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Article

36 Hours in Myrtle Beach: Your Guide to a Quick Weekend Trip

  By  Katie Hunter
36 Hours in Myrtle Beach
Boardwalk near Oceanfront Bar & Grill
Broadway at the Beach 360 Observation (ferris) wheel
WonderWorks Bubble Lab
Ripley's Crazy Golf family at golf pool table
grand strand brewery
Carolina Opry Time Warp All That The Beatles
Atalaya Huntington Beach Group Picnic
Famiily walking on pier at Marshwalk
Tidal Creek Food
Family on The Beach Myrtle Beach
Friends Live Music Dead Dog Marshwalk

Your guide to fun in a day & a half

Teal blue waves with relaxing sandy beaches, fresh seafood cooked to perfection, laughs and smiles from day to night entertainment — you can enjoy all this and more in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

The Myrtle Beach area, or known as The Beach, boasts 60 miles of coastline, 2,000 restaurants, over 80 golf courses, several live theaters, and dozens of attractions

If 36 hours is all the time you have to enjoy The Beach, here are some recommendations to make the most of it! The best and beachiest beach awaits you.

Places to Visit:

Aerial of Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach

Barefoot Landing

A large outdoor entertainment complex with shopping and restaurants, including Crooked Hammock Brewery, Blueberry’s Grill and Duplin Winery. 

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Myrtle Beach State Park Trails

Myrtle Beach State Park

The first state park in South Carolina, boasting one mile of undeveloped beach and sand dunes, discover sea turtle nests, American alligators, and other wildlife.

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Myrtle Beach Art Museum

The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is hidden gem, located oceanfront near the beach. It has free admission to national and regional exhibits that rotate throughout the year.

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Brookgreen Gardens

The largest outdoor sculpture garden in America with stunning pieces from around the world. It is filled with amazing flora, live oak trees, spanish moss, winding paths and great activities for kids including the Lowcountry Zoo.

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Downtown Conway decorated for Christmas

Downtown Conway

A historic river town that dates back to the early 1700s, makes you feel like you have stepped back in time with a beautifully restored downtown filled with shops and restaurants.

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Day One

Get Right to the Heart of Downtown

3 p.m. / Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

You’ve arrived at The Beach and you want to get right in middle of the action!

Head to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, a famous spot in the heart of downtown. The Boardwalk spans 1.2 miles of goregous oceanfront views and is dotted with restaurants, bars and souvenir shops — including the famous Gay Dolphin Gift Cove).

Be sure to make stops along your stroll, this is prime people-watching territory and there are also some fun selfie spots and murals along the way. It's also a good chance to walk the beach, put your toes in the ocean for the first time or enjoy a stroll along one of the piers. 

If you're looking for some activities, take a ride on SkyWheel Myrtle Beach to see The Beach from 187 feet up in the air, stop into a classic beachfront arcade or hop across Ocean Boulevard to enjoy one of the attractions like Ripley’s Crazy Golf, a colorful indoor mini golf course with many unexpected layouts.

When your done on the boardwalk, stroll down the street to nearby Grand Strand Brewing Co., a charming downtown brewery, just off the strip that features locally crafted beers, tasty smashburgers and good vibes all around. If you get a chance, try the Beach Easy easy-drinking wheat — it's the new official beer of Myrtle Beach!

Things to Do on the Boardwalk

Savor Fresh Seafood & Southern Flavors

5 p.m. / Hook & Barrel

When it's time for dinner, enjoy your first full meal at The Beach with a stop at Hook & Barrel, known for their sustainably sourced seafood.

Award-winning chef Heidi Vukov puts a twist on Southern classics like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and thick cuts of candied bacon. There's lots to get excited about here but appetizers including Oysters a la Heidi and the unique candied bacon rack are show stoppers you won't want to miss.

Hook & Barrel's wine list is extensive, with expert pairings for any dish on the menu. The patio is perfect for dining al fresco, or opt to eat inside the high-end, nautical themed dining room.

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Marvel in a Myrtle Beach Tradition

7 p.m. / The Carolina Opry 

A trip to Myrtle Beach isn’t complete without checking out one of our live shows, and The Carolina Opry is the longest-running show in town!

On Friday nights, the Opry presents “Time Warp,” a show designed for all ages that takes the audience on a journey throughout generations of entertainment featuring songs from across the decades, dazzling costumes and set designs, plus dancing, singing, comedy and more.

There's a reason the Carolina Opry has been a Myrtle Beach tradition for almost 40 years — it's an evening like no other!

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Where to Eat:

Sea Captain's House

A staple of the Myrtle Beach restaurant scene for years and located in an old beach cottage, the she-crab soup is award-winning.

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Swing & Swine wings, loaded tots and craft beer flight

Swig & Swine

This new Charleston-based barbecue joint brings a taste of the Holy City to downtown Myrtle Beach, serving up smoked southern staples including wings, brisket and pulled pork. Try the pork rind nachos!

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Crooked Hammock Brewery

A fun craft brewery at Barefoot Landing and restaurant with a tiki island and outdoor yard games, serving up new seasonal brews all year long.

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Scallop dish at Rivertown Bistro in Conway

Rivertown Bistro

Visit quaint downtown Conway, S.C., to find this unique, classy dining spot that serves up fresh takes on southern classics like collard green egg rolls.

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Greg Norman's Austrailian Grille Barefoot Landing

Greg Norman's Austrailian Grille

Located at Barefoot Landing, this steakhouse offers premier steaks and flavors from down under — it's the perfect spot for golf lovers to enjoy a meal and waterfront views.

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JEM Social Bar Cocktails

JEM Social

This vibey bar is known for its creative cocktails and unique small plates. It's the perfect spot for a night out and a social media photo-op (and during the holidays, it is transformed into a Christmas pop-up bar!)

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Day Two

Eat the Most Important Meal of the Day

8:30 am / Croissants Bistro & Bakery

Start the day off right at Croissants Bistro and Bakery with their in-house roasted coffee, delicious southern breakfast options and pastries. The bananas foster french toast is an indulgent must-try or the  crab cake benedict for a seafood breakfast twist. A local tip is to order some house-made macaroons to go to enjoy the rest of the day! 

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Explore Broadway

10 a.m. / Broadway at The Beach

Broadway at the Beach is the epicenter of fun at The Beach with dozens of attractions, shopping and restaurants. Feel like a kid again at The Simpsons in 4D or zipline across the lake at Soar & Explore. Catch another dazzling display at Broadway Theater with rotating shows throughout the year. Walk around and take in the smells of warm fudge and pralines cooking, and get your caricature drawn as a keepsake!

Broadway Activities

Pit Stop for Lunch

1 p.m. / Broadway at The Beach

Now for lunch, there are many options at Broadway at the Beach. If you are looking for more southern cooking, try Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, or check out The Hangout, where you will be constantly entertained during your meal (really, you can dance on the tables!). New to the area, VooDoo Brewing Co. offers regional craft beers and a tasty menu with pizza, snacks, burgers and more. 

See Restaurants at Broadway

Enjoy a Piece of History

3 p.m. / Huntington Beach State Park

Located in Murrells Inlet, about 30 minutes from Myrtle Beach proper, Huntington Beach State Park is a relaxing protected beach and wildlife preserve. Take a tour of the park to observe alligators, deer, birds, and other South Carolina wildlife in their natural habitat. Also located at the State Park is Atalaya Castle, a Moorish style home built in the early 1900s. Surrounded by tall palmetto trees, the home has been preserved to portray life during that time period so visitors can take a tour. Brookgreen Gardens is also nearby, so if there’s some extra time, explore the largest sculpture garden in America and get lost in nature’s beauty. 

Indulge in Hook to Plate Dishes

5 p.m. / Murrells Inlet MarshWalk

Head on over to the MarshWalk, a group of eight local restaurants located right on the saltwater marsh in Murrells Inlet. From the cocktails to the seafood, everything served at the MarshWalk is fresh and vibrant. Start off with a drink from the Beer Garden at The Claw House or Tuna Shak. For a traditional southern seafood meal, grab an outdoor table on the back patio at Drunken Jacks. A local tip is to try the hushpuppies, basically deep fried cornbread - you won’t be sorry! For a more modern dining experience, try Wicked Tuna, known for their creative dishes and their commitment to hook to plate seafood. Order a few sushi rolls, surf and turf, or the fresh catch of the day. 

Your Guide to The MarshWalk

Dance the Night Away

8 p.m. / Murrells Inlet MarshWalk

Chances are by now that you’ve heard a band or two playing live music, which can be heard throughout the entire area almost every night of the week. The MarshWalk is one place that offers live music consistently, especially at Dead Dog Saloon or Creek Ratz, where bands perform some of their original songs and the classic hits for hours. Enjoy the sunset and marsh views all evening long while listening to the sounds of beach music. 

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Things To Do: 

SkyWheel Myrtle Beach

SkyWheel Myrtle Beach

Standing 187 feet over the ocean, you can see the best views of the area from this state-of-the-art observation wheel. Take a sunrise or sunset flight for the best experience!

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Myrtle Beach Mini Golf Trail

Miniature golf is a big deal at The Beach with more than 30 mini golf courses scattered throughout the area. Explore the Mini Golf Capital of the World by checking out any of the courses on the Myrtle Beach Mini Golf Trail!

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Aerial view of Seakart on the ocean with three girls

Seakart Adventures

Hop aboard a cross between a boat and a jet ski for a water incursion in Murrells Inlet like no other. Seakart is the first of it's kind in the United States.

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Escape Game Timeliner room two people with hands in tubes, what's in there?

The Escape Game

New to Broadway at the Beach, this challenging escape room facility will test your critical thinking skills in one of the five themed rooms with challenges ranging from family fun to downright mind-boggling.

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Coastal Grand Mall

This mall, located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, offers popular retail shopping spots, plus additional fun like The Crazy Mason milkshake bar, Stars and Strikes bowling alley and arcade and Cinemark Myrtle Beach movie theater.

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Day Three

Soak in the Sunshine

9 a.m. / The Beach!

Spend a little time at the beach and soak in the warm sunshine, teal water and sugary sand. The Myrtle Beach area is known for its flat, wide beaches, and many resorts and vacation rentals offer chairs and umbrellas for their guests. Check with your accommodation before traveling — there are some beach rental options as well. 

Best Beach Spots

Brunch in Style

11:30 a.m. / The Market Common

Before you leave, explore The Market Common, a beautiful neighborhood with shopping, restaurants and parks. Stroll around the shops and look out for the many local businesses with the perfect souvenir to take home with you. Grab a brunch at Tidal Creek Brewhouse which serves both coffee and craft beer along with a delicious menu of savory and sweet dishes. 

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Where to Stay:

Anderson Ocean Club & Spa

Centrally located, this oceanfront retreat offers private access to the beach, spa, and pool. Enjoy the sunrises over the beach from your oceanfront balcony.

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Avista Resort

Located in North Myrtle Beach, this family-friendly resort offers multiple pools, spacious rooms, a restaurant on the property and convenient beach access.

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Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort pool deck aerial

Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort

Located at the expansive Kingston Plantation on the northern end of Myrtle Beach, this a beautiful resort filled with amenities like a spa, pickleball courts, room service, and more.

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Dunes Realty Vacation Rentals

This rental company is the perfect choice if you are looking for a little more space when traveling with options from oceanfront condos to houses big enough for the whole family.

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Katie Hunter

Katie Hunter recently relocated to Myrtle Beach, SC, but she is a true South Carolinian at heart. Growing up in Charleston, SC and living in the SC Upstate, Katie cherishes the rhythm of southern hospitality and a refreshing sea breeze. Katie has written stories for her friends and family to enjoy ever since she was little and is excited to uncover everything that makes Myrtle Beach, The Beach. Katie loves baking, the beach, and her Clemson Tigers. She can often be found walking her black labrador retriever or checking out a new restaurant in the Grand Strand with her husband.