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Ten Things You Didn't Know About Myrtle Beach

  By  Ashley Daniels
Ten Things You Didn't Know About Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach Skyline
1. Our Nickname and Namesake

Myrtle Beach is just one beautiful slice of the coastal region known as the Grand Strand, 60 miles of South Carolina coastline that stretches from Georgetown in the south to Little River in the north and more than a dozen beach communities in between. (“Strand” is an old-timey word that means an area of land that borders a body of water.) The name Myrtle Beach is derived from the thousands of wax myrtle trees that used to thrive along the beach.

2. We’re Voted Most Popular

Not only is Myrtle Beach consistently voted by news outlets and publications nationwide as the most popular beach vacation destination in the country, but we are also reported as the fastest growing metro area in the country that people are moving to permanently. More than 20 million visitors flock to Myrtle Beach each year, with June through August – sometimes even extending into October – being the busiest months for travel.

Beer Dinner
3. Food & Drink Central

The Myrtle Beach area is overflowing with an abundance of nearly 2,000 restaurants that serve up everything from fresh seafood and Lowcountry classics to sushi, Thai, and global cuisine, to award-winning fine dining that will leave foodies drooling. On top of that, Myrtle Beach is home to a handful of local craft breweries on the Myrtle Beach Beer Trail, a lovely vineyard, and a sleek distillery.

4. We’re More Than the Beach

We know that’s why tens of millions of folks descend to Myrtle Beach for the surf, sun, and fun, but we’re more than that, with plenty to see and do. We boast natural beauty off the beachfront into the maritime forests of our two state parks (Myrtle Beach State Park was the first state park in South Carolina), the coves of the Intracoastal Waterway, and the marshes of Murrells Inlet. We ooze history, evident in the many rice plantations dating back to the Civil War that you can still tour, the historic Brookgreen Gardens (the largest outdoor sculpture garden in North America), and a working farm that mimics life in the early 1900s. And our music and entertainment performance options rival those from the theatre stages of Broadway and Vegas.

5. Shag, Baby!

It’s not a dirty secret … the shag dance is South Carolina’s state dance, and its birthplace is in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach. Shag, a twist on the swing dance of the 1950s, evolved from locals in the 1940s doing a slower version of the jitterbug. Today, the annual Shag Dance Championship is held in Myrtle Beach to celebrate the best shaggers in the country.

6. Sports Star

The well-known sports magazine, “Sports Illustrated,” got its start at the Pine Lakes Country Club in Myrtle Beach in 1954 by Henry Luce.

7. Big on Mini Golf

With more than 100 golf courses in the area, Myrtle Beach is widely known as the “Golf Capital of the World.” But did you know that Myrtle Beach has also earned the moniker of “Mini Golf Capital of the World”? With more than 50 mini courses, we have more mini golf courses per square mile than anywhere else and we host the U.S. Pro Mini Golf Association’s Master’s Tournament each year.

8. Beachfront History

Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, which parallels Ocean Boulevard just to the west, used to be an Indian trail for the Waccamaw tribe years before Europeans settled in the area. After colonization, the trail served as a major route to travel between cities to the north and south. As for the history of Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard, the very first hotel, the Seaside Inn, was built in 1901—that’s long before today’s landscape of high rise hotels along the boulevard.

9. Baby Sea Turtles

Loggerhead sea turtle nesting season runs from May to October each year along the Myrtle Beach coastline (North Myrtle Beach to Pawleys Island). And our local communities are serious about turtle conservation efforts. Sea turtles can lay up to 120 eggs in a nest in the beach’s sand dunes and, once the eggs hatch, the baby sea turtles (or hatchlings) make their way to the ocean by the guidance of moonlight. Feeding or touching the hatchlings, including shining a light on them, is illegal under the Federal Endangered  Species Act of 1973 and could result federal penalties, like jail time and fines up to $15,000 for each offense.

10. Big Croc

The largest crocodile on exhibit in the United States lives right here in a 30,000-gallon fresh water luxury pool in Alligator Adventure of Myrtle Beach. Utan, a hybrid between a saltwater and Siamese crocodile, measures just over 18 feet long and weighs more than 2,000 pounds. It’s reported that, while his bite force was never tested, it is estimated to be about 5,000 pounds – more than two tons – of pressure.

Ashley Daniels

Ashley Daniels of Myrtle Beach is a full-time freelance writer, editor, wife, and mother of three sons (not necessarily in that order), and two fur babies. A native of Eastern PA, Ashley received her bachelor’s in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and her MA in Writing from Coastal Carolina University. Today, her folio boasts nearly 25 years of regional and nationally published printed magazine features, blogs, and web copy for a lineup of clients on the East Coast, and ADDY award-winning copywriting. For more info, visit