When it comes to finding just the right destination for a girls’ getaway, definitely consider Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My three friends and I had all never been, so decided that our first girlfriend getaway together (now that the kids are all older) should be a beach vacation, and we picked the Myrtle Beach area as our top choice.
Although Myrtle Beach is well-known as a family vacation destination, we found more things for adults to do than we had time for, so decided to prioritize and fit in what we could. The beach, of course, being a top priority. Keep reading to see where we stayed, what we did and why Myrtle Beach is a great option for a girl’s weekend getaway.
Where We Stayed: Oceanfront Resort
There are so many options for places to stay in Myrtle Beach – everything from hotels to vacation homes or condos. We knew we wanted to stay right on the ocean, and the view was paramount in our decision. Other criteria were not too expensive, an on-site outdoor pool, easy beach access, a full kitchen, and a balcony with an amazing view of the ocean. We found a great option via AirBnb at the Ocean Park Resort, managed by Vacatia. It had everything we needed without having to pay for frills that we didn’t want or have time for.
The price point was perfect, especially divided by four. We actually never used the pool because the beach was so close and so amazing.
When searching for the perfect place to stay, here are a few things to consider:
- So many of the available options are located right on the water with oceanfront views and easy beach access. The views and beach are the same all the way down, so consider the type of lodging, other amenities and distance from attractions you want to visit when deciding where to stay.
- Every resort or hotel we looked at had both indoor and outdoor pools, plus at least one hot tub on-site.
- Many locations also had a lazy river or full waterpark. Although those options would be a huge plus for a family vacation, we avoided them this time since we were without kids.
- Some options have a poolside swim-up bar or a beach bar. We’re not much into drinking so those weren’t a consideration, but if you want to imbibe while enjoying the sun and water, there are some good choices.
Beach Vacation for the Win
We came prepared for the beach, with beach blankets, waterproof phone pouches, sun hats and sunglasses, sunscreen and water shoes. Myrtle Beach is part of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of beach along South Carolina’s coast. The sand is soft on your feet and the water is warm, not too deep and refreshing. Beach chair and umbrella rentals are available, but we chose to hang out on our blankets in the sun when we weren’t splashing in the waves.
Our second beach day was windy and the waves were intense. The lifeguard wouldn’t let us go out very deep because of the strong undertow, which was a good thing. The waves were big enough to knock us over and one of our group lost her prescription sunglasses somewhere in the surf. But it was so much fun to jump into the waves. Especially since we didn’t have little kids with us to worry about.
The only thing we felt we were missing was a boogie board. There were adults and kids using them to ride the waves and it looked like so much fun. Maybe not the easiest thing to bring on an airplane though, so we reluctantly went without.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Myrtle Beach is not lacking in fun, unique places to explore and shop. There are many ‘touristy’ shops along the Boardwalk and Promenade. You can also choose from two Tanger Outlet Center locations and two traditional shopping malls. Then there are three options that offer way more than just shops and restaurants. We weren’t able to experience The Market Common, built on a former Air Force base, but did check out the other two:
This place is huge and has just about everything you want to buy, eat, drink or do. Without kids along, we chose not to visit the Ripley’s Aquarium, Hollywood Wax Museum, or Myrtle Waves Waterpark. We did wander and browse the little shops and boutiques to our hearts’ content and ate lunch at Wahlburgers.
We considered Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, but the family-style meals there weren’t a good fit for us. Another good option for a girlfriend getaway would have been Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Nightlife options are Bar Louie, Crocodile Rocks, Fat Tuesday or Wet Willie’s.
Located in North Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Landing is similar to Broadway at the Beach in that the shops, restaurants and attractions are arranged around a central lake, with bridges across and parking on the outside. We ate at The Crooked Hammock Brewery, which was both delicious and offers a backyard experience with fun yard games and hammocks to relax in.
We browsed stores like Beach House and loved seeing souvenir and gift options that were of better quality than you find in the more ‘touristy’ stores on the boardwalk.
Live entertainment is available at Alabama Theatre and the House of Blues, plus there is an outdoor stage for live music as well.
Exploring Nature and Wildlife
Getting outside in Myrtle Beach is easy, especially with the beach mere steps from most hotel and resort locations. Beyond the beach, there are other options close by. While waiting at the gate to board our plane to Myrtle Beach, we were chatting with others on the same flight, and they recommended that we visit Brookgreen Gardens.
They raved about how amazing the botanical gardens and sculptures are. We weren’t able to fit it into our schedule on this trip, unfortunately, but it looks like a lot of fun with both planned events and free-to-wander trails. They even have a small zoo. Another option is the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk in North Myrtle Beach, a wooden boardwalk that runs for a half-mile over a natural saltwater estuary.
Two of us did get the opportunity to visit Myrtle Beach State Park, which not only has a beautiful beach area with a fishing pier, but also offers camping and lodging, trails, and picnic shelters.
If paddling is your thing, then there are plenty of options for kayak and canoe rentals that allow you to explore the aquatic flora and fauna of the area.
Relax and Rejuvenate at a Spa
There’s really nothing that says ‘girls trip’ quite like enjoying a spa day together. And there are several wonderful options in Myrtle Beach to relax, rejuvenate and refresh. Several of the local resorts include spas, such as the Anderson Ocean Club and Spa (The Awakening Spa), the Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort at Kingston Plantation (Spa 33), The North Beach Plantation (Cinzia Spa) and the Marriott Grande Dunes Resort (Hibiscus Spa).