10 Things Guys Should Know When Traveling to Myrtle Beach
1. Myrtle Beach is one of the biggest tourist destinations on the Southeast coast of the U.S. It’s not my favorite place for a beach weekend with a buncha dudes (I’d personally prefer Charleston in that general territory) because it’s a bit of a trashy tourist trap, but you can certainly have your fun. It’s a spring break destination for those at school within a five-hour radius, so that should get your blood flowing. Myrtle Beach gets pretty hot in July and August, which is a big concern if you’re in a golf-focused area like Myrtle, so you should shoot for the three months before and after. Just know that May is bike month, so beware.
2. The Myrtle Beach area is bigger than you think. It might even be overwhelming when trying to figure out what area to stay in. You’ll do well to stay in either Murrells Inlet or North Myrtle Beach if you want to avoid the heavy tourist area of downtown Myrtle. Renting a condo is your best option here. You’re bound to get a pretty good deal for your group because there’s so much in supply. A lot of people own secondary houses in the area, so they’ll gladly rent them out over a weekend for a few extra bucks.
3. If you’re staying in a hotel, you’re probably going to want to stay closer to regular Myrtle Beach. It’s the best chance you have of a younger crowd. The hotels you should be looking at are The Caribbean, The Breakers, The Reef, and Compass Cove for your primary options. If those prices are a little steep for you, you can downsize at any cheap motel/hotel in the area. Most are along the beach and you won’t be spending much time in your room anyway.
4. Chances are if you end up at Myrtle Beach with a bunch of guys, you’re pretty focused on golf. The first course you need to consider over all others is Caledonia. It’s a bit of a hike (45 minutes from Downtown Myrtle Beach), but it’s well worth the trip. It’s one of the best courses I’ve ever played and I’m not the only one who thinks that given that it’s historically ranked in the top 100 public courses in the country. It makes you feel like you’re on a Southern plantation. The course ends with a bang as you’ll forever remember your walk down 18. (Unless it’s one of the worst rounds of your life and I can’t really help you there.) Just know somebody’s probably eating their lunch at the clubhouse while betting on who in your foursome is going to land the approach to the 18th green in the water.
5. Now that you’ve gotten Caledonia out of the way, you’re probably looking for some other courses. True Blue is next door to Caledonia so it’s convenient if you’re staying near Murrells Inlet. King’s North at Myrtle Beach National works better for those looking for an open-style course closer to downtown. Grande Dunes is also good option that’s pretty close to downtown. The Barefoot Resort has four courses (designed by Greg Norman) and is more convenient for those north of downtown. Glen Dornach is a great course along the Intercoastal Waterway for those even further north. Crow Creek and Shaftsbury Glen are some of the better underrated spots.
6. Golf not your thing? You’re probably in the wrong place for a vacation with your bros, but there’s still plenty of stuff to do. There’s the beach obviously. North Myrtle Beach is probably the best for quality beach time and Murrells Inlet is good too, but you’ll obviously find a strong crowd at the ones downtown. You can also hit the Family Kingdom Amusement Park in downtown to kill a few hours in the afternoon with the roller coaster and water slides. NASCAR fans can enjoy the NASCAR Racing Experince at Myrtle Beach Speedway, which takes plays generally every weekend during the warmer weather. There’s also the less intense NASCAR Speedpark in North Myrtle for go-cart fun.
7. Want to gamble? It’ll take a bit of a ride (40 minutes north of downtown), but you can get it done on the riverboats in Little River. Most table games are available at the Big M Casino, the Sun Cruz Casino, and Southern Elegance. (Although Southern Elegance is probably a little too classy for our tastes here as you can tell by the name.)
8. Alright, it’s finally time to eat. Myrtle is full of all of the chain and sports/celebrity restaurants you’d expect. The odds of you ending up at place like Dick’s Last Resort are probably pretty high. You’ll find plenty of options in the Barefoot Landing or Broadway at the Beach areas. Personally I like to steer clear of the chains and that allowed me to find Hamburger Joe’s in the Surfside Beach area south of downtown. They don’t accept credit cards and have long waits at times, but divey spot offers up a hamburger that is a local classic. The wings aren’t bad too and the place is generally pretty cheap. You can get pretty good seafood and excellent people watching at nearby Bimini’s Oyster Bar. Hot Fish Club in Murrells Inlet in an outdoor venue that offers good food and live music. Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery offers numerous things including ½ price appetizers at happy hour, giant pretzels, and good steaks. If you can find the Collector’s Café closer to downtown, you’ll enjoy the food, especially the apps. (They’re known for their scallop cakes.) Captain Dave’s Dockside is a bit classy, but they do a mean shrimp and grits. The service at Bovine’s is a little slow, but it’s probably the best pizza in the area if you’re in the mood for that.
9. When it’s time to get drunk, you won’t lack options. As mentioned above, Hot Fish Club has the live music and generally skews to a younger crowd. Dead Dog Saloon also has live music and a big outdoor deck. Both are in Murrells Inlet. There’s a ton going on at Broadway at the Beach. Everyone should be familiar with what goes on at Senor Frog’s and Fat Tuesday’s. Club Boca has a name that speaks for itself and a swimsuit competition on Thursdays with cash prizes. Broadway Louie’s is the best sports bar in the Broadway at the Beach area. It doesn’t, however, hold up to Overtime, which is a sports haven for TVs if you’re down there during the NCAA Tournament, NFL, or NCAA football season. There’s a good scene for the young 20s crowd at The Afterdeck between downtown and North Myrtle. It’s indoor/outdoor, has your typical dancefloor grinding to top 40 music, and is one of your best chances to get it wet. The Spanish Galleon in North Myrtle offers the same type of atmosphere.
10. If you’re ending up in Myrtle, there’s probably a 50/50 chance that you’re there for a bachelor party and are looking for a strip club. Hit up your taxi driver because he likely has discount coupons to some places. Masters Club is the best if you’re located in downtown. It’s only topless, but the chicks are as good looking as you’ll find in the area. There’s plenty of space and drinks aren’t too expensive. You can BYOB to Derriere's and get a full topless experience. If you’re playing a lot of golf, Secrets might be your best play because they offer free admission for golfers with receipts. Lastly Crazy Horse is probably the most popular in the area and offers a “two dancer special” and a few bachelor party packages.