Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is one of my favorite happy places. The beaches along the Grand Strand are beautiful, with their powdery sand and warm waters.
But there is so much more to see and do in the area. Myrtle Beach is an excellent place for people of all ages to vacation, but it’s especially well suited to the 50+ traveler.
Myrtle Beach offers everything from laid-back walks on the beach to action-packed wildlife tours. And after a day of fun, you will want to enjoy a delicious meal. The food in Myrtle Beach is absolutely amazing, featuring everything from Carolina barbecue to king crab legs and other seafood. No one in your party will go home hungry.
Here are 10 fabulous things to do in Myrtle Beach for mature travelers.
1. Hit The Beach
What is a visit to a beach town without some actual beach time? I enjoy walking along the shore as much as I do swimming in the surf. The beaches are clean, the sand is a soft, powdery white, and the water is usually warm from May through early October. There are both public and private beaches and nearly 60 miles of shoreline, so you won’t have any trouble finding the perfect spot to relax for the day.
If you’re staying at a beachfront hotel, you may have a private beach area. But most of the area beaches are public, and there is parking on the streets leading to them.
One excellent public beach is Myrtle Beach State Park. We found the mile of beach in the park to be exceptionally wide, uncrowded, and in perfect condition. The park also has picnic areas, restrooms, showers, hiking trails, gift shops, a fishing pier, camping facilities, and cabins for rent. Pack a picnic lunch or stop for food on the way and enjoy it on the beach. Or use one of the many picnic tables available.
There is a fee of $8 per adult to enter the park, or you can purchase a South Carolina All Park Passport that provides admission to all South Carolina parks for everyone in your car. The pass is good for one year.
2. Visit Broadway At The Beach
Broadway at the Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Myrtle Beach, featuring entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and more.
Just a few of the stores you will find include Coastal Sunglasses, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Crocs, Crabby Jack’s General Store, and more.
Entertainment options of interest for senior travelers include Topgolf, Legends in Concert, and Ripley’s Aquarium.
Restaurants include Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Joe’s Crab Shack, Hard Rock Cafe, and several other eateries.
Pro Tip: A rainy day at the beach means that Broadway at the Beach will be busier than usual during the daylight hours. If you’re planning to visit during the day, I recommend going on a sunny day while other families are at the beach.
3. Take In A Show At The Carolina Opry
The Carolina Opry provides top-quality shows and has been designated the state of South Carolina’s most outstanding attraction. The musical performances are top-notch, usually including two different shows on alternating days throughout the week. A special Christmas show starts in November of each year.
Check the website for schedules and tickets. Evening shows are available throughout the year, and both evening and matinee shows are available during the holidays. These shows tend to sell out, especially on bad-weather days.
4. Shop At Barefoot Landing
Barefoot Landing is another popular shopping, eating, and entertainment stop in the Myrtle Beach area. It’s located in North Myrtle Beach along the Intracoastal Waterway, and it boasts unique boutiques and national retail stores, waterfront dining, and spellbinding entertainment. Barefoot Landing is the home of the Alabama Theatre.
If you’re planning to dine at Barefoot Landing, I recommend the Gregg Norman Australian Grille or House of Blues. The House of Blues also has live entertainment, and on Sundays they offer a gospel brunch.
Pro Tip: If you want to enjoy nature and get away from the crowds, take a scenic walk along the Intracoastal Waterway.
5. Stroll Down Memory Lane
Remember that first car you learned to drive or that car you took to the prom? If you are into cars or want to take a trip down memory lane, stop at Wheels of Yesteryear and check out the current exhibits showcasing classic and muscle cars. You will find approximately 50 vehicles from days gone by to view.
You will want to spend an hour or so visiting Wheels of Yesteryear.
6. Fill Your Belly With Yummy Food
Myrtle Beach is known for its outstanding selection of seafood restaurants and its good old-fashioned Carolina barbecue.
Pretty much every seafood restaurant in Myrtle Beach is a winner. One of the exceptional seafood restaurants I recommend is Captain Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood Buffet, with more than 100 items on offer, including crab legs; steaks; fried, steamed, and baked seafood; a raw bar; a salad bar; a dessert bar; and much more!
Crabby Mike’s is a bit south of Myrtle Beach, but it’s still one of my favorites. It’s known as one of the best all-you-can-eat buffets in the Myrtle Beach vicinity. With more than 120 items in their buffet, you are sure to find whatever your heart desires.
If you drive south to Murrells Inlet, you are sure to enjoy the local catch. This fishing village is lined with eateries along the waterfront.
Get your fill of Carolina barbecue at Simply Southern Smokehouse, Little Pigs Bar-BQ, or Sticky Fingers Ribhouse.
Lions at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.
7. Go On A Safari
Myrtle Beach Safari, a newer addition to the Myrtle Beach area, is home to more than 200 wild animals and 60 big cats. It offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s on my list for next summer. If you need a little adventure, take in a wildlife tour or a three-hour night safari tour. You can even opt to swim with the elephants or paint with apes on a VIP private encounter.
There are restrictions: You must be able to climb 20 steps and walk/stand for 20 minutes. The wildlife tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Tours are only offered several days per week, February through November, and require reservations. They recommend booking at least two weeks in advance.
8. Hit The Links
Golf and miniature golf are both popular in Myrtle Beach, one of the top golf destinations in the country. Myrtle Beach boasts more than 100 courses. Some of those courses were designed by legends of the game of golf.
You will also find more than 50 mini golf courses in the city. Mini golf spots tend to get very crowded in the evenings.
9. Admire The Brookgreen Gardens
You will find a variety of tours, exhibits, and excursions at Brookgreen Gardens. Just a short drive from Myrtle Beach, the site was named one of the top 10 public gardens in the U.S. by Tripadvisor. Explore on your own or take a guided garden tour.
Plan to spend half a day at this destination. There is a fair bit of walking involved, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
10. Ride The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel
Your trip to Myrtle Beach won’t be complete without a ride on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, a 187-foot-tall observation wheel that gives you a spectacular panoramic view of the beach. The ride lasts about 10 minutes.
While visiting the area during the summer season is great, Myrtle Beach is also a wonderful place to visit in the spring and fall. You will enjoy the same luxuries, but fewer people. Myrtle Beach currently has a trip-planning microsite, Escape to the Beach, to help you plan your autumn getaway.