Have you ever jammed out to "Dancin', Shaggin' On the Boulevard?" If so, you've already taken a trip to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, even if you're halfway around the country.
The classic beach music tune, penned and recorded by country music group Alabama, pays homage to one of the East Coast's most beloved and nostalgic treasures. Though the boardwalk has seen many transformations over the years, it has retained its good, old-fashioned charm, much to the relief of the approximately 14 million tourists who visit the locale every year.
Whether it's your first or 100th time visiting, there's always something to do on the boardwalk, at almost any time of day. Today, we're diving into the ten best ways to spend your time here.
Ready to learn more? Grab your sunscreen and let's take a trip.
1. Ride the SkyWheel
Opened in May of 2011, the SkyWheel offers visitors a bird's eye view of the many Myrtle Beach attractions. Start your journey here and while you're floating above the ocean and streets below, pick where you want to go next. From pregnant women to seniors, this ride is all-accommodating, making it a spot your entire family can enjoy.
The towering structure operates as a traditional Ferris wheel, only with plush, climate-controlled gondolas instead of rickety exposed seating. At 187 feet tall, it was the second-tallest observational Ferris wheel in the country at the time of its construction.
For the ultimate experience, schedule a trip to the SkyWheel at dusk, when it's illuminated by a dazzling display of colorful lights! Seating up to six people at a time, the ride offers the ultimate in comfort while also allowing visitors to see the city from an entirely different perspective.
2. Shop at the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove
Since 1946, the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove has been the go-to spot for Myrtle Beach shoppers looking to score a unique souvenir. At more than 25,000 square feet, the legendary retail megalith is stocked with more than 70,000 items. If you can't find it here, you must not need it!
When it first opened, the Gay Dolphin was designed more as an amusement park for children, with a small gift shop attached. Yet, as many spots around the boardwalk have, this locale changed shape and intention over the years. One reason for the transformation? Hurricane Hazel tore down that first shop back in 1954. They rebuilt, and now it's the largest gift shop around and one of the Grand Strand's most iconic treasures.
Owned and operated by the Plyler family for more than 70 years, this is an area anchor and one you can't afford to miss, even if you don't intend to walk out with a purchase.
Take your time perusing the store's multiple levels and 50 sections, aptly designated as "coves." From Elvis memorabilia to personalized bicycle tags, noisy seat cushions, and a lifesized Yeti, you'll have plenty to marvel at, and isn't that part of the charm of Myrtle Beach in the first place?
3. Play at the Fun Plaza
When you're planning to visit Myrtle Beach, you might not think of spending a day at the arcade, but this area is good at surprising you. The Fun Plaza is the area's oldest game spot, and it has a little something for everyone. That's why it deems itself "Myrtle Beach's Largest Family Fun Center."
Those who love throwback games can hole up by the pinball or skee ball machines. More active players can try their hand at free-throw basketball or air hockey. Then, there are more computerized, high-tech games for the latest generation. This can be a great place for parents to bring their kids to work out some excess energy after a long day by the ocean. Or, it's also an ideal spot for adults to engage and indulge their inner fun-loving tyke!
Work up an appetite here, then head to find something great to eat, which brings us to our next stop.
4. Enjoy Delicious Seaside Dining
Sometimes, you just want to grab a quick snack before heading out to sit by the ocean. Other times, you want to get dressed up and head to a nice dinner with water views, enjoying some of the freshest catch of the day. Either way, you can find these dining options and more on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
If it's a fast bite you're after, try out the Killer Fries at Iggy's Italian Ice. Topped with cheese, barbecue, jalapenos, and sour cream, it's an indulgence that you won't soon forget. You can also try out the Boardwalk Snack and Ice Cream Shop, Peaches Corner or the Boardwalk Coffee House if you need to eat and run.
If you have more time, try out Dirty Don's Oyster Bar and Grill, LandShark Bar, Art Burger Sushi Bar, and Grill or the Pier House Restaurant at 2nd Avenue. Any of these will offer you the dinnertime treat you're after. Stick around a little and end the evening with a nightcap at Hurricane's Daiquiri Bar and Grill or Duffy's Tavern!
5. Take in Some Live Music
The musical group Alabama didn't just sing about the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. They played here, too, when they were first coming up the ranks. In fact, they were the house band at the Bowery more than three decades ago.
A popular restaurant, bar and live music venue, the Bowery is located between the boardwalk and Ocean Boulevard, just a short walk from the Atlantic. Even now, it's still one of the top places to take in a live show in the area. Country music group The Bounty Hunters perform six nights a week at the Bowery, so you're privy to a great show no matter when you make your way inside.
Another popular spot for live music is Ground Zero, a venue aimed at creating a positive and encouraging space for local teenagers to connect. Or, you can head to Tin Roof, a fun dive bar that hosts myriad events throughout the week. From Friends trivia night to live acoustic, funk and rock music, there's something going on here seven nights a week. Grab a drink and your sweetheart and get out on the dance floor!
6. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
Visiting Myrtle Beach is a sweet adventure in more ways than one. While you're near the boardwalk, stroll down to I Love Sugar! A towering candy store with wall-to-wall offerings filled with confections, it's a dream for both children and adults.
From hard-to-find retro favorites (think vanilla bullseyes and atomic fireballs) to modern delectables, you'll have aisle upon aisle to browse. There are also clothing items and collectibles, all centered around delicious confections. Just try to leave with your arms empty!
There's a pull to this place that few can resist. It's a colorful, delightful way to spend an afternoon or to wrap up an evening of adventure.
7. Try Your Hand at an Escape Room
In the past few years, almost every hotspot destination has invested in hosting an escape room experience, and for good reason. These real-life adventure games allow groups to work together to solve challenges and complete puzzles to make their way out of a locked room or series of rooms. Along the way, they build teamwork and cooperation skills. They also have a ton of fun!
While by the boardwalk, you can make your way into the Myrtle Beach Room Escape. Here, you can choose from a variety of room styles, but the premise is still the same. You'll have 60 minutes to make your way out!
From rooms centered around The Walking Dead television series to jailbreak scenarios, Harry Potter themes and more, there's something to pique everyone's interest.
8. See All that Ripley Has to Offer
The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is home to a handful of adventures brought to you by Ripley's. Visit Ripley's Believe It or Not! to see oddities ranging from shrunken heads to the world's tallest man. Then, walk down to Ripley's Haunted Adventure to walk through a spooky property full of nerve-shattering surprises.
With live actors and animatronics, you'll see why this isn't your run-of-the-mill scare zone. Rather, it's a multi-million dollar property that boasts several levels of thrills and spooks!
You can also visit Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze or the 5D Moving Theater for a live action ride that will leave your senses spinning. The true-to-life 3D imaging combines with surround sound and special effects for an immersive and interactive experience like no other. Especially on a rainy day, these Ripley attractions are guaranteed fun for the whole family and a great way to see Myrtle from a new perspective.
If you're willing to travel just a little bit outside the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, you can continue the fun with the Ripley's Believe It or Not Aquarium. Located at the Broadway at the Beach entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the aquarium boasts a variety of exhibits. The kid-friendly spot is a local favorite, with live shows, diving tours, and an expansive gift shop.
9. Ride the Sling Shot Thrill Ride
Is there someone uber-adventurous in your party? If so, the Sling Shot Thrill Ride is made just for them! Not for the faint of heart, the ride propels you 300 feet into the air at speeds that reach more than 100 miles an hour.
You'll have an ideal vantage point of the entire area from your sky-high perch, though you'll begin your journey by looking at the glorious beachside clouds. That's right! For this ride, up to two people lie side-by-side on their backs, then they soar above the crowd. During the ascent, they'll be turned upright for a once-in-a-lifetime view of the coast and its surrounding structures.
At the ride's highest point, you'll be as tall as the observation tower in the Eiffel Tower. Want a little more adventure? You can even make the capsule spin in the air as you catapult around. Then, you'll return back down only to head back up again!
10. Take a Break By the Ocean
Of course, though there are plenty of Myrtle Beach activities to enjoy, one of the best parts about the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is that it's only a few steps away from the ocean. With many grab-and-go dining options at your fingertips, it's a cinch to buy a Nathan's hotdog and a large soda, then take your lunch down to the shore.
With its expansive coastline, clean waters and great shelling opportunities, Myrtle Beach is an ideal place to set up camp and soak up the sun for the day. When you're ready for a refreshment or some quick entertainment, you can hike back up to the slew of shops, restaurants, and attractions that sit right behind you.
Visit the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Today
When you want to feel the salty air in your hair and those East Coast rays on your face, there's nowhere better to be than Myrtle Beach. The heart of the area is the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and this is a great place to start your vacation off right.
Are you interested in investing in rental property here? The bustling tourist attractions at Myrtle Beach make it a profitable and reliable place to earn a passive rental income, all while allowing you to come and visit any time you want!
To learn more about condos for sale in this area, visit us and begin a real estate search. Our team of experienced agents knows this beach forward and backward and can recommend the best seasonal or full-time properties to meet your needs.
Browse our market reports and get started on your next adventure today. Your beachside oasis awaits!