After a few glorious days on the beach, your family might be ready to start exploring. By choosing to stay in North Myrtle Beach, you can enjoy easy access to several popular destinations along the coast of the Carolinas. We’ve rounded up five day trips that are just a short drive from North Myrtle Beach’s famous Main Street, Ocean Drive intersection.
Little River, South Carolina: 15 minutes
Take the short drive along the waterway and explore the charming village of Little River. Start your day by admiring the natural beauty of the area at Vereen Memorial Gardens. With more than three miles of trails and boardwalks, the park features beautiful live oaks covered in Spanish moss and palm trees alongside scenic swamps and salt marshes. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head down to the waterfront for a “fresh catch” lunch at a local dive like Capt. Juel’s Hurricane Restaurant or Crab Catchers on the Waterfront. After lunch, walk around the corner and board the Sea Screamer for an afternoon dolphin cruise.
Once you’re back on land, anyone 21 or older is sure to enjoy a visit to La Belle Amie Vineyard. Participate in one of their affordable wine tastings, where the helpful and friendly staff will explain the unique process of making and bottling the wine.
Travel back to the waterway before sunset and hop aboard The Big “M” Casino Cruise, South Carolina’s only gambling boat. The Big “M” features a wide selection of table games and slots that can be played as soon as the vessel is three miles from the coastline.
If you prefer to stay on land, make a reservation for dinner at The Parson’s Table. What was once the first Little River Methodist Church in the mid-1800s is now an award-winning dining experience. Be sure to stroll around the establishment and admire the antique stained glass after you order because once your meal arrives, you’ll be completely occupied by the restaurant’s delicious and unique dishes!
Conway, South Carolina: 35 minutes
Just a short 35-minute drive from North Myrtle Beach’s Main Street area is the beautiful and historic town of Conway. Spend the morning exploring Conway’s RiverWalk area. This tranquil path stretches 1.5 miles along the Waccamaw River. You’ll find plenty of benches, grassy areas and playgrounds along the way.
Interested in dining at a joint described as a “hole-in-the-wall”? Visit Shelley’s Seafood or Ocean Fish Market for a delicious fried seafood platter. Keep your eyes peeled on your journey to both of these spots; visitors tell us they almost drive right by these two unassuming establishments.
If you’re looking for a day out of the sun or shelter from an unwelcomed afternoon shower, visit the Horry County Museum. This museum is free and showcases the rich history of the Conway, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach areas. Tell your little ones that if they are well behaved at the museum, they'll earn a trip to Nye's Pharmacy, a famous old-school pharmacy and soda fountain, for a sweet treat!
Pawleys Island, South Carolina: 1 hour
On the south end of the Grand Strand sits the quaint beach town of Pawleys Island. Known for its Southern hospitality, you’ll feel like a local in no time. If you’re looking for delicious breakfast fare after the drive, you’ll find some of the best biscuits on the coast at Litchfield Restaurant, where they serve breakfast all day.
A must-do on your list should be to partake in the tradition of visiting the grave of Alice Flagg at All Saints Church Cemetery. According to legend, in the early 1800s, Alice was an upper-class area native who fell in love with a common man and her family did not approve. She hid her engagement ring around her neck but once it was discovered, her brother threw it into the inlet. Alice became gravely ill and died without her ring or fiancé. Today, locals and tourists will visit her grave to leave tokens of respect. Visitors say if you circle around her grave six times while wearing a ring, you will feel a tug on the ring, which is the sign of Alice’s presence.
If you need to wet your whistle after a visit from Alice, enjoy a cold beverage at Quigley’s Pint and Plate. With eight house-brewed beers on tap, it pairs perfectly with their barbeque topped with a Carolina gold sauce.
Leave Pawleys Island in plenty of time for a visit to Brookgreen Gardens. Located in Murrell’s Inlet, just north of Pawleys Island, Brookgreen Gardens is home to a stunning botanical garden and collection of American sculptures. Check the calendar on their website for upcoming events, like the famous Nights of a Thousand Candles, where the gardens are filled with more than 4,500 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights each holiday season.
Georgetown, South Carolina: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Just over an hour from North Myrtle Beach sits historic Georgetown. Filled with charm and personality, this town is the third-oldest in South Carolina. Spend your morning getting acquainted with the historical significance of the area with Swamp Fox Tours. Not a history buff? Try a romance or mystery tour instead.
For lunch, you’ll want to dine by the water on Front Street. From upscale restaurants to casual dining, this area is packed with a variety of cuisines, from fresh seafood and steaks to sushi and burgers or pizza . . . just to name a few!
The streets of Georgetown are lined with locally owned shops and boutiques, making it a great place to pick up a one-of-a-kind piece (or a few). Step into the Whimsy Roost for playful home goods, gifts and surcees. If you’re looking for clothes, you’re sure to find something for everyone in your family at delightful boutiques like Doodlebugs, Miss Lizzies, Sully and Bay, and Black Mingo Outfitters.
Wilmington, North Carolina: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Take a trip to the popular port town of Wilmington. A 1.5-hour drive up the coast, Wilmington’s sprawling historic district features 230-plus blocks filled with brick-lined streets and moss-draped live oaks.
A favorite attraction of the area is the vibrant Airlie Gardens. Originally a private garden, Airlie has a world-renowned collection of azaleas and camellias. While you’re there, take a stroll down one of the walking trails that overlooks Bradley Creek, fresh lakes, and historic structures and sculptures.
For a view that is hard to beat, visit the Wilmington Riverwalk, a 1.75-mile boardwalk lined with local shops and restaurants, all overlooking the bank of the Cape Fear River. If you’re a fan of the Bravo TV show “Top Chef,” pay a visit to owner and chef Keith Rhodes’ Catch. They're famous for their award-winning Catch Signature NC Lump Crab Cakes.
Whether you drive north or south, you’ll be thankful your home base is in North Myrtle Beach. With thousands of accommodation options, from hotels and condos to resorts and beach homes, you’ll love returning to North Myrtle Beach after a memorable day!