If you're planning a family trip to the beach and looking for things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this has all the info you need. I'll tell you all the best places to go, places to eat, the best beaches in Myrtle Beach, and even details like what to expect for lodging and parking!
Before we start, I am going to tell you that I was given a discount on some of these items, or even free admission, in exchange for my honest review here. We went to all of these places as a family of four, and my honest reviews will be below!
We wanted to go on a beach vacation this year, and wanted to go somewhere we hadn't gone yet. Myrtle Beach was the destination we chose, and we had a great time!
Finding food in a new place can be hit or miss and can make or break your vacation. We LOVE food and it's a huge part of what we research before we go somewhere. Outside of finding things to do in Myrtle Beach, we also wanted to make sure we knew where to eat!
There are a LOT of pancake houses in Myrtle Beach. I expected to see more seafood, but pancake houses were plentiful instead. This was great for picky kids.
On the weekends during the evening, the streets can get VERY busy. As in, one Saturday night it took us 2 HOURS to get Cook Out for us and McDonald's for the kids in the drive thru. During the day you're fine, but I HIGHLY suggest using a delivery service if you just want some food.
Our youngest daughter can't have dairy, so it can be a challenge to find food for her to eat. However, Mellow Mushroom not only has INCREDIBLE pizza that you can order off the menu or customize yourself, BUT they have REALLY GOOD dairy-free pizza.
This was one of our favorite places to eat in Myrtle Beach and we could have eaten there more than once. It's a chain, but it's delish!
This is a little locally owned place in North Myrtle Beach (about 20 minutes from Myrtle Beach) and was great! Serving sizes are HUGE for a great price. We got to meet the owner, and they make everything from scratch - even the little muffins they give you to snack on while you order!
There are an overwhelming amount of places to stay in Myrtle Beach, and it can be super hard to choose based on pictures you see online and star ratings.
The area we stayed was RIGHT on the ocean, and right in the middle of all the restaurants, beach shops etc.
We don't normally vacation on the beach like this (right in town, or in a hotel), but normally rent a beach house off the beaten path (like when we stay in Galveston). BUT, it was nice to be in town and have access to all the pools and amenities!
We stayed in Captain's Quarter's Resort, and it was clearly the best in the area, especially for the price. We got a two-bedroom suite with a full kitchen, and it made the week's stay a BREEZE with two kids.
Hotel stays can be rough for us, because our kid's are 5.5 years apart, and can't share a bed (oldest sleeps deep and is a kicker). This room not only had two rooms, with two beds, but also had a sleeper sofa so everyone slept comfortably all week.
This was the kids' favorite part: the pools. They had a HUGE kiddie pool with water features that was only a foot deep and my youngest loved it!
This is the view from our room looking down onto the pools. Here you can see the kiddie pool, and the bigger outdoor swimming pool.
There was also an indoor hot tub, lazy river, and swimming pool in addition to an outdoor hot tub and another swimming pool.
They were NEVER over-crowded, even on the busy weekends, and we visited in June during busy season too.
They also have a 6th floor arcade with pool and a bowling alley! That was super handy to have on rainy days!
Parking in Myrtle Beach can be tough if you aren't familiar with the area. Here's what you need to know about parking in Myrtle Beach before you go.
If your hotel has a parking garage, just use it. It's worth the cost and will be your best option.
Most of the street parking will be metered, so plan for that. It's inexpensive, but you will need coins, OR can pay using the app you can download on your phone (app varies by area).
There will also be smaller lots like this at public beach access. Parking lots are small and will only fit about 20 cars. Parking is cheap though, and we used these more than once when we were looking for things to do in Myrtle Beach.
Typically these will be more prevalent in North Myrtle Beach.
Look for these signs along the road to signal where these parking lots are.
Everyone wants to Google, "Best beaches in Myrtle Beach" and come up with some magical result. Reality is that Beaches IN Myrtle Beach will be pretty busy.
There are some beaches about 20 minutes from Myrtle Beach that are less populated and will be more secluded.
North Myrtle Beach is a quieter area with less shopping, and more beach homes. It seemed to be more high-end and we really enjoyed beaches here.
If you were to rent a beach house in Myrtle Beach, this would be the area to do it.
I found this conch shell in North Myrtle Beach. It's not common, but there were a lot more shells here that in town!
You will also find places like these in the paid parking lots. They have nice, clean bathrooms with a locking door to change or use the restroom.
Windy Hill is close to North Myrtle Beach and is nice too. It's a little more busy and has tighter packed sand that North Myrtle Beach beaches, but was still enjoyable!
There are lots of incredible things to do in Myrtle Beach, and the things we experienced only scratched the surface!
One of the best (and free!) things to do in Myrtle Beach is to find shark teeth. They wash up onto the beach at high rates, and are easily found with some patience! They're black and shiny and you can see info on them here.
Outside of shark tooth hunting, and shell collecting, there's lots of other fun things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!
If you want to see Myrtle Beach from the best view ever, you need to ride the Sky Wheel! It's fully enclosed so it's safe for all ages, and beach weather friendly!
We went and loved it! It was like a safer, more kid-friendly ferris wheel that's climate controlled with AC! It was super clean and they disinfected after each party!
No Tiger King hate on this post allowed, because this was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. These animals are SO LOVED and well cared for and it shows!
Every single one of the staff had visible respect and absolute love for all the animals, and the whole experience brought tears to my eyes more than once.
Outside of these staged photos, we got to experience educational presentations, see an actual LIGER (biggest animal I've ever seen and is literally the biggest cat in the world), feed and pet several animals like Bubbles the elephant, wolf pups, and tigers, and have a hot dog and marshmallow roast with chimpanzees!
The price seems high before you get there, but I absolutely promise you that it's worth every dime. If you splurge on one thing this vacation, let it be a Doc Antle's Myrtle Beach Safari tour! It will change your life.
Oh, and get the photo package. You can't take your phone on the safari, and will want those memories!
Picture a beautifully manicured landscape covering acres of land, paired with a free-range zoo, that's in a very well designed natural habitat, and that's Brookgreen Gardens.
We really enjoyed our time here, and the staff told us all about the animals and how they came to rescue them. Each animal here has a story and is well-loved and cared for!
They also have beautifully designed trails, outside of the zoo, that you can walk through. You could easily spend a whole day here. There are restaurants, and play grounds, and air-conditioned bathrooms, and even benches along the trails to stop and rest.
It was a lot of walking for little legs, so keep that in mind if you're taking kids. There's a lot of shade, but it can still get hot. Wear sunscreen and cool clothing.
We didn't get to visit here, HOWEVER, we have been to Ripley's Aquarium at multiple locations across the country, and they are always the BEST aquariums we've ever been to.
This is literally like a county fair right by the ocean! Little roller coasters, swings, water rides, and more! It was only a couple of blocks from our resort!
There are lots of arcades in Myrtle Beach, and some hotels even have them, BUT the best, and cheapest arcade in Myrtle Beach is inside Wings Beach Store. It's half the price of other places and has twice the games. This photo is only half of the machines!
If you're anything like us, you are gonna shop on vacation. We love shopping and finding local treasures, but also love getting typical beach souvenirs.
Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach is a great outdoor shopping center. There's a ton of awesome stores, and there's usually a big coupon book for all the stores there too.
The Market Commons is another gorgeous shopping district in a nicer part of town. There's chain stores like Barnes and Noble, but also local stores with one-of-a-kind items too!
The main strip of Myrtle Beach (near the Sky Wheel) is a really cool shopping district! There's food, shopping, and all kinds of activities! Lots of stores that have been here for decades, like the Gay Dolphin, which has beach wear and more!
Beach shops are everywhere in Myrtle Beach. Our favorite one with the best quality and prices (and trust me we went to a LOT of them) was Tsunami Surf Shop. Which surprised us because Google reviews were not very good, but this place was incredible!
Overall we enjoyed our time in Myrtle Beach as a family! It was busier than we're used to our vacations being, but we had no shortage of things to do while we were there!
I hope this comprehensive review on things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and where to stay with your family was helpful! If you have any questions leave them below, and I'll answer!