In North Myrtle Beach, what you love about summer is even better in the fall. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the back-to-school season and make memories with your family on a 3-day trip to the coast. With this itinerary, you won’t even have to lift a finger—we’ve planned it all for you!
Take to the Beach
Start your vacation right by exploring the area’s beautiful beaches. Pack a picnic or stop by Boulineau’s, a local favorite for grab-and-go items you can stick in your cooler. The first floor of the store is where you’ll find groceries and the upstairs is an expansive and convenient array of gifts, souvenirs and beach supplies. If you left something behind, don’t fret: you are definitely going to find it here.
The beach offers plenty of activities for family members of all ages. Let the kids go swimming in the waves while the adults stroll alongside on the sandy shore. Since some of the Grand Strand’s widest beaches are right here, this is a perfect spot to throw a Frisbee with the kids and enjoy games like Spikeball, volleyball or corn hole. Badminton, bocce ball and soccer are other favorites for some family-friendly competition.
Try your hand at more adventurous water activities like scuba diving and snorkeling at the Jim Caudle Artificial Reef. Or take some time to really bond with each other on a tandem parasailing flight with Atlantic Watersports. If heights aren’t your thing, rent jet skis or a boat for a few hours (and keep your eyes peeled, you might spot a pod of dolphins!).
Pro tip: if you want a fun way to go from one activity to the next, you can rent bikes for the weekend—complete with all the accessories your family may need—from The Bike Doctor and Sandal Land Surf Shop in Cherry Grove.
Get in and party with the locals when you take part in any one of North Myrtle Beach’s family-friendly events—many of them daylong and free. Late September brings the annual Irish Italian International Festival on Main Street. Take the kids to the children’s area to play on inflatables and rides, browse artisan vendor booths, enjoy two stages of live entertainment, and watch street performers. And since no Irish Italian Festival is complete without pasta, there’s a spaghetti eating competition you’ve got to see. Mangia! Mangia!
The second weekend in October, plan to visit Little River ShimpFest. Since this takes place Saturday through Sunday, you’ll have a perfect excuse to get away for a weekend. It’s an old-fashioned, Southern festival on the waterway of this quaint fishing village. You and your family can expect great music, one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, and best of all, you’ll find plenty of fresh, local seafood from the food vendors and nearby waterfront restaurants.
Reel One In
North Myrtle Beach is a great spot to fish, whether you cast your line from a pier, a kayak or a deep sea charter boat. Little River Fishing Fleet and North Myrtle Beach Fishing Charters can accommodate all ages and levels of fishing expertise, in daylight or dusk.
For a unique fishing expedition, rent a kayak from Great Escapes Kayak Expeditions and cast your reel into more shallow waters, like the Cherry Grove Marshland. Cutting through the water in a kayak is much quieter than a noisy motorboat, so you’ll leave the wildlife largely undisturbed, giving you a better chance to get the fish biting.
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Whether you prefer a neighborhood full of unique boutiques or a retail district with regional chains and souvenir outposts, shopping in North Myrtle Beach can occupy an entire afternoon. The area’s newest shopping destination, Coastal North Town Center, features multiple national brands, as does the Myrtle Beach Mall in nearby Briarcliffe Acres. Looking for that one-of-a-kind item? Head to Main Street Ocean Drive, where you can take a leisurely stroll and explore blocks upon blocks of locally owned shops and boutiques.
If you missed a few things during your back-to-school shopping, spend some time at Tanger Outlets on Highway 17. This is also a great stop if you’re vacationing with the family during Thanksgiving, where you can brave the crowds during the Moonlight Madness and After Thanksgiving sales event. The doors open at 6 p.m. on Turkey Day and stay open all night long!
Did someone say seafood buffet? After you shop ‘til you drop, head to dinner at Captain George’s, located across from Broadway at the Beach. The menu has plenty of à la carte items to pick from, like Brazilian Lobster Tail or Broiled Scallops, so you can try a little bit of everything. Kids will love the Mac n’ Cheese or Fried Baby Shrimp found on the Little Shipmate’s menu. If you’re really hungry, go all out with the seafood buffet, where kids under four eat for free. The only recommendation we have is to not stuff yourself way too much—you may want to visit Lulu’s Beach Arcade at Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s!
The Beach Arcade is one of the highest-rated attractions in North Myrtle Beach, and for good reason. Play games to win fabulous prizes. Wear out the kids on the Mountain of Youth Ropes Course. Or simply sit back with a drink in your hand and enjoy the vibe of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes!
Fuel up for the journey home with a hearty breakfast at one of the famous pancake houses on the Grand Strand. Since there’s almost too many good choices to count, we’ll give some direction: choose between Southern Sunrise Pancake House, Hot Stacks or Dino’s House of Pancakes.
Southern Sunrise is one of the newer kids in North Myrtle Beach’s pancake-slinging community. Since its opening in 2011, it’s become a favorite with locals and visitors alike. Menu highlights include Banana Nut Pancakes, Fruit Pancakes or Silver Dollar Pancakes, just to name a few. Not a pancake fan? Southern Sunrise also offers other breakfast, brunch and lunch options, too.
If time permits, take one last walk on the beach after breakfast and rehash all the fun memories your family shared over the action-packed weekend. And as you’re sitting on the runway or filling up your car with gas, share those last few photos of your North Myrtle Beach adventure on Instagram and Facebook.
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