Planning the perfect trip to South Carolina? Find time to see all the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. Best-known for its sandy beaches, state parks, and water sports, Myrtle Beach is a must-see destination in the Southeast USA.
The top tourist attractions in Myrtle Beach include Ripley’s Aquarium, Pirates Voyage, and the SkyWheel. You’ll also enjoy thrilling rides for the whole family at the city’s many amusement parks. The city also offers plenty of beach access and opportunities to go hiking and spend time in nature.
Not sure what to do in Myrtle Beach? Begin planning your South Carolina road trip with this guide to the best places to visit in Myrtle Beach.
Best places to visit Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach State Park
Looking for a place to go fishing in Myrtle Beach? Professional and amateur fishers will love Myrtle Beach State Park. The 312-acre seaside park is known as a great place to catch big ones. It’s home to amazing marine life, a fishing pier, and a nature center.
Myrtle Beach State Park is one of the best places to go in Myrtle Beach as it has activities & adventures for the entire family. The native wetlands are a fantastic place to see alligators, gray crabs, and other exotic species.
Strap on some comfortable shoes and go hiking on the nature trail or see the natural history exhibits in the nature center. Pier Fishing is also popular, and the state park has a bait shop on-site. The park’s biking trails are also amazing.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
For a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean, head to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Travelers love the oceanfront boardwalk in the summer season. It’s fun for the whole family, offering endless food stands and amusement park rides. The boardwalk pier was voted South Carolina’s best boardwalk since its renovations in 2013.
Trying to get a panoramic view of the city and a photo op? The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is the perfect place. The pier offers outstanding views of the beach and the city. During the summer months, you can grab an ice cream cone and stroll through the gift shops and parks.
Put on your swimsuit and hit the water after doing your shopping. If you’d rather sit by the water and eat than go swimming, the pier also has a wide array of oceanfront restaurants.
SkyWheel Myrtle Beach
Feeling adventurous and want to get high above the ocean? Get a fantastic view of the skyline and the water at SkyWheel Myrtle Beach. The SkyWheel takes you 200 feet above the ocean in a climate-controlled gondola. Each gondola seats 6 people, so there’s enough room for the whole family.
Located on Ocean Boulevard, the SkyWheel was built in 2011 and has a nightly LED light show. If you’re feeling extra brave, get a VIP ticket. You’ll be able to sit in a gondola with glass floors for an even better view of the beach and ocean.
Make sure your stomach is empty before going. Even if heights don’t nauseate you, Jimmy Buffet’s The Landshark Bar & Grill is attached to the SkyWheel. It’s perfect for a delicious meal and fresh drinks after your spin.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
Searching for fun for the whole family? Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is one of the most entertaining attractions for children and adults alike. Kids love the up-close experience with stingrays, sharks, and jellyfish at the aquarium. For those six and up, there’s also an opportunity to swim with stingrays.
Located in Pavilion Park, Ripley’s Aquarium also has live coral reefs, dolphin shows, and thousands of jellyfish. The aquarium is one of the city’s hottest attractions with two levels full of active marine life.
After experiencing the aquarium, head to Ripley’s cargo hold gift shop. They have all the usual souvenirs of stuffed animals, toys, and keychains. The luxury gift collection is amazing including handmade crystal sea creature sculptures.
Myrtle Waves Water Park
Want a place for the whole family to a place to cool down in the hot summer sun? Myrtle Waves Water Park has something for all ages. Most people come for the 24 water slides and the hours of fun playing in the over 1 million gallons of water.
Myrtle Beach has the only Flow Rider in South Carolina. In this surfing simulation, people of all ages stand on a platform and practice their surfing skills.
Missing the ocean while spending the day at the water park? Head over to the wave pool. With waves generated every few minutes, you’ll be able to feel like you’re down by the sand.
Hop on a tube and meander down the river on the lazy river ride. It’s perfect for those wanting to relax or who want to take a break from the action of the slides.
Huntington Beach State Park
Want to visit one of the city’s public beaches or tan on the white sand? Huntington Beach State Park has incredible long stretches of sand and all the wildlife famous to South Carolina.
Featuring a nature center, fishing, and walking trails, Huntington Beach State Park is one of the must-see Myrtle Beach attractions. Most people visit the park to see Huntington Castle. Built in Moorish style architecture, the castle also has an art museum filled with art galleries and sculptures.
Don’t feel like touring the state park on your own? Take a guided walking or kayaking tour to learn about the history and wildlife. Pack up all your beach gear and relax on the beach after your tour.
Hunting for the best place for shopping and dining in Myrtle Beach? Barefoot Landing is one of South Carolina’s top entertainment hubs. The complex offers several large name shops as well as local stores.
Situated in North Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Landing is a great place to relax. There are many breweries and pubs making it a popular choice for nightlife. It’s is also full of restaurants serving sushi, burgers, seafood, cold beer, and more.
The entertainment complex is the hub’s most popular attraction, featuring House of Blues and the Alabama Theatre. Alabama Theatre features Las-Vegas type dance shows. House of Blues has numerous shows including local bands, a gospel brunch on Sundays, and tribute bands to many famous singers. Every night is a different experience.
T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station
Want to see tigers without heading to Southeast Asia? Pop the T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station into your Myrtle Beach itinerary. Rare for the United States, the station is a tiger sanctuary. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a few monkeys along the way.
T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station offers 3 main activity options. Choose from a 3-hour day safari tour, a nighttime safari tour, or just spend a few minutes with the tigers to take some photographs.
No matter what option you choose, the tours are one of the most entertaining attractions in the North Myrtle Beach area. Enjoy seeing one of the rarest species on earth on one of the safaris in the 50-acre wildlife reserve.
Family Kingdom Amusement Park
Picking the best places to take your family to Myrtle Beach has to include the Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Looking for a view of the blue waters in Myrtle Beach? Ride one of the rollercoasters that’ll take you soaring right above the ocean. It’s the perfect place for seeing the clear water view.
Located on Ocean Boulevard, Family Kingdom Amusement Park is known for its go-karts and family rides. It even includes several rides tailored to small children. In total, you’ll find 37 rides at Family Kingdom Amusement Park.
Get your adrenaline pumping with the bumper cars. You’ll have a ton of fun crashing them into the confined area safe for children and adults. The extreme rides and rollercoasters are ideal for anyone seeking extra thrills.
Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf
There are many putt-putt golf places in Myrtle Beach. Trying to find the best one? Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf is a traveler favorite thanks to its challenging 18 holes and blue lagoons.
Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf features two mini-golf courses, including one for smaller children. Choose the Conch for a less challenging route. Or tackle the Minotaur if you’re searching for more twists and turns.
The bonus 19th hole is where the real fun is at. If you can make it through the tunnel without landing in the water, you get free mini golf for life! Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf also offers stunning views of the beach skyline.
Looking for a dinner and a show? Pirates Voyage is one of the hottest attractions in the city. At Pirates Voyage, entertainers provide live shows full of water stunts and aerobatics.
While enjoying the entertainment, you’ll receive a five-course meal from appetizers to dessert. There are vegetarian meals available and all dietary restrictions are happily met. Just make sure to note them on your reservation.
Pirates Voyage is one of Myrtle Beach’s most exciting family-friendly shows. It dazzles viewers with choreographed lighting, mermaids, and music by Dolly Parton.
Trying to find the city’s finest flowers, sculptures, and animal enclosures? Brookgreen Gardens is one of the best things to see in Myrtle Beach. It features aquatic habitats, international art exhibits, and landscape sculptures.
Your children will be fully entertained by the reflecting pool and Butterfly House. Exploring the botanical gardens has endless possibilities. On the way, you’ll scope out dozens of hidden pathways.
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Brookgreen Gardens features about a dozen galleries. Some are designed as natural indoor garden rooms; others display outdoor sculptures.
The gardens are also a fantastic place to learn about the history of slavery and its effects on South Carolina and North Carolina. End the day with a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.
Carrying on the tradition of its predecessor, Pavilion Park has a long history to back it up. Built in 1948, the original amusement park was one of the first amusement parks in the United States. It’s since moved many of its historical attractions to Broadway at the Beach. Today, it’s still one of the top points of interest in Myrtle Beach.
Pavilion Park boasts two areas offering extreme rides. Want to keep the adrenaline pumping? Stick to Action Park. Its adventurous rides include The Beast and Wave Swinger. If you’re traveling with smaller children, hit up the Fun Park. Featuring a train ride and a frog-hopping ride, it’s tons of excitement for the kids.
Broadway at the Beach is right next to Pavilion Park. It offers great shopping, including wine shops, luxury boutiques, and souvenir shops. Broadway at the Beach is a great place to unwind and buy gifts for the folks back home. It’s also one of the city’s best nightlife areas, featuring great bars and happy hours.
Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum
Missing your favorite arcade games from the 70s and 80s? Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum has all the games from your youth. It’s a museum combined with an arcade center.
Featuring over 25 retro and old-school pinball games, the Pinball Museum is one of the best places to see Myrtle Beach. There’s a one-time admission fee and no quarters are needed. All the machines are set to free-play mode and can be played as many times as you’d like.
The Pinball Museum is close to the main convention center and only four blocks from beach access. After reliving your childhood, you can head back to the beach and continue your tan.
Pawleys Island Nature Park
Searching for a scenic drive to see a destination outside the city? Zip over to Pawleys Island Nature Park. The park charms with beautiful gardens, incredible historic sites, and perfectly preserved wetlands. It’s a top destination for those who love hiking, walking, and everything outdoors.
Pawleys Island is only about a 35-minute drive from town and one of the most popular Myrtle Beach day trips. Located in historic Georgetown, South Carolina, it’s also close to Garden City. Historic Georgetown is a great place to eat or window shop after visiting the nature park.
One of the best Myrtle Beach day trips, Pawleys Island is also home to the Hammock Shops Village. Open since 1938, its best-sellers are hand-woven hammocks, handcrafted jewelry, and wine. Fresh-caught oysters and crabs are also available.
Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens
Need another dose of nature? Head over to Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens. This serene botanical garden spans salt marshes and several small interconnected islands. It’s located right off US-17.
A small fishing village of Little River, Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens is part of the Horry County parks system. It features revolutionary war graves and the Vereen family cemetery. The gardens are the perfect destination for nature & history lovers.
Interested in hiking or other activities? The Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens also has some of the best unpaved hiking trails and boardwalks in the area. Put on some comfortable shoes and wind through the trails to see all the famous wildlife.
Best places to stay in Myrtle Beach for sightseeing
For travelers, the best places to stay in Myrtle Beach for sightseeing are around Downtown, Broadway at the Beach, and, South Ocean Blvd. With its family-friendly attractions, North Myrtle Beach is another good option if you’re traveling with kids.
Pegged up to the boardwalk, this hotel offers top-value accommodations in a central location. All the rooms come loaded with a balcony, offering spectacular city or ocean views.
Within a 5-minute drive of Family Kingdom, these seaside suites are an excellent choice for road-tripping families. Cool down in the three outdoor pools or unwind in the hotel’s two relaxing hot tubs.
Located on the beachfront, this hotel offers spacious, modern suites. Upgrade to an oceanview room to experience the property at its best.