Myrtle Beach Vacation?

Hello again Dopers,

We had such luck getting information when we were going to LA last month (which went pretty well, I will respond to that thread tomorrow for those that gave us info) that I thought I would ask about our next adventure. At the end of May we are going to Myrtle Beach for a week and are looking for things to do. Suggest touristy goofy stuff, or suggest little known to outsiders stuff, but make it all family friendly! We will be taking our two year old son with us and would like to make sure he has a good time, but would be alright with having him sit through a show or maybe ride along if we can get some bicycles to use for a nice ride or something. So, Dopers, what do you think?

Brendon Small

God, why? Keep going south and you’ll end up at nice beaches.

Myrtle Beach is a lot like beaches in Florida, it’s very built up with many high rise condos and hotels. There are shows there such as a Medieval show and country music shows if you like that kind of stuff. It is very crowded so prepare for that. Kids really like the Ripley’s Aquarium which is at Broadway at the Beach, there is other stuff there like stores.

Hrm… I’ll state first, that I’m not a big fan of Myrtle beach, it’s way too crowded for my likes!

There are a couple water parks, and an IMax theatre, of course, there is the beach. I think Carousel Park has some kiddie rides, and there are a Ripley’s museum and aquarium.
“The Palace Theatre” generally has some really good shows, and I think they are running a “Cirque de Solei” circus show through most of this year.

It’s a pretty busy place, with lots to do.
Out of the way (by a lot, but well worth seeing at some point) is Biltmore, in Ashville NC. That is about 5 or 6 hours drive away though.

Hear hear!

Really, as I stated in my post above (though I started typing a while ago), I’m not a fan of MB. For some really REALLY nice beaches, great scenery, and things to do, I’d strongly say head to Charleston, and think about spending some time on Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, in Charleston itself, and that area.

Even just a wander through Charles Towne Landing and Historic site is a wonderful way to spend a day.

My family has been here twice, both times in the off-season (Nov.-Dec.). Ripley’s Aquarium is great for kids, especially preschoolers. We also visited the Children’s Museum of South Carolina. It wasn’t anything special, but again, great for tots and a welcome change of venue from all the touristy schlock (I’m looking at you, Planet Hollywood).

My kids also liked Medieval Times and a show at Dolly Parton’s joint.

I see little reason to ever return…unless the in-laws are paying again!

I had to go to Myrtle Beach for a wedding recently. It’s a huge tourist trap, kind of like some of the beach towns on the Florida coast. Reminded me of Panama City, in particular. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll have a blast. Personally, I like my beaches to be buried in big state/national parks, with no crowds and lots of nature to explore. I HATE overcrowded, overdeveloped beaches, where it’s just a thin strip of sand between the ocean and cookie-cutter resort hotels. But, dammit, I needed to get some sun before heading back to the Great Frozen North, and luckily I found Huntington Beach State Park. You can easily spend a day or two there exploring, and at least when I was there it didn’t have much in the way of crowds.

Oh, and if you’re into outlet malls, man do they have outlet malls. Got dragged around those for the better part of a day before I managed to escape…

Whew! Tough crowd! Reminds me of the kind of sentiment when I mentioned to the locals (New Orleans) that I was going to Grand Isle, although for diametrically opposed reasons.

Having said that, there’s all sorts of entertainment, if you’re into that. There’s the Ripley’s Aquarium, as mentioned, and one of their standard “Believe it or Not” museums. I like going through those even knowing that there might be any number of things that lack corroboration.

Also, there’s the TIGERS refuge. It was on my list last time I was there, but I ran out of time. I’ve seen it featured on a couple of different wildlife programs.

If you do any road trips, be careful going thru the town of Atlantic Beach. You never know when the mayor might be behind the wheel

More restaurants than you can shake a stick at. I’m sure there are some crappy ones, but I’ve not come across them. The last place I went to was really cool, although somewhat pricey. It’s called Rioz. Basically their menu works two ways: You can order the “meat” dinner, which is fixed price, and they bring around various cuts of meat, which you can sample or wait for the next; or you can get the salad bar, which has lots of stuff you don’t normally see on salad bars.

You can go north a ways across the border to a town called Calabash, which is known for its seafood. Why that is, I don’t know. It’s just fried seafood to me, but to each his own. Other people rave about it. Similarly, a little south is the town Murrell’s Inlet with lots of good restaurants. Both Calabash and Murrell’s are well away from the big hotels and drunk teenagers of Myrtle Beach.

And if you’re up for a really off-the-beaten path road trip, hike up I-20 about two hours to the town of Mars Bluff, possibly the only American town bombed with a nuclear weapon dropped from an airplane. I think the actual impact zone if off the road, though, and still on private property.

Last week in May? I’m guessing you mean the week before Memorial Day, so maybe it won’t be quite so crazy.

Well, the beach itself is, you know, gray. When I was a kid we’d go down to Clearwater a couple times a year to see my grandparents and we’d stay in my dad’s company’s beach house at Myrtle Beach for a week every summer. That ain’t no kind of beach when you’re used to the Clearwater version.

I can second both of those. Family took us to a restaurant in Calabash. Sure, it was “just” fried seafood, but it was the best possible fried seafood. Seems like everything went straight from the fishing boats into the fryer, couldn’t be fresher. You can probably find the same sort of food closer to the city, though. The wedding I went to was actually a bit north of Calabash, so it wasn’t out of our way.

And when my fiancee and I spent the day at Huntington Beach, we decided to drive around until we found somewhere that looked good for lunch. Murrell’s Inlet was right there, and we saw probably a dozen interesting looking restaurants in the first mile. Mostly seafood, with a few barbeque places. Stopped at one, and had a damn good grouper sandwich.

Oh, and eating out was cheap, at least by the Boston standard that I’m now used to. You can get a really good meal for $10/head, including drinks and tip. (Here, that usually buys you a pretty basic and underwhelming sandwich, unless you stick with the fast food chains…)

Absolutely, but that works also. I’ve never actually been to Myrtle when I could do much, and my wife has been a few times and enjoyed it. The little one will probably have a good time wherever we go, and will love the aquarium and such. We honestly had planned on going to Tennessee to stay in a particular place, but they had nothing available the week we are going (which is the 22 through the 29, actually). Mostly, my students semester ends the 21st and I want to be doing something completely non-work-related by the next day, as the students will have no classes until summer session starts, and I don’t want to spend a week at my desk with very few students.

I planned on seeing the Ripley aquarium and such, figuring a two year old who loves fish and such will enjoy it. My wife and I are sort of food people - we like to try a lot of different foods and love trying new restaurants. Off the map places are great, but sometimes there is a place for quick and easy food. Tourist trap stuff is okay, too. Basically, it is a quick getaway for us (being only 7 hours away) and we will probably end up back in Florida or some other area later in the year. This is sort of our “spring break” and was sort of a last minute decision (well, a month in advance, but still). The TIGERS sounds awesome and seems to be definitely going on my list. Will check with the wife about it even though I am sure she will like it. We also are driving, so little day trips are no problem. We come from a town that means we have to drive 30-40 minutes to get to a real grocery store, so having to wander is normal for us. Thanks for the suggestions so far though!

Brendon Small

I really thought the thread title was about the ‘Myrtle Beach Volcano’ I was confused and intrigued. Imagine my disappointment.

That may have been much more exciting…just saying…but no, just vacation…

Brendon Small

Don’t stay in the southern end of the beach. Few restaurants or conveniences. We stayed at one “resort” that couldn’t even provide us with a plastic fork when a delivery boy forgot to bring eating utensils with a salad.

But hey, it’s the sea…

Earl, have you ever heard about a nuclear weapon in Savannah? I can’t remember the details, but it seems to me that it may be in the Savannah River, but more likely it is just off shore a little bit from one of the beaches.

You want volcanoes? They got volcanoes. There are many mini-golf joints that involve large fiberglass volcanoes, dinosaurs, and pirates. Usually in some combination of the two.

Just yesterday I saw an article in the mid-Atlantic May/June issue of AAA World on things to do in Myrtle Beach and it said that Myrtle Beach is the second most visited tourist spot in the United States, second only to Orlando, Florida. I was astounded.

There was a gigantic wildfire that threatened the town not long ago.

Pelicans baseball.

Some Canadians go to Myrtle Beach because they drive and Florida is too far for them.

NC beaches are nothing like Myrtle, most are filled with houses, not big high rise buildings.

I suspect you’re thinking of the Savannah River Plant near Augusta, Georgia.