State Park Pier in Myrtle Beach on a sunny day

Visit State Park Pier in Myrtle Beach. (Photo: Marriott International)

Weekend Getaways

Explore 60 Miles of Beaches in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

One of the most popular vacation spots on the East Coast, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, may be best known for its miles and miles of sandy beaches, but the town has much more to offer — whether you’re looking to take in the sights, go on an adventure or dine on Southern favorites.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Friday: Head to the Beach

Start your day with breakfast at Johnny D’s for fresh, modern takes on Southern classics. Once you’ve gotten your fill of banana pecan pancakes and chicken and waffles (try the “twisted” version for a bacon-filled surprise), it’s time to hit the beach.

Your easiest choice with kids in tow would be the beaches around the Boardwalk, right in town. There’s bird-watching at Huntington Beach State Park and, a little farther afield, wild stretches of sand and dunes across the causeway on Pawleys Island.

Myrtle Beach boardwalk at sunset
Stroll along the charming boardwalk. (Photo: Marriott International)

After a good dose of vitamin D, head to River City Café for a lunch of traditional American fare, including the best burgers in town. And if you have room for a sweet treat — or need to give the kids a boost of energy before the afternoon festivities — grab a colorful cone at Sugar Life Ice Cream & Candy Bar.

Spend the rest of the day exploring the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade, you can take a ride on the SkyWheel, a nearly-200-foot Ferris wheel with 42 glass-enclosed gondolas overlooking the ocean. After that, head down to the arcade to play Skee-Ball and other games in this nostalgic haven.

Once you’ve redeemed all your tickets for prizes, finish the evening with dinner at LandShark Bar & Grill, a beachfront spot with great food and drinks, live entertainment and a view of the SkyWheel’s light show just above.

Saturday: Hop Aboard a Pirate Ship

Waffles with blueberry jam
Dig into some delicious waffles. (Photo: Marriott International)

For a quick bite of Southern comfort food and fresh coffee, make your way to Croissants Bistro & Bakery, which opens earlier than most at 7 a.m., so you won’t have to deal with hangry kids.

Then, spend the first half of the day at Broadway at the Beach, where you can choose from a long list of family activities, including Ripley’s Aquarium, an escape room and mini golf. Just be sure to make a (pit) stop at Broadway Grand Prix so you can race your way to the checkered flag in go-karts at six different tracks.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a barbecue lunch at Sweet Carolina’s or try the Creole-style gumbo or étouffée at Landry’s Seafood House, both at Broadway at the Beach.

After lunch, head over to North Myrtle Beach and take a ride on Blackbeard’s Pirate Cruise, the state’s largest pirate ship. The interactive adventure will take you out to the high seas (really, just the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway) and transform little mates into true buccaneers.

Once you’ve made it safely back onto dry land, pay a visit to the tigers, baby gibbons and more at the Myrtle Beach Safari Preservation Station before finishing the day at one of the neighboring Barefoot Landing‘s excellent restaurants.

Sunday: Take in the Natural Sights — Off the Beach

For the final day of your trip to Myrtle Beach, take advantage of the area’s impressive natural surroundings. Start the morning with a sunrise kayak in the scenic Murrells Inlet, where you can try your hand at deep-sea fishing.

Stop for lunch at Dead Dog Saloon, which, despite its name, is a temple of fresh seafood, located directly on the water.

Brookgreen Gardens during the day
You won’t want to miss the stunning nature in Brookgreen Gardens. (Photo: Getty Images)

Once you’re stuffed, spend the afternoon in the relaxing Brookgreen Gardens, an art-filled National Historic Landmark that’s home to the world’s largest collection of outdoor American sculpture.

Finish your day at the popular MarshWalk and watch while the area comes alive with music and entertainment. Then have a final dinner at the Wicked Tuna, where an obsession with seafood spans the grill and sushi menu.