December 8, 2016

Myrtle Beach: Family Vacation Checklist

Myrtle Beach: Family Vacation Checklist

We just got back from Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday. This was our first time ever to Myrtle Beach and it was such a fun time. So, naturally, I had to put together a checklist to help other families make the most of a getaway to Myrtle Beach since there are definitely some must-do Myrtle Beach attractions for kids.

1. Stay on the Beach. There are lots of hotels right on the beach. We stayed at Forest Dunes Oceanfront Resort, which was an easy crosswalk away from the beach. It was perfect because it was on a quiet street and wasn’t next door to a megahotel. It was also about a half-block away from a children’s playground.

Taking in the view from our Forest Dunes condo on the 17th floor.

Taking in the view from our Forest Dunes condo on the 17th floor.

We stayed in a three-bedroom condo at Forest Dunes Oceanfront Resort, which worked out perfectly for my family of six. Our condo had a full kitchen, a big family room, even chairs to take out to the beach. We stocked the kitchen for breakfast, but liked having a restaurant inside the hotel too. As a bonus, there are multiple pools, as well as a lazy river at the hotel.

It was nice having a full kitchen in our condo at Forest Dunes.

It was nice having a full kitchen in our condo at Forest Dunes.

2. Take the Kids to a Dinner Show. Shows are big in Myrtle Beach. I took the kids to Medieval Times one evening.  Not only did we get to eat dinner with our hands (chicken, corn on the cob, even tomato bisque), but we got to shout and root for our knight in the medieval tournament. It was also perfectly acceptable (and promoted) to boo the other knights. How fun is that?

The kids absolutely loved Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach.

The kids absolutely loved Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach.

Even better, our knight (the black and white knight) won the entire tournament. And, better than that, he picked my eight-year-old daughter out of the crowd to be the Queen of Love & Beauty. She got a tiara and a sash. There are lots of other shows in town too, but another good pick for kids is Pirates Voyage.

We cheered on the black and white knight at Medieval Times.

We cheered on the black and white knight at Medieval Times.

3. Explore Nearby Gardens. Head to Brookgreen Gardens in nearby Murrells Inlet and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Europe as you explore the incredible sculpture gardens. I truly could have spent all afternoon wandering the gardens. It was an unexpected treat for a beach town.

The sculpture gardens are incredible at Brookgreen Gardens.

The sculpture gardens are incredible at Brookgreen Gardens.

Your kids, however, may prefer to head to the zoo to check out the brand new Nature Connects exhibit. The zoo is a lot of fun on its own, but add in a dozen sculptures made from LEGO bricks and you have the recipe for a successful outing. Look for a giant tortoise, a seven-foot long dragonfly, even a colorful peacock, all made from LEGO bricks.

Kids will love the new Nature Connects exhibit at Brookgreen Gardens.

Kids will love the new Nature Connects exhibit at Brookgreen Gardens.

4. Head to a Sugar Shop. I’d never been to a sugar shop before, but there are at least three in Myrtle Beach and we managed to check out two of them, including I LOVE SUGAR and IT’SUGAR. Somehow we missed Sugar Life, an ice cream parlor and candy store.

There are loads of sugar shops in Myrtle Beach.

There are loads of sugar shops in Myrtle Beach.

Inside these sugar shops, you’ll find nearly every candy imaginable, including lots and lots of bulk candies that you can load up on and take home. You’ll also find big (like really big) size candies, including a 24 oz box of Nerds and a 33 oz Kit Kat bar. Now that’s BIG.

Look for BIG sizes of candies at ITS'SUGAR.

Look for BIG sizes of candies at ITS’SUGAR.

5. Go Shelling at Sunrise. It’s a must to wake up early to go shelling at sunrise. The views are fantastic and it’s the perfect time to hit the beach since the tide is going out and there are lots of shells to be found (there are lots of shell-seekers on the beach too).

There' s nothing like a Myrtle Beach sunrise.

There’ s nothing like a Myrtle Beach sunrise.

You’ll also want to keep your eyes open for tide pools to explore. If you see a huge group of squawking sea birds clustered together, you’ve likely found a tide pool. Take a walk on the beach or break out a metal detector to see if you and your kids can find some beach treasures.

6. Walk Along the Boardwalk. In any beach town, it’s a must to stroll along the boardwalk and Myrtle Beach is no different, though the boardwalk is not very long. You’ll find I LOVE SUGAR on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, as well as multiple Ripley’s attractions and arcades.

Be sure to take a stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.

Be sure to take a stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.

We loved the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, the 200-foot observation wheel that offered fantastic views up and down the beach. Our favorite though was being on top of the wheel and watching the riders get thrown up into the air on the Sling Shot Thrill Ride. I felt queasy just watching the riders.

Riding the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is a must too.

Riding the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is a must too.

7. Play a Round of Mini Golf. Since Myrtle Beach is the Mini Golf Capital of the World, it’s a must to play at least one round of miniature golf. We got our round in at Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf, which is located at Broadway at the Beach, the primary entertainment district in Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach is the Mini Golf Capital of the World.

Myrtle Beach is the Mini Golf Capital of the World.

The kids had so much fun playing mini golf and incredibly there was not one fight the entire round. I still can’t believe it. Even better, I shot two holes in one on the course. As you can imagine, there are lots of mini golf courses in Myrtle Beach, but other good courses include Jungle Safari and Shipwreck Island.

There's a fun mini golf course around every corner in Myrtle Beach.

There’s a fun mini golf course around every corner in Myrtle Beach.

8. Get Your Fill of Seafood. If you’re not allergic to shellfish, try the seafood while in Myrtle Beach. I always think it’s a must to get seafood when in a beach town. We ate lunch one day at Mr. Fish, which is just a mile or so away from Forest Dunes. Oh my gosh, so good (I love fish tacos).

Mmmm...I love fish tacos. Photo Credit: Mr. Fish

Mmmm…I love fish tacos. Photo Credit: Mr. Fish

I was hesitant at first about Mr. Fish based on the name alone, but I’m glad we paid them a visit (the hotel suggested the restaurant one day for lunch). The food is very affordable, the service was speedy and we even got hush puppies to eat while waiting for our food. I couldn’t have asked for more. 

9. Say Hello to a Small Dog. I know, that sounds strange, right? But Myrtle Beach is very pet-friendly and there are little dogs everywhere. Whether I was running on the beach or catching the pink sunset with my kids while they played on the playground, there was always a friendly small dog nearby.

Myrtle Beach is very pet-friendly.

Myrtle Beach is very pet-friendly.

There are a lot of snowbirds in Myrtle Beach and many of them travel with their pets. So it wasn’t too surprising to see a water fountain just for pets. I saw these all over town, just steps away from the beach. I love that Myrtle Beach is such a pet-friendly destination.  

10. Go to Broadway at the Beach. As I noted above, Broadway at the Beach is the primary entertainment district in Myrtle Beach. Here there are loads of Myrtle Beach attractions for kids, including amusement rides and fun shops to explore (we easily spent 45 minutes in Marbles: The Brain Store).

WonderWorks is a must-visit in Myrtle Beach. We loved the Bubble Lab.

WonderWorks is a must-visit in Myrtle Beach. We loved the Bubble Lab.

WonderWorks is a must-visit while at Broadway at the Beach. The kids loved playing laser tag, laying on a bed of nails and blowing huge bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Our other favorite was Broadway Grand Prix, an awesome go-kart race park with tracks for everyone in the family. There’s even mini golf, bumper cars, arcade games and a rock climbing wall. We could have spent all afternoon here. 🙂

You won't want to miss the go-karts and bumper cars at Broadway Grand Prix.

You won’t want to miss the go-karts and bumper cars at Broadway Grand Prix.

What are some of your favorite Myrtle Beach attractions for kids? Let me know in the comments section below.

 


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