Myrtle Beach is famous for its fun in the summer sun, but the best time of year to visit the Grand Strand might actually be the fall. Here are 10 reasons to come to Myrtle Beach in the autumn:
1) Weather: You’ve heard the old expression “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity.” That’s the biggest difference between the summer and fall climates on the Grand Strand. While the average monthly temperatures max out in the dog days of summer at a high of 87 and a low 73, those numbers dip considerably in September (82/67), October (74/56) and November (66/47) with comfortable temperatures and significantly drier air.
2) Crowds: The Grand Strand welcomes about a half million visitors each week during the peak summer months, and that number drops off almost immediately after Labor Day weekend, gradually decreasing the deeper the calendar slips into fall. That means fewer cars on the roads, less time to stand in lines and more room to stretch out on the beach.
3) Hotel rates: The same room during peak season can be less than half the rate during the fall. Families, couples and golf foursomes can save significant amounts of money by coming a little later in the year, or treat yourself and upgrade to a more upscale resort you might not be able to afford during the summer. And with fewer folks staying at your hotel, you’ll have many of the amenities to yourself.
4) Festivals: The summertime in Myrtle Beach is like one, big 90-day festival with free fireworks and concerts all over the Strand. But the fall months sees a shift to more traditional festivals, like the Little River Shrimp & Jazz Festival, the Loris Chicken Bog-Off, the Aynor Hoedown and Myrtle Beach’s Oktoberfest. The Strand knows how to throw a party in the fall.
5 )Attractions: Many of Myrtle Beach’s top attractions remain open year-round, or at least until the end of fall, so autumn visitors can enjoy them with the long lines or the big crowds. While water parks and some watersports may not be available, places like Family Kingdom, Ripley’s Aquarium and the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel continue to entertain guests well into autumn.
6) Restaurants: Reservations? Two-hour wait times? Those are things of the past after the summer rush. In fact, odds are you can walk into any of the 1,700 restaurants on the Grand Strand at peak dinner time and be seated immediately. Many restaurants are more apt to hold happy hour, early bird and late-night specials to attract more business in the offseason.
7) Golf: The Grand Strand and it’s 100-plus golf courses are great to play anytime of year, but the end of the summer season also coincides with the traditional start of the fall golf season. In fact, Myrtle Beach hosts the world’s largest amateur golf tournament every Labor Day to kick off the autumn season. The World Am attracts about 5,000 players to experience the wonder of fall golf in Myrtle Beach.
8) Shopping: No more rubbing elbows with all the other sweaty summer shopping crowds. Take your sweet time and check out all the national chains and mom-and-pop shops at Broadway at the Beach, Market Common, Coastal Grand Mall, the Tanger Outlet Stores and all the other shopping centers around the Grand Strand. The fall features lots of post-summer clearance sales.
9) Fishing: As the water temperature drops and various species of fish begin their fall migration south, Grand Strand anglers are perfectly positioned to intercept them on their way south. Whether surf fishing from the beach, pier fishing from the docks or deep-sea fishing on a boat, the fall is the best time to hook the big ones. Shrimp and crab also produce nice fall hauls.
10) Football: The Grand Strand boasts two powerhouse football programs – Coastal Carolina University, which has been a perennial top-10 team at the FCS college level in recent years, and six-time state champion Myrtle beach High, which plays its games at one of the nicest high school stadiums in the state at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach. Catch a game live, or hit one of the many sports bars to catch your college or pro teams in action.
(Photo Courtesy Family Kingdom)