Visit Myrtle Beach, S.C. Announces  New Developments for 2018 and Beyond

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina continues to rank as one of the fastest-growing family and vacation destinations in the nation, attracting roughly 19 million visitors annually. Given the accessibility and multitude of attractions for families, the Myrtle Beach area received several new accolades in 2018 including being ranked by Google as the “Third Most Searched Travel Destination in the World,” one of the Travel Channel’s “Best East Coast Beaches” and a “Top 10 Beach Town with the Highest Quality of Life” by Coastal Living. The following is the latest information on new tourism developments in the region, listed alphabetically by category.

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

810 Billiards and Bowling Entertainment Complexes in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, & Conway

Three new entertainment venues have opened in the region by the same owner. Named 810 Billiards and Bowling, all three complexes include bowling, billiards, darts, ping-pong and other amenities. They also serve gourmet food, craft beers and inventive cocktails that can be enjoyed on luxurious couches at each lane or in the well-appointed dining room. In Conway they can be found across from Coastal Carolina University, the Myrtle Beach location is in the Market Common district at the former location of the Piggly Wiggly grocery store, and in North Myrtle Beach they’re at 1105 US 17.

Asher Theatre

The Asher Theatre is Myrtle Beach’s newest live performance, conference and event center. They are bringing Vegas and New York City acts to the area in a family-oriented, hip and cultural, theater setting. Their feature act is the widely-acclaimed impressionist, comedian, and musician – James Stephens III performing his title show, Man of a Thousand Voices, which includes spot-on impressions of stars like Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Randy Travis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Elvis, Stevie Wonder, Lil’ Wayne, and even Kermit the Frog. The season began in April. For more information, visit www.ashertheatre.com.

Gateway Galleria Mixed-Use Complex Coming to Ocean Boulevard

Plans have been approved for a mixed-use complex on Seventh Avenue North and Ocean Blvd. in downtown Myrtle Beach called the Gateway Galleria.  The $20 million project will include a four-story 75,000-square-foot complex that will house over 40 visitor condos and a bottom floor filled with restaurants, fitness and retail. A completion date has yet to be determined.

Jump Jam Jungle Floats of the Grand Strand

Located at the Crazy Sister Marina in Murrell’s Inlet, this “floating water park” offers two trampolines, a rope swing, curvy water slide, six-foot platform leap, 14-foot high dive, and a staff dedicated to fun and safety. This family-friendly attraction is open for extreme sport play-by-the-hour or for private parties. www.jumpjamgs.com

Ocean Boulevard Facelift and Mixed-Use Building

Changes are coming to the 14th Avenue South area of Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. The former Cabana Inn has been demolished and plans are in the works for a mixed-use retail and commercial building. The 32,000-square-foot, four-story building will be similar to Myrtle Beach's Market Common development, with retail and commercial on the ground floors and visitor accommodations on the upper floors. The building will have a bright, multicolored façade with balconies. A completion date has not been set.

Oceanfront Beach Club Entertainment Complex and Boardwalk Extension

Construction is almost complete on a new 55,000-square-foot complex along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at 14th Avenue North. The new beach club brings several new restaurants, retail stores, and a live music venue. They include Tin Roof, a Nashville-based live music venue, and the national chain BurgerFi. The Mexican restaurant Bandito’s which had formally resided at that location will also be moving into the new complex. The new development will include a ground floor retail store selling light groceries, beach essentials, fashionable brands, and sundries. A national coffee franchise is likely to sign a lease agreement and new tenants are being sought to fill remaining space. In addition, the Boardwalk will be extended another block on the north to connect to a new Hilton hotel property. An oceanfront park will be built as part of the project. Tin Roof opened in June, 2018, and construction is nearly complete for the rest of the complex.

Pure Magic at The Carolina Opry Theater 

A new live production has debuted at The Carolina Opry Theater for the 2018 season. Starring The Wagsters, this magic show brings magic, amazement, comedy and drama together with card tricks, confounding disappearing acts and sleight of hand. In 2017, they were featured as a special act of Calvin Gilmore’s Thunder and Light Show and The Carolina Opry Christmas Special, but now have a stand-alone show. For more information, visit www.thecarolinaopry.com/myrtle-beach-shows/pure-magic.

Ripley's Aquarium Pearl Harbor Exhibit

Ripley’s Aquarium introduced its Pearl Harbor Exhibit in February 2018. Visitors can go through the timeline of world events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor and experience the environmental impact that continues to this day. The exhibit features models of ships and planes, an interactive map, a life-sized figure of President Roosevelt, a crawl-through replica of the USS Arizona, a theater with memorabilia from the 1940s as well as various aquatic animals native to Hawaii and invasive species now living in Hawaii that were brought in from the Japanese ships during the attack. The exhibit is open for most of the year. For more information, visit ripleysaquariummyrtlebeach.com.

Ripley's Aquarium Addition and Penguin Exhibit

Plans are currently in the works for an addition to Ripley’s Aquarium that would bring a permanent penguin exhibit to the space. Plans were recently revealed for City approval of a 5,586-square-foot addition to the upper level. Plans also show a stainless-steel water feature will be added to the front of the building. A start date has not yet been set for the project.

The Simpsons in 4 D

A new attraction is headed to Broadway at the Beach! FOX network’s popular animated family, the Simpsons, will appear in 4D! The family-friendly attraction will open next to Dragon's Lair Fantasy Golf, across from the former 4D theater. Further details on the attraction will be released in the coming weeks.

Thunderbolt Park at The Market Common

The City of Myrtle Beach is planning to open a new park and building complex in the Market Common district. Features of the park will include three miles of new paths, picnic tables and a lawn. The paths can be used by bicyclists, walkers and runners and will have an outdoor reading room, bike racks, bike repair stands and an outdoor classroom. It will also include the renovation of a building originally used for support for the Thunderbolt jets when the area was an Air Force base for use as a classroom and recreation facility. Expected completion is by summer 2018.

Topgolf

Construction has begun on a new 38,382-square-foot building at 29th Ave. and Robert Grissom Parkway. Topgolf features point-scoring golf games, food, drinks, big-screen TVs and live music for golfers and non-golfers alike. The golf games feature micro-chipped golf balls that produce instant scores, while also showing players their accuracy and distance on a TV screen. The venue has two floors of hitting bays features 102 climate-controlled hitting bays that can accommodate up to six players at a time. Topgolf features events for kids and families, golf tournaments, golf instructions and social leagues. Topgolf has 30 venues in the U.S. Their Myrtle Beach location is scheduled to open in late 2018.

AVIATION

Delta Announces Flight from China to Myrtle Beach, Summer of 2018

Delta and Myrtle Beach officials have announced that a flight from China to Myrtle Beach will soon be available. The flight would be direct from Shanghai to Atlanta on Delta. Passengers would have the option to stay on the plane to fly to Myrtle Beach International Airport. That means Chinese travelers can now connect to MYR with one stop, no baggage transfer and won't have to change airlines.

Frontier Airlines Coming to MYR, New Service from Denver, Long Island & Trenton

Frontier Airlines has announced new seasonal non-stop service to Myrtle Beach. Three new markets will start serving MYR and include Denver, CO (DEN), Long Island, NY (ISP) and Trenton, NJ (TTN) in May 2018. This is the first time Myrtle Beach will receive non-stop service from as far west as Denver.

Sun Country Airlines Coming to MYR, New Service from Minneapolis/St. Paul

Sun Country Airlines announced new seasonal non-stop service to Myrtle Beach via Minneapolis/St. Paul International (MSP) from April 6 through June 4, 2018. The new service will fly twice a week, Monday and Friday. This is a new airline to the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

Existing Carriers New Non-stop Service to Myrtle Beach

  • Allegiant is adding new nonstop service to Louisville, KY (SDF) and Flint, MI (FNT) beginning June 6 and Nashville, TN (BNA) beginning June 8.
  • American is adding new non-stop seasonal service from Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) starting April 7 and Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) starting June 9.
  • Elite Airways is adding non-stop seasonal service to three markets not served by any other airline. Those are White Plains, NY (HPN) and Albany, NY (ALB) starting April 5, and Newport News (PHF) starting April 6.
  • Spirit Airlines is adding non-stop seasonal service from Columbus, OH (CMH) starting March 23 and Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) starting April 12.

CULINARY

Barefoot Landing New Restaurant District

A new restaurant district is going into the Barefoot Landing shopping and entertainment complex at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach. The district will be known as the Dockside Village and feature waterfront dining along the Intracoastal Waterway as well as new outdoor attractions and live music. It will be anchored by Lulu’s restaurant, owned by musician Jimmy Buffet’s sister, Lucy. The restaurant offers live nightly music, a large sandy beach area, and a ropes climbing course, arcade and other activities in the 20,000 square-foot-space. A new Mexican concept restaurant is also planned. Lulu’s opened in June, 2018. For more information, visit www.bflanding.com.

The Good Day Café

A new restaurant has opened in the downtown Superblock area of Myrtle Beach. Good Day Café specializing in Bubble tea, a frothy milk-based Taiwanese creation containing fruit and chew boba balls. It’s like a tea milkshake without all of the guilt of calories and fat. The menu includes salads and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches plus wraps and panini’s. The décor is 1950s and 60s inspired with vinyl records and album covers decorating the walls. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/gooddaycafemyrtlebeach.

Local Restaurateur Heidi Vukov Named South Carolina Chef Ambassador

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster named Heidi Vukov, local restaurateur and pastry Chef, as a South Carolina Chef Ambassador for 2018. Each year, chefs from the across the state are nominated to serve as a culinary ambassador and the governor chooses four to participate. Heidi will participate in a number of culinary and tourism events throughout the Southeast. Visitors to Myrtle Beach might also catch her at any one of her three establishments with two locations of Croissants Bistro and Bakery and a new sustainable seafood restaurant, Hook & Barrel. For more information, visit http://www.discoversouthcarolina.com/chef-ambassadors-2018.

Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery Second Location

The popular breakfast and brunch restaurant Johnny D’ Waffles and Bakery located on 33rd Ave N Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach has opened a second location in North Myrtle Beach at the Bi-Lo Shopping center on 39th Ave U.S. 17 South. Owner and Chef Jamie Saunders has been recognized for her famous red velvet waffles. The menu is innovative with interesting waffles, benedicts and more. For more information, visit http://johnnydswafflesandbakery.com.

Ocean Blue Restaurant and Lounge at the Doubletree Resort by Hilton

A new ocean view restaurant has opened at the Doubletree Resort by Hilton in Myrtle Beach. Ocean Blue Restaurant is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner influenced by the rich culinary heritage of the South Atlanta states. Guests will enjoy comfort foods such as buttermilk fried chicken, BBQ ribs as well as seasonal seafood and grilled meats overlooking a casual beachfront setting. A corresponding Ocean Blue Lounge has also opened as a bourbon and run-centric bar featuring carefully crafted cocktails with fresh ingredients as well as light bites and traditional appetizers. The new dining options are part of large resort-wide renovation completed in 2017. For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachresort.doubletreebyhilton.com.

Sandlapper Grill

A new restaurant has opened near the Market Common district of Myrtle Beach. Sandlapper Grill was opened by a local family to serve up home-cooked Southern comfort food with diner flair. Most items are under $10 and homemade such as the cakes made using their grandmother’s secret recipes. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/sandlappergrill.

Tin Roof “A Live Music Joint” and Restaurant

Tin Roof “A Live Music Joint” out of Nashville opened in June and features tasty food and a full bar in a fun, eclectic environment. A venue for talented musicians, discovered and otherwise, Tin Roof occupies the entire third floor of a new expansive oceanfront complex, parts of which are still under construction along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at 14th Avenue North. For more details, visit www.tinroofmyrtlebeach.com.

Water Tree Café

A new restaurant opened in January in the Market Common district of Myrtle Beach inside the Farrow Commons complex. Chef Philomena Mazzochetti comes from the Philadelphia area and is planning to offer something different to the area with eclectic modern cuisine. The menu includes pan-seared salmon, shrimp ceviche tacos, chicken satay and even fried tofu. They are also serving creative desserts and cocktails. For more information, visit thewatertreecafe.com.

LODGING

Caravelle Resort Undergoes Extensive Room Renovations

Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest hotel groups in the Myrtle Beach area, featuring 14 oceanfront properties and nearly 4,000 accommodation units, recently completed extensive renovation of The Caravelle Resort main building accommodations. The massive project revamped hundreds of guest rooms to include new contemporary furniture, bedding, kitchens, and bathrooms. This includes the highly-popular and unique Oceanfront Jacuzzi Suites, which each feature a luxurious Jacuzzi tub, two bathrooms, full kitchen, oceanfront balcony and king bed. The top-rated Santa Maria Restaurant also features new renovations, welcoming guests for breakfast, lunch and in-season dinner prepared by an award-winning chef and his team. The Caravelle Resort offers an impressive oceanfront location on the famous Golden Mile in Myrtle Beach. 855-285-4416.

Hilton Ocean 16

Strand Capital Group is collaborating with Hilton Grand Vacations to build a new hotel featuring 330 luxury oceanfront units reaching a height of 260 feet. Now under construction with a projected completion date in the summer of 2019, the hotel is located at 1600 North Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach and will be named Hilton Ocean 16.

Marriott Hotel at 21st Avenue North Myrtle Beach

Plans are in the works to demolish two Breakers Resort hotel buildings managed by Brittain Resorts & Hotels and replace them with a Marriott-branded resort. The project will be in two phases with one tower being constructed and then another proposed tower built with the addition of public space at the end of 21st Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. The public space would consist of a 60-foot vista to represent a maritime forest. Developers also plan to add two mixed-use areas that would house retail, restaurants and entertainment. Construction is set to begin on the first phase tower in the fall of 2018. The second phase does not currently have a start date.

Residence Inn Marriott

Construction has begun on a Residence Inn Marriott on 26th Avenue South Ocean Boulevard. The 305,964-square-foot hotel will be 17 stories high and include its own parking structure and pool. A completion date has not yet been set.

South Bay Inn & Suites

A new oceanfront resort property developed by Buchanan Motels LLC is currently under construction on 6th Avenue North Ocean Blvd in Myrtle Beach along the boardwalk. South Bay Inn & Suites will total 237,000-square-feet, 19-stories high and include 242 guest rooms, an exercise gym, game room, full service bar area and sit-down restaurant. Envisioned to be the premier family-friendly hotel in the area, it will also have an onsite waterpark featuring two slides, a lazy river, a small kids water play area, a larger pool and two separate hot tubs. Opening is planned for May 2018. For more information, visit www.southbayinnandsuites.com.