A weekend getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for couples and solo travelers

//A weekend getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for couples and solo travelers

A weekend getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for couples and solo travelers

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – a resort city on the Atlantic coast – is a popular destination for families and golf enthusiasts. But it also has a lot that other travelers could enjoy. Here are my recommendations for a relaxing weekend getaway in MB if you travel alone or with a partner.

Myrtle Beach pier

One of several piers along the Myrtle Beach shore

Walk along the beach – then repeat

The Myrtle Beach coastline is part of a 60-mile long stretch of beaches in northeastern South Carolina known as the Grand Strand. It has been named one of the best US beaches by the Travel Channel for its size, white sand, clean water, and an abundance of recreational opportunities. A well-deserved accolade.

When in Myrtle Beach, I spent most of my time wandering up and down the shore. As it was during the off season, the beach was less crowded, even tranquil. In the morning and on rainy days, I felt as if I had the ocean to myself. I walked for hours, passing by piers and dunes, stopping to look at birds, or simply enjoying the setting and being alone with my thoughts.

During busier times (yet not busy by MB standards), I noticed families, couples on a date, and people walking their dogs. There were even a few groups on horseback. In the evening, I heard someone play the guitar in the distance. Whatever your favorite beach activity might be, there seems to be room for it in Myrtle Beach.

See also: Myrtle Beach Photo Essay

Dine with a view

If you want to take a break from walking or enjoy a glass of wine at sunset, there are a number of oceanfront restaurants to choose from. Those on the Boardwalk, surrounded by souvenir shops and other visitor-centered businesses, can be loud and rather gaudy, but there are more options on the piers.

My recommendation for lunch or dinner is the casually elegant, second-floor Pier House Restaurant (110 North Ocean Boulevard). The menu features Southern American cuisine (try the delicious hushpuppies appetizer – fried corn balls), seafood, and a good wine selection.

Pier House Restaurant

Vegetable omelet with biscuit and pineapple coleslaw (left) and hushpuppies at Pier House Restaurant

Ride the SkyWheel

The 187-foot tall (57m) Ferris wheel has been the focal point of the Myrtle Beach skyline since 2011. For panoramic views of the city and ocean  – and to feel like a kid again – catch one of the 8-10 minute rides (the VIP gondola comes with a glass floor).

The SkyWheel operates daily (hours vary by season) and there is a light show each night around dusk. 1110 North Ocean Boulevard; adult tickets $13, child ages 3-11 $9, VIP experience $50

Skywheel Myrtle Beach

The 187-foot tall SkyWheel

Here’s what you can expect above ground:

Catch a show at the Carolina Opry

Founded in 1986 by singer Calvin Gilmore, the Carolina Opry (8901 North Kings Highway) presents musical variety shows in a 2,200-seat theater. It has won numerous accolades, including the Governor’s Cup, South Carolina’s highest award for tourism.

I attended The Carolina Opry Show, which combined live music, dance, and comedy. The cast of talented singers (among them American Idol Season 4 finalist Nathan Herron) performed old and new country songs, bluegrass, and pop tunes. Despite a few so-so comedy sketches, the 2+ hour long program was entertaining and worth the hike to the opposite side of the city. An added bonus was the elegant foyer, featuring an art exhibit on the second floor.

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The Carolina Opry Show (photo courtesy of the Carolina Opry)

carolinaopry_lobby

Lobby (photo courtesy of the Carolina Opry)

Explore Broadway Street

A few blocks west from the main Boardwalk area is an older part of Myrtle Beach, centered on Main and Broadway streets. Walking on Broadway, you will pass several restaurants, bars, and spas. Even though this business district is relatively small, it’s where you will likely run into locals.

Jetting Around’s picks:

  • Fresh Brewed Coffee House (933 Broadway Street) – open Monday through Saturday, this independent shop hosts art shows, unplugged concerts, and open mic nights.
  • The Tavern (531 Broadway Street), a laid-back neighborhood bar.

Try local micro brews

The award-winning New South Brewery (1109 Campbell Street) began in 1998 and specializes in hand-crafted ales and lagers. Tours are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-5:30 pm. The site is about a mile from the SkyWheel and best reached by car.

Myrtle Beach walk

Myrtle Beach on a rainy day

If you go:

  • Consider visiting Myrtle Beach in the off-season to avoid crowds, unless you want to swim (temperatures can range from mid-30s in winter months to 90F in the summer). If you go during the cooler months, I recommend packing a hat, scarf, and gloves, plus an umbrella or a rain coat.
  • The city is quite spread-out and taxis can be expensive (a ride from the South Ocean Boulevard area to the Carolina Opry costs about $25 each way). There is public transportation, but many neighborhoods are most easily accessible by car.
  • When in Myrtle Beach, you may experience the famed southern hospitality. I encountered many friendly and helpful people, including cab drivers, and was addressed as M’am on a daily basis.
  • Bonus tip: gentlemen clubs abound.

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At Hampton Inn Myrtle Beach

Great ocean views from the Hampton Inn & Suites

Thank you to Visit Myrtle Beach and their associates, including Hampton Inn & Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort, for hosting me in the city. All opinions, as always, are mine.

By | 2013-05-13T22:23:46+00:00 May 13th, 2013|CITIES|28 Comments

About the Author:

avatar
Pola Henderson is a travel writer, city explorer, expat, and event host. Traveling has been a part of her life since she was three. Pola grew up in Krakow, lived in Chicago for many years and is currently based in Paris, where she teaches Business English.

28 Comments

  1. avatar
    Kiera @easytravelmom May 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I have always wanted to go to Myrtle Beach. I think I would have to go first with my family (so they don’t feel left out!) but then definitely as a girls weekend. Lots of fun to be had!
    Kiera @easytravelmom recently posted..A day in the work-life balanceMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      A girls weekend is a great idea, Kiera! It’s a great location for that. I’d love to go back and bring Mr. JA this time. :)

  2. avatar
    @mrsoaroundworld May 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Never been on my radar, to be honest! Was it too overbuilt? The beach looks stunning, though!!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..My hOtel: The Spa Suite at The Westin Grand, Berlin @westinberlinMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      There is a lot of development, but it’s possible to find quiet spots too. And the beach is just fabulous, Ana! I’d go back just to walk along the shore again. It was one of my most relaxing trips. :)

  3. avatar
    Mike (Nomadic Texan) May 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Totally jealous young lady. Love the beach! Not too sure I would like the glass bottom in the ferris wheel! Ha! Thanks for sharing. You and Don need to come to Austin! Safe Travels !!!
    Mike (Nomadic Texan) recently posted..One Door Opens AnotherMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Austin is high on the list, Mike! :)

  4. avatar
    thelazytravelers May 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    WANT THOSE HUSH PUPPIES. perhaps washed down with some local brews from new south brewery :)
    thelazytravelers recently posted..no travel requiredMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Sounds like the perfect dinner! ;)

  5. avatar
    D.J. - The World of Deej May 16, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Don’t forget the golf! Myrtle Beach is supposedly the “golf capital of the US” and somehow I have never been!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..A Bird’s Eye View of the Oasis of the SeasMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Yeah, like I mention in the intro, it’s definitely a place for golfers – you’d love it there, Deej!! But since I don’t play, I went there to see what else MB has to offer. :)

  6. avatar
    Anita Mac May 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Huge fan of walking the beach…I think Mytrle Beach in the off season will suit me quite well! I bet the views from the ferris wheel would give great perspective for all the walking and touring in the area…nice!
    Anita Mac recently posted..Vineyard Hopping Must-HavesMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Yeah, I’m more likely to walk the beach than do nothing. :) I really enjoyed going there in the off season.

  7. avatar
    Scott - Quirky Travel Guy May 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

    That food looks amazing. I’ve spent so little time in South Carolina and I need to change that. The beach is calling…
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Scenes from Amish Country in Holmes County, OhioMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

      I hear you – it was only my second time in SC and would like to explore it some more, esp. Charleston.

  8. avatar
    Raul (@ilivetotravel) May 19, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Wow, so close yet so far – I live in Atlanta. I have always heard of MB but never been in the decades I have been here. I guess I thought of it as a family/golf destination neither of which really apply to me. And that SkyWheel… Must. Try!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..Following the Foot- (or Camel-?) Steps of Lawrence of Arabia in Jordan’s Wadi RumMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      I see what you mean. I went alone and still had a good time. That beach alone is worth a trip!

  9. avatar
    Leah May 19, 2013 at 9:54 am

    What a classic destination! I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never been, but would love to go there and Charleston. Maybe a road trip through the Deep South is in order for me this summer.
    Leah recently posted..7 Flights & a Camel {how I got to Maui from Jordan}My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Sounds like a nice plan! I need to visit Charleston too one of these days.

  10. avatar
    lola May 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Yeah…i know Myrtle Beach is popular for the golfer getaway but the beach would be what attracts me. i am sure there is something for everyone there.
    lola recently posted..Ultra Music Festival – Miami EditionMy Profile

  11. avatar
    Erin at The World Wanderer May 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Why have I not been here yet? Looks amazing! Plus, I could watch that video of the ocean all day, every day.
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Music Monday: Make it Rain.My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around May 21, 2013 at 2:34 am

      Don’t you just love the sound of the ocean?… :)

  12. avatar
    baseball new york June 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Great post and helpful. I plan on visiting Myrtle Beach in late July and I’m really looking forward to some info. Thanks!

    • avatar
      Jetting Around June 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Thank you! Have a great time and feel free to email me any questions about MB. :)

  13. avatar
    Maria June 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I lived at Myrtle Beach for a couple of years (many years back) and it is a fun place to catch some sun and get conch fritters. If you’re staying on the East coast for a while, definitely check out Wilmington NC, just a stones throw from MB.
    Maria recently posted..Human Baked PotatoMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around June 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Hi Maria. Thanks for the recommendation – I’ve heard about Wilmington before and should add it to my list, along with Charleston, SC. :)

  14. avatar
    Irene C August 31, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I have visited out there before. I like North Myrtle Beach better by myself because it is less crowded and safer for solo. I go to Broadway at the beach, and eat there too, but going solo on a budget, sometimes I don’t know quite what to do with myself when I go there alone. Other than that, it’s a nice getaway from Charlotte. Didn’t go to the beach last time, butay go walking on it this year in off season.

    • avatar
      Jetting Around September 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Perhaps I’ll get to see North Myrtle Beach one day. I liked this trip because it was during the off-season and less crowded. There’s something about walking on a nearly-empty beach… I hope you’ll get to do it on your next getaway! Thanks for the note.

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