The Best Things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The 15 Best Things to do in Myrtle Beach

Home to 14 diverse communities and 60 miles of sandy beaches, the Myrtle Beach area is a perfect getaway with something for everyone. In fact, it’s been a top vacation destination for centuries thanks to its beautiful coastline and lush green areas. 

The area was settled back in the 1500s, and for the next three centuries, its popularity grew. By the late 1800s, people from all over began to vacation here, with it turning into a seaside retreat filled with attractions in the 1900s. 

Myrtle Beach was incorporated in 1938 and became a city in 1957, being named for the wax myrtle, a local shrub that can be found throughout the area. Although it was a military town for much of the late 1900s, the air force base was closed in 1993 and redeveloped into the Market Common District, providing even more entertainment for visitors.

In 2018, the city was designated as “autism-friendly” thanks to its dedication to sensory-friendly activities and experiences. With this focus on creating safe spaces for neurodivergent individuals, Myrtle Beach set out to make sure that every vacation here is an inclusive one that all can enjoy.

With so many things to see and do, it’s hard to know just where to begin. So we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best things to do in Myrtle Beach for you – from amusement parks to banana boat rides. Add these cool and unique activities to your Myrtle Beach bucket list, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time exploring the Grand Strand!

15 Fun and Unique Things to do in Myrtle Beach

1. Take a Cruise on the Barefoot Queen

Cool Things to do in Myrtle Beach: Barefoot Queen
Images courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

Over in North Myrtle Beach, you’ll find one of the coolest things to do in Myrtle Beach. The Barefoot Queen takes you back to the days when riverboats reigned supreme. This gorgeous riverboat invites you aboard to take in the sights of Myrtle Beach for a peaceful cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway.

During the day, you can book a scenic cruise, which includes onboard entertainment and narration. You can also choose to add a lunch option to your cruise or hit up the bar for beer, wine, and liquor available for purchase. At night, you can climb aboard for a dinner cruise, which includes entertainment and narration alongside a delicious meal with a romantic ambiance. 

Throughout the year, the Barefoot Queen offers different experiences on the water, from fireworks cruises to trivia events to a Christmas-themed evening with Santa. Be sure to check the website to see what offerings are happening while you’re vacationing in Myrtle Beach.

2. See a Show at the Carolina Opry

Fun Things to do in  Myrtle Beach: Carolina Opry

The Carolina Opry was the first variety show in Myrtle Beach, and it remains one of the best things to do during a Myrtle Beach trip. Built in 1992, the Carolina Opry is a Myrtle Beach landmark featuring 40-foot ceilings, a grand piano, and twin staircases beckoning you inside from the lobby. Whether you’re sitting in the orchestra or the balcony, there’s no bad seat in the house.

The classic Carolina Opry show is one of the must-do things to do in Myrtle Beach. In fact, it’s frequently rated as the top attraction in the city. Featuring a cast of over 35 performers, you’ll be amazed by world-class vocalists, side-splittingly funny comedians, bluegrass virtuosos, and marvelous costumes. 

But that’s not the only show you’ll want a ticket to at the Carolina Opry. The theater’s Time Warp production will take you back to the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, inviting you to rock along to the classics. And if you’re visiting during the holiday season, you can’t miss “The Christmas Show of the South,” a holiday tradition that’s gone on for over 30 years. 

You’ll also find plenty of concerts happening in between these beloved shows, from world-renowned dance troupes to tributes to some of the greatest bands to ever rock the world. Check the website to see what shows are happening while you’re in town.

3. Have Some Fun at Broadway at the Beach

Myrtle Beach Bucket List: Broadway at the Beach
Image courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

There’s a whole world to explore at Broadway at the Beach, a 350-acre outdoor entertainment complex and one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. Here you’ll find world-class shopping, fine dining, and one-of-a-kind attractions. 

There are over 20 attractions at Broadway at the Beach, which provide for a full day of fun. Meet life-sized dinosaurs at Dino Park, go on an adventure through Springfield at The Simpsons in 4D, or try a round of golf at Topgolf. 

A visit to Broadway at the Beach wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Pavilion Park, which includes both the high-energy Action Park and the nostalgic Fun Park. Don’t forget to stop by the Broadway 360 Observation Wheel for a view of Myrtle Beach unlike any other.

Must do things in Myrtle Beach: Broadway at the Beach

At night, Broadway at the Beach comes alive with plenty of shows to enjoy, including the beloved Legends in Concert show, which pays tribute to some of the greatest acts to ever grace the world of music. You’ll also find several bars for the adults and tons of restaurants for everyone. And with 80 different stores, you can truly shop ‘til you drop!

Broadway at the Beach often has tons of events throughout the year, so be sure to check the website to see what’s happening when you visit. Throughout the summer, the complex lights up the night with fireworks Tuesdays and Fridays, with additional fireworks shows being set off around major holidays.

4. Step Back in Time at the Horry County Museum

What to do in Myrtle Beach: Horry County Museum
Image courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

Located in nearby Conway, the Horry County Museum is one of the top Myrtle Beach attractions, especially if you’re traveling with history buffs. This free museum celebrates and studies Southern heritage and invites you to see historical landmarks that fully immerse you in the past.

Exhibits include an aquarium filled with local fish and other critters, natural history presentations showing off the creatures that used to call the area home, showcases filled with military memorabilia, and exhibitions focusing on how the Indigenous people of the area once lived. 

At this museum, you’ll also find the L.W. Paul Living History Farm, a reconstruction of a family farm in the area that depicts living in Horry County from 1900 to 1955. You can see how farming families once lived, as demonstrated by the museum workers. 

If you visit in March, check out the Quilt Gala. Throughout the month, the museum displays quilts made for Quilts of Valor. Each week, new quilts will be on display and will later be given to local veterans in a special ceremony.

5. Kayak around Murrells Inlet

Best Things to do in Myrtle Beach: Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet is an unincorporated area that’s just south of Myrtle Beach, and it’s the perfect place to have a relaxing day on the water. Murrells Inlet is often much quieter than Myrtle Beach and a great location to visit if you want to escape the crowds.

One of the best ways to take in the beauty of this area is by getting out on the water yourself. There are many watersport options in the region, from parasailing to jetskiing. But if you want to take it a little slower and take your time enjoying the scenery, renting a kayak is a great way to do it. 

You can choose to rent a kayak on your own or take a tour. Especially if you’ve never been to the area, a tour can make sure that you’re seeing all that you want to see. With Express Watersports, you can take a guided sunrise tour with your own private naturalist. You’ll be taken through the marsh, where you’ll see species of all kinds that call Murrells Inlet home.

Many other tour companies operate in the area as well, including Black River Outdoors, which has several kayak tour options. The 4-Hour Salt Marsh Tour guides you through the creeks of the marsh to a semi-private beach for you to explore. The Huntington Beach State Park Salt Marsh Tour is a shorter journey, but it still provides plenty of time to see the many animals of the region.

But no matter what tour or rental option you choose, be sure to finish off your day by taking a stroll down the famous MarshWalk, a wooden boardwalk along a saltwater estuary. Here you’ll find several restaurant options, many of which have live music playing nightly.

6. Take in the Beauty of Brookgreen Gardens

Fun Things to do in Myrtle Beach: Brookgreen Gardens

Located just south of Murrells Inlet, Brookgreen Gardens is a 9,100-acre oasis that’s perfect for some Myrtle Beach sightseeing. The gardens are made up of four components:  the American Sculpture Collection, the Botanical Gardens, the Lowcountry Zoo, and the Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve. 

In the American Sculpture Collection, you’ll find over 2,000 unique works of art by 430 artists. Meanwhile, in the Botanical Gardens, you’ll marvel at both natural and human-made beauty, from the peaceful oak trees to the whimsical Fountain of the Muses sculptures.

The Lowcountry Zoo invites you to take a tour through exhibits filled with stunning creatures, while the Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve asks you to take a step back in time and step onto gorgeous trails to see native animals in their natural habitat and historic landmarks. 

7. Watch a Voyage on the High Seas

Once you do the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, you’ll never be able to go back to a regular ol’ dinner theater again. This one-of-a-kind event is one of the coolest things to do in Myrtle Beach, and it’s sure to have you smiling all night long.

This dinner theater show invites you aboard Blackbeard’s ship, where you’ll meet the captain and his quartermaster, Calico Jack, as they battle crews on land, sea, and high-above full-sized pirate ships. Along the way, you’ll meet pirates of all kinds, as well as beautiful mermaids, tropical birds, and so much more. The acrobatics of this show are truly astounding and is sure to impress. 

While you watch the show, you’ll also dine on a four-course feast fit for a true pirate. And if your pirate happens to be vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free, they won’t be excluded from the fun, as these feasts can be adapted for anyone. This inclusive show fits any family’s needs.

Be sure to arrive early for even more fun. Your little one can be transformed into a pirate or mermaid to make them feel even more immersed in the show.

8. Ride the Coasters at Family Kingdom Amusement Park

Must do things in Myrtle Beach: Family Kingdom Amusement Park
Image courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

Located on Ocean Boulevard and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, spending the day at Family Kingdom Amusement Park is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach if you’re visiting with the whole family. This amusement park offers a full day of play that will delight everyone, from the biggest thrill seekers to the little ones eager to go on their first ride.

With over 35 rides, there’s always something to do at Family Kingdom. Get your scream on with the legendary Swamp Fox Roller Coaster, or swirl through the air on the Yo-Yo. Challenge the whole family on Dodgem Bumper Cars, or watch your little one become the NASCAR driver of their dreams on the Kiddie Speedway. For even more fun, the whole family can get on the track themselves for a go-kart race. 

This amusement park’s operations depend greatly on the weather, which is why it’s closed for the winter. It typically reopens in April, so be sure to check the website to be aware of its current status before you plan your visit. 

9. Slip and Slide at Myrtle Waves Water Park

What to do in Myrtle Beach: Myrtle Waves Water Park
Image courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

As the largest water park in Myrtle Beach, you’ll find that there’s plenty of fun to be had at this top attraction. The Myrtle Waves Water Park is one of the most fun things to do in Myrtle Beach, especially if you’re visiting with kids!

From solo slides to funnel flume rides, there’s something for every adventurer. Spiral down the Turbo Twisters, or challenge your fellow vacationer to a race down the Thunderbolt Speed Slides. Team up with your friend while you rock and roll on the Rockin’ Ray half-pipe slide, or take on the trinity of slides that is Snake Mountain.

Always wanted to learn to catch a wave? The Flow Rider lets you do it in a safe, controlled environment, making it ideal for young and new learners. Or you can just chill out in the Lazy River or Ocean in Motion Wave Pool. Some slides and activities may be too much for young ones, but luckily, there are plenty of kids’ play areas to let them have their own fun. 

Like Family Kingdom, Myrtle Waves depends on Myrtle Beach’s weather and closes in the fall for the remainder of the year. Although the schedule varies, it tends to reopen in May.

10. Embrace Your Inner Child at WonderWorks

Unique Things to do in South Carolina: WonderWorks Myrtle Beach

Think you can’t learn and have fun at the same time? WonderWorks will convince you otherwise. This edutainment amusement park is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach, thanks to its hands-on exhibits designed to spark your imagination.

Located at Broadway at the Beach, it’s hard to miss WonderWorks. It’s the only building that’s upside down. As the story goes, WonderWorks was a top-secret laboratory in the Bermuda Triangle, but an experiment gone wrong lifted it up and brought it to Myrtle Beach, where it landed upside down. Inside, the six Wonder Zones stayed intact, ready for you to explore. 

Face wind tunnels in the Extreme Weather Zone, or brave the bed of nails in the Physical Challenge Zone. Then, learn to become an astronaut in the Space Discovery Zone, or let your imagination play in the Imagination Lab. Over in the Light and Sound Zone, kids will delight in the things they can create. Don’t forget to visit the Wonder Art Gallery for an art museum unlike any other.

But that’s not where the fun stops. Outside of the six Wonder Zones, there are even more places to play, from the Indoor Ropes Courses to the Laser Tag Arena to the 6D Extreme Motion Ride XD Theater. Outside of WonderWorks, you’ll find another WonderWorks-owned extreme adventure, Soar + Explore. You’ll soar through the air on a zipline course and try your hand at the outdoor ropes course!

11. Go Dolphin Watching

Unique Things to do in Myrtle Beach: Dolphin Watching

Myrtle Beach is home to a vast amount of sea life, including dolphins. And one of the best sights in Myrtle Beach is a dolphin hopping out of the water right before your very eyes! 

Many tour companies in Myrtle Beach offer dolphin-watching cruises, but Dolphin Cruises Myrtle Beach specializes in them. In this area, there are several types of dolphins, with the most common being the bottlenose dolphin. This tour company is so sure that you’ll see a dolphin on your journey that they offer a free pass for you to come back if you don’t see any. 

With Dolphin Cruises, you’ll climb aboard the Sea Screamer or the Sea Thunder for a fun, educational day at sea. Tours are available between spring and fall. On this trip, you’ll cruise up the Intracoastal Waterway, pass by several scenic islands, head out into the open ocean, and then finish off with a view of the beautiful coast. Although you’re bound to see some magnificent sea life, the view from the boat alone is more than worth the trip.

12. Stroll along the Boardwalk

Fun Things to do in  Myrtle Beach: Boardwalk

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk stretches 1.2 miles and offers plenty to do, as well as scenic views of the beautiful Atlantic. Enjoy the view from the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, shiver with terror at the Nightmare Haunted House, strap in for a bumpy ride at Ripley’s Moving Theater, and so much more. 

Or just eat your way up and down the boardwalk. Get your drink on at Hurricane’s Daiquiri Bar & Grill, satisfy your sweet tooth at Mad Myrtle’s Ice Creamery, or enjoy a burger with a view at Moe Moon’s.

Must do things in Myrtle Beach: Boardwalk

The Boardwalk plays host to several festivals throughout the year. Dine at the Myrtle Beach Seafood Festival, enjoy the tunes at Carolina Country Music Fest, and much more.

13. Spend a Day at the Beach

Best Things to do in Myrtle Beach: Spend the day at the Beach

If you’re visiting Myrtle Beach while the weather is warm, your trip is not complete without a day at the beach. And you have several options for where to spend your sunny day.

The main beach, simply called Myrtle Beach, is an excellent spot for stopping by while visiting the Boardwalk. It’s also a top beach for surfing and other watersports. Nearby Surfside Beach is typically calmer and ideal for a day with the family bobbing in the gentle waves. This beach is rated as being autism-friendly thanks to its sensory-friendly environment. 

Another beach option is Litchfield Beach, which offers an environment perfect for fishing, kayaking, and surfing. If you’re a nature lover, make the trek to Murrells Inlet and stop by Huntington Beach State Park, where you’ll discover three miles of preserved land, a diverse array of creatures, and even a castle.

14. Ride on a Banana Boat

Cool Things to do in Myrtle Beach: Banana Boat

What’s the best way to get around at Myrtle Beach? By banana, of course! Well, maybe not a banana, but the banana boat rides at Myrtle Beach are truly legendary and one of the best Myrtle Beach activities. 

Riding a banana boat, which does indeed look like its namesake, is a super fun way of doing some Myrtle Beach sightseeing. You’ll climb aboard your boat and ride the waves on a watersport adventure.

Myrtle Beach has several banana boat options, but the longest ride can be found with Express Watersports. This 35-minute ride will take you out on the Atlantic or through scenic Murrells Inlet. Each boat fits up to six passengers, making it a perfect excursion for the whole family. It’s a great opportunity to get up close to some of Myrtle Beach’s wildlife, from dolphins to sea turtles.

15. Root for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Unique Things to do in Myrtle Beach: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Image courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach may not have a Major League Baseball team, but they do have a Minor League Baseball team they’re incredibly proud of. So, immerse yourself in the local culture by spending a day at the Pelicans Ballpark. It’s one of the most unique things to do in Myrtle Beach and a great way to spend an afternoon.

The stadium has been ranked as one of the best Myrtle Beach attractions and one of the best Minor League Baseball stadiums in the country. The baseball season lasts from April to September, so you should pick up tickets if you’re planning on visiting Myrtle Beach during this time. If you’re visiting outside those months, check the Pelicans website for any events, as the stadium also frequently hosts concerts, exhibition games, and more.

There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Myrtle Beach. What’s your favorite thing to do in Myrtle Beach?

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  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

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