Charming, Small-town Vibe of Myrtle Beach
Located on South Carolina's Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach lays claim to more than 60 miles of pristine beach and is an ideal place for a relaxing vacation. This broad beckoning beach stretches nearly from the North Carolina border in Little River and North Myrtle Beach south to Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach, Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island, and Georgetown, with Myrtle Beach centered at the hub. Named for its abundance of crape myrtle trees, Myrtle Beach is the largest, liveliest, and most developed beach resort along the Grand Strand. More than 15 million people visit this town each year, and it's easy to see why. Golf, watersports, and boardwalk shopping are some of the favorite ways to unwind in this popular family-friendly destination. The main attraction in Myrtle Beach is the sandy shoreline, and many activities center on the water.
The range of activities on offer is simply overwhelming. In addition to boating and a wealth of watersports, fishing is first-rate, whether you cast your line from the surf (permitted all along the beach), a public pier, or a "head boat"—charter boats that are available at marinas up and down the Strand. There is even an annual fishing rodeo competition during the summer months. Other things to do in Myrtle Beach include enjoying the Atlantic by renting jet skis, parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing, scuba diving and riding in banana boats. Fly a kite, search for shells, toss a Frisbee, or let the kids enjoy the water while parents watch nearby. Myrtle Beach is a popular place for amusement parks, and visitors won't want for choices, since Freestyle Music Park, Myrtle Waves Water Park, and Wild Water & Wheels are just a few of the options.
And, chances are, whenever you visit, you'll find good weather to enjoy all of your special interests. The Myrtle Beach area enjoys a mild annual average temperature of 74º with an average of 215 sunny days each year. May through August is the busiest time, as this is when most beach-goers visit.
Out of the water, Myrtle Beach will always be golf 's all-you-can-eat buffet. Golf enthusiasts and aficionados can enjoy golf at more than 100 courses in the area – courses designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones, and Jack Nicklaus. High season for golf is from February to November. There are more than 3.4 million rounds of golf played annually in the Myrtle Beach area.
Arrowhead Country Club is a 27-hole masterpiece that stretches along the Intracoastal Waterway, features a canvas of Bermuda Fairways and MiniVerde Bermuda greens. Arrowhead features three unique 9-hole tracks: The Waterway, The Cypress and The Lakes, each one with a feel all of its own. If you're searching for a layout that will challenge your golf skills, Arrowhead golf course will fit the bill.
Caledonia is situated on a former rice plantation and drenched in Lowcountry charm. It is a 19-year-old Mike Strantz design that feels decades older. The late Strantz was an artist with a bulldozer, and here he created a layout worthy of a museum exhibit. Gnarled live oaks festooned with Spanish moss line the fairways, and the course. Caledonia's 6,526 yards are crammed into 125 acres, which may explain the par of 70, but waste bunkers, wetlands and undulating greens keep big hitters honest.
And, while the beach is certainly the No.1 attraction, the fun does not end with surf, sand and signature holes. The Grand Strand offers a wide range of unique attractions and exciting entertainment options from shopping, dining and theme parks, to live entertainment theaters with Vegas-style live performances, nightclubs and celebrity concerts. The Myrtle Beach shopping complexes are destinations within themselves. Visitors can stroll along boardwalk promenades on warm evenings, venture in and out of hundreds of unique specialty stores, and dine in exceptional restaurants along the way. There are more than 1,700 full-service restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area and it's no surprise that seafood is one of the primary cuisines. Murrells Inlet is nicknamed "the seafood capital of the world" and Calabash-style restaurants are popular in the Northern Strand as well as Carolina Coastal Cuisine.
And if that's not enough, there are a dozen shipwrecks for divers to explore, beachfront campgrounds, antique-car and wax museums, an award-winning aquarium, the world's largest outdoor sculpture garden, and a museum dedicated entirely to rice.