Visiting The Beach during the wintertime is a unique experience that takes a different kind of planning than your usual summer trip. The weather is a bit cooler, there are less crowds and you can experience the holidays from The Beach’s point of view. See below for 6 tips we recommend when planning to visit The Beach during the Winter months.

1. Pack for the weather 

A group of people stand at the end of a long pier in Myrtle Beach illuminated by lamp posts and an orange sky at dusk

When packing for your winter beach trip, remember a few things. The weather will definitely be cooler than your typical summer trip, so it’s important to pack accordingly. Average temperatures in the region range from highs in the 60s to lows in the 40s and the average water temperature for winter months is 60.8°F. Instead of all tank tops/shorts, make sure to pack a few long sleeved options and pants. It’s always great to pack lightweight options while traveling to the beach, just in case your clothes get wet from the ocean. If you forget to pack a winter beach essential, don’t fear! Myrtle Beach has plenty of shopping that will fit your needs! 

2. Remember that beach activities may vary from summertime 

A boy poses inside an astronaut's spacesuit at WonderWorks in Myrtle Beach, SC

For the days when it may be too cold to hit the beach and go swimming, remember that Myrtle Beach has many activities beyond the 60 miles of beautiful coastline. If the weather isn’t cooperating, head to Ripley's AquariumWonderWorks or the Hollywood Wax Museum and then warm up with some culinary delights in the region. Remember that some activities at The Beach may be specific to the summer season but when visiting in the winter, you get to experience the region like a local.  

3. Head to a live show when the weather is too cold 

A female in a red holiday dress performs onstage at the Carolina Opry

If the weather becomes too cold for a day at The Beach, you can always head to one of the many spectacular holiday theatrical shows in the region. Some of our favorite performances include:  

  • Carolina Opry “The Christmas Show of the South” – Take in the spectacular Christmas décor around the theater, stunning Christmas trees, thousands of twinkling lights, fluffy snow, musical numbers and more.  

  • Christmas at Pirates Voyage – Watch as Captain Scrooge takes over the Mystical Christmas Spirit pirate ship and journeys through time to bring Christmas cheer to all the pirates and landlubbers.  

  • GTS Theater Shows – Amidst the art deco theme, the spirit of the holiday season shines through GTS Theater’s four different holiday shows – the Magical Christmas Magic & Comedy Show, the Original Motown Christmas Show, Christmas With Elvis, and Step Into Christmas with Elton John.  

  • Hot Jersey Nights – One of the newest Christmas shows in the area, Broadway Theater presents Hot Jersey Nights Christmas Special that combines holiday classics with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons songs you can’t help but tap your toe to.  

  • The South’s Grandest Christmas Show  – Experience the vivid, live performance of classic Christmas songs at the famous Alabama Theatre while you and your family sing along to favorites! This year’s Christmas extravaganza brings an incredible combination of talent, scenery, and special effects.  

4. You may find some great travel deals. 

Nighttime photo of Myrtle Beach showing hotel windows lit up with small numbers of people gathered along the beach

Since the hotel occupancy is typically down during the winter months, it is easy to find awesome deals on hotel rooms and other accommodations in Myrtle Beach. Whether you choose to stay in your favorite hotel, or take advantage of great prices on luxury resorts or condos, you’ll typically end up paying less than during the summer season. Myrtle Beach already has some great travel deals for Black Friday on their website that will help visitors save money for other experiences while at the destination.  

5. Do some holiday shopping at the destination. 

Three women dressed in fashionable fall clothes carry shopping bags as they walk around Tanger Outlets in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach has all the shopping you need to cross off items on your holiday wish list. The Grand Strand has many shopping malls and outlets that are a short drive from the resorts, vacation rentals, and other accommodations - just in case you forgot a gift for someone on your list! With so many different outlets, stores and boutiques, you are sure to find the perfect gift for everyone this holiday season while at The Beach! 

6. Don’t forget to check out holiday light shows at The Beach! 

Lighted Christmas trees adorn the entrance of Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach during Ripley's Festival of Trees

Myrtle Beach was named a top holiday travel destination by Travel + Leisure for 2021 and their notable themed attractions include Brookgreen Gardens Nights of a Thousand Candles and Ripley’s Festival of Trees. Other notable holiday light shows to hit this year include: 

  • Winter Wonderland at The Beach: This attraction brings the magic of the season to life with a walkthrough light show in Pavilion Place in downtown Myrtle Beach, with a real ice rink! Visitors and families can interact with each display spot, by taking pictures to spread the holiday cheer and walking down the boardwalk to see light displays specific to local businesses.  

  • The Great Christmas Light Show: Held annually, the Great Christmas Light Show has over 2 million lights on display on the 2-mile drive throughout the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. This drive-through light experience will dazzle young and old alike as the displays twinkle with the spirit of the season. 

  • Conway Celebration of Lights: Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season as the City of Conway presents the Conway Celebration of Lights. This driving light show is approximately 1 mile long and features thousands of lights and is sure to warm your heart and get you in the holiday spirit! Visitors can enjoy marshmallow roasting, s'mores station, and hot chocolate nightly.  

For more holiday cheer, check out our Holiday Vacation Guide