Favorite 5 Day Trips from Myrtle Beach

by GO GlobeHopper

Myrtle Beach has something for everyone — the beach, golfing, shopping, dining, and plenty of attractions and activities. But sometimes visitors want exposure to something different, even just for a day.  If you’re looking for a side trip while you’re on vacation, the Lowcountry coastline has plenty to explore, including charming towns and cities, and historic sites, all within a simple two-hour drive.  Here are our Favorite 5.



Calabash – photo via Visit North Carolina

Sample the local delicacy — Calabash shrimp and seafood. Lightly dredged in a cornmeal-based breading and quickly fried, this tasty treat is perhaps best enjoyed just over the North Carolina border in Calabash, just less than 30 miles north. Nestled behind larger shops and restaurants, the casual Waterfront Seafood Shack is known for its fresh seafood served with a view.

Before or after your seafood feast, plan to stop at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in nearby Sunset Beach. Dedicated to the area’s natural science, environment, and cultural history, the museum’s exhibits cover everything from owls and seagulls to starfish and seashells. The Ingram Planetarium is also onsite, presenting live star shows and a 78-mile-per-hour hurricane simulator.



Charleston – photo via Unsplash

The charming and historic city of Charleston is less than 100 miles south of Myrtle Beach and offers a quaint experience with museums, churches, gardens, and a feeling of being swept back in time.

Consider a stroll through the iconic Rainbow Row, which is a group of 13 pastel-colored row houses dating to the 1700s. Be sure to have a meal at celebrated restaurants like Husk, Poogan’s Porch, or Slightly North of Broad (SNOB), where local classics like she-crab soup and shrimp and grits are prepared to perfection.

Afterward, continue to the Historic Charleston City Market, a 4-block expanse of local artisans, farmers, and sweetgrass-basket makers, before taking the ferry to Fort Sumter for the site of the start of the Civil War.


Murrel’s Inlet

Murrel’s Inlet – photo via realtor.com

Head 14 miles south along the coast to Murrells Inlet, where the laid-back pace and abundant nature are sure to soothe your senses.

Offering the chance to glimpse over 300 bird species, Huntington Beach State Park ranks as one of the top birding locations in South Carolina. Visitors can usually spot alligators in the park’s freshwater lake.

The nearby Brookgreen Gardens were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992. Featuring 9,100 acres of blooming gardens and more than 1,400 sculptures, it’s sure to add some peace and tranquility to your trip.

A little farther south is the laid-back Pawleys Island, offering shopping, dining, and beach-based fun, as well as boat tours of the Waccamaw River. Don’t miss the Myrtle Avenue historic district, comprising dozens of summer homes and other buildings dating back to the late 18th century.


Pawley’s Island

Pawley’s Island – photo via Waywuwei Flikr – License CC 2.0 Generic

This region is recognized as one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast.  Located 70 miles north of Charleston and 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island has a lot of southern charm to offer, along with an assortment of vacation rentals, golf courses, boutique shopping, a beautiful stretch of beach, and gorgeous views. And the laid-back lifestyle is perfectly suited to day-trippers.

Given that Pawleys is so different, with no commercial properties on the island itself, don’t expect to find the kind of high-rise hotels and multi-amenity resorts that line the beaches of nearby Myrtle Beach.

There are numerous dining options available, several golf courses, and if shopping is your thing, Pawleys Island is home to several exclusive shopping centers that offer apparel, housewares, and unique art.

Of course, there are plenty of other things to do in the area as well, including fishing, crabbing, hunting for shells and shark teeth, kayaking, swimming, and sunbathing. There are also bike and boat rentals on the island, along with numerous deep-sea fishing charters.



Wilmington – photo via WallpaperSafari

Just under 80 miles from Myrtle Beach via U.S. Route 17 is the historic city of Wilmington, North Carolina. With one of the largest historic districts in the country, Wilmington lies along the Cape Fear River.

To dive a little deeper into local history, visit the Bellamy Mansion Museum. The 10,000 square-foot antebellum mansion is loaded with intricate architectural details and surrounded by an elegant, manicured Victorian garden filled with century-old magnolia trees. Or, visit the USS North Carolina, which is moored across the river from downtown Wilmington and allows visitors to walk the decks.



Source: Partial excerpts from Vistana.com
Photo Credits:
Lead – Charleston – WallpaperSafari
Calabash – Visit North Carolina
Charleston – Unsplash
Murrel’s Inlet – Realtor.com
Pawley’s Island – Flikr by Waywuwei License Creative Commons No Derivs 2.0 Generic
Wilmington – WallpaperSafari

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