Guide To The Top 5 Crazy Cool Beaches In The Grand Strand

With more than 60 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area, there’s no shortage of places to frolic in the sea. Whether you’re looking for a quiet day in the sun or a location with lots of family activities, you’ll find it in Myrtle Beach.

Photo courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

Here is our guide to the Grand Strand’s most popular area beaches, so you can choose the right sandy spot for your family.

North Myrtle Beach

The northern end of Myrtle Beach is actually its own city and tends to be a quieter spot for beach adventures. There are still lots of resorts — and miles of beach — in this end of the Grand Strand, but the crowds are fewer. North Myrtle Beach is where the shag dance originated (the shag is actually South Carolina’s state dance) and is known for its prize fishing. It’s also home to amusement parks, Alligator Adventure, where you can get up close to these creatures, and plentiful golf courses.

Huntington Beach State Park

For those who enjoy a quieter beach outing, Huntington Beach State Park, located about an hour south of Myrtle Beach, makes the perfect place to play. A South Carolina state park, Huntington Beach does charge for entry: $5 for adults, $3 for kids 6-15 and free for kids 5 and younger. Not only can you splash in the water, but you can enjoy excellent bird-watching and some of the best surf fishing in the state.

There’s also a freshwater lake, and dogs on leashes are welcome on the park’s south beach. Kids will have fun petting stingrays and horseshoe crabs at the park’s education center, and be sure to take a family stroll along the 2-mile “square” loop, keeping an eye out for coastal wildlife.

Surfside Beach

Just south of the Grand Strand is the town of Surfside Beach only 2 miles long and known for its rows of pastel houses. The beach has its own pier, which was built in 1953 and is the perfect spot for fishing or just enjoying the ocean views. One of the most popular attractions in Surfside Beach is the Wild Water and Wheels Water Park with slides, pools and even go-cart racing.

It also became the world’s first autism friendly destination in 2016. The town provides families who have a member who has autism with a card that lets local businesses subtlety know in order to provide them with tailored support and services.

Garden City Beach

Even further south of Myrtle Beach below Surfside Beach is the small beach town of Garden City Beach. It borders the quaint fishing village of Murrells Inlet, which was once the stomping grounds of the infamous pirate, and is known for its 1/2 -mile boardwalk that runs alongside a natural saltwater estuary.

At Garden City Beach, Murrells Inlet meets the ocean, allowing visitors to experience both the marsh and ocean. It also makes it a great spot for fishing. This area offers a variety of condos and vacation rentals along the beach and also has a marina and restaurants serving fresh locally-caught seafood.

Myrtle Beach

Of course the granddaddy of all beaches in the Grand Strand is the main thoroughfare of Myrtle Beach. Here families will find endless activities from arcades and carnival rides to the boardwalk and SkyWheel. This is the busiest of the beaches, especially during peak summer season, but there’s a vibrant atmosphere and tons of people having a blast.

Seemingly unending oceanfront resorts line the beach, offering water parks, indoor and outdoor pools, lazy rivers and balconies for enjoying the Lowcountry sun. Myrtle Beach is also one of the country’s most affordable beach destinations with some quality resorts, offering rates as low as $30-$40 per night.

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Looking for a quiet day in the sun or lots of family activities, you’ll find it at these crazy cool beaches in the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach.

Lyn Mettler is a freelance travel writer and author of “The Step-by-Step Guide to Earning the Southwest Companion Pass and Flying Free Around the U.S.” You can find her at GotoTravelGal.com, as well as on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook as @GotoTravelGal.

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