outside the box.”
Although vendors at the Mall vary from one season to another, some are dedicated merchants. Therefore, shoppers can always count on certain items, such as fudge and taffy, tobacco products, jewelry, beachwear, books, glass art, antiques, airbrushing, phone accessories and wigs. Located on South Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, the Mall offers free parking and public restrooms.
Unusual merchandise is easily found on the Grand Strand
Grand Strand visitors will find a shopper’s haven at Tanger Outlets. Found in two convenient locations, Highway 501 in Myrtle Beach and Route 17 in North Myrtle Beach, the Outlets are stiff competition for any other shopping establishment in the area and offer the latest trends and fashions at discounted prices. Below are just a few of the stores and shops located at these expansive outlets:
Grand Strand visitors can easily lose themselves in these remarkable complexes, and maps are available so that shoppers can zero in on the preferred brands and items.
A little further south, vacationers quickly discover an entirely different, but equally enjoyable atmosphere. A bit of a change from the hustle and bustle of the exciting boardwalk or the fast-paced crowd at Tanger Outlets, the southern areas of the Grand Strand offer a more relaxed, leisurely shopping environment at places such as the iconic Lazy Gator Gift Shop and the famous Hammock Shops of Pawleys Island.
Hammocks are an iconic souvenir for many Myrtle Beach travelers
Offering much more than hammocks and wicker, the Hammock Shops of Pawleys Island is a landmark shopping complex dating back to the late 1880s, when a riverboat captain fashioned the fastest selling hammock in South Carolina, which was locally famous for its sturdy, comfortable characteristics. This very hammock was hung on the wall by the Captain’s children when they opened The Original Hammock Shop in 1938 in the same area where the 21st century version of the store stands.
Now surrounded by 20 boutiques, this shopping attraction is a fantastic choice for virtually any Grand Strand vacationer. The complex features a broad range of merchandise including the following:
The southern elegance and timeless charm of the Hammock Shops Village in Pawleys Island is never forgotten by any visitor.
Situated across the street from the famous Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, the Lazy Gator is almost like a mini version of the aforementioned Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, but with a Low Country flair. Vera Bradley, Live the Salt Life, and Simply Southern are just a few of the brands offered by this unique store. Lesser-known brands and handmade objects are also found at the Lazy Gator. Virtually anything a vacationer is looking for can be found in this large and interesting gift shop.
The Grand Strand’s northern district also has much to offer shopping enthusiasts
The northern Grand Strand has its own unique characteristics as well, and is a cross between the laid-back atmosphere of the Low Country and the pulsing crowds of Myrtle Beach’s center. Some of the best places to find perfect gifts, souvenirs and other items include Barefoot Landing and the Coastal North Town Center.
Home to the renowned “Mole Hole,” a landmark shop in North Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Landing is a fantastic location for an hours-long shopping excursion. Visitors can easily spend an entire morning or afternoon strolling through the numerous stores and boutiques found in this beautifully landscaped complex. Customers are pleased to find a vast array of merchandise including jewelry, clothing, swimwear, souvenirs, books, music, toys and artwork. Situated on the intercoastal waterway and a favorite of tourists and locals alike, Barefoot Landing deserves a place on every vacationer’s must-visit list.
Shoppers who find mini malls appealing should visit the Coastal North Town Center on Highway 17 in North Myrtle Beach. The shopping center covers 360,000 square feet and features 21 stores, many of which are not found anywhere else on the Grand Strand. Those who do not want to walk too far to find a wide selection of merchandise owe it to themselves to visit the Coastal North Town Center.
Located in a 15,000 square foot facility adjacent to Barefoot Landing, the Duplin Winery has been attracting visitors since 1975. Offering award-winning wines and the largest selection on the Grand Strand, the winery is a fun, laid-back place to purchase one of 40 great wines with clever and entertaining names such as Positively Pink, Sweet Socks White and Queen Anne’s Revenge. Anyone who knows a wine lover or who simply wants a unique wine souvenir should definitely reserve some time to shop at the Duplin Winery.
For everything golf, Grand Strand shoppers need look no further than the PGA Tour Superstore on Highway 17 in North Myrtle Beach. For decades, this establishment has served golfers and tennis players and each year its impressive assortment of equipment and apparel is updated. Golfers planning to shop when visiting Myrtle Beach should put this award-winning establishment on their list.
Grand Strand shoppers splurge on new clubs while on vacation
The following are some unsung heroes of the Grand Strand shopping world that definitely deserve a mention:
Located at 300 Main Street in North Myrtle Beach, Judy’s House of Oldies is home to long-lost favorites that many beach music lovers are thrilled to find. This tiny but tightly packed music emporium offers classics on CD and cassette, as well as a variety of souvenirs and gifts. Anyone who loves beach music should visit this one-of-a-kind shop.
This independent bookstore in Pawleys Island offers great beach reads, regional interest books, and periodicals. It also boasts a nice range of unique gifts and cards, and quality items created to celebrate those special moments in life. Litchfield Books is also a favorite spot of many local authors who are now recognized writers, and therefore it is not unusual for vacationers to bump into well-known authors and score an autograph while visiting the establishment.
A favorite among locals that deserves attention from vacationers is Lee’s Farmers Market. Found on Highway 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet, the market is an excellent place to shop for Italian delicacies, great cheeses, wonderful produce, spices, oils and superior quality foods.
Although Calabash, North Carolina is not technically part of the Grand Strand, those staying on the northern end of the Strand often slip over the border to Calabash for some extra shopping opportunities. Callahan’s of Calabash has been a staple for tourists since 1990, and offers a huge selection of collectibles and gifts spanning more than 35,000 square feet.