Content Produced in Partnership with Visit Myrtle Beach
Remember the days when you got two weeks off in December, a week off in March, and two whole months for summer break without a care in the world? Yeah, me either. Those were the days.
If you’re into anti-adulting like I am (aka fighting tooth and nail to avoid anything generally considered responsible), I say we band together and reclaim spring break. We are all entitled to at least one guilt-free week of vacation sans work emails, familial commitments, and stress. And the place to take back this freedom? Myrtle Beach.
An easy escape, Myrtle Beach is much more than boardwalks, discount beachwear, and diners (although there is plenty of that if that’s your thing). It truly is a destination with something for everyone. It’s nostalgic, carefree, and whimsical.
With a new direct flight from Denver, the airport is a quick 15-minute drive from the main drag. You can immediately shift into vacation mode without having to travel for hours and hours to fall off the grid.
Here’s why every type of traveler will enjoy a Myrtle Beach spring break.
For Bucket Listers
Did you know you could safari in South Carolina? I sure didn’t. Myrtle Beach Safari is home to more than 130+ rare and endangered animals, more than 60 of which are incredible big cats. Safari is a bit of a misleading word as it’s more an interactive animal experience. Trainers show off their work with the animal ambassadors who have been featured in more than 500 popular T.V. shows and movies. They swim with them, run with them, and distract them while guests pose for photo ops. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to hold and touch your favorite cuddly creatures.
The animals are well trained and used to being around humans, which allows guests the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with baby tigers, wolf cubs, monkeys, and more. From birds of prey to a 900 lb. liger (Napoleon Dynamite wasn’t crazy, they’re real), the animals here are some of the rarest on the planet. It’s a pricey excursion ($299-499), but still cheaper than flying to Africa to see these magnificent creatures in the wild.
For another bucket list experience, you can also take to the skies on a helicopter ride. Offering sweeping views of the ocean, boardwalk, and beach, the view from above is simply unreal (and the original drone). Starting at just $20, the price is virtually unheard of to take flight.
With more than 1,500 restaurants, dining in Myrtle Beach is a feast for the senses – and stomach. There are casual breakfast joints like Johnny D’s, who walks around greeting everyone with a grand smile on his face, a shining example of Southern hospitality. Riptydz is the place to grub with a view. Near Pier 14, their open-air rooftop faces the ocean and boasts floor to ceiling windows with views of the water from every which way. Enjoy seafood towers and treats from the raw bar before heading out to the patio for frozen drinks and lawn (sand) games.
For real seafood fans, Wicked Tuna in Murrells Inlet is an absolute must. It’s the only “hook to plate” restaurant in Myrtle Beach and one of just 5-10 in the entire country. This means their in-house fishermen caught everything on the menu, even the sushi. It doesn’t get much fresher than that! They also have a fish market on-site and can ship nationally.
For a unique cocktail experience, Art Burger and Sushi Bar is known for their liquid nitrogen cocktail program. Some of the drinks are fruit-based like smoothies, while others are thick and creamy like alcoholic ice cream (try the chai, it’s unreal). They are prepared at 321 degrees below freezing and can even make beer dipping dots (patent pending). The décor features a number of local artists and art therapy classes are also held at the restaurant.
While the water in March is a bit too cold for jet skiing, paragliding, or banana boats (the Atlantic Ocean is in the 50s), there are still plenty of things to keep the little ones busy on dry land while offering a happy distraction for the parents. Myrtle Beach is the mini golf capital of the world with a crazy course on just about every block. Ripley’s Believe it or Not is a fun way to spend the afternoon, and Ripley’s Aquarium is even more unique, home to stingrays and sharks.
Broadway at the Beach is a one-stop shop for entertainment on the water. There are zorbs, zip lines, a maze, escape room, and Wonder Works, an upside building that’s hard to miss. If your curiosity gets the best of you, the indoor amusement park features challenge courses, laser tag, and a 6D Theater. Sparkles (aka “every girl’s dream store”) offers princess and mermaid makeovers, and Dave and Busters is a welcome diversion while the parents sneak out for a New Orleans-style cocktail at Fat Tuesdays or Wet Willies (there’s also a winery there).
For Outdoor Adventurers
South Carolina is comprised of salt marshes and swamps and one of the best ways to explore is a guided ecotour. Black River Outdoors offers two and four-hour kayak trips around the various ecosystems. Bookended by Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet is a protected birding habitat and the place to see eagles and waterfowl and learn about the area’s rich biodiversity.
The guide was super knowledgeable and reminded us that we know more about the moon than we do about what’s under the ocean so water is pretty inspiring. He also pointed out interesting historical facts like Ben Franklin originally wanted the national animal to be a rattlesnake, not a bald eagle. Peaceful if you leave us alone, but deadly upon attack. Fascinating, huh?
Fishing is a popular pastime in Myrtle Beach as is porch sitting. If you want to get out and about though, you should definitely take in the nature of the area at Brookgreen Gardens and Zoo. A lowcountry gem, you can ride a pontoon boat ride across the rice fields, explore the butterfly gardens, and tour the plantation grounds for a spot of antebellum and civil war history.
Have you been to Myrtle Beach? What’d you think?
Looking for another South Carolina excursion? How about a Hilton Head Island beach getaway?
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