Summer is the perfect time to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s stunning 60 miles of coastline, known as the Grand Strand. Looking for a little insider knowledge for your trip? From hidden gem attractions to the best spots to sample local fare, check out these recommendations – approved by locals, of course – for maximizing your Myrtle Beach getaway.

Witness a different type of parade

If you’re lucky enough to be in Myrtle Beach for Independence Day, be sure to check out the 32nd annual Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade. The best vantage point for this on-the-water celebration is along the MarshWalk, known for its waterfront dining and live music options – which make it an easy location to spend the day. Be sure to take time to admire Goat Island in the distance, a quirky spot where goats and peacocks live in harmony.

Learn the shag

While the 1980s movie “Shag” starring Bridget Fonda and Phoebe Cates brought this partner dance some stardom, locals have been doing the Carolina Shag since it was founded in the Myrtle Beach area back in the 1940s. Newbies can take advantage of free lessons at Fat Harold’s Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach every Tuesday night. Another tip: Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head across the street to Hoskins Restaurant, said to be Myrtle Beach native Vanna White’s favorite. The fresh seafood and other Southern specialties (along with the extremely reasonable prices) will not disappoint.

Cheer on the home team

A night of baseball is the perfect outing for mega sports fans and families alike. Don’t miss the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, which plays 19 of its 30 games at home in July. With tickets ranging from $9-$15 and daily promotions like $2 craft beers on Tuesdays and “buy one, get one” hot dogs on Wiener Wednesdays, it’s a fun and affordable option for anyone visiting the Grand Strand.

Embrace Civil War history

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, and Myrtle Beach boasts a small but mighty way to commemorate the event. The South Carolina Civil War Museum is housed at an indoor shooting range and run by a husband-and-wife team who are huge Civil War buffs. Their collection is impressive and includes one of the “four apostles” cannons from General Stonewall Jackson’s famed Rockbridge Artillery unit. Admission is just $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for students.

Chicken bog?

Some regions are known for their barbecue, but Myrtle Beach takes pride in its chicken bog: a hearty concoction of pulled chicken, smoked sausage, minced veggies, chicken stock and Carolina Gold Rice. Shorty’s Grill in Loris is where the locals indulge when they have a craving for chicken bog. You can also get a twist on the classic with deep-fried Bog Balls at Socastee Station in Myrtle Beach.

For more information on the Grand Strand’s hidden gems, visit