Myrtle Beach: Top Attractions
|Family times, good times (courtesy, South Carolina Tourism)|
Myrtle Beach is the self-proclaimed "seaside golf capital of the world." Green fairways add color to the low-country landscape of white sands and oceanfront. This family-friendly city also offers cruises along the Intracoastal Waterway, amusement park thrill-rides, country-music concerts, and resorts with elaborate water parks.
Sixty miles of sands make Myrtle Beach special. Teens tend to congregate along Ocean Boulevard near Myrtle Beach Pavilion, an amusement and arcade spot. Families with young children find quieter shores at Surfside Beach, Litchfield Beach, Cherry Grove, and parts of Garden City Beach. Lifeguards patrol during the summer months along the Grand Strand, including Ocean Boulevard, but not at the more out-of-the-way beaches.
Additional Info: 843.626.7444, www.myrtlebeachinfo.com/cvb/visit/beachinfo.html
Whispering Pines Golf Course
In Myrtle Beach, families can swing, chip, and putt at more than 115 full-length golf courses, plus an additional 50 mini-golf establishments. One great family course is Whispering Pines and its Hook-A-Kid On Golf program. Here budding duffers age seven and older learn the basics at sessions that include lunch and refreshments.
Whispering Pines Golf Course: 843.918.2305, www.mbteetime.com
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Old-fashioned baseball comes into play at Myrtle Beach Pelicans games. This inexpensive way to enjoy a day at the ballpark is fun for all ages when the Minor League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves takes the field. The Pelican's Nest Stadium is small enough to make you feel close to the action. Team mascots Splish and Splash lead the cheers, and fireworks enliven the festivities ten nights a season.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans: 843.918.6002, www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com
Children's Museum of South Carolina
At this museum, geared for toddlers to 12-year-olds, kids can stand inside a bubble in Bubble Mania, discover the science behind golf in Fairway Physics, learn about boating safety aboard the U.S.S. Kids Afloat, and create take-home art projects at the Express Yourself Arts Centre. Mom and Dad deserve some artwork for the fridge! Have the kids make it here.
Children's Museum of South Carolina: 843.946.9469, www.cmsckids.org
More than 800 Â‘gatorsÂ—from babies of eight inches to big boys stretching 13 feet and weighing 500 poundsÂ—call Alligator Adventure home. Naturalists explain the toothy predators' behavior before treating guests to a snap-jaw feeding frenzy. The facility also displays lizards, tortoises, turtles, and exotic birds, as well as pythons, rattlers, vipers, and other snakes.
Alligator Adventure: 843.361.0789, www.alligatoradventure.com
One of the most beautiful gardens in the south, Brookgreen sprawls over 300 acres abloom with dogwoods and azaleas. Sculptures dot the holdings of a former 18th-century rice plantation, which also contains a wildlife preserve, the kids' Garden Room, pontoon rides, and Mother Nature's CafÃ©Â—where a "gardener" feeds tasty snacks to otters, alligators, and foxes. Thursdays during the summer, storytelling and other kids' activities take place in the Garden Room.
Brookgreen Gardens: 843.235.6000, www.brookgreen.org
Thrills & Spills at Theme Parks
Myrtle Beach's Family Kingdom water park features speed slides, a lazy river, and three flumesÂ—one with an 185-foot drop. Its sister amusement park sports six thrill-rides, including the Swamp Fox Roller Coaster for older patrons and the Kiddie Coaster and Berry-Go-Round for little ones. At the Myrtle Beach Grand Prix, adults get to burn rubber in Formula One-type cars, while ages six and older get moving in go-cartsÂ—less torque yet no less entertaining!
Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Water Park: 843.626.3447, www.family-kingdom.com
Myrtle Beach Grand Prix Family Thrill Park: 843.272.7770, www.mbgrandprix.com
Standing on the moving glide-path through Ripley's recreated Reef Tunnel, visitors pass by more than over a thousand brightly colored tropical fish, sharks, and a giant Pacific octopus. At the facility's touch tanks, kids can finger stingrays and horseshoe crabs. Check the schedule for educational programs. Through 2005 there's an exhibit on the Titanic.
Ripley's Aquarium: 843.916.0888, www.ripleysaquarium.com
Great American Riverboat
Take a relaxing time out with a cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway. On the scenic one-hour trips, learn some local lore while you savor the low-country scenery. Kids accompanied by a parent are welcome to check out the pilot house. Boats depart from Barefoot Landing as well as from the Waccatee Zoo. Dinner cruises are available.
Great American Riverboat Co.: 843.650.6600, www.mbriverboat.com
This 2,200-seat performance palace is one of several venues that has turned Myrtle Beach into a country-music mecca. The Opry's typical two-hour show features singers, dancers, and comedians. On Friday nights, Good Vibrations! pays homage to the sounds of the Â‘60s, Â‘70s, and Â‘80s.
Carolina Opry: 843.913.4000, www.cgp.net
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication