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About Myrtle Beach, South Carolina



Aaah...Those Myrtle Beach Days.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You remember, don't you? White sandy beaches. Cruising the strip. Summer romances and "I've got some sand-d-d-d in my shoes-s-s-s" (the Drifters? or was it the Coasters?). In those days it was downright un-American not to have a photo album from your Myrtle Beach vacation.

A part of Myrtle Beach's heart (like yours, probably) remains locked forever in those old fading images, but scratch the surface of this fabled resort and you'll find the "real" Myrtle Beach -- a one-of-a-kind mixture of unspoiled wildlife, world-class night life, historic plantations and sunny recreations.

With 215 average days of sunshine each year, the Myrtle Beach area is the perfect getaway for any season. From the Brunswick Isles of North Carolina to the historic port of Georgetown, sixty miles of white sandy beaches and coastal communities make it easy to understand why the area's nickname is "The Grand Strand."

Variety is the hallmark of this vacation paradise. Some families choose the traditional bustling beach scene in the heart of Myrtle Beach, where the water slides, miniature golf and amusement parks are only a stroll away. Others prefer to recline in the more sedate but still nearby settings of North Myrtle Beach, Garden City or Surfside Beach. For the true seekers of serenity, there are accommodations on historic Pawleys Island and in the subdued Litchfield area. If you prefer, enjoy beaches in their natural state at the area's two state parks (Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach) and protected beaches where native wildlife is still free to roam (Hobcaw Barony and Bull's Island, open by appointment only). And, of course, there is Myrtle Beach's Ocean Boulevard, the most famous stretch of seaside road in the nation, where people-watching has risen to an art form -- a haven for those who are convinced that what this country really needs is a good foot-long hot dog.

 




ROAD MAP


United States map showing distances from several major cities to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

 


SIGHTSEEING

The Carolina Opry
It's Showtime!

Around here the phrase "Showtime at the Beach" can mean only one thing: the Calvin Gilmore family of music variety shows.

The award-winning entertainer and producer has created an entertainment mecca in Myrtle Beach, attracting national attention and plaudits in the process. The Calvin Gilmore Theater is an elegant 2,200-seat show palace in Myrtle Beach whose massive lobby, with its towering Corinthian columns and sweeping staircases, is an attraction in itself. The building's impressive facade and spacious auditorium is a fitting home for what is arguably the best live variety show in the country.

The Carolina Opry show presents America's best music in Myrtle Beach's best show. It could be described as a dash of country, pop, gospel, rock 'n roll, Broadway, and laughs. The show is sparkle and glitter and heart and soul, rarely failing to make its audiences stand up and cheer. Among its many distinctions is that of having received South Carolina's highest tourism honor, The Governor's Cup. This comes as no surprise to the more than 6 million satisfied customers who have passed through Gilmore's theater doors since The Carolina Opry opened in 1986. Over 4,000 tour buses alone will visit the theater this year. The average Carolina Opry customer has seen the show (which is constantly changing and reinventing itself) between 4 and 7 times. Repeat business like that speaks more loudly than any ad copy. Southern Living Magazine was right when it said that Calvin Gilmore's Carolina Opry is not just a success, it is "an entertainment phenomenon."

Time Warp
The Best of the 60s, 70s and 80s!

Crowds are having a lot of fun reliving the 60s, 70s, and 80s at Time Warp, Calvin Gilmore's latest production (also, incidentally, the area's newest show). It was the music of our youth – or, in some cases, the music of our children’s teenage years – Journey, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Boston, Led Zeppelin, The Temptations and more. Every song will bring a thrill of recognition and nostalgia, further enhanced by rich, big-screen multimedia. Even the comedy is from earlier eras – watch for characters from film and TV of the period. Time Warp is a 90-minute, no-intermission, virtual tour of the glory days of American popular music. “The energy of this show is captivating,” says Calvin, “and our cast has such a breadth of talent that they help everyone in the audience identify with not only the music but also the artists who originally made the songs popular.” So dust off your little deuce coupe and head for the beach to catch Time Warp.

Ripley's Aquarium
"SEA LIFE DIFFERENTLY"

Ripley's has created an underwater adventure at this spectacular aquarium. Ray Bay; hundreds of sharks and rays glide through the waters of Ray Bay. Enjoy numerous viewing angles, a dive show and a large area which allows you to touch the rays. Dangerous Reef; a moving glide path carries you through one of the world's greatest aquarium experiences with a shipwreck surrounded by large sharks. Explore the oceans of wonder. The Living Gallery; a collection of some of the most unique, unusual and delicate species of the underwater world. Rio Amazon; the authentic rain forest setting provides a glimpse into a truly exotic habitat. Here you will encounter a rich variety of freshwater fish. Rainbow Rock; experience the brilliant colors of the Pacific Ocean's exquisite fishes and delicate corals from as far away as Australia and Hawaii. Sea-For-Yourself Discovery Center; explore the myths, mysteries and fun facts of the underwater world and see what creatures are lurking just around the corner.

Brookgreen Gardens
"The touch of the sun for pardon, the kiss of the sun for mirth; one is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth."

That gentle inscription graces the garden wall of America's most outstanding collection of outdoor statuary set in beautiful botanical gardens. Located on the grounds of three old rice plantations, Brookgreen began as a small sculpture garden project of Anna Hyatt Huntington, wife of millionaire philanthropist Archer Huntington. Its symbol, the magnificent Fighting Stallions at Brookgreen's gate, was sculpted by Mrs. Huntington using live horses, among the many animals she maintained at her studio as models. Flowers are in bloom year-round at Brookgreen, with late March and early April special high points. An extensive wildlife park and aviary make it a natural stop.Shopping galore you took all of the merchandise sold in Myrtle Beach's hundreds of boutiques, outlet stores and shops and laid it end to end, how many miles would it cover? Well, let's see, that's...oh, who has time for math on vacation, anyway! Suffice it to say that whatever it is you're looking for, you can find it here.

Plantations

US Highway 17 is the main drag, running parallel to the great Atlantic, along the Grand Strand's coastal communities. When you're ready for a little exploring, you can follow it south out of Myrtle Beach and straight into history. Down past Murrells Inlet, the old ocean highway runs right through the middle of what were once vast plantations stretching from the river to the sea. This was rice country. That's right, rice. Only true history buffs know it, but this coastal area provided some 75% of the world's rice between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Here thrived the wealthiest aristocracy in early America. On tiny Pawleys Island, you can still see their summer homes, some dating from the 1700s.

A few of the old rice-producing giants still stand and are open to visitors, offering mute testimony to a time when a small golden grain and the chains of human bondage created a society doomed to tragedy.

Murrells Inlet
Seafood Capital of South Carolina

Located nine miles south of Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet is so southern that even its name has a story behind it. There are still locals who disagree about whether it is the namesake of Capt. Morall (a pirate) or Capt. Murrell (a respectable sea captain). What is certain is that this small village lives up to its self-proclaimed title of "Seafood Capital of South Carolina." There are more restaurants on a strip of Business Highway 17 than exist in some entire cities. Although the cuisine now extends well beyond the traditional fresh inlet seafood on which its reputation was made, there are still plenty of ocean delicacies to be found on these tables.

Georgetown
A Seaport That Time (Almost) Forgot

The Grand Strand's southern terminus is Georgetown, whose National Register Historic District (ca. 1729) is simply charming. A seaport village with a collection of homes and churches dating from the 1700s and 1800s, it feels like a previously undiscovered antebellum Mayberry, where homeowners call out friendly greetings to visitors exploring the moss-draped Prince George Winyah Episcopal Churchyard (ca. 1750). Inside the church, echoes of colonial debate and a thousand liturgies hang in the air as docents proudly point out the box pews that have served generations. Over at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a local guide extols the quiet courage of the small congregation of freed slaves who purchased this lot in the middle of town in 1866 (only a year after the war's end) and built a house of worship. The African element of construction bears witness to pride of heritage. In the harbor, wooden shrimp boats drift back into port around 4:00 pm, the tops of their masts painted white. The reason? If the boat is in peril, local custom dictates, the hand of God will need a clean place to touch when rescuing it.

On The Links
Golf is big in Myrtle Beach. Really big. 98 courses big.

No, that wasn't a typographical error; there are actually 98 sensational golf courses to choose from.

Granted, there are a few other places on this earth with that many courses per square mile. But the unique thing about Myrtle Beach's courses is that you can actually play them. There is very little restricted play here, few private country clubs. In Myrtle Beach, every single golfer has 98 courses from which to choose.

The courses here are good enough to have won dozens of awards; the names of designers read like a guest list at a Master's opening reception: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Rees Jones. The topography of the courses is driven by that of the coastal plains. There are waterside courses with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean; secluded courses tucked into old growth hardwood forests; courses that meander through the salt marshes of former rice plantations, where alligators keep silent vigil over the balls that never made it out of the rough. It's no wonder that the area was chosen as the home of the Senior PGA Tournament for 3 years (1994-1996).

 

 



TRANSPORTATION

Getting here is half the fun.

Whether you fly, bus, train, or drive your way to Myrtle Beach, you are sure to have a lot of fun when you get there. Here are some links to help you with planning your trip to Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach International Airport: www.flymyrtlebeach.com

Private Plane Service

  • Grand Strand Airport -- 843-448-1589
  • Conway-Horry County Airport -- 843-397-9111

Greyhound Bus (in Myrtle Beach): www.greyhound.com

Amtrak (closest station is in Florence, SC): www.amtrak.com



TRAVEL PACKAGES

Call 1-800-Sho-Time (1-800-746-8463) to speak with an agent who can book a hotel or resort package including shows, golf, restaurants, and other attractions that will SAVE you money. One call does it all!

 



WEATHER

 Myrtle Beach Average Temperatures
Month Air Temperature Ocean Temperature
January 57 49
February 60 51
March 67 56
April 76 66
May 83 71
June 87 78
July 89 83
August 88 80
September 84 77
October 76 72
November 69 60
December 59 50
Average number of sunny days 215 59% of year
Average number of partly cloudy days 150 41% of year
Average number of rainy days 77 21% of year
Average number of frost days 51 14% of year

 

 

With 215 average days of sunshine each year, the Myrtle Beach area is the perfect getaway for any season.