A First-Timer's Guide to Myrtle Beach

If you've never been to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, then you're in for a treat. Known as the 'Sun Fun Capital' and 'Golf Capital of the World', Myrtle Beach, part of the Grand Strand that runs from Pawleys Island to Little River, is brimming with plenty to see and do for all ages.

Along with 60 miles of white, sandy beaches, the Grand Strand hosts an extensive collection of family friendly attractions, shopping destinations, golf courses, gourmet restaurants, and much, much more.

If you're not sure where to start, we've broken down the five must-see things to see and do in the Myrtle Beach area.

Stroll the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade and take a ride on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel
Situated oceanfront along Ocean Boulevard, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade opened in 2010 and is 1.2 miles long. Running from 2nd Avenue North in downtown Myrtle Beach to 14th Avenue North, visitors can take in breathtaking ocean views, enjoy a variety of dining options, or explore the numerous shops and attractions that line the promenade.

One such attraction to take a spin on is the SkyWheel, an observation wheel that stands over 180 feet tall and is currently the tallest wheel east of the Mississippi. In a fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondola, riders take flight on the wheel enjoying views that overlook the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean Boulevard, and the Myrtle Beach skyline.

Be entertained at Broadway at the Beach
Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Broadway at the Beach is a must-see tourist destination. A lively outdoor entertainment complex situated over 350 acres, it hosts over 20 restaurants, 100 specialty shops, and a variety of unique attractions including Ripley's Aquarium, WonderWorks, Dragon's Lair Fantasy Golf, and much more.

Families will enjoy strolling the boardwalk and exploring the shops, eateries, and attractions situated around Lake Broadway, including a zip line, a speed boat ride, and weekly firework displays. The over 21 crowd will enjoy Broadway's nightlife scene with its collection of night clubs and bars.

Get friendly with the alligators at Alligator Adventure
Deemed the 'Reptile Capital of the World', Alligator Adventure offers a full day of family-friendly fun. Situated on a wetland habitat, this park offers visitors an inviting opportunity to explore a vast assortment of animals including alligators, crocodiles, lizards, tropical birds, exotic snakes, lemurs, warthogs, and much more.

For the ultimate experience, watch a live feeding show hosted in two locations throughout the day, or visit with Utan, the largest known crocodile in captivity that weighs in at 2,000 pounds and is over 18 feet long.

Explore the beauty of Brookgreen Gardens
Situated in picturesque Murrells Inlet, a short drive south of Myrtle Beach, this botanical and sculpture garden is a popular spot for residents and visitors alike thanks to its vast collection of flowers and works of art on display.

Explore Brookgreen's ever changing seasonal blooms, or spend time strolling through their art collection which is comprised of over 1,400 works of art from 350 sculptors ranging from the nineteenth century to the present. Families can also enjoy low country excursion trips, a wildlife zoo, and nature trails.

Dine at a calabash seafood buffet
Scattered throughout various locations in the Grand Strand and along Restaurant Row in Myrtle Beach, hungry visitors will find a large collection of calabash style seafood buffets- and no trip to Myrtle Beach is complete without one visit.

Calabash style seafood is popular thanks to its distinct light breading and fried preparation, and buffets throughout the Grand Strand prepare a large menu of seafood dishes with it, including oysters, clams, fish, and much more. Popular dining destinations include Captain Benjamin's Calabash Seafood Buffet, Crabby Mike's Seafood, and Giant Crab Seafood Restaurant.

Rebecca S. Robertson is a freelance writer and co-owner of Design & Word in Myrtle Beach, SC. Along with a love of writing, she adores reading, traveling, cooking, and shopping.

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