Autism-Friendly Vacation Guide
The Beach is for everybody.
Autism-Friendly Vacation Guide
The Beach is for everybody.
The Beach is the place where everybody can belong, and we mean every body, every ability, every family, every one. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has been committed to providing an autism-friendly vacation experience since January 2016, when Surfside Beach was recognized as the first certified autism-friendly destination. We strive each day to create a more welcoming and inclusive place for families to vacation, relax, and enjoy all that there is to do at The Beach.
The Beach Is For EveryBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge
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.
Paul and Mary Stein with Daxton share their autism-friendly Myrtle Beach vacation story.
Travel Resources at the Myrtle Beach International Airport
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.
- 10 Autism-Friendly Vacation Spots for Families - Family Vacationist
- 51 Great Family Summer Vacation Ideas - Family Travel Forum
- 5 destinations designed for autism-friendly travel - Matador Network
- Here’s how parks and public lands are becoming more autism-friendly - National Geographic
- Traveling with an autistic child is hopefully becoming less restrictive and stressful - The Boston Globe
- 10 autism-friendly family vacation spots: Myrtle Beach, Beaches Resorts, LegoLand, more - USA Today
When did the Myrtle Beach area become a certified Autism-Friendly destination?
Does the Myrtle Beach International Airport have a Quiet Room?
What is the Autism Travel Club Card?
The Autism Travel Club Card is available through Champion Autism Network and provides families with a quiet, dignified way to let participating businesses know they are an autism family at restaurants, attractions, services and lodging throughout the Myrtle Beach area.
Where can I pick up an Autism Travel Club Card?
Visitors are order an Autism Travel Club card on the Champion Autism Network's website before traveling to The Beach or pick one up at the Myrtle Beach Welcome Center located at 1200 N Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.
What is Project Lifesaver and how does it work?
Through Project Lifesaver, visitors who are prone to getting lost or wandering off can be tracked through a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal. Those who wear the wristband can be quickly located and returned to their families and caregivers. Project Lifesaver relies on a proven radio technology and a specially trained search and rescue team.
The Chamber has several wristbands that visitors with special needs can use during their stay in the Myrtle Beach area. For more information, call the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce at (843) 626-7444 or visit our welcome center at 1200 N Oak St., Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.
Do restaurants and attractions offer sensory-friendly resources?
Yes! Businesses around the Myrtle Beach area offer discounts and other incentives through the Autism Travel Club card. CAN offers cards for families to show at participating restaurants and attractions, notifying them they are a family with autism. These cards can be requested through CAN ahead of time or picked up at the Myrtle Beach Welcome Center or the Town Hall of Surfside Beach.
What are the top five things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?
1. Go to The Beach (of course) - 60 miles of beach to be exact!
2. Play a round of Golf at one of the 90+ golf courses.
3. Eat some Southern, coastal cuisine, especially fresh seafood.
5. Shop 'til you drop at malls, outlets and more!
Local Resources for Sensory-friendly Travel
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 [email protected].
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 [email protected].
YMCA of Coastal Carolina
The YMCA of Coastal Carolina, located Myrtle Beach, provides swimming lessons for children with varying abilities. The staff places children in regular group swimming lessons whenever possible and offers private lessons to work specifically with varying degrees of autism and other disabilities.