Why do vacations disappear into the rearview mirror so quickly, when they seem to take forever to get to? Last month, our family enjoyed a quick three-and-a-half day trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, thanks to new routes from Hartford on Spirit Airlines. We enjoyed our stay, and I collected some family-friendly and frugal things to do and see in Myrtle Beach. Consider this your unofficial tour guide!Our family traveled Myrtle Beach on the super-cheap. We did not rent a car, but instead took Uber rides. Each ride cost about $12 round trip, and we spent about $60 on five round trip rides to places like Broadway at the Beach and a few restaurants. Much less expensive than the $250+ I would’ve spent renting for four days (because of the way rental car companies count “days” we’d have paid for the car on days we merely drove to and from the airport). Plus, our goal was to spend as much time in the water as possible this trip, not ride around in a car!
What to eat at Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is not quite the “foodie” scene we enjoy in New England. There are tons of chain and “diner-style” restaurants featuring mostly fried/fast foods. We found very few independently owned restaurants within walking distance or affordable Uber rides of our hotel. I spent a LOT of time on Yelp finding restaurants with semi-healthy food that we could get to easily. In the end, we ate at four restaurants that were decent in quality, taste and each meal was between $40-60 for our entire family of four:
- Thai Lao Restaurant – Good thai food on a budget. We enjoyed Glass Noodle Soup, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Spicy Basil Stir Fry.
- Caldas Coal Fired Pizza – While the pizzas were small, they were tasty, and the zucchini fries were delicious. A great spot to stop for lunch!
- Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery – A great breakfast diner! Just what you want for a beach breakfast with tons of menu choices! (also, the Wal-Mart is a short walk away!)
- Fuddruckers Burgers – Fresh ground beef, fresh-baked burger buns, tons of burger toppings and choices, and great milkshakes. They also offer salads and gluten-free buns. We loved the Fixin’s Bar where you could put loads of fresh lettuce, tomato and other toppings on your burger to your own liking!
For our other meals, we bought food and snacks to pack in our coolers for the days at the pool/beach. It looks like there are better restaurants available within 20-30 minute drive, so if you have access to a car, you’ll likely have more foodie fun. (Also, I am intensely picky about dining out, so it could be just me!).
To me, Myrtle Beach attractions are incredibly expensive for families, so we did lots of free things. Our family loves swimming and the beach, so we were content to park at the beach and pool all day, then go out and look around Myrtle Beach in the evenings. Still, there’s really cool things to see and do that I’ll share, and then I’ll link you to other blog posts that showcase more to do in the Myrtle Beach area if you have a car!
Where to stay at Myrtle Beach
There’s no shortage of hotels in Myrtle Beach! My recommendation? Pick a place directly on the beach. The Breakers Resort hosted our family during our trip. Their hotel is a great location mid-way between just about everything! We stayed in the Palms building on the 14th floor which gave us lovely panoramic views of the Grand Strand shoreline. Our room featured a living area with pull-out couch and Murphy bed, plus a kitchenette (stove, sink, mini fridge, and microwave), and two queen beds. Bonus: there are three laundry spots in this building! The night before we left, I did two loads, which meant we took home clean laundry – trust me, that’s the way to end a trip!
A quick elevator ride took us to their nineteen pools and hot tubs. Our boys loved the lazy river (it was my personal favorite spot!), and the pirate ship themed splash and slide area! Lounge chairs abound beneath palm trees, and music, games, crafts (some free, some minimal fee), and ice cream treats are available most of the day. The beach was about twenty steps away and we bounced back and forth from waves to pools with the kids. **This is what we came for!**
What to see and do at Myrtle Beach
Visit Broadway at the Beach
Broadway at the Beach is like an outdoor entertainment center. It’s the main spot for “attractions” in Myrtle Beach. Here’s a quick list of only SOME of what you’ll find:
- Ziplines and rock climbing walls
- Speedboat rides
- Helicopter Rides
- Outlet shopping
- Ripley’s Aquarium
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum
- WonderWorks – Science-themed museum
- Celebrity restaurants and plenty of other dining spots. We ate at Extreme Pizza, which was fun and had a lot of choices.
- Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball (nearby)
Stroll Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
- Walk the boardwalk and enjoy the views – we walked the beachfront from The Breakers Resort to the start of the Boardwalk, then all the way to the Skywheel and beyond.
- Ride the Skywheel – it’s the tallest ferris wheel on the East Coast! And it’s beautiful at any time of day. Did we ride it? No! Because nobody would go with me! Ha! Apparently my family is all afraid of heights!
- Play arcade games – you’ll spend a fortune, but skee ball is fun!
- Get ice cream
- Enjoy the sunset and look for shells
Have you traveled to Myrtle Beach? Where were your favorite spots?!
Thanks to Spirit Airlines, Crossroads PR, Visit Myrtle Beach, and The Breakers Resort for making our stay and this blog post possible. Travel and accommodations as well as compensation were provided. All opinions are my own.