18 Things to Do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Besides the Beach)

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Things to do in Myrtle Beach include experiencing the beautiful beaches covered in colorful umbrellas.
There are many things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – including spending time in the sun on the beautiful beaches or in the Atlantic Ocean waters. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

From shopping to sightseeing, thrill rides or watersports, there are plenty of fun things to do in Myrtle Beach whether you’re bringing the kids on a family vacation or visiting as I did, with your BFFs in tow. Our girlfriend’s getaway to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was my first trip to the Atlantic Coast tourism hot spot, and I’m already planning when I can return.

Here are my top things to do in Myrtle Beach – other than the beach, which is pretty much a given, of course.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include Broadway at the Beach, which has shops, dining and attractions arranged around a central lake.
The shops, restaurants and attractions at Broadway at the Beach are all arranged around the central lake, where you can also feed fish and turtles. Several bridges span the lake to make it easy to get around. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

1. Broadway at the Beach

If there’s one destination in Myrtle Beach that really has it all, this is it. Shopping and dining options? Check. Fun things to see and do? Check.

With more than 20 restaurants, 80 specialty shops and a variety of 25 attractions, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. The 350-acre site is set up around a central lake, with parking on the outside.

Read More: Fun Things to Do in Georgetown SC near Myrtle Beach

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include the Hollywood Wax Museum, located at Broadway at the Beach.
Oh no, it’s King Kong! The Hollywood Wax Museum is located at Broadway at the Beach. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

We explored Broadway at the Beach over our first afternoon in Myrtle Beach and wished we had more time to spend checking everything out. It would be easy to spend at least a full day or more – especially if you spend time seeing shows, dining or visiting Ripley’s Aquarium or the Hollywood Wax Museum, both of which are also located on-site.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach - group of four women posing in front of a fountain, all wearing different bucket hats.
We bought hats on our girlfriend’s getaway to Myrtle Beach! Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

We had lunch at Walhburgers, which was comfortable and delicious. Other restaurant options include Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Margaritaville, Dave & Busters and Hard Rock Cafe. But we wanted something fairly quick since we had limited time.

The variety of shops to browse was fantastic and the four of us were able to buy souvenirs and phone chargers, and could have easily blown our whole budgets there. We did all buy coordinating bucket hats, which helped block out the bright South Carolina sun as we wandered around.

2. WonderWorks

Located at Broadway at the Beach, WonderWorks is an “edutainment” experience. That means it’s part amusement park, part science laboratory.

As the website describes, “This once top-secret laboratory was located in the Bermuda Triangle. An experiment gone awry lifted the laboratory, carrying it to Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach where it landed upside down. Luckily, all of the exhibits remained intact and available for guests to explore.”

The six Wonder Zones offer an indoor ropes course, laser tag arena and more. There’s also a zip line that soars over the lake.

3. Barefoot Landing

Barefoot Landing is located in North Myrtle Beach, and is similar to Broadway at the Beach, with dining, shopping and entertainment options. It is also arranged around a small lake with parking on the outside.

We had a few minutes after dinner to explore so only saw a small portion of the full area, but all of us were impressed by the variety of options. There’s a playground for kids, a stage for outdoor entertainment, a carousel and plenty of snack and dining options.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include the Crooked Hammock Restaurant and Brewery.
Crooked Hammock’s restaurant and brewery are in separate buildings next to each other at Barefoot Landing. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

4. Crooked Hammock Brewery

Our group was invited to come and check out the food and drinks at Crooked Hammock Brewery, located at Barefoot Landing. This isn’t just a brewery, and isn’t just a restaurant. Yes, they have a brewery with a taproom where you can tour and also taste the craft beers. And yes, there is a full restaurant with absolutely delicious food and drinks.

But, this is also a place to come and hang out, to spend time together with friends or family, and have fun in the outdoor ‘backyard’. Here you can play table tennis or cornhole, relax in one of several not-so-crooked hammocks, or just share conversation and laughs over a meal together.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include checking out the fun decor in The Crooked Hammock's indoor dining room.
Crooked Hammock’s indoor dining room has plenty of fun decor to look at while you eat. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

We were hosted for an early dinner. I had the pulled pork sandwich, which was amazing, and also came with the most delicious french fries served in their own cute little fry basket. My friends’ meals included the steak skewers and the chicken bacon ranch sandwich.

None of us are beer drinkers, but two of us had mixed drinks, which they definitely enjoyed.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach - pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw and fries served at The Crooked Hammock.
My pulled pork sandwich was so tasty, and I loved the fries in their little basket. They tasted great too! Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

We ate indoors and loved the eclectic decor and the friendly staff. There is also covered patio seating outdoors, complete with misting fans to help keep you refreshed and cool.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach - four women trying out one of the hammocks at The Crooked Hammock
We all had to squish onto a hammock for a group photo! Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

The fun part of the Crooked Hammock experience comes when you just spend time hanging out in their backyard. Theirs is way more fun than mine is! I wish we’d had more time to spend challenging each other to yard games or relaxing in the hammocks, but we had a great time eating and exploring. While one of my friends was in the restroom, a complete stranger came in saying, “This has to be one of the funnest places I have ever eaten!” My friends and I totally agree.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include playing yard games outdoors in The Crooked Hammock's backyard.
Part of the backyard at the Crooked Hammock – so many outdoor games and with misting fans to keep you cool too! Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

5. The Market Common

We didn’t have a chance to visit The Market Common, but it looks like another fun place to explore, shop, eat and play. Built on a former Air Force base, this redevelopment honors its history – all streets are named for local military heroes, and there are historical markers located throughout the development that tell their stories.

Now, you’ll find everything from residences to boutique shops, restaurants and entertainment options at The Market Common. There’s a luxury movie theater, the EdVenture Children’s Museum, a salon, a dentist and more. The area also hosts events such as holiday celebrations, marathons and the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include walking the boardwalk at night with all of the businesses lit up.
View of sand volleyball courts, shops and the iconic SkyWheel from the boardwalk. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

6. Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade

Over a mile long, this oceanfront boardwalk and promenade is located in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach. Along with beach access and beautiful views, you’ll find shopping, dining, live entertainment and attractions such as the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and The Gay Dolphin (the largest gift shop in Myrtle Beach). Just a block off the boardwalk, you’ll also find Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Ripley’s Crazy Golf and Ripley’s Mirror Maze.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include Ripley’s Mirror Maze, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure and Ripley’s Crazy Golf.
The boardwalk may have the ocean view, but you’ll find plenty to do even a block inward, like the Ripley’s Mirror Maze, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure and Ripley’s Crazy Golf. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

SheBuysTravel Tip: Try to explore the boardwalk both during the day and also after dark. It’s a totally different vibe at night, with all of the lights, music and nightlife. During the daytime, there’s a more relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a long, quiet wander along the beach.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include the SkyWheel, located right along the boardwalk.
The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel stands 20 stories above the ground and has 42 enclosed gondolas. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

7. Myrtle Beach SkyWheel

The SkyWheel is a large Ferris wheel located on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and is part of the iconic beach shoreline. At almost 200 feet (20 stories) high, it’s visible from blocks away – and from the top, you’ll see for miles, either out into the ocean or overlooking downtown Myrtle Beach.

Two of us had the opportunity to be hosted to ride the SkyWheel and it definitely didn’t disappoint. There was a bit of a wait outside in the steamy weather to get on, but the air-conditioned gondola felt so nice and cool once we boarded. We had it to ourselves (they will never load more than one group together in a gondola) and we could see in all directions as we moved higher and higher. With 42 gondolas, every SkyWheel flight lasts for four revolutions (about 10-15 minutes).

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include checking out the views from the top of the SkyWheel.
View from the top of the SkyWheel over the buildings and beach to the north. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

The views were amazing, especially from the very top. We could see way down the coastline in both directions, as well as over the buildings in Myrtle Beach proper. The visibility was ok that day, but I can only imagine how incredible it looks on a really clear day. However, if you are afraid of heights, this is probably one attraction to skip.

The SkyWheel offers special flights for sunrise, gender reveals, proposals and more. Their VIP Gondola is also a special option that includes a glass-bottomed floor, leather bucket seats and a flight that lasts twice as long as usual.

8. Family Kingdom Amusement Park

Located a few blocks south of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Family Kingdom is a theme park with thrills for everyone. They have over 35 rides, including the Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, Log Flume Water Ride and many carnival staples like the Tilt-A-Whirl, Thunderbolt, Bumper Cars, a Ferris Wheel, and carousel, just to name a few.

There are also rides for smaller kids, such as a Kiddie Coaster, Kiddie Speedway and Kiddie Swing. For parents (or any others) who don’t wish to ride, admission is free. If you do want to ride, you can either purchase a wristband or buy individual credits to use. Purchased credits never expire.

9. Myrtle Waves Water Park

Myrtle Waves has 22 slides and attractions and is South Carolina’s largest water park. They are open seasonally and offer many different ticket options, both in-person and online. With a wave pool, lazy river, water slides, tube rides and kid’s play areas, there’s something for everyone. They even have a FlowRider where you can surf in a controlled environment.

10. Broadway Grand Prix

This is the sister park to Myrtle Waves and offers seven different go-kart tracks, two 18-hole mini golf courses and an arcade and snack bar. There are even bumper cars!

11. Miniature Golf

I never knew that Myrtle Beach is called the Mini Golf Capital of the World, but I certainly believe it. We saw so many mini golf courses everywhere we went! There are 50 available to choose from, whether you prefer to golf with pirates, spies, castles, volcanoes and more. Even though our resort offered free mini golf at one location, we just ran out of time before we could take advantage. On the list for next time, for sure!

SheBuysTravel Tip: There are many coupon books and brochures available all over Myrtle Beach and most include coupons for some of the various mini golf courses. Don’t pay full price! And make sure to check with your hotel or resort for any discounts they may offer.

12. Wheels of Yesteryear

Wheels of Yesteryear is a family-run vintage auto museum with over 150 cars, belonging to car enthusiasts, Paul and Carol Cummings. Along with welcoming guests, the museum puts on several events and cruise-ins. Whether you’re an auto aficionado or looking to find a fun activity on a rainy day, this museum is a must-see.

13. Brookgreen Gardens

Over our trip, we met and chatted with folks from all over. One recommendation we got from more than one person was to make a visit to Brookgreen Gardens a priority on our trip. With limited time, we weren’t able to do so, but it’s at the top of my list for a return trip.

Comprising over 9,000 acres, this Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve offers a look at native flora and fauna of the area through a botanical garden and sculpture collection, along with the Lowcountry Zoo.

14. Murrells Inlet

Known as the “seafood capital of South Carolina”, there’s plenty to enjoy in this community located south of Myrtle Beach. Here you can find much to do out on the ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway, such as kayaking, fishing, or enjoying a boat cruise or jet ski.

Their MarshWalk encompasses eight restaurants that offer live music and amazing views to accompany your seafood dinner.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach - four women pose in front of a dolphin cruise boat.
Posing for a group photo in front of our boat before embarking on our dolphin-less cruise. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

15. Dolphin Cruises

There were two must-dos on our list when planning our Myrtle Beach getaway. The top priority was to go on a dolphin cruise. There are several in the area to choose from, but keep in mind that even though some of them ‘guarantee’ that you’ll see dolphins, it’s hit or miss whether you’ll actually spot any.

Our dolphin cruise was a sunset cruise on a day with high winds and big waves. The waves were fun to play in when we were at the beach earlier in the day but made leaving the protected waters of the Intracoastal Waterway for the Atlantic Ocean pretty much impossible. The captain tried, but as soon as we hit the ocean, the waves began to rock the boat, those of us outside the cabin got doused, and pretty much every child on board started to cry. So we headed back a bit early.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include checking out the Intracoastal Waterway while enjoying a dolphin cruise.
We took photos as we cruised our way along the Intracoastal Waterway at Myrtle Beach. One of our group is a preschool teacher and made friends with this little guy. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

The captain explained to us that it was unlikely we’d see dolphins on this cruise because:

  • The time of year (August) is not great for dolphin sightings, plus they’re more likely to be spotted in the morning than in the evening.
  • The heavy wind and waves meant that dolphins would be less likely to be spotted.
  • The relatively high ocean temperatures in the area lately cause dolphins to stay further out to sea where the waters are cooler.
Things to do in Myrtle Beach include taking a sunset dolphin cruise.
Even if we didn’t see dolphins, it was the beginning of a beautiful sunset out on the water as we headed back to the dock. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

Even without a dolphin sighting, the cruise was a nice way to enjoy a beautiful (if windy) evening, and we did catch the beginning of the sunset before docking.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Don’t let yourself and your group get so focused on seeing dolphins that you miss out on a wonderful boating experience. There’s plenty more to see along the beautiful Carolina coastline.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include parasailing high above the ocean waters.
There were parasailers out pretty much all the time during our stay in Myrtle Beach. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

16. Watersports

There are more ways than just dolphin cruises to get out onto the water in Myrtle Beach. Many companies offer jet ski or pontoon boat rentals. You can also kayak or canoe the Intracoastal Waterway. And every day that we were there, we could see boats towing parasailers up and down out on the water from the local beaches.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include the beach and fishing pier at Myrtle Beach State Park.
Beautiful Myrtle Beach State Park beach and fishing pier. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

17. Myrtle Beach State Park

I’m a big fan of state parks, so after we had checked out of our beachfront condo, two of us had some time to kill before catching our flight home. We definitely wanted to get back in the water, so we looked at public beaches. Immediately, Myrtle Beach State Park was our top choice.

Note: There is a fee to enter, and we were surprised that it was charged per person rather than per car as we’re used to in Michigan. Once we paid, it was a scenic drive out to the beach.

Along with camping, trails, picnic shelters, fishing and more, the state park has a wonderful beach, right next to their fishing pier and one of the two gift shops. We splashed in the waves, sat in the sun, and made it just far enough out on the pier to find the giant chair to hang out in. I can’t imagine a better beach day.

During the summer months, the park offers an opportunity to participate in the early morning sea turtle patrols with a park ranger. Volunteers walk the beaches every morning to find, mark and rope off turtle nesting sites to protect them.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach include the beach at Myrtle Beach State Park at low tide, with many colorful umbrellas.
Bright umbrellas dot the beach at Myrtle Beach State Park during low tide. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

Along with Myrtle Beach State Park, is Huntington Beach State Park, located in Murrells Inlet. We didn’t get to visit, but their sandy beaches, saltmarsh and birding opportunities make it a great choice.

myrtle beach dinner shows - picture during the finale of the Pirate's Voyage show.
Whether you love pirates or not, this show is entertaining with amazing stunts and lots of humor. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

18. Myrtle Beach Dinner Shows

Myrtle Beach offers several dinner show options, including the Pirates Voyage, The Carolina Opry, Medieval Times and the Polynesian Fire Luau and Dinner show. We loved the pirate ship, acrobatics and meal at Pirates Voyage. It was a blast to root for the Crimson pirates on our side of the theater against the Sapphire pirates, as they competed in various challenges.

Note that both the Pirate’s Voyage is owned by Dolly Parton and she wrote the music for the show!

Read More:  7 Best Myrtle Beach Dinner Shows for Fun and Food!

Deb is Director of Operations for SheBuysTravel.com and the mom of 3 teenagers and young adults. She lives in the greater Grand Rapids area in West Michigan, and is a former city planner and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Analyst who loves gadgets, maps, writing, and traveling both within and outside of Michigan. She also enjoys reading, sewing, running and knitting.
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