Myrtle Beach, SC – April, 2016 Myrtle Beach State Park is an island of calm smack dab in the middle of the Grand Strand, an almost uninterrupted stretch of developed beaches that run for 60 miles along the coast of South Carolina. The area attracts millions of visitors every year and has numerous attractions to keep families entertained. This was our first visit to the area so we had no idea what to expect.
We had wanted to get to a beach for a few weeks but couldn’t find any campgrounds that were available and affordable. Spring break was the primary reason. All the state parks were full and the private campgrounds were expensive and not honoring any discounts. I flat refuse to pay $70 for a campsite so we bided our time exploring inland.
With spring break over we looked again to the beach. We found a vacancy at Myrtle Beach State Park a few days out and made a reservation. After taxes and fees it cost around $37 per night for a site with electric and water. It was great to have a nice quiet place to escape to so close to all the things that make this area popular.
We arrived at the state park via a long winding drive full of blooming bushes.
The park has a couple miles of undeveloped beaches.
There are several piers in the area which always make great photo opportunities.
The campground is extremely nice and a short eighth mile walk to the beach. The only thing that broke the quiet was the occasional airplane from the airport next door. Some of them came very low over the beach. This was taken right on the state park border.
Beyond the park’s boundaries, the beaches are lined with one hotel after another.
I can understand why Myrtle Beach is such a popular destination, especially for families. It has practically every type of entertainment you can imagine. There are at least a dozen fantastically designed putt putt golf courses. There are amusement rides scattered all over the city. Ripley’s has 5 major attractions here. I’ve never heard of a Ripley’s Aquarium but we might have to check that out if we make it back here someday.
Broadway at the Beach was a fun place to get a nice walk. It is a large shopping area with lots of interesting stores like the Man Cave Store and Stupid Factory, not your typical mall stores. There are lots of dining and entertainment options as well. The shops, restaurants, and attractions are clustered around a small lake. Even though it was chilly while we were there they still had plenty of takers for the jet boat rides they offered on the lake. Here is one of the jet boats with the science museum in the background.
We were shocked by the number of seafood buffets in area. A little research revealed about a dozen buffets featuring seafood in Myrtle Beach alone. We love seafood and a good seafood buffet is hard to find so we decided to splurge. There were so many options, many with great reviews. Our first couple choices were not open until dinner and we wanted to go out to lunch.
We settled on Seafood World because it was one of the rare one’s that opened at noon and had lots of good reviews. The cost was about the same as other buffets in the area, around $30, but they advertised $5 off before 3pm. After tax and tip it was still over $60. We enjoyed it immensely. The selection was pretty good and most of the food they served was awesome.
All in all we enjoyed our visit to the Myrtle Beach area. We agreed that it’s not really our cup of tea. It’s a little too commercial for our tastes. The fact that the weather was not that great during our stay probably tainted our opinion of it somewhat. We will likely visit again someday but stay at Huntington Beach State Park a little south of Myrtle Beach but still on the Grand Strand. Then we can take a day trip into town if we need some excitement.