From Fishing to Ferris Wheels: Staying Entertained in the Oceanfront City
Set along 60 miles of the Atlantic Ocean, Myrtle Beach is anything but a sleepy little beach town. Instead, the sandy shores of this lively waterfront city are filled with families about to embark on water-based adventures, from surfing and swimming, to fishing and sailing. You’ll find plenty of unique but kid-friendly attractions throughout Myrtle Beach as well, including bustling amusement and water parks, quirky museums, kitschy miniature golf courses and oversized go-kart tracks.
Fun, Food and Entertainment
You’ll find something for the whole family at Broadway at the Beach (1325 Celebrity Cir., Myrtle Beach, SC), a massive outdoor entertainment center filled with restaurants, shops and family-friendly attractions. Dining options range from sit-down, themed eateries to ice cream stands and candy stores. Your kids will stay entertained as they get lost in a mirror maze, race each other in go-karts, and cool off in the dancing water fountain. Marquee attractions include Myrtle Waves Water Park, home to more than 20 waterslides, and Ripley’s Aquarium, featuring everything from sharks and stingrays, to horseshoe crabs and puffer fish. The complex also hosts live stage shows throughout the year, plus frequent firework shows, street performers and concerts during the summer. Admission to Broadway at the Beach is free, but individual attractions require fees.
Flying High Above Myrtle Beach
Soar to majestic heights on the SkyWheel Myrtle Beach (1110 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC), a 187-foot Ferris wheel in the heart of the Myrtle Beach boardwalk. Climb inside one of the 42 glass-enclosed gondolas before the wheel begins its three revolutions, offering panoramic views of the ocean during the day, the sunset at dusk and the twinkly city lights in the evening. Commemorate the moment by purchasing a souvenir photo of the whole family aboard the SkyWheel. Open year-round, the SkyWheel lets children 2 and under ride for free.
Amusing the Whole Family
You’ll find plenty of thrills on hand at the Family Kingdom Amusement Park (300 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC), a waterfront amusement park with nearly 40 rides. Tots will enjoy pint-sized bumper cars, free falls and Ferris wheels, while teens test their nerves on a 1966 wooden coaster. Open from early April through early October, the park also offers fun for the whole family with bumper boats, a carousel and tilt-a-whirl. The adjacent Splashes Oceanfront Waterpark is open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends and offers a children’s area with mini slides and tiny fountains for little swimmers. Bigger kids will flock to the large waterslides, while the lazy river is inviting to anyone looking to relax.
A Day at the Beach
Explore the more than 300 acres of Myrtle Beach State Park (4401 S. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach, SC), including its dense maritime forests and one mile of undeveloped beaches. Enjoy a relaxing day of sunbathing on the park’s sandy shores while the kids swim and surf in the ocean. Rent a rod and set out for an afternoon of crabbing or pier fishing, or grab a list of area birds from the Nature Center before embarking on a bird-watching hike. The park also offers three playgrounds, a popular campsite and numerous hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
The World of Weird
Soak up the sights of an array of kitschy oddities at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium (901 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC). Kids will marvel at the unusual items on display, from shrunken human heads to a 19th-century vampire killing kit, and giggle with glee as they stumble through a rotating vortex tunnel. For an additional fee, make your way through Ripley’s Mirror Maze (913 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC), a puzzling labyrinth with flashing lights that only add to the confusion, or the Ripley’s Moving Theater 5D (915 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC), where family-friendly films are enhanced by moving seats, digital effects and 3D glasses. Both attractions are just a 3-minute walk from the Odditorium.
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A travel writer since 2002, Leah Rendon has written countless articles for online pop-culture magazines and various travel-related websites, including Eurobooking and World66. Gosford also has experience in copywriting, having developed a series of articles related to network marketing. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in theater arts.