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How to Beach Like a Myrtle Beach Local

  By  Visit Myrtle Beach
Two friends on the beach chatting and reading

Welcome to Myrtle Beach, where the sun, sand, and surf create the perfect backdrop for your vacation. While the main attractions are awesome, we want to share some insider tips to help you beach like a local. Dive into our guide and discover the hidden gems, secret spots, and local favorites that will make your beach experience unforgettable.

Best Beach Access Points

Myrtle Beach State Park: Located just south of the heart of Myrtle Beach, the Myrtle Beach State Park is a favorite among locals. With its less crowded shores, pristine natural beauty, and ample picnic spots, it's the perfect place to relax and unwind. Don't forget to explore the nature trails and fishing pier to complete your day of exploration.

48th Ave North: For a quieter beach experience, head to the beach access at 48th Avenue North. This spot offers ample parking and a more laid-back atmosphere. It's ideal for families and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the more saturated areas.

Garden City Beach: Just a short drive south from the Myrtle Beach State Park, Garden City Beach offers a charming, small-town vibe. Locals love the relaxed environment, and you'll find plenty of fishing spots and a fun-filled arcade right on the pier. Nearby, be sure to visit Village Surf Shoppe, a local surfers go-to for custom boards and other necessities. The Garden City Pier is also known by locals for excellent live music in the evenings. 

Springmaid Pier: Located just south of central Myrtle Beach, there is a beach access just passed the Springmaid Pier that is known by locals as the best spot to watch the planes take off. While laying in the sand, look up and you'll get the best view of massive aircrafts taking off from the nearby Myrtle Beach airport - a spectacular perspective that never gets old!

17th Ave South in North Myrtle Beach: This hidden gem beach access has free street parking, and access to a local favorite Molly Darcy's Irish pub. There is also a brand new convenient store that always has their AC running, which sits next to an adorable ice cream shop. Elevate your experience by visiting New Wave Watersports and test your adrenaline with parasailing or a banana boat ride. All at 17th Ave South.


Top Local Tips

1. Early Bird Gets The Beach: Locals know that the best time to hit the beach is early in the morning. Arriving before 9am ensure you get the perfect spot, and you'll enjoy the cooler morning temperatures and calm surf. Extra tip: wake up extra early and catch the sunrise over the Atlantic. It's always breathtaking and a great way to start your day!

2. Pack Smart: Pack like a local by brining essentials such as a large umbrella, a cooler with refreshments, and plenty of sunscreen. Locals also bring beach chairs, books, and games to make the most of their beach day. Make sure to leave the tents at home - those aren't allowed on most beaches to ensure everyone has an ocean view!

3. Seafood Shacks and Local Eateries: After a day in the sun, nothing beach fresh seafood. Skip the chains and try local favorites like Sea Captain's House or Crabby George's Seafood Buffet for a true taste of Myrtle Beach. Murrells Inlet is known as the seafood capital of South Carolina, locals love to stroll on the Marshwalk, listen to the live music, and pop in to grab a bite. 

Hot Spots With The Most To Offer

Surfside Pier: The newly built Surfside Pier is a fantastic addition to the local scene. With a variety of restaurants nearby, most with live music and a small town beachy vibe, it's a great spot to grab some scenery and local culture. The pier also provides plenty of parking and multiple surrounding public beach access' making it a convenient and enjoyable spot you could spend your entire day. If you're feeling adventurous, say hi to our friends at Shoreline Watersports for parasailing and banana boats rides (they're both a blast!)

The Market Common: Beyond the beach, The Market Common is a local hotspot featuring shopping, dining, and entertainment. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride around the park, catch a movie, or dine at one of the many restaurants offering everything from sushi to southern comfort food. 

Murrells Inlet Marshwalk: Previously mentioned as the seafood capital of South Carolina, Murrells Inlet is a must-visit. It offers stunning views, live music, and a plethora of dining options. Rent a kayak or take a boat tour to explore the inlet's natural beauty; or watch the boats and jet skis go by while sipping on your favorite drink.

Aerial shot of the MarshWalk with sunset

Hidden Gems

Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens: For a peaceful retreat, visit Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens in Little River. This hidden gem offers scenic walking trails, boardwalks through the marsh, and breathtaking views of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Atalaya Castle: Located in Huntington Beach State Park, Atalaya Castle is a fascinating historical site. Take a tour of the former winter home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and enjoy the park’s pristine beach and wildlife.

You're Ready!

By following these insider tips and exploring these local favorites, you’ll experience Myrtle Beach in a whole new way. Embrace the local lifestyle, discover hidden gems, and make unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, hit the beach early, and enjoy all that Myrtle Beach has to offer—like a true local.

Kathryn Hedgepath

Myrtle Beach native, Kathryn Hedgepath, loves to share her hometown’s history with visitors and newcomers to the Grand Strand.  She is the creator and narrator of the Myrtle Beach History Trolley and Step-On Tours, and the author of the book, Myrtle Beach Movies, that tells the stories behind the motion pictures that were made or premiered in Myrtle Beach.  She has traveled in 40 countries on 6 continents and uses her experience to convey our local history through a world lens. Kathryn returned home from NYC in 2002 to marry her beloved husband, Jenks, after a career in television and publishing (and even worked in Space Shuttle Operations at NASA Headquarters in DC for a semester before starting grad school at Georgetown University).  Her first career job was as Personal Assistant to television icon and wildlife expert, Jim Fowler, of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom fame. Her dad, Myrtle Beach’s first veterinarian, arranged the job interview when Jim Fowler came to Myrtle Beach for a speaking appearance at a veterinary conference in 1991.