Claim to Fame
Rated the top family beach in America; hometown of television’s Vanna White.
- Where is it?northern South Carolina, on a barrier island of the Atlantic Ocean
- Coordinates: latitude» 33.6893°
- Water Type: saltwater
- Climate: sub-tropical, humid; gets a fair bit of rain in the summer (30% chance of rain on most days)
- Development: heavily built-up urban area of large city
- Length of Beach: 60m/97km
- Type: white sand
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This coastal resort city draws almost 15 million visitors a year, but was once almost uninhabited. The original occupants of what is now Myrtle Beach were the native American Waccamaw tribe who lived and fished in the area until the beginning of the American Revolution when the first white settlers arrived. Now among the top 15 fastest growing cities in the country, with a city population of about 32,000 and about 325,000 in the greater metropolitan area, Myrtle Beach is part of the “Grand Strand” string of beach towns that runs from Little River to Georgetown.
The very first tourists to frolic in the waves and build castles in the sand were railroad workers who spent their time off beachside. Once the railway was completed, and access to the area more readily available, the Seaside Inn, the first to open at Myrtle Beach, was established in 1901 and a trend began. The airport was added in 1937 (and used as a military air force base during World War II), and in 1946 Kings Highway was paved and the welcome mat rolled out for the stream of visitors who would spend their vacation time year-round at Myrtle Beach.
Named after a shrub, the Southern Wax Myrtle, that grows in abundance locally, Myrtle Beach is a highly developed area with more than 1,900 restaurants and about 460 hotels. It offers all forms of fun and entertainment, hence its popularity, but gambling is not legal in South Carolina, so there are no casinos in Myrtle Beach. Entrepreneurs have solved this issue by providing gambling cruises that go offshore into international waters.
Attractions are situated in Myrtle Beach proper and the surrounding area; one of the most enjoyed sides to the beach is golf and there are dozens of golf courses in the vicinity. Myrtle Beach delivers a wide range of things to do, including an IMAX theater, dinner theater, the Carolina Opry variety music theater, and numerous nightclubs. Great shops offer retail pleasures and the convention center hosts meetings and events of all sizes and types. Outdoor activities include fishing and cruises, camping in the Myrtle Beach State Park, and the Myrtle Waves water park. This is home to an annual motorcycle rally in May and nearby Myrtle Beach Speedway hosts stock car races.
For a family, there is simply something for everyone at Myrtle Beach. Lounging on the beach at this active resort is only one option!