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Myrtle Beach Things to Do

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Vacation Ideas


Myrtle Beach Things to Do

Ripley's Aquarium is one of Myrtle Beach's most popular attractions--for good reasons.

©Arthur Levine, 2008. Licensed to About.com.
With the 2008 opening of Hard Rock Park (and the 2009 reopening of the bankrupt Hard Rock as Freestyle Music Park), park fans and new visitors have been flocking to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But once they've rocked out on the music-themed coasters at the park, what else can they do to have some fun in the vacation destination? Plenty.

Myrtle Beach is bursting with other attractions, great shows, a vast array of dining options, and a whole host of other diversions. In fact, there's so much to do, their heads will be swimming with the choices. (Speaking of swimming, during the warmer-weather months, visitors simply have to make time to wade into the 60--60!--miles of beaches known as the Grand Strand. The conditions are nearly always perfect for body surfing. It is the crown jewel that originally made Myrtle Beach so popular.) That's why I'm here to offer some suggestions and help visitors find info as they make their vacation plans.

Myrtle Beach Hotels and Accommodations

From the Grand Strand's signature high-rise hotels along the shore to inland golf resorts, Myrtle Beach offers a huge variety of lodging choices at a number of price levels. Many of the units are 2, 3, or 4-bedroom condos that are owned by individuals, but maintained and rented by the host hotels.

Compare rates for Myrtle Beach-area hotels at TripAdvisor.

Myrtle Beach Theme Parks, Amusement Parks, Water Parks, and Other Attractions

Hey, you're a park fan, right? That's why you're at About.com's Theme Parks site. So let's take a look at some of Myrtle Beach's many parks and attractions, starting with Freestyle Music Park.

Freestyle Music Park
The 55-acre Freestyle Music Park, which originally opened as Hard Rock Park, offers rock-influenced rides. But it has expanded its repertoire to include other kinds of music-themed attractions, shows, live performances, restaurants, and shops.

Family Kingdom
Just south of downtown Myrtle Beach on the shore
Freestyle Music Park isn't the only place in town to ride a roller coaster. Family Kingdom is one of the few remaining family-owned amusement parks in the U.S. The fact that it is a traditional seaside park and has free admission makes it even more of a rarity. There is an adjacent, separate-admission Family Kingdom Water Park.

At Broadway at the Beach
This unique attraction is something like a walk-through video game. Instead of using a joystick and staring at a monitor, players move through a sophisticated indoor environment and use an interactive wand to trigger effects, unearth clues, solve mysteries, and rack up points. It all has something to do with wizards, princesses, unicorns, and other lore. Although I consider myself reasonably intelligent, I must admit that I found the whole experience baffling. I'm not a video game maven, nor am I much of a fantasy fan. I also may be well outside the target age range. Hordes of kids were darting to and fro about me engrossed in the game, and they seemed to be having a ball. There are other MagiQuest attractions at Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park resorts and other locations. The Myrtle Beach MagiQuest is the original.

Myrtle Waves
Across from Broadway at the Beach
It may seem odd to have a waterpark in an area known for its miles of beautiful beaches. But Myrtle Waves offers a different kind of bathing-suit-clad fun, and features some of waterparkdom's most thrilling slides.

NASCAR SpeedPark
Across from Broadway at the Beach
With seven NASCAR-themed tracks, this is a go-kart park on steroids. The facility also offers two NASCAR-themed mini-golf courses, kiddie rides, an arcade, and a racecar simulator attraction.

Pavilion Nostalgia Park
At Broadway at the Beach
A handful of the rides, including the historic carousel and band organ, that used to be at the closed Myrtle Beach Pavilion are at this mini ode to the seaside amusement park.

Ripley's Aquarium
At Broadway at the Beach
If you're thinking there must be oddities such as two-headed sharks at this Ripley's attraction, think again. Believe it or not, it's a world-class aquarium with many captivating features such as the Dangerous Reef tank (which guests access via a nifty moving sidewalk through an encompassing glass tube), a huge ray pool, and a piranha (yikes!) exhibit. Ripley's Aquarium is one of Myrtle Beach's most popular attractions--for good reasons.

Ripley's Attractions
Downtown Myrtle Beach
The Pavilion amusement park may be gone, but Ripley's still offers some fun diversions on the downtown strip. The Haunted Adventure, which includes lots of live actors, very dark, disorienting passageways, cool effects, and plenty of haunted maze gotchyas, is quite well done. The complete Ripley's lineup includes:

  • Ripley's Believe It or Not (Museum of oddities)
  • Ripley's Haunted Adventure (Walk-through haunted attraction)
  • Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze
  • Ripley's Moving Theater (Motion Simulator Ride)
  • Ripley’s Super Fun Zone (Arcade)

Wild Water and Wheels
Surfside Beach (south of Myrtle Beach)
The water park includes the Free Fall speed slide, The Dark Hole covered slide, body slides, mat slide, lazy river, wave pool, and a kids play area. The park also offers go-karts.

Next page: More Myrtle Beach things to do- Myrtle Beach Shows and Dining

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.
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