Autism-Friendly Vacations

at The Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has been committed to providing an autism-friendly vacation experience since January 2016, when Surfside Beach was recognized as an autism-friendly destination. The Beach is the place to be for your next family vacation, with visitors enjoying our 60 miles of pristine beaches, exciting entertainment and attractions, delicious dining and southern charm.

Families, in particular, have found the area to be their favorite vacation spot, and the destination has taken steps to make sure everyone who visits feels welcome, including partnerships with the Champion Autism Network and TravelAbility. In addition, the Myrtle Beach Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Department is a  Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for visitors.

 

 

"Myrtle Beach was a blast. It gave me hope that it’s possible for autism families to enjoy vacations together. I hope more places get inspired by Myrtle Beach and their autism-friendly places." 
Eileen Lamb, Founder of The Autism Cafe
 

Don't Just Take It From Us! 

Check out these recent stories highlighting how The Beach is the place for a memorable sensory-friendly trip. 

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat

Local Resources

Champion Autism Network

Families with children diagnosed with autism and autism spectrum disorder often experience additional stress and challenges while traveling such as overstimulation, repetitive behaviors, and hesitation in new environments to name a few.

Recognizing the needs of families traveling with autistic family members, Visit Myrtle Beach and the locally-based Champion Autism Network (CAN) – along with many attractions, hotels, restaurants, local residents and even the Myrtle Beach International Airport – have come together to make the Myrtle Beach area the ideal autism-friendly destination. From sensory-friendly experiences and autism aware, specially-trained staff to preferred entrance to attractions and travel discounts, Myrtle Beach offers an inclusive approach for families to travel together in a way only The Beach can.

Horry County Resources

Horry County Police Department and other safety services provide several programs for individuals with sensory or special needs. For more information, please contact Horry County Police Department at specialneeds@horrycountysc.gov. 

  • The Police and Fire departments provide sensory-friendly kits complete with fidget toys, noise-reducing headphones, and other items.
  • The majority of officers in the safety services departments have participated in awareness training to learn how to respond to autism/sensory-friendly needs through the Champion Autism Network. 
  • The special needs/sensory form allows families to notify public safety of any special needs in the event that responders are deployed to their address or location. This form can be found on the Horry County website
  • The Horry County Police Department provides stickers for homes and/or cars that alert responders of any occupants with sensory or special needs. These stickers can be requested by emailing Horry County at specialneeds@horrycountysc.gov. 
 

Sunflower Lanyard Program 

Now offered at the Myrtle Beach International Airport, this program provides a discreet way for travelers with a hidden disability to self-identify, alerting airport personnel that they may require additional assistance or patience during travel. 

Individuals wishing to utilize the program can request a sunflower lanyard at one of the two information booths near baggage claim and post-security near Nacho Hippo and Gate A2).

Lost or wandering visitors with Autism, Down syndrome or Alzheimer's disease can be tracked through a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal.

The Beach strives to equip you with what you need to enjoy your stay.

 

The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge

The Beach is a place where everyone can find where they belong – and we mean every bodyevery abilityevery familyevery one. Visit Myrtle Beach is partnering with the Champion Autism Network (CAN) and TravelAbility for The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge. Click to learn more about the local businesses who have already pledged their support and are making the Myrtle Beach area a more inclusive destination for visitors of all abilities.

Autism-Friendly FAQ