Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – History, Attractions, Travel Guide

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is actually an elevated sand bar or sorts. To the east of Myrtle Beach is the Atlantic Ocean and to the west of Myrtle Beach is the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Myrtle Beach was not inhabited until 1908 when railroad was built between Myrtle Beach and Conway. The railroad had been constructed in 1899 but it didn’t extend as far as Myrtle Beach. The city got its name from the Wax Myrtle, a shrub that grows profusely throughout the entire area. As cities go, Myrtle Beach is not an old one. There are cities that are much, much older but none that are any more interesting than Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach on the map:

Myrtle Beach was incorporated as a town in 1938 and became a city in 1957. The city continued to grow rapidly throughout the 1960’s, 1970’s and on to the present time. Because of its relatively mild temperatures and low cost of living, Myrtle Beach was and is very attractive to retirees. Some of these retirees vacationed in Myrtle Beach (it is a tourist town), fell in love with the area and chose to buy homes and retire there.

There are many factors that have contributed to the rapid growth of Myrtle Beach, of course. One of those factors is the excellent shopping facilities that seem to abound in the area. The Coastal Grand Mall is one of the more recent additions to the shopping district of Myrtle Beach. The mall boasts one and one-half million square feet of space and is the largest mall in all of South Carolina.

Another attraction is…well…all of the tourist attractions in Myrtle Beach and there are a great many of them. Just a few of the more popular ones are:

  •  The Family Kingdom Amusement Park
  •  Myrtle Waves (a water park)
  •  The Carolina Opry
  •  The House of Blues
  •  Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede (a mix of civil war play acting and wild lighting effects.
  •  Ripley’s Aquarium
  •  Ripley’s Believe it or Not (there are some things that are really hard to believe)
  •  Hard Rock Park

The variety of restaurants and cuisines makes people want to visit and live in Myrtle Beach, too. You can find restaurants that specialize in almost every kind of food you can imagine and maybe a few that you have never even thought of.

There is music for every taste available in Myrtle Beach. You can find live concerts for just about every music genre every night of the week on Ocean Boulevard.

If sports are what turn you on, Myrtle Beach has plenty of sports. Of course there is golf. Myrtle Beach is famous for golf but there is also baseball, hockey and tennis.

Myrtle Beach cannot boast of a long history as some cities can. As a city it is a relative new comer to the world but it is growing and it is thriving. With its near perfect weather, its beautiful beaches and its friendly hospitality, Myrtle Beach will grow and thrive well into the future.

More about attractions

When you think of Myrtle Beach, you just automatically think of golf. It is true that golf is big…really, really big in Myrtle Beach but that is not the only form of entertainment that is available. There are many things to do and many places to go in Myrtle Beach other than the 117 golf courses in the area. Here are a few ideas of where to go and what to see when you visit Myrtle Beach:

Ripley’s Aquarium

This is an amazing attraction! The facility cost in excess of forty million dollars and it is worth every penny of it. There are sharks, jellyfish, stingrays and exotic fish galore that can be seen from a moving walk-way below the 750,000 gallon tank. There are interactive exhibits that will thrill your inner child and there are dive shows that are presented hourly. You really don’t want to miss this one.


This is an amazing adventure for kids, teens and, yes, adults. Each visitor is given their own magic wand which brings the 20,000 square foot “enchanted” realm to life. Each clue leads the ‘explorer’ deeper and deeper into a magical realm. The realm is filled with characters and creatures that will never been forgotten. Each magic wand has a memory. If you return again and again, you can begin your quest from where you stopped the last time and retain all of the magical powers that you have gained.

Broadway on the Beach

This is a Myrtle Beach experience that should now be overlooked. You can shop! Boy! Can you ever shop around the lagoon! These are some of the best and most unusual shops that I have ever seen. The billboards that surround Broadway on the Beach all scream, “Where Myrtle Beach Comes to Life”! No kidding…it really does come to life. Over in one corner sits the NASCAR Speedway with eleven types of NASCAR experiences for all ages and the NASCAR Cafe. There are several villages that surround a huge lagoon. There is a New England Fishing Village and the Caribbean Village. There is also the Charleston Boardwalk, and Broadway Commons with the Coastal Federal Baseball Field that is home to the minor league Atlanta Braves.

More about Broadway

The Palace Theater

The Palace Theater is part of the enormous Broadway on the Beach complex but it merits being discussed separately. The 2700 seat theater opened in October 1995. There are big, big stars that perform there on a regular basis. The complex also boasts of more than 100 retail stores and 12 restaurants (including a Hard Rock Cafe and Mickey Gilley’s Texas Cafe).

The Gatlin Brothers Theatre

The Gatlin Brothers Theater opened in 1994 when the Gatlin Brothers decided to retire from the road and make Myrtle Beach their permanent home. The bothers perform nightly at the theater except on nights when they have special guest performers who are also big names in the music business like Roy Clark, Mel Tillis, and Lee Greenwood.

There is golf in Myrtle Beach, but there is so much more. Don’t miss any of it!

The best accommodations

A hotel on the Myrtle Beach

Barefoot Resort

Barefoot resort has not one, not two, not three but four golf courses! Each one presents its own set of challenges that will keep the avid golfer busy for days and days.

  • The Dye Course: The Dye course is the creation of Pete Dye. He set out to create a course that would stay in a golfer’s memory forever. He succeeded. The course is both beautiful and treacherous. There is a beautiful clubhouse that has fantastic views of holes nine, ten and eighteen.
  • The Norman Course: The course is about seventy two hundred yards long. There are seven holes that run along the Intracoastal Waterway and are bordered by natural vegetation. The Norman course presents a formidable challenge for any golfer.
  • The Love Course: This course was designed by Carolina native, Davis Love III. The Love course will challenge the good player, yet provide playability and enjoyment for the average player. There are recreated ruins of an old plantation home along holes three through seven.
  • The Fazio Course: The Fazio course has four sets of tees that will give players of all skill levels the opportunity to play a course of championship caliber and still have an enjoyable balance of fun and challenge. It is routed through a spectacular piece of property in the heart of Barefoot Resort and is between the Dye Course and the Love Course. Unlike most golf courses, the ninth hole does not end at the club house.

The Barefoot Yacht Club

The Barefoot Yacht Club is setting new standards in luxury. There are kitchens that are well appointed and incredibly spacious floor plans. There are also private balconies that afford breathtaking views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the brand new Yacht Club marina. Just two of the many amenities are a Jacuzzi and the largest outdoor pool in South Carolina. All of this and four world class golf courses right next door!

The South Wind Resort

This one has nothing whatsoever to do with golf. It is all about luxury. It features very extravagant landscaping that will simply take your breath away. There is an 80 foot outdoor oceanfront pool as well as an indoor pool that is 90 feet. There is a 185 foot lazy river ride that is featured. There are two outdoor spas, one indoor spa and a fully equipped exercise facility. The emphasis is on luxury and service.

Grand Shores Ocean Resort

The Grand Shores Ocean Resort was constructed in 2001. It features luxury hotel rooms and one, two, and three bedroom condominiums. The Grande Shores Ocean Resort in Myrtle Beach is located in a quiet neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle and yet it is close to all the attractions including the golf courses.


If you are interested in seeing live entertainment, you are in luck. You happen to be in the city where live entertainment has no peer. Here are just a few of the choices that are available:

The Alabama Theater

Alabama Theatre features America’s favorite kinds of music including Broadway, Gospel, and Country. You will find entertainment for your entire family and an experience that you will not ever forget.

The Carolina Opry

The Carolina Opry bills itself as ‘America’s Show’ and that is exactly what it is. There is a cast of over forty people…all of them talented. The show is an unforgettable mix music, dance and comedy. The Carolina Opry is produced by Calvin Gilmore. Mr. Gilmore has been called and is South Carolina’s Official Country Music Ambassador.

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede

Every ticket includes the opening act in the Carriage Room, the thrilling main show which is interactive in the Arena and a four course meal that includes a famous southern dessert. It is all family entertainment…you will not find anything that is in the least risqué in the show. It is a fun-filled, action-packed extravaganza meant to entertain the entire family. You will see some amazing stunts that will be performed by the very best of the best entertainers in the business today.

Legends in Concert

Legends in Concert is billed as “The World’s Greatest Live Tribute Show” and it lives up to its name. You will see live theater of look-alike artists recreating performances from Marilyn to Madonna to Elvis. There are a lot of performances at a lot of different times. You will need to check the schedule to find a performance that is right for you. Just don’t miss this one. It is worth the price!

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