There are so many great things to see and do in Myrtle Beach, and so little vacation time to see and do it all. To get the maximum enjoyment out of your days on the Grand Strand, you want to experience the best of the best. Of course “the best,” like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but here is our best-guess list of all the bests:
Attractions: Family Kingdom in downtown Myrtle Beach is the place to go for thrill rides and waterslides in one spot. The amusement park features everything from roller coasters to kiddie rides, while Splashes across the street is the only oceanfront waterpark on the Grand Strand. Combo passes allow guests to get discounted armbands, but there is no admission so the whole family can tag along. For fun on the slightly less wild side, Ripley's Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach provides a unique, hands-on experience with all kinds of aquatic life, including sharks at Danger Reef and stingrays at Ray Bay.
Golf: With nearly 100 courses on the Grand Strand, golfers have a wide selection of layouts to choose from. But if you want to play the best the Myrtle Beach area has to offer, look no farther than The Dunes Golf & Beach Club on the north end of town. The semi-private club was designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones in 1949 and the course maintains its stern challenge and scenic charm. If you don't mind putting a few miles on the car, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island is a true gem. Built on a former rice plantation, the property has Lowcountry beauty with a golf course to match.
Restaurants: Whether you prefer surf or turf, two of the best providers of both are about a block away from each other in downtown Myrtle Beach – Sea Captain's House and New York Prime. Sea Captain's House has been an institution in Myrtle Beach for more than 60 years and still serves some of the best Southern-style seafood dishes on the Strand, while New York Prime is known for its award-winning steaks. For a surf-and-turf combo, visit 21 Main in North Myrtle Beach for excellent steaks and sushi. If you have a particular taste in mind, here are a few category favorites – Italian (Angelo's), Burgers (River City Cafe), Mexican (Bandito's), Asian (Black Thai) and Pizza (AJ's).
Shopping: Broadway at the Beach is the place to go for the ultimate retail therapy. Featuring nearly 100 shops that range from local mom-and-pop shops to major national chains, you can find it all at this complex. Best of all, there's plenty of attractions to get the rest of the family entertained while you browse for bargains. On the North Strand, Barefoot Landing offers a similar shopping experience, while Market Common on the south end provides a unique urban-style shopping center.
Theaters: There are so many great live shows in Myrtle Beach that it's hard to go wrong. But if you only have one night to visit one theater, the Alabama Theatre's “One: The Show” features a talented cast of musicians and dancers in an award-winning showcase. Carolina Opry and The Palace Theatre in Myrtle Beach also deliver a solid and diverse lineup of shows, from musicals that highlight the history of American music to amazing magic shows and laser-light rock ‘n roll concerts. If you prefer a dinner-and-show combo, Pirates Voyage offers good food and entertainment for the whole family.