Jesse Broadt: Contributor
Whether one is planning a romantic getaway or a week of riotous fun, Myrtle Beach has it all. A beautiful and affordable vacation destination, this celebrated beach town offers a wider variety of attractions and activities than almost any other area on the eastern seaboard. Second only to Disney World as an east coast vacation destination, Myrtle Beach offers something for everyone, including these top attractions:
The number one attraction in the state of South Carolina, and voted the best Grand Strand attraction year after year, Broadway at the Beach is an immensely popular destination among Myrtle Beach visitors. For many people, this massive shopping and entertainment complex is the highlight of their annual vacation, as it boasts 350 acres of stores, restaurants, nightclubs, children’s rides, outdoor attractions, fireworks displays, and street performers. Well deserving of its number one spot, no visitor is ever disappointed with what they find at this impressive establishment.
Vacationers enjoy fireworks at Broadway at the Beach
The Pirates Voyage Dinner Show first set sail in Myrtle Beach in 2011 and remains outstandingly popular among Myrtle Beach visitors. While indulging in a four-course meal, guests are dazzled with spectacular acrobatic and diving competitions as Captain Blackbeard sails the seven seas, leading the Sapphire and Crimson crews in a swashbuckling dual for lost treasure. From the arena, spectators enjoy the following action-packed displays:
A truly one-of-a-kind experience, the Pirates Voyage is a can’t-miss for any Myrtle Beach vacationer.
Adventure awaits vacationers at the Pirates Voyage
Ripley’s Aquarium is located at Broadway at the Beach and has been a favorite among Myrtle Beach vacationers for since 1997. From fierce looking sharks to tranquil seahorses, this amazing aquatic world offers something for everyone. Visitors can pet stingrays, walk through a shark tunnel for an up close and personal look at one of nature’s most fascinating creatures, or watch a 50-year-old giant sea turtle maneuver his way through the waters he calls home.
Interactive displays that change on a yearly basis and special events such as overnight stays for children are also found at this iconic Myrtle Beach attraction. Fun and educational, no family can go wrong spending the morning or afternoon at this intriguing aquarium.
Another outstanding shopping and entertainment complex is beautiful Barefoot Landing. Located just off Route 17 in North Myrtle Beach on the intercoastal waterway, this tastefully landscaped establishment features hundreds of stores and boutiques, a 27 acre lake, and virtually any type of cuisine one desires.
Barefoot Landing has the atmosphere of a quaint southern shopping village, but offers the choices and diversity of a city. Therefore, it provides visitors with the best of both worlds. Vacationers can easily devote an entire day to this one-of-a-kind landmark.
One of the Grand Strand’s most interesting places to visit, the WonderWorks “edutainment” center is both fun and educational, and has often been referred to as an amusement park for the mind. Located within a massive, 50,000 square foot structure in the shape of an upside down house, this attraction features more than 100 hands-on exhibits to spark the imagination and challenge the mind.
With the ceiling underfoot and the ground overhead, visitors must pass through an inversion tunnel to realign themselves with this alternate reality. Inside, there are six different zones for an unprecedented and unique experience for all families. Conveniently located inside the Broadway at the Beach complex, this attraction is a must-see for anyone who enjoys a challenge.
Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach near the Boardwalk and Promenade, the SkyWheel is one of only four Ferris wheels in the world that boasts a height of 200 feet. The only attraction of its kind on the Grand Strand, the impressive SkyWheel features climate controlled gondolas that take visitors into the clouds for a rare and breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and the spectacular high-rise resort skyline. Whether visitors choose a day or night flight, the experience is unforgettable from the moment of takeoff.
Here are the details:
Fierce competitions and delicious cuisine in a truly medieval setting await vacationers who choose to dine with the Queen of the Realm at the Medieval Times Dinner Tournament. Featuring a feast fit for royalty and some of the most exciting entertainment the Grand Strand has to offer, Medieval Times has certainly earned its reputation as one of the best-loved attractions in Myrtle Beach. Outstanding horsemanship, real life jousting competitions, and the centuries-old sport of falconry make this experience truly unique for any Grand Strand visitor.
Dinner and jousting in a Medieval atmosphere make an enjoyable evening for Grand Strand visitors
At the Grand Strand’s northern end, located adjacent to Barefoot Landing, is one of the largest reptile facilities in the world. The Alligator Adventure is a top Myrtle Beach area attraction, as well as one of South Carolina’s most popular establishments. Those visiting the park can watch in awe as nature’s fiercest reptiles leap from the water and clamp their powerful jaws down on dinner. However, the park is also home to a broad range of other reptile and animal species, including the following:
One of the most exciting attractions on the Grand Strand, any nature lover should make time for this unique and memorable experience.
Located across from the ocean in the heart of Myrtle Beach is Family Kingdom Amusement Park, an attraction no Grand Strand Visitor should overlook. Vacationers with children are typically thrilled with the old fashioned, amusement-park-by-the-sea environment of this classic favorite. Operating since 1966, Family Kingdom features 39 thrilling rides, including Magic Bikes, Jump Around Dune Buggies, the Twist ‘n Shout steel roller coaster and Go-Kart tracks. Other favorites include the 110 foot Slingshot Drop, a wet and wild Log Flume ride, and the iconic Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster to take riders’ breath away at every turn. Additionally, located just across the street is the Family Kingdom Oceanfront Water Park, Splashes.
Anyone who loves animals, especially large cats, should schedule a trip to the Tigers Preservation Station, located at Barefoot Landing. Visitors can watch large cats and cubs as they play and interact, and even observe these magnificent creatures enjoying dinner. Perhaps one of the most unusual options for visitors spending time at the Preservation Station is the opportunity to have a photograph taken with a baby tiger. Anyone searching for an unforgettable souvenir should definitely consider being immortalized on film with a lovable cub.
The outstanding golf opportunities on the Grand Strand are some of the best on the East Coast, and golfers flock to Myrtle Beach each year to enjoy a day on the greens. With a virtually unlimited number of courses from which to choose, including private, semi-private and public courses, any golfer can create an unforgettable experience when visiting the Grand Strand. Below are some top choices among golf vacationers:
The aforementioned courses are merely a tiny sample of the vast array of options from which visitors can choose. For this reason, it is not surprising that Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular golf destinations in the country.
Golf is always a favorite on the Grand Strand
Located on the southern end of the Grand Strand, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, Brookgreen Gardens are truly a sight to behold. Since 1931, this 9,100-acre garden and sculptural wonderland has mesmerized visitors to the Grand Strand and keeps them coming back for more. With more than 1400 statues by renowned sculptors from around the world and one of the largest botanical displays on the East Coast, it is not surprising that Brookgreen Gardens remains one of the top attractions in the Myrtle Beach area.
The Myrtle Beach State Park is located on South Kings Highway along the far-reaching stretch of Grand Strand coastline. Situated in an oceanfront maritime forest, the Park is a terrific place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the center of Myrtle Beach. Green and tranquil, the Park offers ocean views, nature trails, educational opportunities and some of the best surf fishing in South Carolina.
With regard to on-site campgrounds, Myrtle Beach State Park has some of the most popular campsites on the Grand Strand, as well as other sites located further inland under the towering trees. Interestingly, overnight guests may also stay in one of six cabin rentals,which were built in the 1930s by the CCC. A lovely and tranquil destination, the Myrtle Beach State Park will likely remain a top attraction on the Grand Strand for many future years.