One of the best things about vacationing Myrtle Beach is you don't have to have a lot of money to have a good time. Sure, you may have to shell out a few bucks for room and board, but the sun and much of the fun are free. Here’s a list of five free things to do and see during your Myrtle Beach vacation:
- Beach: Of course, there’s no admission charge to the Atlantic Ocean and the 60-mile stretch of sandy shores that surround Myrtle Beach, but it’s the abundance of free access points that sets the Grand Strand apart. Unlike other seaside resorts where public beach accesses are limited and guests are corralled into a handful of paid parking lots, Myrtle Beach offers free parking and beach access on virtually every block. Guests can park and spend the day relaxing and playing on the beach, or go for an evening stroll along the surf without spending a penny.
- Boardwalk: The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, a 1.2-mile oceanfront walkway along the downtown district, provides easy access to some of Myrtle Beach’s best attractions, dining, nightlife and shopping. But if you are looking for a great place to go for a walk along the beachfront and take in the sights and sounds of downtown Myrtle Beach, this is prime real estate for cheap thrills. The same is true of Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing and Market Common, which are great places for window-shopping and people-watching.
- Museums: Scattered throughout the Grand Strand are a handful of museums and other attractions that are both interesting and free. On the south end of Myrtle Beach, the Franklin G. Burroughs/Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum offers a collection of local artifacts as well as touring exhibits. Located in a former beach cabana that was relocated to the Springmaid Beach area, this museum fulfills its mission of making the arts affordable for all by accepting only donations for entry. Just across Kings Highway sits Warbird Park at Market Common, home of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. This display features the airplanes that called this base home for more than a half century. At the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the South Carolina Hall of Fame enshrines famous natives of the Palmetto State, from great athletes and astronauts to performers and politicians.
- Parks: The Grand Strand is lined with scenic properties that have been set aside for public use. The new North Myrtle Beach Sports and Rec Complex features nature trails for hiking and biking, and nearby Vereen Memorial Gardens in North Myrtle Beach offers more than 100 acres of beautiful landscape on the site of one of the area’s earliest homesteads. For folks with four-legged friends, the Grand Strand YMCA and Market Common include free dog parks where your pooch can roam free without a leash. There are also several small community parks with playgrounds and picnics.
- Shows: Yes, a ticket to one of the big theaters in town can be costly, but there are several places in town that offer free shows, including live concerts, fireworks shows and outdoor movie nights. During the summer months, the Boardwalk, Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach and Market Common offer free fireworks shows and concert series, such as Hot Summer Nights and Movies Under the Stars. Festivals that are free and open to the public are held year-round at these same spots, including North Myrtle Beach’s Irish-Italian Festival, Art in the Park and Oktoberfest. The holidays include annual Christmas tree lightings throughout the Grand Strand.