North Myrtle Beach is known as one the best South Carolina beach destinations, spanning nine miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It’s unsurprising why North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is popular for family vacations. Its beaches are wide stretches of pure white sugary sand, and parents can find affordable vacation rentals, condos, hotels and resorts throughout North Myrtle Beach’s four separate beach communities. And while the beach is certainly a draw for families (and rightly so), the area is loaded with enticing and sometimes surprising things to do. Here’s a look at seven things you didn’t know you could in North Myrtle Beach.
1. Pet a baby tiger cub. The T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach might be the closest you will ever get to rare and endangered animals without being on an African safari. The preservation station is not like a zoo. Visitors can get nose-to-nose through the glass with Bengal tigers, royal tigers and tabby tigers. Better yet, the station allows visitors to hold, pet, feed and be photographed with baby tiger cubs. The living tiger exhibit is free to visit, but there is a cost for photos. Other animals featured alongside the big cats include orangutans, monkeys and elephants.
2. Watch a live alligator feeding. At Alligator Adventure at Barefoot Landing, you can watch 15-foot alligators leap out of the water and clamp down on their dinner during a live show led by alligator handlers and trainers. At shows later in the year during non-feeding season, handlers allow visitors to touch and pet baby alligators. Aside from the live shows, Alligator Adventure also has exhibits featuring wolves, crocodiles, birds, monkeys, kangaroos and more.
3. Zipline through the treetops. The Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course in the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex is the state’s first zipline adventure course. The park has five ziplines, two of which careen over a 25-acre lake. After a training session, visitors are hooked up with harnesses, pulleys and carabiners and set loose to explore the treetop course on ziplines, rope ladders, swings, bridges and more.
4. Ride horses on the beach. Some of North Myrtle Beach’s privately owned beaches offer horseback riding led by trained instructors and experts on the North Myrtle Beach area. Inlet Point Plantation Stables offers horseback riding on the beach year-round, including a special sunset stroll option. Horseback riding on the beach consistently ranks at the top of the best things to do in North Myrtle Beach.
5. Try a new watersport or beach adventure. Sometimes a relaxing day sunbathing on the beach sounds ideal, but other days the water looks like a big, welcoming playground for kids and adults alike. A number of water sports operators specialized in different types of water sports and water adventures in North Myrtle Beach. Parasailing, kite surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing and off-shore diving are all watersports options, depending on the age and adventure-seeking level of your group.
6. See a national touring act at the House of Blues. North Myrtle Beach is a popular destination because it’s somewhat off the beaten path and less crowded than other well-known beach destinations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see some of the biggest names in music perform there. The House of Blues features a steady lineup of bands and musicians throughout the year. This summer features names likes Flogging Molly and Awolnation. And if you’re more interested in hearing new talent and what the future of music sounds like, House of Blues features local bands at special events as well.
7. Rediscover a legendary dance style. In South Carolina, the shag, a dance style born and made popular in the 1950s, still reigns supreme. North Myrtle Beach has a number of entertainment venues such as Fat Harold’s, the O.D. Pavilion and the Spanish Galleon where you can watch and learn from some of the area’s best dancers.
There are plenty of additional ideas for things to do in North Myrtle Beach, especially for family vacations. Check out this guide to North Myrtle Beach for a family beach vacation for more ideas to help you get started planning a trip.