The Myrtle Beach Grand Strand is a 60 miles long destination. As a young girl, I traveled back and forth to Myrtle Beach by car once a year. This visit is a little different, as I will be eyeing up a bunch of new places to adventure to.
My parents used to get off the beach and head inland a bit, so we had a sampling of the area. There really is a lot to do, when you have had enough fun in the sun for the day!
Myrtle Beach is a great girlfriend getaway, perfect for romantic escapes and more importantly, families. If you are familiar with the phrase, “what you don’t know won’t hurt you,” and if you live by this, you are missing out on so much.
For the past week, I have been uncovering, discovering, and traveling back to some different places along the Grand Strand. Myrtle Beach is not just about the beach,
Rather, Myrtle Beach has great adventures from light (like walking about) to down and dirty behind the seat of a race car. In fact, there’s something for every age.
For those of you headed to the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand, read this, to help you find some new things you never knew about. Let’s find out where to travel, eat, and adventure along the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand.
Fun Things To Do On The Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach
We all know that not every vacation day is going to be free of rain, so I am preparing you for the ‘where to go’ when it rains. Most showers pass, but if you are extremely sunburned, or are in need of a break from beach time, use these suggestions to get off the beach and into an adventure.
How about some fun in the Murrells Inlet area? From sculptures that will entrance you, to very colorful botanical gardens await your arrival. No worrying about age restrictions because there are not any. Push a stroller, bring a date, the family, or meet up as friends at the Brookgreen Gardens.
Outside of all the beauty is the price point. While I never really detail prices, I have to confess this is an incredible value for those staying anywhere along the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand. Once you purchase your ticket and begin to use it, the ticket is valid for 7 continuous days.
Why is this so incredible? When you have the opportunity to linger longer, around sculptures one day, and something else the next, you truly gain value in time well spent. Split your time up there, maybe visit one day in the morning, another in the afternoon.
Or visit the sculptures one day, the Enchanted Children’s Forest another. As a bonus point, for those of you with children, it’s great to let them run off their energy here.
~Tip~ Wear your walking shoes, as we did an abbreviated tour and I logged in thousands of steps in just about 2 hours. It is quite possible to hit 10k in steps before you leave! Cheers to passive exercise.
What All Is Inside of Brookgreen Gardens?
Inside Brookgreen Gardens you will find nature, and history coupled together. There’s a zoo, and tours of the Huntington Sculpture Garden, Creek Excursions, and a zoo.
Walking about you will be able to visit the Stanley and Naomi Bleifield gallery (inside) or on the outside, American Sculpture exhibits crafted by Anna Hyatt Huntingdon.
Did you know that the Brookgreen Botanical Garden space ranks among the top 10 in the USA? Keep walking and you will find a large Enchanted Storybook Forest, as well as a Butterfly House.
You don’t need a guide to visit, you just need time as well as walking shoes, and I always suggest a bottle of water.
The Myrtle Beach Wildlife Extravaganza You Don’t Want To Miss.
Who loves alligators, birds, eagles, oysters, and large spaces to run about? If you answered, ‘ME’ you are going to love Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet. Our tour included time with the famed Nature Photographer Austin Bond.
Austin is so knowledgeable and excitable it’s great to watch him share his knowledge of the area. I learned so much in just a few hours spent with him.
Did you know that Huntington Beach State Park has salt marshes, maritime forests and a very lush ambiance? Now you do! Further, there are over more than 300 species of birds.
Things You Need To Know
Parking inside is all free and entrance into the park is dirt cheap. However, you will be rich in memories and imagery when you leave.
Atalaya Castle is a National Historic Landmark in Huntington Beach Park that you don’t want to miss. The sculptures you can see at Brookgreen Botanical Gardens you’ve now found what is referred to as her former winter residence.
A little trivia – she actually used wild animals for her models. She had a room off of the castle where they were put in to stay as she sculpted. Freaky? Cool? Or totally Artistic, what’s your take?
Tickets are very inexpensive and allow you to be fortunate enough to roam through 28 rooms. Walk the grounds, enjoy the brick on the interior and see how functional this castle was. By the way, the gardens inside are gorgeous and don’t forget your camera.
Wine Tasting In The Grand Strand Area
What is a vacation without a little wine? The answer, “BORING!” A lovely setting is close by, to the Grand Strand, if you keep reading you will know where! I am about to share where to find great WINE gifting pieces and great sips of wine!
Oh, for the love of wine, do I have a great winery for you to visit. La Bella Amie Vineyard offers a spectacular tasting, frozen wine options, and a lovely outdoor area to sit and sip while live music plays.
For those of you at any of the popular beach areas like Pawleys Island, Murrell’s Inlet, Garden City, Surfside, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and so on, visit, you are close!
La Bella Amie Vineyard offers the brand name of ‘Twisted Sisters Wines’ and there’s a great gift shop with everything wine you could want.
Saunter Through The Historic District Of Conway
Conway has always been one of my favorite stops along the way. When we are inbound on our drive we stop. Conway is a city in Horry County.
The streets and locally owned shops are reminiscent of those you see in lovely parades in quaint towns in movies. Some might even say a few of them resemble the Hallmark Channel.
We toured here because we had an hour plus before our luncheon reservation, which allowed me to enjoy the shops, architecture and a riverwalk to enjoy the waterways.
Walking To Enjoy Architecture and The Old Southern Charm Feel
I headed over towards the Kingston Presbyterian Church, to see Kingston Lake behind. It’s a beautiful property and makes for incredible photo opportunities. There’s no noise, it is just tranquil and makes for a great walk and time well spent with yourself.
Peaceful, and tranquil might be 2 great descriptors for the area, however, it’s also right in the heart of everything. Which means, anyone heading to the Grand Strand should pass through and spend some time.
Birds were chirping, fish were jumping and I happened to watch a boat glide through the waterway. It’s beautiful and a short ride from the very busy beach areas. A getaway inside of your getaway.
Alleys & A Park
After walking about, I headed through the town. One of the prettiest brick alleys was there. I am intrigued by brick alleyways, beautiful architecture and clean cities. Truly Conway meets everything on my checklist.
Walk towards the Town Clock Cannon Barrel which is a historic landmark, so you don’t want to miss it. You will find the Town Clock Cannon Barrel at Main Street and Third Avenue.
Or perhaps you want to see a very well-manicured garden? I can share that find with you as well. Head to 1000-1006, 4th Avenue in Conway and you will arrive at Kingston Park.
You can’t miss the larger than life mural on the brick wall and the gardens. Stop, sit, enjoy. I believe this is the true charm of Conway, it’s right in the midst of everything, but away from it all.
Let Your Adrenaline Run Free
Have you read my article where I hiked the Red Rock Canyon in stilettos because we had another meeting right after visiting that area? Well, today, I was dressed for a winery visit and I guess you could say this is another ‘Dana dressing moment’ that will go down in history.
I slinked into the passenger side of the race car with my jean skirt on – definitely not proper, but I got the job done!
The Myrtle Beach Speedway let’s those of you who release your need for speed. Trust me, if you like death-defying experiences, or want to be in the front seat of a race car without driving it, this is where the action is.
It was totally under control, every step of the way even though I felt out of control. Sign your waiver, get your helmet on (and wear the appropriate clothing, shorts or jeans) and get buckled in. You will skim the walls, almost kiss the corner cone and hug the curves all unscathed and breathless.
Fabulous Foodie Destinations
Vacations are the time we relax and eat. Whether you want to stay on your healthy food lifestyle or indulge in great Southern fare and seafood, there’s a place for you. As you know I am a vegetarian who does from time to time consume seafood.
My vegetarianism is not a boycott against meat, but a health issue. Therefore I try to eat seafood here and there to fill in the protein void and because there’s nothing like fresh seafood right? So many of you have written in with the same lifestyles when it comes to dining and I am so glad we have all connected.
You can find great eats in Myrtle Beach, and you don’t have to just dine on pizza (Phewwww forehead swipe!).
Shopping and Eating
Love to shop? Seeking great eats? The Market Common is your stop. Boasting 6 restaurants and 50 retail stores, and a garage for parking. It’s not my first time here and it is getting bigger and better with each visit.
Upscale shopping in a chic area is what I love, so it’s hard for me to pick if this is my favorite area or Barefoot’s Landing, they both have a great vibe! After a fun day of sun and sand, it’s time to eat.
Mexican food is the pick tonight. I am thrilled because there are Margaritas and nacho platters. Simple and delish. Inside of the Nacho Hippo, there’s a fun ambiance here. It’s colorfully decorated and the servers are pleasant.
My choices tonight are simple, Margarita, side salad and the Bangin’ Shrimp Nacho Platter. You will understand in a second. Take a look at my eats!
Surfside Beach Breakfast
Whether you are seeking, freshly roasted coffee beans, bread, pastries, donuts, cronuts, or bagels, it’s all at Benjamin’s Bakery. Read more about my morning at Best Bakery and Cafe in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.
As a total food snob, not just anywhere will do when I eat. The menu has to have offerings that are unique, yet very familiar. Destination found! Head over to Pawley’s Island and seek out the Rustic Iron. Enjoy bounties of food that are more delicious with each bite.
Locally Sourced Seafood Right From Their Own Boats
There’s nothing like Tide To Table in my opinion and The Wicked Tuna kicks seafood up a notch! From the destination itself (it’s huge) to the ‘2’ kitchen concept (raw) and standard kitchens, you just can’t miss this Myrtle Beach Foodie Stop!
The Wicked Tuna is the premier waterfront dining experience in Murrells Inlet! Come hungry, enjoy the waterfront dining, and tantalizing treats guaranteed to make any food lover drool. Every platter that I saw, and/or tasted was impeccably perfect from presentation to taste.
Breakfast & It’s Time To Get ‘Toasted’
I am truly kidding, but it is funny to be punny! Seek out the Famous Toastery in Carolina Forest. The Famous Toastery offers breakfast and lunch from close to open. It’s a fun bistro-like eatery.
Remember I don’t like eggs, so my menu options were a bit less than the rest of the group, but there are alternate options like waffles, flapjacks, french toast, etc.
The service is fabulous and it is busy, but offers plenty of parking. That’s always nice to know, so you don’t get there and wonder where you are going to park.
My order consisted of Breakfast Potatoes and the Left Coast B.L.T without the bacon and mayo but with the addition of avocado slices. Also, I changed my bread choice to sourdough to really give it a nice finish with each bite. The flexibility of ordering is what I most appreciated.
I drank water because they do not offer coconut milk or almond milk as options for coffee. A side note: there is a bar so you can sip on a drink if you like!
Savory Southern Eats with Contemporary Flair
True foodies will find the Rivertown Bistro in Conway. From the moment I sunk my teeth into the Housemade Yam Chips served with a smoked tomato ranch, I knew this was a unique flavor experience.
You know what else? I liked it here. The feel is upscale chic, and the food is very much ‘Dana-esque.’ In fact, so much so, I had a hard time choosing what to eat!.
Fried Creek Shrimp, in a flour fried tortilla, atop a bed of field greens. Those shrimp were POPPIN’! Juicy, fried to perfection in a batter that I had not had before. Surely the most decadent shrimp I consumed on the whole trip hands down!
Barefoot Landing For Foodies
Barefoot Landing is located along the Intracoastal waterway of North Myrtle Beach. It is a destination I hold near and dear to my heart because I went here with my parents as a teen every year.
Everything from nightlife, shopping, entertainment, and good eateries are located here. Its popularity does make it a tad more challenging to find parking during peak dinner hours, but, so very worth the time spent every time.
Lucy Buffet has her ‘Lulu’s’ here. Lulu’s is massive covering about 20,000 square feet and including a beach area complete with shovels, and pails to keep it very family friendly. There were a lot of kids, and they were having fun playing, running around and making tons of noise.
Entertainment from a live singer was truly a nice feature and kind of smolders all the other static going on around you. The waterfront truly makes for a great night out. My meal was a Crab melt and Fried Crab Claws.
Myrtle Beach is perfect for those families seeking a beach area coupled with other great activities. The 60 mile Grand Strand offers a lot of options. Truly a popular destination and a testimony to how fabulous it is when you learn that 20 million visitors come here each year to vacation! Enjoy ~ DANA XO
My thanks to My Myrtle Beach for sharing this vacation destination along the East Coast. Images and opinions are my own based on my time spent on a FAM trip.