Best Family Beach Vacations: A Guide to North Myrtle Beach
North Myrtle Beach, the nine-mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean coastline near the northern edge of South Carolina’s beaches, is one of the state’s most popular family vacation destinations. Its beaches consistently rank as some of the most pristine and beautiful along the Atlantic coast, and North Myrtle Beach is also recognized for its family-friendly things to do, places to eat and places to stay. If you’re planning a family beach vacation, here’s a helpful guide that highlights some of what makes North Myrtle Beach an ideal family getaway destination.
Where to Stay
The best part about the search for a place to stay in North Myrtle Beach is that you can tailor search to the type of family vacation you want to have. Do you want a pool and on-site dining? Or would you prefer your own beach house, townhome or duplex with your own kitchen and beach access? North Myrtle has more than 12,500 different accommodations in four separate beach communities in Cherry Grove, Ocean Drive, Crescent Beach and Windy Hill. Within those four communities, there are three major types of places to stay for a family beach vacation: condos and resorts, beach homes, and hotels and motels. Condos and resorts can be oceanfront, close to the beach, on waterways, near golf courses, or close to some of North Myrtle Beach’s popular attractions. Many of the area’s beach homes sit right along the beach, but some of them are a few blocks from the beach. Hotels and motels are spread throughout North Myrtle Beach, some of which are close to travel routes and interstates through the area. If you know the type of vacation property you’re looking for, you can start your search here by category. But if you’re still unsure of what type of vacation rental might be best for you, consider contacting a North Myrtle Beach rental company who can help target the right property or beach home for your family.
What to Do
Each beach community in North Myrtle Beach has its own activities and attractions for families, but a few destinations regularly rise to the top of list for family beach vacations. The Oceanfront O.D. Pavilion Amusement Park in Ocean Drive is a family playground and theme park with games, snack shacks and park rides that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. It has train rides for toddlers, bumper cars for growing kids, and a rollercoaster for adventurous teenagers (and their parents).
Another family beach attraction is the Trippo Water Slide, a 40-foot-tall water slide with triple chutes that sits right on beach near Ocean Park in Ocean Drive. Formerly the Hippo Water Slide, the attraction was renamed the Trippo Water Slide when it grew from a single inflatable slide to a thee-in-one attraction. The slide is open throughout the summer, and a single ride costs only $3. The Trippo Water Slide is located at the end of Main Street, the heart of the Ocean Drive community that has restaurants, music venues and beach shops.
The Grand Strand area is known for its miniature golf, and North Myrtle Beach has a number of mini golf courses worth exploring with the kids. Warning: Just because it’s mini golf doesn’t make it easy. The aviation-themed Mayday Golf has two 18-hole mini golf courses, and it was voted the best survival course on Travel Channel's mini golf madness. North Myrtle Beach also has some free activities to build into a beach family vacation agenda. Barefoot Landing has free fireworks every Monday night from early June though Labor Day, and McLean Park along Ocean Drive has free movies in the park on various Friday nights throughout the summer.
North Myrtle Beach has a number of other attractions worth looking into for your family depending on what kind of family vacation you’re after. Check out our list of seven things you didn’t know you could do in North Myrtle Beach, like pet a baby tiger cub or attend a live alligator feeding.
Where to Eat
Here’s a fact that’s nice to know: In North Myrtle Beach, most restaurants cater to families. “Family-friendly” and “restaurant” often go together when describing North Myrtle Beach’s 2,000 different dining options. Of course, this is South Carolina and it is the beach, so seafood and classic Lowcounty cuisine is common. Duffy Street Seafood Shack is known for its massive selection of seafood platters and Southern cuisine, and Flounders Fish House is Cherry Grove’s go-to spot for good seafood and outdoor table with sunset views. Other popular North Myrtle Beach family restaurants include Señor Willies Taco Shack and Sugar Baby’s Doughnuts & Ice Cream.