If, like many Charlotte area families, you’re thinking about going to Myrtle Beach this summer, we have some information to help you.
We asked Joey Bevil, publisher of Myrtle Beach on the Cheap, for some ideas for frugal fun at Myrtle Beach. If you find Charlotte on the Cheap useful, you should definitely check out Myrtle Beach on the Cheap before and during your Myrtle Beach trip. You’ll find an insider look at fun events that are free or inexpensive, as well as deals on dining, entertainment and more. Look here for some Myrtle Beach discounts.
And, after reading Joey’s great advice, please keep reading for some excellent discounts on hotels and kids’ activities in Myrtle Beach! You can also jump to hotel discounts, or jump to attraction discounts.
Planning your Myrtle Beach Vacation
by Joey of Myrtle Beach on the Cheap
Come on down to Myrtle Beach for your summer vacation! We’ve got plenty of FREE and inexpensive things for the family to do.
Let’s start by stating the obvious. Going to the beach! After all, that’s why most families visit Myrtle Beach. The Grand Strand has 60 miles of beautiful beaches, and they’re all free.
Stroll the beach around sunrise and sunset. It does the soul good to view the beauty of the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening.
A favorite family beach activity is looking for shark’s teeth. You’ll have the best luck finding shark’s teeth several hours after a high tide. Also, be on the lookout for pretty shells. Be sure to take a ziplock baggie or some other sort of bag to carry your new found artifacts in.
Myrtle Beach has several large entertainment complexes the family can visit:
Broadway at the Beach is Broadway at the Beach is a huge entertainment complex that includes more than 100 specialty shops, a variety of restaurants and night clubs (including Hard Rock Café, Senor Frogs, Fat Tuesday, and many others).
There are plenty of inexpensive kid friendly rides available at the three Pavilion Parks located inside Broadway. Broadway at the Beach is located off Highway 17 By-pass, between 21st and 29th Avenue North.
It’s the place with the ferris wheel and upside house. Just across the street is the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center. You can’t miss this either–it’s the one with King Kong scaling The Empire State Building. It’s a bit pricey, but if you want to rub elbows and get your picture taken along side your favorite celebrity, this is the place.
Visit Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, another huge entertainment, shopping and dining destination. Located between the Intracoastal Waterway and Highway 17, Barefoot Landing offers 15 restaurants that include the iconic Johnny Rockets Hamburgers and the fine dining at Greg Norman Australian Grille. Recently opened Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s, is part of the Jimmy Buffet chain of restaurants. It’s not quite as big as Broadway, but unique in its own way.
If the weather is nice, it may be worth the investment to visit Alligator Adventure. Home to hundreds of alligators, crocodiles, birds, snakes, and other animals, Alligator Adventure is a naturist dream.
The kids aren’t left out of the Barefoot Landing fun. Check out the old timey Carousel, an authentic representation of a long-ago Barnum & Bailey carousel which features 41 animals cast from original molds. Barefoot Amusements features a variety of kiddie rides and family fun!
Watch tigers and tiger cubs interact and play at T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station, the free wildlife exhibit. It opens at 5:00 p.m. daily from March through October. You can also have your picture taken with the tigers for a fee.
Stroll the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade runs along the ocean between 2nd Avenue Pier (2nd Avenue N) and 16th Avenue North. Along the Boardwalk, which is free to stroll, you’ll find several oceanfront restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or a frosty drink. Some places are cheaper than others, so you might want to shop around.
The SkyWheel is the prominent feature here. It’s relatively inexpensive. Take the family on a SkyWheel ride for unbelievable views of the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.
Walking along the Boardwalk, you’ll notice there are numerous alcoves for sitting, resting and picture taking. Stroll out hundreds of yards over the ocean at any one of the two piers. It costs a few bucks, but you may be able to catch views of sharks and other marine life. Ample metered parking is available at 2nd Avenue North. Be sure to take your camera!
Visit The Market Common. Laid out in a in a beautifully-designed urban village setting, The Market Common is a shopping and dining complex located at the old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. It has everything from upscale shops and restaurants to ice cream and pizza.
Visit Warbird Park, located just inside The Market Common at the southern end of Ocean Boulevard. It’s home to several static displays of several aircraft that once called Myrtle Beach Air Force Base home. Numerous markers around the park tell the history of the base.
Several memorials honoring POW/MIA’s, The Merchant Marines, and those who did not come back, are a solemn reminder that freedom is not free. There is no admission fee and plenty of parking available. Picnic tables are available.
The Market Common also hosts a lot of free festivals and family friendly events throughout the year. Click here for the event calendar.
Visit Myrtle Beach State Park. Myrtle Beach State Park has a beach, picnic shelters, playground equipment, a nature center, a recreation area, and more. They also present educational programs, most of which are free with park admission ($8 for adults; $35 for SC seniors; $4 for kids age 6-15; free for kids 5 and younger). Click here for upcoming events. It is easily located between Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach on Highway 17 Business.
Explore Pawleys Island. 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach, the little village of Pawleys Island holds its own magical charm. It is one of the oldest summer resorts on the east coast. Many plantation mansions still stand today, even through numerous hurricanes. A must visit is the Pawleys Island Hammock Shop, where hammocks have been made by hand for over two centuries. The quaint little shops around town are a far cry from the commercialized retail in Myrtle Beach.
Visit the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk. Just a few miles south of Myrtle Beach, the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk offers nature at its best. It’s a 1/2 mile boardwalk along a saltwater estuary. This is a great spot for birdwatching, as you might see great white herons, pelicans and more. Enjoy some Lowcountry cuisine at one of the waterfront restaurants.
Go to a museum.
- The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum has both permanent and rotating exhibits. It also has interactive educational and creative programs for people of all ages. Admission is free; donations are appreciated.
- EdVenture Myrtle Beach is a 3,000 square foot, one-room museum in Market Common just for kids. It packs a lot of excitement for kids in that small space. Admission is $8 for adults and children over age 2. Kids under 2 are free. Seniors (age 62+), military members and educators are admitted for $7.
- Visit the Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum. This is a unique museum where you can actually play the arcade games from the 70s, 80s and 90s. This is a fun, nostalgic excursion. Admission is $12 per hour, per person. The Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum is located at 607 N 27th Avenue in downtown Myrtle Beach.
Play some mini-golf! Playing a few round of mini-golf always seems to be on everyone’s list of “to do’s” when visiting Myrtle Beach. It’s probably one of the things a 10 year can do better than mom or dad! You’ll find numerous mini-golf courses all along Highway 17, especially in the North Myrtle Beach/Barefoot Landing area.
Some of the more popular mini-golf courses are:
- Mt. Atlanticus – located in downtown Myrtle Beach. If you get a hole-in-one on the final hole, you get free golf for life!
- Hawaiian Rumble – located in North Myrtle Beach. Hawaiian Rumble has been the host for the World Mini-Golf Championship for many years.
- Gilligan’s Island Mini Golf – located in the Garden City/Murrells Inlet area. Gilligan’s offers two 18-hole courses within a tropical paradise theme.
Whatever you choose to do, Myrtle Beach on the Cheap hopes you enjoy our city and all it has to offer! Have fun and make sure to pack the sunscreen.
For discount tickets and passes to many of the attractions and shows Myrtle Beach offers. Please visit our advertising partner Reserve Myrtle Beach/Tripster!