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Murrells Inlet: Live Music Capital of the Grand Strand

  By  Paul Richards

Grand Strand's Live Music Hub

Whether its acoustic guitar soloists on the waterfront strumming your favorite soft rock hits, or pop bands inspiring plenty of dancing, or large bands and nationally touring artists on the lawn, the variety and diversity of live music along the Grand Strand’s south end, namely Murrells Inlet, can’t be beat.

Here are a few of the biggest and best places regularly featuring live music in this historic waterfront community, just 20 minutes south of Myrtle Beach.

Brookgreen Gardens

Though best known as America’s largest sculpture garden, first opened in 1931, Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet is also well known for its many live music events, all of which serve as fundraisers for the non-profit. Summer concert series, Brew at the Zoo, Nights of a Thousand Candles and other annual events feature local bands, tribute artists and nationally touring acts, sometimes drawing crowds in the thousands. Admission is almost always required, but will also give you access to explore the stunning gardens as well.

The Hot Fish Club

Named for an actual social club dating back to the 1700s and active through the end of the U.S. Civil War, the Hot Fish Club today hosts soloists and bands in its expanded open-air Gazeebo (called the “’Zeebo” by locals in the know). With excellent food prepared in the main restaurant, guests of the Gazeebo can dine inside or out with stunning views of the waterfront. Typically early in the week soloists and duos take to the stage around late afternoon into the early evening, but every Friday and Saturday, year-round, bands entertain dancing crowds ‘til the wee hours of the morning.

The Murrells Inlet MarshWalk

In the late 1990s forward thinking community leaders dedicated themselves to creating a creek-side restaurant destination with a wide boardwalk connecting some (now) 11 eateries together. These restaurants, large and small, soon realized that live music could be a year-round draw, and today virtually every one of the Marsh Walk restaurants features live music of every variety, some seven days per week, all year long. Of course the bands play longer and more often in the heart of the season, but even in the doldrums of mid-winter there will be a band, soloist, duo or trio playing somewhere along the Marsh Walk’s half-mile stretch. Its collective motto, “where the fun, the view and the music is always free,” has helped the region gain and solidify a reputation as the Grand Strand’s live music Mecca.      


Dead Dog Saloon at The MarshWalk

A great place to start a Marsh Walk music adventure may be The Dead Dog Saloon, the live music anchor of the MarshWalk. Only rare tropical weather systems and blizzards close this popular waterfront restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner some 360 days per year. Live music is also featured every night. Typically soloists and duos take the stage early in the week, but Wednesday – Sunday rock ‘n’ roll variety and dance bands take the stage, with the late night party at it’s peak each Friday and Saturday evening. The views are spectacular of the Inlet as are the nighttime lights of distant Garden City Beach. Let the music move you!

Paul Richards

Though originally from Upstate New York, Paul Richards has called the Myrtle Beach Area home for some 25 years. As an entertainment and food writer Paul says “The diversity and ever-improving and ever-increasing food and music scene, keeps things fun and fulfilling.” To reach Paul with comments, questions and/or suggestions, email [email protected]