Best Day Trip From Charlotte - Myrtle Beach
One of Carolinas' most endearing qualities is it's magnificent coastline. If spending anything more than 5 days in Charlotte be sure to take the 3.5 hour drive to Myrtle Beach and spend the day (and overnight stay if possible) to shop, dine, and play along one of the most beautiful Atlantic facing shores in North America.
MYRTLE BEACH - SOUTH CAROLINA
Shopping in Myrtle Beach is so much more than quaint ocean side gift shops selling seashell souvenirs. Myrtle Beach is in fact home to some world class shopping that includes full scale shopping malls, factory outlets, markets, boutique stores, and yes...quaint ocean side gift shops selling seashell souvenirs for those so inclined. Coastal Grand Mall is a grand retail highlight for those that came to Myrtle Beach for more than sand and Barefoot Landing is more on the charming end of the spectrum with more unique specialty stores that accent the region such as Ron Jon Surf Shop, the Barefoot General Store and other establishments that range from vintage goods to art galleries.
As with many popular beach towns, the after sunset vibe in Myrtle Beach is about as fun as the day time festivities, minus the minors which makes it all that more appealing to many. Nightclubs, bars, pubs, beach clubs and lounges line the ocean front of Myrtle Beach and offer something for everyone. Whether your taste is live music, Top 40, swing or even disco throwback tunes, you'll be able to put your dancing shoes (or flip flops) to good use. For those that simply want to swap stories with new found friends there are plenty of salty old watering holes to satisfy aficionados of bar stool conversation. You can't go wrong with a visit to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and be sure to check the schedule at House of Blues to see who’s in town to perform. Otherwise a stroll along this Grand Strand centerpoint will have you wandering into at least one venue that will keep you enthralled until last call.
One can only imagine the fresh seafood selection found at eateries in Myrtle Beach with the Atlantic Ocean serving as it's direct supplier. The historic and award winning Sea Captain's House on North Ocean Boulevard is a must visit for those with an appetite for fine dining with seafood flare. For those that want to dive in head first, crack some crab legs and not look up until their bellies are full, aptly named Seafood World (and steak!) is sure to satisfy.
Almost every other international cuisine is represented in Myrtle Beach, from Asian to Irish to Thai, in addition to traditional North American fast foods and snack stands so no need to pack a lunch when on a day drip. No full day experience is complete without a trip (or several) to one of Myrtle Beach's many coffee shops but the absolute MUST visit is the famous and downright wonderfully ridiculous KISS Coffee House - a coffee joint themed after the 1970's pop rock icon band KISS (right down to Ace Frehly costumed baristas!).
You can dedicate a whole website to the family fun activities found in Myrtle Beach so we'll just name a few key attractions outside of numero uno - the Atlantic Ocean - to keep your multi-generational unit well occupied. Wonderworks, an interactive exhibition center, is the most noticeable (and most photographed) family attraction in Myrtle Beach due to the fact that it's the only completely upside down (but fully intact) building pretty much anyone has seen. Even the surrounding palm trees roots point towards the sky. Family Kingdom is Myrtle Beach's only seaside amusement park and thus very popular with visitors and the new oceanfront boardwalk landmark SkyWheel Ferris Wheel extends 200 feet into the air daring those without an aversion to heights to test their grit. Be sure to venture over to Ripley's (as in "Believe It Or Not") Aquarium, but only AFTER you've completed your time swimming in the nearby Atlantic due to the fact that their shark exhibit will most likely kick you out of the ocean faster than your first screening of Jaws.
While Myrtle Beach as a whole offers endless activities the focus of this "day trip" leans more to chasing an endless summer or sorts. It's all about the beach in this city by the sea, and it is the hub of the 60 mile Grand Strand running along the coast of South Carolina. Fishing is king at Myrtle Beach, with 8 piers in the area, spreading out the crowd of line casters and leaving enough room, and fish, for everyone on the hunt. For those looking to head further out into the Atlantic for their catch there are plenty of deep sea charter services available such as Captain Dick's located in Crazy Sister Marina which also offers a boatload of other water sport and activity rentals such as jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing and dolphin watch tours to name a few. Everything else ocean activity related can be found within a few sandy steps from the shore. Myrtle Beach is a Mecca for surfing, windsurfing, skimboarding, scuba, boating and everything else you can pack into this beach front property.
There are vacation rentals, high-end resorts and midrange hotels and classic beach side motels in Myrtle Beach, something to accommodate every budget and preference. Our picks for each include Seaside Rentals Premium Vacation Homes (rental), Anderson Ocean Club & Spa (resort), the Aqua Beach Inn (hotel), and the Bar Harbor Motor Inn.