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A First-timer’s Guide to North Myrtle Beach

Stay in an oceanfront home this summer in North Myrtle BeachVisiting North Myrtle Beach for the first time? Or returning for a vacation after some time away? With so much to do, see and discover in the area, it might be hard to decide how to spend your vacation! We’ve made planning easy for you by rounding up some of the Grand Strand’s “can’t miss” places to go and things to do.

EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS

North Myrtle Beach is a collection of unique seaside neighborhoods, each with its own distinct vibe, nestled between the scenic Intracoastal Waterway and nine miles of beautiful coastline. Even if you aren’t staying in an oceanfront hotel, condo or beach home, getting to the beach is easy! Use one of the area's many public beach access points, which you'll find around almost every block. 

Visitors love exploring the waterways and inlets, too. Let a tour guide get you more acquainted with the area on a boat tour, with options ranging from pirate-themed excursions and casino cruises to dolphin-watching tours. Want to do the exploring on your own? Rent a boat or jet skis for your group, or connect with nature on kayak or paddleboard.

For a truly unexpected adventure, schedule a horseback ride at Inlet Point Plantation. Trot through scenic tree-lined paths and along the beach on undeveloped Waites Island, one of the few places on the East Coast where you can ride horseback on the beach year-round.

Of course, don’t miss the iconic Cherry Grove Fishing Pier. Paddleboard through North Myrtle Beach's Intracostal Waterway. Known as one of the most popular places on the Grand Strand to cast a line, it’s also the perfect place for a romantic stroll or a family photo.

DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY

You shouldn’t come to North Myrtle Beach without learning (or at least watching) the Carolina Shag, a popular dance that started in the 1940s. This dance from yesteryear is kept alive by generations of dancers at beach bars along the coast of the Carolinas. Some of the most famous shag halls and dance clubs— Fat Harold’s Beach Club, OD Lounge and Arcade and the Spanish Galleon—are right in the heart of North Myrtle Beach, near the intersection of Main Street and Ocean Drive.

This famous intersection is alive with festivals and events throughout the year, including the free concert series, Music on Main, which takes place every Thursday night from May to September.

Or, head over to the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex on select Fridays throughout the summer for the Sounds of Summer Concert Series. Bring beach chairs or blankets and make an evening out of listening to live family-friendly music.

Try the state dance, The Carolina Shag, at a beach bar. CATCH A SHOW

The Grand Strand is home to many nationally acclaimed theatres, many of which are in (or just a short drive from) the North Myrtle Beach area. Alabama Theatre is located in Barefoot Landing, a 100-plus-acre shopping and dining complex along the Intracoastal Waterway. Its signature show, ONE The Show, is a dynamic blend of music, dance and comedy your family is sure to love.  

Just across the way in Barefoot Landing is House of Blues, which regularly hosts popular gigs from several genres, including rock, jazz, country and pop. One of North Myrtle Beach’s best-kept secrets is the spacious back deck (literally called “The DECK at House of Blues”), home to a large bar and stage where local and regional bands love to jam the night away.

Head down Highway 17 to The Carolina Opry, where you can select one of its many famous shows, like Time Warp, Thunder & Light or the award-winning signature show featuring talent from popular television series like The Voice and America’s Got Talent.

If you have little ones, there is nothing better than an activity that will do double duty on vacation . . . like dinner and a show! Take your landlubbers to Pirates Voyage, an interactive show where you’ll join Captain Blackbeard (the most famous pirate to ever sail the seven seas) in an epic battle for lost treasure on land and on deck of his famous ship!

SHOP ’TIL YOU DROP

With all the shopping in the North Myrtle Beach area, it’d be a shame to come home without a souvenir to remember your first trip! If you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind item for someone special (or for yourself), browse the locally owned shops and charming boutiques near Main Street Ocean Drive.  Shop, dine and play at North Myrtle Beach's Barefoot Landing.

Even if your visit to Barefoot Landing is primarily to eat dinner or watch a show, don’t miss the dozens of stores, all full of unique treasures, throughout the complex’s boardwalks.

If you’re a bargain hunter, take a short drive to Tanger Outlets. Featuring more than 90 stores, ranging from popular national labels to specialty stores, you’re sure to find something for everyone. 

With so much to do, see and experience in North Myrtle Beach, we hope your vacation serves as a time to make new memories and reconnect with the ones you love. Convinced it’s time to visit one of the U.S.’s best beaches, according to users of TripAdvisor? Browse our accommodations and book your trip!