Myrtle Beach has become a year-round destination, but don't expect hot weather at Spring Break or outside the May-September peak season. (Have a look at average temperatures). Some properties are stretching out their prime-season weeks by offering their guests heated pools and water play zones.Destination For Families
What's the appeal for families, at Myrtle Beach? Start with the sandy shores: Myrtle Beach is in the middle of a 60-mile stretch of beaches called the Grand Strand. Body-surfing is excellent! The area has other fun as well: Myrtle Beach is a budget-friendly, family-friendly place, and many hotels have kids activities and playgrounds.
Myrtle Beach is also home to a bunch of amusement parks, such as:
- Family Kingdom Amusement and Water Park: park features include a Ferris wheel, wooden roller coaster, kiddie rides, and an oceanfront water park.
- Freestyle Music Park: this 55-acre family theme park has over 50 attractions from roller coasters (including the multiple-inversion Time Machine) to the Soak'd wet ride, plus children's play areas like Kids Tree House; the park has shows and a live music amphi-theatre, too. (This park was, briefly, the music-themed Hard Rock Park).
- Myrtle Waves Water Park: over 30 rides and attractions, that include a gigantic water-tube slide. (Typically water parks close in September.)
- MagiQuest: this live-action fantasy adventure game is played in a 20,000 sq. ft. area packed with special effects that get activated by a player's Wand.
- Pavilion Nostalgia Park: after 50 years on the Grand Strand, the Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park had its farewell season in 2006, but some classic rides and artifacts moved to the Pavilion Nostalgia Park.
This major project extends more than a mile along the sand. Visitors can enjoy a lively carnival-like atmosphere in the central area, or head to quieter stretches through dunes, or to a section with an oceanfront park.
Myrtle Beach Theaters
Myrtle Beach is also known for crowd-pleasing live theater such as the the Carolina Opry and the Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show. Families will also find a Medieval Times attraction, which kids love: a medieval-themed dinner plus show, with horses, knights, and jousts for entertainment. See more about Myrtle Beach Entertainment.
Besides the body-surfing and boogie-boarding that families can do for free, the usual beach vacation fun is available, such as parasailing and jet-skiing. Or how about kayaking in quiet waterways?Where to Stay
Kingston Plantation: this 145-acre complex on the Grand Strand includes the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, an Embassy Suites Hotel, and condos. The Splash! pool complex has slides, waterspouts, kiddie pools, and a lazy river.
The Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort offers an on-site water park with mini waterslides, kiddie wading pool, water swing, 3-story tube slide and a lazy river, and the water is heated in March, April and October.* Kids at this resort can also enjoy a multi-level Castle-in-the-mist play station, and mini-golf (seasonal). Check for Family Value Packages; also check recent visitor comments at TripAdvisor.com.
For other suggestions, see the Myrtle Beach Visitors Bureau. Many hotels offer packages, including golf packages for those interested in the 100 golf courses in the area. This website also includes family campgrounds, with pools, playgrounds, etc., and vacation home rentals (beach houses and condos) which are a popular option for families.
- Check prices of Myrtle Beach hotels at Kayak.com
Comment about Myrtle Beach, from the Family Vacations Forum:
We have gone a couple of times starting when our kids were 7, 4, 6 mo. Our last trip was when they were 9, 5, 2. We stayed in a condo just north of Myrtle Beach in Sunset Beach. This is a small island off the intercoastal waterway. It is primarily vacation condos (the company we used was the Odom Company). Since it is primarily families staying for a week, the beach was not crowded and filled primarily with families.. When the tide is low, small wading pools formed that our 2 and 5 year old just loved. Barefoot Landing is a nice shopping area with many specialty shops.... Be sure to go at night to see the fireworks/laser show and the dragon show at the minature golf castle. There are several small amusement parks around.
This brief profile is meant to introduce this destination to family vacationers; please note that the writer has not visited in person. Always check resort sites for updates.