So much to do and see, so little time. That's about the only complaint you hear from folks following an exciting week in Myrtle Beach. No matter how many fun things you find time to do, there are always many more you couldn't squeeze into your trip.
That's why we've put together a list of the most important things you should do during your visit to the Grand Strand. Just consider it your “sand bucket list” of the top five ways to spend five days and nights, plus another day to recover from all the fun:
* Monday: Spend all day making some waves at Myrtle Beach's only oceanfront waterpark, and then spend all night experiencing an old-school Myrtle Beach amusement. Located across from one another on Ocean Boulevard in the heart of the downtown district, Family Kingdom offers Unlimited-use combo passes that allow you to spend the whole day and night getting wet on the waterslides and thrill rides. Making this attraction more affordable is the open admission policy, so family members too young or old for the rides can tag along at no charge. There's also an a la carte ticket option in case you just want to ride the historic Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster or the new Twist 'N Shout steel roller coaster. Cap it off with some ice cream and cotton candy for a sweet ending to a great day in downtown Myrtle Beach.
* Tuesday: Explore the Grand Strand's scenic Lowcountry with a day trip to Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. Featuring tidal creeks of salt marshes former rice plantations, this landscape is home to Brookgreen Gardens, the largest and oldest botanical sculpture garden on the East Coast. Experience the harmonic merger of art and nature at this 9,000-acre preserve before crossing Highway 17 for a beach day at Huntington Beach State Park. Huge sand dunes tower over the pristine beaches, and a Spanish-style castle stands guard over the grounds. Take a break for some shopping at the Pawleys Island Hammocks Shops and a fresh-catch dinner along the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk.
* Wednesday: Hump day feels more like the weekend at the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, a 1.2-mile stretch of oceanfront walkway that leads to some of the top attractions, dining, shopping and nightlife on the Grand Strand. Stroll the Boardwalk to great restaurants (from Bandito's to the Pier House), bars (The Bowery) and shops (Gay Dolphin) along the downtown district's beachfront. Plyler Park is the place to be on Wednesday nights, with free concerts and fireworks displays during the summer months. The fireworks are launched from Second Avenue Pier, so onlookers can see the spectacle for miles along the beach. Plant a chair in the sand and take in the show.
* Thursday: Time to step out of your comfort zone for an adventurous day on the northern section of the Grand Strand. North Myrtle Beach and Little River are known for fishing and watersports, and you can choose which activity floats your boat. Charter a full or half-day deep-sea fishing trip and reel in some big ones, or take a dolphin-watching cruise in the Atlantic Ocean. For those who prefer a bigger adrenaline rush, test your nerves with a parasailing, jet-skiing or banana boat adventure. The new North Myrtle Beach Sports and Rec Complex offers two unique thrills – the Jet Pack water-propulsion ride and the Go Ape Treetop Adventure zipline and ropes course. End the day with a seafood feast at one of the North Strand's most bountiful buffets, or with a Lowcountry Boil on the Intracoastal Waterway on Captain Poo's patio deck.
* Friday: It only makes sense to spend your last day and night out on the town at Broadway at the Beach. The popular entertainment, dining and shopping complex literally has it all, so you can spend your last day out about marking off items on your shopping list, and your last night enjoying a nice dinner at one of the many restaurants. Top it off with an evening of partying in Celebrity Square at the dozen or so night clubs before catching a cab back to Island Vista.
* Saturday: Finally, time to rest relax by the outdoor and indoor pools and hot tubs on Island Vista’s beautiful oceanfront deck. Enjoy an excellent meal in at the on-site Cypress Room and get a good night’s sleep before you head back home with a heedful of vacation memories in tow.