Myrtle Beach is home to a lot of great attractions, so it should come as no surprise that there are a few tourist traps in the mix. If you've ever been tricked into paying top dollar for bottom quality entertainment you know the buyer's remorse you feel after wasting your vacation cash on a disappointing experience.
That's why we've compiled this top-five list of attractions that deliver the maximum bang for your bucks. There are plenty of fun, family friendly attractions that are worth the price of admission, even some that are absolutely free. Check out this list of local hot spots and prepare to have a good time on the cheap:
Concerts: If you are into live music you are in luck. The Grand Strand offers several free concert series during the summer months that allow you and your party to have a good time without spending a penny. In downtown Myrtle Beach, the Hot summer Nights series features local and regional bands on the Plyler Park stage five nights a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays). On North Myrtle Beach, the Music on Main festival has bands playing in the Horseshoe every Thursday night, and the Sounds of Summer concert series is held every third Friday night at the new North Myrtle Beach Sports and Recreation Center.
Amusement Parks: OK, so these attractions aren't exactly cheap. But for grown-ups looking to let the kids have a good time while they supervise, amusement parks can be one of the best deals in town. For instance, Family Kingdom in downtown Myrtle Beach has no admission charge, only arm bands and tickets for those who wish to ride. So parents and grandparents can tag along and take photos of the little ones enjoying themselves on the same roller coasters and thrills rides they rode as kids vacationing in Myrtle Beach.
Fireworks: Here's one sure-fire way to get the most bang for your buck. Free fireworks shows are held up and down the Grand Strand during the summer months, giving vacationers the chance to experience the colorful displays on the beach without having to dip into their wallets. Plan it right and you can see fireworks virtually any night – Mondays at Barefoot, Tuesdays at Broadway at the Beach, and Wednesdays on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor-league baseball team also hosts postgame fireworks several times during the summer, and other special pyrotechnic shows are held in conjunction with festivals and holidays.
Festivals: Here's another freebie for vacationers on a budget, but you have to stay on top of the local events calendar to make sure you don't miss out. Special events and festivals are held throughout the summer months, such as the Monday night Kids Carnival on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, IslandFest in Pawleys Island on June 18, and RiverFest in Conway on June 27. Free movie nights are held outdoors at Market Common's Valor Park and at North Myrtle Beach's Movies in McClain. Bring a beach chair or blanket and catch a family-friendly classic on the silver screen under the stars.
Waterparks: Again, waterparks can be pricy, depending on when you go. But if you have some flexibility in your schedule, you can enjoy all the thrills and chills for cheap. Myrtle Waves near Broadway at the Beach offers half-priced admission after 4 p.m. on select nights, and free “dive-in” movies, live DJs, and family fun nights are held throughout the summer. Wild Water & Wheels in Garden City Beach holds a weekly “Live After Five” party with live music on the outdoor stage and reduced admission after 5 p.m., while Splashes on the downtown oceanfront offers discounted combo passes for the waterpark and Family Kingdom.