When it comes to road trips from Atlanta, I have a 6 hour in-the-car limit for how long I’m willing to travel on the road. Don’t get me wrong – a properly executed road trip for 20+ hours is a blast with the right preparation, but when I’m just ready for a weekend getaway, 6 hours is about the max I’ll play digital jam-master (my term for DJ in today’s vernacular) in the passenger seat before I start complaining of sore seat bones and destination anxiousness. So when opportunity arose in early Summer to hit to road and travel to Myrtle Beach, I had my bags packed and the car loaded before I finished my morning coffee.
Bathingsuit (c/o sold out) similar here || Serape Blanket (c/o Sunshine Tienda) || Packable Bow Hat
I have never been to Myrtle Beach before. To me, it was just another Atlantic side beach with the typical tourist attractions that most beachside getaways have to offer like peers with ferris wheels, a “strip” everyone cruises and your typical beachside food fare. But to my surprise I found much more than that! Myrtle beach has a healthy collection of wineries, new-age eclectic food destinations, and tons of water sports for all levels of athleticism.
Things to do in Myrtle Beach:
Rent Jet skis and pretend you’re jumping waves in Wave Race 64. We had a blast jumping the “chop” the day we rented jet skis at the beach. I felt like I was playing Wave Race 64 but in real life – while it was partially scary, it was also a blast when you got over the fear!
Take a Helicopter Ride over the Beach. I’ve taken one helicopter ride before and it’s by far my favorite mode of transporation, so when we had the opportunity to take a choppa over the beach I jumped in with nervous anticipation! We got a 30 minute tour of the entire community of Myrtle Beach stretching over the golf courses, the random pink and purple mansion, and the beautiful stretch of beach.
Take a Kayak Tour of the Salt Marshes in Pawley’s Island. Just 20 minutes down the road lies Pawley’s Island, a sleepy salt marsh surrounded town with abudant water sporting activities. We took a kayak tour of the salt marshes with Black River Outdoors and had the time of our lives exploring a different side of South Carolina’s coastline. The salt marshes are thriving with wildlife and it’s so peaceful to get lost in the maze of grasses on a warm afternoon. Just be sure to pack a sunhat and some SPF.
Explore the Beach at Sunset. If you don’t do a sunset (or sunrise) stroll on the beach, did you really go to the beach? Myrtle Beach faces East so if you’re an early riser -me- wake up early for one of their spectacular sunrises, but if you’re a night owl, the sunsets are still just as magnificent.
Visit a Winery. Yes you read that right- visit a winery in Myrtle Beach! There are a couple within 2 miles of the coastline, we happened to visit one of the closer ones: La Belle Amie Vineyard. What started off as a very generous pour wine tasting turned into strolling through the acres of lush vineyards with the owner Vicki getting the entire history of the winery itself.
Places to Eat at in Myrtle Beach:
Thoroughbreds Chop House. A gentleman’s club decor inspired steakhouse right on the beach? Count me in! This swanky leather tufted booth restaurant will have you drooling over the decor as much as the food they have to offer. Be sure to order a fine cut of steak or try their catch of the day prepared how you would like and accompanied by fresh and local veggies.
The Chemist. Possibly the most fun nerdy inspired restaurant I’ve been to. The menu illuminates and they have craft cocktails named after physicists and 80’s pop culture sci-fi movies such as the Flux Capacitor. The food was so inventive and the presentation was on par with a trendy restaurant opening in the heart of Atlanta. I truly enjoyed the decor of this restaurant, it was a wanna be physicist’s dream! Bonus points awarded because their drinks are served in test tubes and beakers.
Croissants Bistro & Bakery. A quaint French Bakery that ties in traditional Southern food and has excellent desserts – is there anything you could want more in life? The food at Croissants was possibly some of the best we had the entire time we were there: the Nutella stuffed crepe was reminiscent of my favorite creperies in Paris and the coconut cake was some of the most delectable I’ve had in my life.
Art Burger Sushi. This restaurant is owned by the same people who run The Chemist and it’s no surprise that artful dishes and amazing flavors burst through in every dish. Whether you get a burger or burger sushi, there is something for everyone on this menu. Not to mention it sits right on the beach, so you can grab some cheeseburger sushi and then go back to lounging in the sun.
While Myrtle Beach was constructed in the 1970’s to be a tourist destination, it definitely exceeded my expectations where we were able to combine our love of water sports and unique food destinations while still being in a thriving and buzzing tourist town. This isn’t the College Spring Break destination that I was expecting, but a more grown-up playground for those of us who don’t really want to accept that we’re in our late 20’s now.