By Expedia Team, on February 26, 2014

Family fun in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is on the northern coast of South Carolina, in the heart of the region known as the “Grand Strand.” It’s a region with white sandy beaches and a pristine coastline. It’s a great place to spend a vacation.

I spent my honeymoon there a few decades ago, so Myrtle Beach holds a very special place in my heart. One of the reasons my husband and I chose Myrtle Beach for our honeymoon was because he is an avid golfer; with more than 100 golf courses, Myrtle Beach is a Mecca for anyone who enjoys a round (or 10) of golf. Even if you’re not into golf, you won’t run out of things to do. I made sure of this before agreeing to honeymoon here.

In fact, we have been back to Myrtle Beach many times since our first visit, bringing our kids, grandkids, and parents along for the ride. Even with so many generations to please, we were able to find something each of us loved.

Viewfinder Tip: Myrtle Beach is great for fresh seafood. For an authentic preparation, order yours fried.

Accommodations run the gamut from campgrounds to hotels, motels, and golf resorts to beach house rentals. It’s a very affordable destination for families. You can cook in, grill out, or dine at one of Myrtle Beach’s 1,700 eateries. The area is known for  “Carolina Coastal” cuisine, low-country cooking with a modern spin. Many of Myrtle Beach’s restaurants offer cooking classes, which is another great way to learn about and taste local dishes.

One of our family’s favorite places to eat in Myrtle Beach is Greg Norman’s Australian Grille. Located at Barefoot Landing on the waterfront of the Intracoastal Waterway, the restaurant has an incredible menu with dishes such as slow-roasted 28-day aged Black Angus choice prime rib, or seared Ahi tuna with truffle- and mushroom-infused risotto and bacon bourbon glaze. They had us at bacon bourbon glaze!

On our honeymoon and a few times since, we also have enjoyed dinners at Villa Romana. This Italian restaurant serves traditional family recipes prepared from scratch. Chandeliers and an accordion serenade help make for a deliciously memorable dining experience.

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With all the eating that goes on here, strolling the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade is a great way to balance your indulgences. It took 800,000 feet of lumber to construct the 1.2-mile-long oceanfront boardwalk, a pathway that winds its way along the beach between the Second and Fourteenth avenue piers. The stroll is dotted with cafes, arcades, amusements, shops, and park benches. It also has fabulous beach views.

It was here where I often close my eyes, take a deep breath of salt air, and pictured myself shagging across the dance floor to the sound of The Dominoes singing “Sixty Minute Man.” The shag is the official state dance of South Carolina. In fact, every Tuesday at Fat Harold’s they give free shag lessons. The boardwalk really heats up from June through August with a “Hot Summer Nights” promotion that features live entertainment every night of the week. Depending on the night, there are free live concerts, kids carnival, fireworks, street performers, and even a strolling Dixieland band.

Whether it’s hands-on, historic, outdoor, nostalgic, culinary or classic experiences you’re after, Myrtle Beach has them all. Here a few more suggestions that won’t break the bank.

  • Take a ride on the 26-mile “Bike the Neck” bike trail from Murrells Inlet to Litchfield Beach.
  • Sip afternoon tea at Hopsewee Plantation, a former home of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Walk in a haunted cemetery at Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens, a state park with running trails.
  • Picnic at America’s largest outdoor sculpture garden, Brookgreen Gardens.
  • Have major-league fun for minor league prices at a AAA Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball game.
  • Check out Hurl Rocks Park on 21st Avenue South at Ocean Boulevard. The park has an unusual outcropping of black rock in an otherwise sandy county.
  • Try crabbing at Garden City Beach.

While golf is what Myrtle Beach’s biggest attraction, the city offers much more to see and do. No matter how you decide to spend your family trip, you won’t have to spend a fortune to have a great time.

What is your favorite activity to do on a beach vacation?