Expert: Kristen Askey with Susan Hewson & D’Aun Kingsbury
Years living in North Myrtle Beach: Susan has lived in North Myrtle Beach for 26 years. D’Aun has lived in the area for 20 years.
Company: Ocean Resorts
What makes North Myrtle Beach a great destination to visit and stay in a vacation rental?
1. Beautiful, wide sandy beaches.
2. The original home of Beach Music and Shag Dancing. (“The Shag” is the State “Dance”)
3. North Myrtle Beach… A small city incorporating a quaint residential feel with a fun yet peaceful beach experience for all walks of life. Guests are within short driving distance to all the entertainment, attractions, restaurants, shopping, and golf venues in North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, but can enjoy a quiet and relaxing beach experience without being right in by the hubbub of touristy amusements and traffic. (For example: People go to Myrtle Beach to play and be right in the middle of the summer vacation hoopla. People go to North Myrtle Beach to be close enough to the same hoopla, but away from it enough to relax and enjoy family time together at the beach).
4. Family friendly accommodations are numerous and varied in the form of classic condominiums, high rise resorts, and detached beach houses. North Myrtle Beach has different beach areas in which specific vacation tastes can be accommodated. (Cherry Grove, Tilghman Beach, Ocean Drive Beach, etc).
5. North Myrtle Beach is easily accessible by major new highways and is only 20 miles from the Myrtle Beach International Airport.
What are the top things to do (attractions, activities, events, etc.) in the area? Are there any hidden gems that people may not be aware of?
• Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival – one of the largest on the East Coast.
• Taste of the Coast at Barefoot Landing
• Blues & Jazz Festival
• Sounds of Summer Concert Series
• Mayfest on Main
• July 4th Fireworks Display
• SOS Spring Safari and Fall Migration
• Octoberfest on Main Street
• The Little River Blue Crab Festival
• Endless Summer Festival on Main Street
• Intracoastal Christmas Regatta
Barefoot Landing (outdoor shopping, dining, amusements), Tanger Outlet (name brand outlet shopping), Alabama Theatre, Alligator Adventure, House of Blues, La Belle Amie Vineyard & Winery, Vereen Gardens and Nature Walk, quaint Main Street shopping.
General things to do: water sports, deep sea and pier fishing, golf, miniature golf, and tennis.
What are the top 5 ‘must-try’ restaurants in the area?
There are many to choose from and everybody’s taste differs… So… here’s what we’ve come up with … we couldn’t limit to “5.”
Local favorites include: Sea Blue, Villa Tuscana, The Parsons Table, Chestnut Hill, and Cagney’s.
Popular venues for tourists include Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, Damon’s (famous for BBQ ribs), Dick’s Last Resort (good food, not too price, but watch out for the waiters!), Umberto’s, Dockside (in Calabash, NC).
What popular entertainment/nightlife options in the area would you recommend?
Shag Dancing at Fat Harold’s and Ducks, concerts at the House of Blues, Dixie Stampede & Carolina Opry.
You rent homes to hundreds of guests each year….so you must have a funny story or two about people that visit North Myrtle Beach?
It was difficult to come up with just a couple of stories that are generically “North Myrtle Beach”, but one North Myrtle Beach phenomenon is the Shaggers. The shag dancers are drawn to North Myrtle Beach as it is the place in which the state couples dance was founded. The Ocean Drive area is the shag “mecca”, as it were. There are numerous festivals and dance competitions held every year that attract the Shaggers – young and old -- including the April Spring Safari and the September Fall Migration. Shaggers can’t stay close enough to Ocean Drive and the “O.D. Experience”. Ocean Resorts offers condominium rentals 2 blocks from Ocean Drive at Tilghman Beach & Racquet Club, and this has historically been “the place” to stay for Shaggers because it is within short walking distance to O. D. Ocean Resorts also offers condominium rentals 6 blocks from Ocean Drive, but we have found that those extra 4 blocks are just “too far” for those hard-core shaggers who want to be on Ocean Drive 24/7 to dance!
Myrtle Beach's reputation precedes it as a summer hot spot for couples, families, and large groups of friends. With a perpetually busy boardwalk, miles of pristine beaches, and both a food and nightlife culture on the upswing, it is easy to see why Myrtle Beach stand as a top summer vacation destination. So why are we so high on Myrtle Beach as a spring time destination as well? There is a lot in the "pros" column.
Shoulder season prices: Heading to MB during shoulder season, rather than the high season, will be much lighter on your wallet. Flights and vacation rentals often run deals during the spring time to encourage more tourism and bookings. Those are the "major" costs where you can benefit from visiting in shoulder season. You'll also be avoiding long lines for attractions or busier beaches by traveling in the spring rather than the summer. For those looking to AVOID spring breakers, stay away from March. For those looking to be ONE OF those spring breakers, try to snag a deal for your large group, and have a blast at the clubs, amusement parks and beaches.
Events: So the aforementioned Spring Break on Myrtle Beach is a major reason for visting during March - May. Thousands of college students head to MB to blow off steam, get their tan on, and party hard. With affordable packages, as well as passes for purchase to major clubs and bars, it is chosen as a "Top Spring Break" destination annually. Read more about Myrtle Beach as a spring break destination here.
Listen to jazz, gospel, steel drums and more at the Rivertown Arts & Musical Festival in May in nearby Conway. Local and regional bands will be playing, as well as local artists selling pottery, wood sculptures, glass blowing, and more.
Myrtle Beach Spring Bike Week is in May, and has been attracting visitors since 1940! The annual event draws nearly 300,000 attendees and is held on Murrell's Inlet. Harley Davidson enthusiasts come for a week of fun and riding in the beautiful weather.
For more information on Myrtle Beach events in the spring, click here.
Weather: With temperatures between the high 60s and low 80s from March - May you'll find springtime is a comfortable season in Myrtle Beach. Hot enough to lay out and get some sun, but also not scorching where you have to call it a day earlier than you'd like. July sees the most precipitation so you're probably avoiding major rainfall too. Golfing heats up during the spring time too as the courses are extremely playable and fresh. With over a dozen award-winning courses in the area, you should absolutely bring your clubs for the trip.
FlipKey has over 1000 properties on Myrtle Beach for you to choose from. See the whole group here, and what follows are a few quotes from reviews of the Myrtle Beach area:
Broadway is a great place to bring your family during the day! They have a decent amount of restaurants, some great attractions, and shopping! It's a big but cute place and my family absolutely loves it here, we've come before and we just had to again! Stop here if you're in Myrtle Beach!
Recently went there with my Mom and 2 teens. They loved it. I had been there before with my girls but they were very young and didn't remember much except the mini-putt. We played with Gramma and she won. Margaritaville is good for lunch a littly pricey for dinner. Lots to eat and shop for.
This is an expansive destination for all types of groups! Families, drunk groups, singles, groups, kids. There is literally something for everyone.
There you have it - Myrtle Beach clearly earned its spot on our list of top spring destinations for the reasons above, and many more. It's not too late to book a vacation rental for this year, and we guarantee you won't regret it. If you'd like to know more, read through FlipKey's travel guide on the Myrtle Beach area.
No trip to Myrtle Beach is complete without an outdoor excursion. You may be surprised to learn that wildlife abounds in this popular coastal destination, and booking the right tour will allow you and your family to experience nature up close.
T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Stations
This interactive conservation endeavor is located in North Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Landing. Not only is it a living tiger exhibit that fundraises on behalf of a variety of rare species, but general admission is free! Have your picture taken with the animals, observe the rarest Golden Tabby Tiger, interact with apes, and so much more. Photo encounters start at $79, and the ultimate guided tour costs $299 per person, but all proceeds support international conservation projects. Keep in mind, however, that children under 6 are not allowed on the extended tour.
Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Watch Tour
This unique eco tour has been touted as the best dolphin adventure in South Carolina. Located at Crazy Sisters Marina on Myrtle Beach's south end, this touring company offers several daily trips beginning in March and lasting until November. Prices start at $31 for adults and $25 for children, although children under 3 are not allowed due to safety considerations. Since the tours operate rain or shine, dress lightly, but do dress for the weather.
Carolina Safari Jeep Tours
This ecotourism adventure has it all — ecology, nature, history, wildlife, plantations, and even ghostlore — making it one of the most popular excursions in Myrtle Beach. These jeep tours place you in the right spots to view a variety of bird species, alligators, native plants, and South Carolina's unique salt marsh ecosystem. There's no special fitness requirement, making it perfect for all ages and abilities. You should plan your day around the tour, however, since it lasts about 3 and a half hours.
Myrtle Beach Segway
There's nothing like touring Huntington Beach State Park on a Segway. Fun for all ages, Segway tours are especially beneficial for those unable to walk for long periods of time, such as those with joint pain. Whether you're a retiree or a teen, if you want to see the wildlife preserves and wetland in the most eco-friendly way possible, you can't beat the Segway Experience. Self-guided tours of the Market Common District start at $39 with the State Park tour coming in at $69 plus the park's $5 entry fee.
Carolina Backwoods ATV Tours
Serving Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and nearby Wilmington, Carolina Backwoods offers an ATV tour for every rider level. Reservations are required due to the adventure's popularity, and you'll want to bring a change of clothes just in case, even if you forgo the muddier trail option. Rides start at $60, but the main Adventure Guided Tour is $130 and provides all protective gear.
Whether you're here for a weekend or a week, booking an outdoor adventure tour is one of the best ways to escape some of Myrtle Beach's more touristy offerings and experience the untamed beauty of this seaside city.
It's no secret that the US has some of the best beaches in the world. With countless choices on the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, deciding which beach to take your family to can be overwhelming. You want to make sure that you can have some fun in the sun, but when the weather doesn't cooperate, or if you are tired of pulling seaweed out of your hair, you need other activities to keep everyone entertained. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has you covered when it comes to providing a variety of entertainment and activities for people of all ages!
Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Family Kingdom Amusement Park has been supplying family thrills for over 40 years. With more than 30 different rides, your family will find the perfect experience for extreme riders or for those who want to take things a bit slower. In fact, in 2007, TripAdvisor rated Family Kingdom Amusement Park as number five out of the top 10 amusement parks outside of Orlando. If that wasn't enough, the amusement park is one of the few free admission parks left in the US. If riding the rapids and being splashed is more your style, Family Kingdom Amusement Park also owns the Splashes Oceanfront Water Park, Myrtle Beach's only oceanfront water park!
Looking for something a little more unique? Something you could really see the whole family doing? Check out the Backstage Mirror Maze located in the Broadway at the Beach section of Myrtle Beach. You and your family can wander around a 2,000 square foot mirror maze with distractions like infinite psychedelic reflections, dead ends, continuous circles and surprising corners! Once you and your family make it through, up your game by wearing the kaleidoscope glasses provided to see if you can conquer the maze a second time! If you and your family are looking for something a little more high tech, sign up for “The Vault”. After being a part of a bank heist, you and your family need to jump, crawl, climb, twist and duck through a laser maze before the NYPD officer busts you and your “goons”.
While you're at Broadway at the Beach, spend some time shopping at the many retail stores scattered along the way. If you and your family are feeling a bit hungry as well, there are many restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining, all within steps of the sand!
Not only is Myrtle Beach known for sun and sand, it also promotes itself as the “Golf Capital of the World”. Boasting over 100 courses and numerous mini golf courses, you and your family don't have to spend all day in the sand, unless you slice your ball into a bunker.
With loads of activities and entertainment on offer, it’s easy to see why Myrtle Beach has been named a top U.S. beach by FlipKey. While relaxing by the ocean and getting your tan on can be fun for some, Myrtle Beach provides fun for all.
Beautiful weather and activities for all ages are why FlipKey has named Myrtle Beach to the list of Best East Coast Beach Destinations. The sub-tropical climate keeps the 60-mile Grand Strand of beaches warm year-round, and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is one of the best in the US.
There is truly something for everyone in this old resort town- families, couples and even spring breakers. Beach-goers can enjoy boating, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, banana boating and parasailing- or simply sunbathing. The many family-friendly attractions include the Skywheel, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and Aquarium, a Children’s Museum, Planetarium and Myrtle Waves Water Park, the largest in South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is also home to many prestigious golf courses for players of all levels, as well as over 40 miniature golf courses.
Despite its family-friendly appeal, Myrtle Beach is also a favorite destination for Spring Breakers. Every year students flock to venues, like The Boathouse, and bars like Senior Frogs and Rodeo for an unforgettable party; and spend their days recovering- or continuing the party- on the beach. Myrtle Beach is also notoriously known for its strip clubs closing later than its bars; and the Big M and Cruz Casino cruises departing from the Little River Waterfront Daily.
Summer in Myrtle Beach is filled with festivals, celebrations and live entertainment. They are known for going all-out with their 4th of July fireworks display, and the end of summer Beach, Boogie and BBQ festival where attendees can taste all entrees in the Official South Caroline Barbeque Championship. The celebrating continues all the way in to October, with a full day of live music and the Endless Summer Festival. But, like we said, part of the reason Myrtle Beach is our top East Coast Beach Destination is the great weather year-round- and visiting in the shoulder or off season can save you as much as 40% on accommodations.
You can pretty much get drunk and have a wet t-shirt contest anywhere on Earth, so why did Myrtle Beach make our list of the top destinations over so many others deserving of the honor?
Southern hospitality defines this wildly popular Spring Break vacation destination. During the day, there are endless beaches to lay out and party on, or lay out and recover on. The best and most populated being the titular, Myrtle Beach. Check out The Boathouse which has a summer concert series and gives away free shows during the big week. Pirate’s Cove Lounge or the House of Blues have great pre-game parties for those looking for live music to get the night started.
You can party at Senor Frogs, or you can hit the country bar called Rodeo with over 9000 square feet of daisy dukes and nightly bull riding contests. Grab the Myrtle Manic Party pass so you can skip the line everywhere and be treated like a VIP during your trip. Pro tip: the bars close earlier than the strip clubs in Myrtle Beach so if you’re looking to stay out later than late, that’s your best bet.
There is also plenty to do for those times that you do not want to be intoxicated. Ripley’s properties (Moving Theater, Aquarium, Believe It Or Not Museum) are all nearby and can make for a really fun afternoon.
The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon was recently named to FlipKey's 2014 list of Top Marathons Worth Traveling For in all 50 states.
Five miles of oceanfront running await you at this surf-theme half marathon. Finishers receive a surfboard-shaped medal, there’s a massive post-race beach party, and you can enjoy the sound of surf-style bands as you run along the course. The race takes place rain or shine, and the weather is just right in the fall, as opposed to the oppressive summer. With a 3.5 hour time limit the race is absolutely “walker-friendly” so if you aren’t a master runner, don’t be embarrassed.
After the event, pull up your beach chair and relax at Plyler Park by the main stage enjoying the post event live entertainment, head to the beach and take a swim in the warm waves. There is so much to do and see in Myrtle Beach you should consider making it a week of it and sticking around for relaxation in this hot tourist locale.
Here’s the full list of our top marathons by state:
Alabama (Huntsville): Rocket City Marathon
Alaska (Anchorage): Moose's Tooth Marathon
Arizona (Tucson): Tucson Marathon
Arkansas (Bentonville): Bentonville Running Festival
California (San Diego): San Diego Half Marathon
Colorado (Aspen): Aspen Valley Marathon
Connecticut (Fairfield): Fairfield Half Marathon
Delaware (Wilmington): Delaware Marathon
Florida (Mount Dora): Mount Dora Half Marathon & 5K
Georgia (Tybee Island): Critz Tybee Run Fest
Hawaii (Kauai): Kauai Marathon
Idaho (Mesa Falls): Mesa Falls Marathon
Illinois (St. Charles): Fox Valley Marathon
Indiana (Carmel): Carmel Marathon
Iowa (Iowa City): University of Iowa River Run
Kansas (Wichita): Prairie Fire Fall Marathon
Kentucky (Midway): Iron Horse Half Marathon
Louisiana (Baton Rouge): Louisiana Marathon Series
Maine (Lubec): Bay of Fundy International Marathon
Maryland (Fulton): Maryland Half Marathon & 5K
Massachusetts (Boston): Boston Marathon
Michigan (Pinckney): Run Woodstock Half Marathon
Minnesota (Mankato): Mankato Marathon
Mississippi (Columbus): Pilgrimage Half Marathon
Missouri (St. Charles): Mo' Cowbell Marathon
Montana (Missoula): Missoula Marathon
Nebraska (Norfolk): Laugh and a Half Marathon
Nevada (Las Vegas): National Nurses Half Marathon
New Hampshire (Hanover): Chad Hero Half Marathon & Ripcord 5K
New Jersey (Princeton): Princeton Half Marathon
New Mexico (Albuquerque): Duke City Marathon
New York (Adirondacks): Adirondack Marathon
North Carolina (Nags Head): Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon
North Dakota (Bismarck): Bismarck Marathon
Ohio (Cleveland): Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon
Oklahoma (Stillwater): Remember the Ten Run
Oregon (Portland): Portland Marathon
Pennsylvania (Amish Country): Bird in Hand Half Marathon
Rhode Island (Blackstone Valley): Navigant Credit Union Running Festival
South Carolina (Myrtle Beach): Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon
South Dakota (Hill City): Crazy Horse Marathon
Tennessee (Chattanooga): Rock Creek Scenic City Trail Marathon
Texas (Allen): New Years Double Marathon
Utah (Wallsburg): Utah Valley Marathon
Vermont (Stowe): Race to the Top of Vermont
Virginia (Richmond): Anthem Richmond Marathon
Washington (Whidbey Island): Whidbey Island Marathon
West Virginia (Shepherdstown): Freedom's Run
Wisconsin (Eau Claire): Eau Claire Marathon
Wyoming (Thayne): Star Valley Half Marathon
Encounters: UFO Experience was recently named to FlipKey's 2014 list of Top Museums Worth Traveling For in all 50 states.
The answers are out there. In South Carolina, actually. The Encounters: UFO Experience museum is a family adventure unlike any other. This pop up museum features seven distinct galleries that look at the complicated history of alien lore. Ancient encounters, abductions, the military’s role in modern sightings, and pop culture’ fascination with extraterrestrial life are all explored.
The content has been gathered from UFOlogists around the globe with original and replica models on display such as the Easter Island statues and Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The most chill-inducing aspects of the museum are the audio and video recordings of actual UFO sightings - you WILL get goosebumps. Lastly the museum takes an in depth look at the mysteries of Roswell and Area 51.
The only thing that’s not mysterious about this museum's contents - is how completely engrossing they are. Do not miss out!
Here’s the full list of our top museums by state:
Alabama (Mobile): History Museum of Mobile
Alaska (Anchorage): Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
Arizona (Phoenix): Children's Museum of Phoenix
Arkansas (Little Rock): Historic Arkansas Museum
California (San Jose): The Tech Museum of Innovation
Colorado (Denver): Clyfford Still Museum
Connecticut (Greenwich): Bruce Museum
Delaware (Dover): Biggs Museum of American Art
Florida (Miami): Pérez Art Museum Miami
Georgia (Macon): Museum of Arts & Science
Hawaii (Honolulu): The ARTS at Marks Garage
Idaho (Blackfoot): Idaho Potato Museum
Illinois (Chicago): National Museum of Mexican Art
Indiana (Indianapolis): Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Iowa (Cedar Rapids): Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Kansas (Hutchinson): Strataca Kansas Underground Salt Museum
Kentucky (Petersburg): Creation Museum
Louisiana (New Orleans): Degas House
Maine (Waterville): Colby Museum of Art
Maryland (Baltimore): Geppi's Entertainment Museum
Massachusetts (Boston): Institute of Contemporary Art
Michigan (East Lansing): Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Minnesota (Minneapolis): The Museum of Russian Art
Mississippi (Meridian): Jimmie Rodgers Museum
Missouri (Kansas City): American Jazz Museum
Montana (Helena): Holter Museum of Art
Nebraska (Hastings): Hastings Museum
Nevada (Las Vegas): The Neon Museum
New Hampshire (Dover): The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
New Jersey (Asbury Park): Silver Ball Museum
New Mexico (Santa Fe): Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
New York (New York): National Museum of Mathematics
North Carolina (Raleigh): North Carolina Museum of Art
North Dakota (Fargo): Plains Art Museum
Ohio (Cincinnati): American Sign Museum
Oklahoma (Oklahoma City): American Banjo Museum
Oregon (Eugene): University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia): Woodmere Art Museum
Rhode Island (Pawtucket): Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame
South Carolina (Myrtle Beach): Encounters: U.F.O. Experience
South Dakota (Rapid City): Museum of Geology
Tennessee (Memphis): Metal Museum
Texas (Dallas): Frontiers of Flight Museum
Utah (Salt Lake City): The Leonardo
Vermont (Brattleboro): Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
Virginia (Norfolk): Chrysler Museum of Art
Washington (Seattle): Frye Museum
West Virginia (Charleston): Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
Wisconsin (Middleton): National Mustard Museum
Wyoming (Jackson): National Museum of Wildlife Art
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As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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