Content Produced in Partnership with Explore North Myrtle Beach
When it comes to beach vacations for families, finding a location can be tough. On one hand, you want to be close to the action with plenty of restaurants and activities for the kids. On the other, you don’t want to accidentally stumble upon a spring break party scene. Finding a destination the whole family can agree upon can feel like an impossible feat — until now.
Back in the 1960s, four South Carolina beach towns merged together into one awesome oasis. The result oozes with small town charm and miles of Atlantic coastline ripe for adventure in an area known as North Myrtle Beach. It’s an idyllic beach town where every visitor leaves feeling like a local and where families return year after year.
What to See
Of course, visitors come to North Myrtle Beach for the sand, sea and surf, but there’s plenty of other things to keep you busy. The best place to get a lay of the land is Heritage Shores Nature Area, which has seven acres of boardwalks and elevated decks. Cherry Grove Pier is also one of the iconic locations in North Myrtle Beach, serving as a popular photo and fishing spot for locals and visitors alike. Keep your eyes peeled because you may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins frolicking in the water.
If you want an even closer look of the dolphins, opt for a guided dolphin cruise. There are several tour companies available, but only Myrtle Beach Watersports will take your family out on jet skis. As the dolphins zip through the waves, you can become part of the action, whizzing around them for a unique experience you couldn’t have from a boat deck. For another thrilling animal excursion, head to Alligator Adventure, the "Reptile Capital of the World." You can learn how to feed and handle alligators, snakes and other creatures and even get your picture taken with a scaly new friend or two.
What to Do
The beach bum lifestyle is nothing to snooze at, but to really explore the water, we recommend doing it on horseback. Animal lovers, nature enthusiasts and history buffs will enjoy saddling up at Inlet Point Plantation for a romp through the private stretch of sand. Pro Tip: go at sunset for the best photos. If you'd rather get a little wet and wild, you can rent a kayak or stand up paddle board to take in the coastline from a different angle.
For the older kids, Shark Wake Park is the place to learn a new adrenaline sport. Cable wakeboarding is a mechanized system that pulls riders by a high-tech pulley system (instead of a boat) with plenty of ramps and rails to throw tricks. Also nearby is Go Ape, a zip canopy tour and treetop obstacle course. It's the perfect way to dry off and embrace your inner Tarzan.
Aside from the water sports and beachfront recreation, the folks around here are also known for their fancy footwork. North Myrtle Beach is credited as the birthplace of the dance phenomenon known as The Shag. As it turns out, it’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day on the water, too. There are several beach clubs for the over 21 crowd; however, if you want the kids to join in on the fun, the OD Pavilion is a great choice of venue that has something for, well, everyone. While it’s primarily known for its carnival rides and games, both adults and kids have been known to bust a move alongside the professional dancers late into the evening hours.
Where to Eat
North Myrtle Beach harmoniously combines the best of the Atlantic coast with its southern roots. For foodies that means a healthy dose of sweet tea and fresh seafood. You can find the locals hanging around Barefoot Landing, best known for its seafood shacks, pizza joints and ice cream parlors. Oh, and you can stroll along the lakefront boardwalk and shop off those calories! Another great spot is Little River, a quaint dockside neighborhood where you can practically watch the fishermen haul in the fresh catch of the day.
When you're ready to call in the reinforcements (aka the babysitter), mom and dad can make an afternoon out of tasting wines at local wineries. Stroll along the vineyards at La Belle Amie Vineyard or enjoy your new favorite label on the porch at Duplin Winery. 710 North Myrtle Beach is another spot for a high-end night out that promises good food, strong drinks, and bar games like bowling, bocce, corn hole, and more to keep the fun rolling well into the night.
How to Do It
From affordable condos and beachfront homes to luxury resorts, North Myrtle Beach has accommodations for every budget and type of traveler. Its seaside villages are home to more than 15,000 vacation rentals, each more unique than the last. Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or an action-packed adventure, you’re sure to find lodging that complements your vacation style.