Sometimes all you need is a vacation, but our budget has other ideas.
One of our favorite things about North Myrtle Beach is that it’s family-friendly and affordable. Visitors can find a lot of free or very inexpensive activities to do while here. And there are enough entertainment options that won’t break your budget but will create memories that will last a lifetime.
Find Your Beach Bliss
The best part of vacation here is free and already in the name: North Myrtle Beach! Nine miles of beach stretch out along the Atlantic, and it’s all there, 24/7 and free. Pack up your best beach towels, a few of your favorite snacks, and a couple of tubes of sunscreen, and you have all the ingredients for a successful beach vacation.
The waves roar ashore while you work on getting a perfect tan and enjoy some refreshments from the local restaurants that line the beach. Take a stroll to hunt for shark's teeth and shells, or put on a pair of running shoes and go for a jog.
In the distance, Cherry Grove Pier juts out over the water and is famous for being home to the best fishing along the east coast. For just a few dollars, you can purchase a day long walking pass so you can visit the two-story observation deck that will give you a view of the Grand Strand that’s unlike any other. The restaurant there, Driftwood Beach Bar & Grill, is great for a quick bite to eat. Afterward, you can rent some fishing equipment and reel in your own “Catch of the Day.” It might not be as big as the 1,780-pound Tiger Shark once caught there, but it will be just as exciting!
Dance to Free Live Music
There’s nothing like grabbing a chair, ordering a drink, and listening to a free concert on a summer evening. Visitors love a night of the Music On Main concert series. Thursday evenings from June thru September, Ocean Boulevard closes to street traffic for the free shows and as the sun goes down, the music turns up! It’s a good idea to get there early, because this is a favorite for locals, too!
Plan your visit in late September and you can attend the Irish-Italian International Festival. This one-day event on Main Street is free admission and has multiple stages with live bands and entertainment. There is even a spaghetti eating contest where the winner will earn a year of bragging rights and a plaque to commemorate the special occasion!
Tuesday’s are for Shag Dancing if you’re itching to get your feet moving. Fat Harold’s Beach Club hosts free Shag lessons each Tuesday starting at 7 PM. Going solo? No partner needed to learn the state dance of South Carolina. With all that dancing you’re sure to work up an appetite, so make sure you stick around for their famous bologna sandwiches.
Barefoot on a Budget
Did you know that one of North Myrtle Beach's largest attractions is completely free? Taking a walk around Barefoot Landing won't cost you anything, but you might not be able to resist picking up a memento or two from over 60 specialty shops and vendors. Kids will love taking a spin on the iconic carousel overlooking Lake Barefoot. Parents will love that the cost of a ticket won't break the bank! For more free fun, spend some time enjoying the Live Oak Children's Playground while you listen to the sounds of live music during their nightly celebration known as Summerfest. Different bands and performers take the Pepsi Stage every night so bring a lawn chair or put on your dancing shoes. If that isn't enough, Barefoot Landing hosts a free fireworks show every Monday at 10 PM during the summer months. The display is visible from all over the site, whether you're dining outdoors or strolling through the shops.
Make sure to plan your visit around happy hour, typically the hours of 4:00-6:00 P.M. Greg Norman Australian Grille offers discounts on their appetizers and cocktails in their Shark Pub, a swanky lounge with beautiful sunset views over the Intracoastal Waterway. Just a few doors down at Flying Fish you'll find happy hour specials on their fresh-rolled sushi, oysters, a variety of tasty margaritas, and even a $2 PBR.
Outdoor Fun for Free
Take a hike and enjoy the 160+ acres of North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. There are soccer and lacrosse fields, plus a ten-acre meadow and a 25-acre freshwater lake complete with multiple walking trails. If you're up for a real adventure while you're there, check out the Shark Wake Park Cable Park and Obstacle Island. While there is a fee, early bird and twilight passes are available to get more splash for your pass!
Heritage Shores Nature Preserve is another free outdoor adventure to be sure to visit. There is approximately 1 mile of walking trails with observation decks where you can see the wild animals live in their own habitats, as well as elevated boardwalks over the Cherry Grove Marsh.
For a fun night with the kids plan a visit to McLean Park for Movies at McLean, a free movie night monthly from May to October. The movies take place on the second Friday of each month and feature family friendly films just steps from the heart of Main Street. Be sure to bring your blanket or beach chairs and unwind in the field in front of the enlarged blow-up screen. Popcorn and concessions will be available for purchase.
Deals and Discounts
Everyone loves a good deal, and North Myrtle Beach has plenty of them if you know where to look! Mini golf is one of out most popular pastimes, but did you know that if you play earlier in the day, courses like Hawaiian Rumble and Aloha Mini Golf offer a discount before 5 P.M.? Similarly, seafood buffet restaurants like Giant Crab and Captain Jack's offer discounts based on your dining time. The earlier you eat, the more money stays in your wallet!
Duplin Winery is one of the best deals along the Grand Strand. Their deluxe wine tasting is just $15 and includes 10 tastings, gourmet cheese dip with homemade crackers, and a glass of your favorite wine to enjoy on their wrap-around porch.
Many attractions, restaurants, and accommodations proudly offer military discounts, and if you're traveling with a large party, be sure to inquire about group rates. For more savings, order a free copy of the North Myrtle Beach Official Visitors Guide which includes local tips, coupons and more. You'll also find great savings in free publications like the Monster Coupon Book, which you can order in advance, or pick up a copy plus many more in our Visitor Information Center.
No matter your budget, North Myrtle Beach is the place to be!