Sensory-Friendly: Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach
The Beach is a place where everyone can find where they belong – and we mean every body, every ability, every family, every one.
The Myrtle Beach community welcomes thousands of people each year from all walks of life, including those living with autism and sensory processing disorders and their families, and is an inclusive destination for visitors of all abilities.
Visit Myrtle Beach is partnering with the Champion Autism Network (CAN) and TravelAbility for The Beach is for everyBODY: Sensory-Friendly Pledge. CAN and TravelAbility both work tirelessly to bring awareness to the challenges persons with varying abilities and neurodiverse disabilities face in their day to day lives, especially when traveling. Myrtle Beach has a long history as a sensory-friendly destination, and we are always improving and learning to foster even greater acceptance and inclusivity. We hope that this Sensory-Friendly pledge and commitment helps bring belonging and joy to all those who visit and live at The Beach.
The Beach is for everyBODY movement encompasses three commitments that begin with a pledge. After signing the pledge, you may also continue your dedication to inclusivity by offering incentives or training for your employees, however, steps two and three are not required.
Myrtle Beach area businesses are invited to sign the pledge in which you and your employees are committed to fostering an inclusive environment, where you welcome EVERYONE, including people on the autism spectrum or with sensory disorders.
See current list of Sensory-Friendly businesses across the Grand Strand.
Your business will offer exclusive incentives or discounts for visitors who present the Champion Autism Network (CAN) card.
Your business will become sensory-friendly certified and will utilize the CAN training for all employees (present and future). This training is conducted by Lead with Love and will provide insight and practical steps to identify situations in which staff can calmly assist families. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Myrtle Beach staff have all participated in this training to lead our community by example.
We know that Myrtle Beach is the place where people can find acceptance, hospitality and understanding, but first, we need our local businesses to pledge to welcome everyone to our destination. Becoming a inclusive place for everyBODY starts with a simple pledge to be more aware and empathetic to those around you. We all need a little more kindness these days - and The Beach is the perfect place to start.
By participating in this program, you pledge to the following principles and will become a member of Champion Autism Network (CAN) for free for the first year.
Provide an inclusive space for visitors of all abilities
Practice patience and problem-solving in all situations
Cultivate a space of acceptance and helpfulness
Surfside Beach declared the first autism-friendly certified destination in the country through the Champion Autism Network (CAN). This declaration further solidified their already well-known title as the “family beach” in the Grand Strand. CAN continues to promote sensory-friendly events and activities for locals and visitors.
Savannah’s Playground opens in The Market Common in Myrtle Beach. This playground is designed for children of all abilities.
The Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), in conjunction with the Champion Autism Network, opens their first Quiet Room, allowing parents a quiet place to soothe their child in the event of a meltdown. The Quiet Room at MYR was the first of it's kind in the U.S. and paved the way for quiet rooms at other airports around the country and world.
The City of Myrtle Beach issues a proclamation making it an autism-friendly destination. Many area attractions, restaurants, and accommodation are partners with CAN and provide offers and support to those on the autism spectrum and their families.
Visit Myrtle Beach is creating an advisory panel tasked to help accelerate The Beach’s commitment to improving accessibility in sensory-friendly travel for the 80% of families impacted by autism who do not currently travel.
Thank you to all the businesses who have already pledged their support and are making the Myrtle Beach area a more inclusive destination for visitors of all abilities. Below is a list of participants to date:
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Beach Nest Design
Carolina Energy Conservation
Cool Ideas Marketing
Hype Marketing Myrtle Beach
Lindsay Hickman Photography
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Myrtle Beach International Airport
Perfect Moments, LLC
Rape Crisis Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties