There are only 30,000 residents in the city limits of Myrtle Beach, however, nearly 15 million people visit the Grand Strand each year…even so, it’s hard to walk down the street without strangers greeting you with, Good morning! Nice day, isn’t it?” Folks here are passionate about their “Southern Hospitality,” and it shows in all the tiny towns that dot the Eastern seaboard along the Grand Strand.
At the north end, Little River and North Myrtle Beach cater to a somewhat older crowd, but remember…the Shag was invented in North Myrtle Beach! Just south of Myrtle Beach is picturesque, Garden City…it’s lined with beach houses and the residents are grateful there’s little to do but fish and walk along the strand. Murrells Inlet, however, is known for great seafood -it’s not unusual to see lines of hungry people waiting to get inside the many popular restaurants. Just below Murrells Inlet is, Pawley’s Island, a more affluent community with tiny boutiques and restaurants that attract a more eclectic crowd! And finally, west of Myrtle Beach is, Conway… the gateway to the Grand Strand. When visitors take 501 into Myrtle Beach, they pass through this quaint riverfront town where most of the residents have lived all their lives!
The weather in Myrtle Beach is friendly too! The locals love the weather in the fall, when it’s still warm enough during the day but cool in the early morning and after the sun goes down. The winters are usually mild and golfers persist regardless! Spring is perfect and summer temperatures are ideal for spending time on the beach…by the Ocean!
No matter where you stay along the Grand Strand…it’s all about the “beach,” morning, noon and nighttime! Although Myrtle Beach is often referred to as “Family Beach,” high school and college students come in droves during spring break. All of the FUN is right here…and it’s not nearly as far as Panama City! The Beach is also known for its nightlife, once the sun goes down! The well-known, 2001 Nightclub, has made a name for itself on the East Coast for “big city nightlife!” Though the temperatures may not always match those in Florida, fun on the Grand Strand is guaranteed… any time of the year!
Families may go to the beach in the morning and shop all afternoon. Shopping, after all, is a year ‘round attraction. The Strand is filled with Myrtle Beach Factory stores, Tanger outlet stores and the Myrtle Grande. If all else fails, there are over 60 “putt putt” golf courses and a vast array of attractions from Ripley’s Believe It or Not to the famous Myrtle Beach Pavillion or the Nascar Theme Park. When it’s time for the adults to play, it’s off to Broadway at the Beach or club hopping at the Club Mega-Center. The best part? It’s easy to “do” Myrtle Beach on a budget! Then Dad can return in the fall or spring and play golf at one of the 150 courses that have made Myrtle Beach the #1 golfing destination!
Myrtle Beach also has its share of festivals…Bike Week in the Spring and the South Carolina Blue Grass Festival in the Fall just can’t be beat…unless you’re a Shag dancer from “waaay back” and then you’ll be dancing your way to the beach for the SOS Fall Migration…a celebration of the mighty shag dance by young and old alike. It’s all about the Shag, North Myrtle Beach’s own, self-proclaimed hall of fame dance. Everyone joins in telling stories about hanging out at the “pad,” picking up their first steady girl, who’s now their wife…and dancing! In this manner, a very “cool” dance lives on, passed down from one generation to the next. Hang on for the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival in Huntington Beach. Atalaya Castlle was once the winter home for Americam Sculptress, Anna Hyatt Huntington and this is a major event! The bikers might say, “not so!” It’s got to be the Myrtle Beach Fall Bike Rally in the number one spot, but who’s arguing? Art in the Park is probably a favorite for as well!
Bottom line…Myrtle Beach has something for everyone-from family vacations to spring break getaways! It’s a golfing and shopping mecca with 150 golf courses and 100’s of outlet stores. The nightlife is one of a kind-it even has its own special dance…The Shag! But life here revolves around the beach…and miles and miles of memories!