Sparky's Flair Offers Travelers More Than Just Fireworks

If you've ever traveled on Hwy 501 from Florence, SC to Myrtle Beach, your eyes probably dart straight to the billboards of a cute little black and white dog with a stick of dynamite in its mouth. Not surprisingly, the dog is the front-and-center flair of Sparky's, the quirkiest little roadside attraction in South Carolina.

Located in Marion, Sparky's is one of those places where you really don't want to judge the book by its cover. Looking at the outside, you'd think someone took a few old buildings of various sizes and nailed them together using over-sized billboards. But step through one of the many doors and you'll realize you've entered a treasure trove of explosives, edibles, and knickknacks that might just need to make their way home with you.

Sparky's Gift Shop
Not even Ariel from "The Little Mermaid" can top the collection of whose-its, whats-its and thingamabobs you'll find in Sparky's. It's your last chance (or first, if you're traveling north) to stock up on Myrtle Beach souvenirs, like beach towels, seashells, cups, and hermit crabs. Plus, you'll find all kinds of things you never knew you needed (or even existed!), like handcrafted figurines made entirely of sea shells. And don't forget to take a selfie with Sparky and his dynamite (wall painting only, of course).

Sparky's Country Store
Contrary to popular belief, Sparky's is more than a trinket stockpile. Take a stroll around the country store, where you can indulge your sweet tooth with delicious fudge and salt water taffy by-the-pound. Or fill your pantry from their gourmet food section, which includes 13 varieties of pecans (including chocolate and honey crisp!), jams, jellies, candies, syrups, and more flavors of hot sauce than you'll know what to do with. They also set up shop outdoors selling fresh fruits and vegetables when in season.

Sparky's Fireworks
True to its namesake, you can fill your pockets with rockets galore from Sparky's selection of combustibles. With such a huge selection, you won't burn a hole in your wallet to walk out with a full arsenal: items range from a penny to more than $100 to fit your pyrotechnics allowance. From simple cherry bombs and firecrackers to M-80s, mortars, and big-shot multipacks, you'll start or end your beach vacation with a boom!

Sparky's Cafe
Okay, so Sparky's Cafe isn't the official name of the eatery, but right next to Sparky's gas station you'll find a nook where they're serving up Philly cheese steaks, barbecue, chicken tenders, and other fast food yummies to fill your belly while you fill your car. And don't forget the hand-scooped ice cream for dessert!

Judging from online reviews, vacationers from far and wide agree that a trip to the South Carolina coast is never complete without a visit to Sparky's. It's quirky, fun, intriguing, and certainly a place you won't find anywhere else. Who knew a store that sells Minnetonka moccasins, Harley Davidson boots, and coffee mugs could also excel at selling ninja swords, knives, hot eats, gas, and sea shells all under one roof? Stop by sometime, and you'll see why.

Alli Hill is a native South Carolinian who, as a former Myrtle Beach resident, used to look forward to the Sparky's billboards during her frequent travels across the state. Alli graduated from Lander University in 2008 with a degree in Mass Communications, and enjoys her full-time work as a writer and mommy.