Located on the Northeast shores of South Carolina sits the family-friendly city of Myrtle Beach. Though touristy, the city offers plenty to do for families of any size – and kids of any age. The months of June, July, and August are the warmest and most beach-friendly months to visit Myrtle Beach, but they’re also the busiest. Late spring and early fall are less inundated with tourists, but the weather is a little bit on the iffy side. It might be too cool for an Atlantic Ocean swim, but it’s not too cool to enjoy outdoor dining and the beautiful views.
If you are planning a trip to Myrtle Beach with your kids, there are ample opportunities to keep the entire family happy. No matter the ages of your kids, we’ve narrowed down the best entertainment, the best hotels, and the best restaurants for any season – and kids of all ages. As a mom of four kids of various ages who travel often, I like to think my husband and I know a thing or two about traveling with kids – and this is what families are looking for in a little South Carolina southern charm.
To help you figure out what you want to do, I’ve arranged this list into three separate – but together – parts. I’m starting with a list of the best activities to do with the kids while you are in town. From there, I’m telling you where you need to eat – always check to see if there is a way to make reservations to keep everyone’s schedule simple. Finally, I’m including the best family-friendly hotels in Myrtle Beach. As a frequent traveler with four kids, these are the things that are most important to me when booking a vacation – fun things for the kids, great places we’ll all love to eat, and places that we all want to stay where everyone is happy and we all get to have space.
20. The Grand Strand
The Grand Strand is not a place so much as it is an adventure. It’s the main area of town along the coastline where the entire family will find happiness. From sweet oceanfront shopping to darling dining and luxurious resorts, you’ll find entertainment galore on the Grand Strand. You can walk it all during your trip, or pick and choose the areas you enjoy most.
19. Family Kingdom
Children do not care if there are 18 amusement parks at home, they still want to visit them all. The Family Kingdom Park hours vary, but you’ll find everything from water slides to roller coasters for a total of 35 rides. They’re fun for all the brave souls and those who enjoy heights. The park reopens on April 1.
18. Myrtle Waves
A Flow Rider, Wave Pool, big kid slides, a child’s pool, and plenty of fun for the entire family no matter how old your kids are, Myrtle Waves will keep everyone happy during your trip. Park hours vary by day, and the park is seasonal. Myrtle Waves reopens on select weekends in May and opens fully on May 27, 7 days a week, until Labor Day. Children under two are free, and tickets are discounted for anyone over the age of 55 and military personnel.
17. Alligator Adventure
As a Floridian who has stopped my car more than once to allow an alligator to cross the road, the novelty of amusement parks with alligators is foreign to me. However, those who don’t live in the south love to see these cool creatures up close and personal. Alligator Park has some cool gators – including an albino gator – as well as a bevy of additional animals. It’s practically a zoo, and you’ll enjoy your visit. You’ll need to contact the park for their most up-to-date information and hours.
16. Pavilion Park
Another theme park? Give me a moment to explain. This theme park is the kind all nostalgia stems from. It’s designed to bring you back to your own childhood when life was much simpler. Complete with a carousel and a Ferris wheel, you’ll find your childhood dreams coming back to life. Your own kids will love these older rides combined with newer, more exciting rides. The park is open almost every day of the year.
Let’s be honest – you’re at the beach and the best thing you can do at the beach is get in the water. From parasailing to jet skis to sunset cruises and boat rentals, there is something for everyone. There are too many companies willing to sell you their watersports activities to list, but you can check with your hotel concierge for the best options for you and your family. Most of the hotels located along the beach also offer their own watersports, so check with them, too. There are also standalone outlets where you can choose what you want to do and participate in a load of fun.
14. Barefoot Landing
Here’s a place where mom and dad and the kids will have a great time. Right on the edge of the intracoastal waterway, Barefoot Landing is the go-to spot for shopping, dining, and entertainment. You can pick up something new to wear while the kids choose souvenirs for their friends back home. With plenty of restaurants, ice cream shops, and entertainment, no one will be bored here. What I love about Barefoot Landing is that you can hang out, find things to do, and keep the kids entertained and moving the entire time. There’s something to be said for this.
13. Blackbeard’s Pirate Cruise
For 60 to 90 minute (reservations recommended by not required), you and the kids can sail the pirate ship run that Captain Blackbeard did during his own days. The boat never leaves the intracoastal, which means the entire ride is safe and smooth. Beverages are not served on board, but guests are welcome to bring their own coolers, and those coolers may have alcoholic beverages included.
12. Myrtle Beach State Park
Home of the Myrtle Beach Pier, you can surf fish, swim, play, and picnic until your heart is content here. The kids will love the beach time, and so will the adults on your trip. It’s a fun place to explore the sandy beaches, the shells, and to help the kids look for buried treasure.
11. Croissants Bakery & Bistro
Cozy and contemporary, you will find all the best baked goods right here. This is the place to go to find the best breakfast, to have brunch, or to stock up on cute items to take with you on your beach picnic. From decadent coffee for mom and dad to the best breakfast pastries for the kids, you’ll find it all right here.
10. The Flamingo Grill
When you’re ready for a great serving of surf and turf, you won’t find it better than you will at the Flamingo Grill. Kids will love it here, and the ambiance is perfect for a date night, a family night out, or a small gathering. The menu is extensive, and the kids’ menu is just as good as the adult menu. Your kids will absolutely find something to eat here.
You won’t find a place more casual than this one, but the pancakes here make up for what this location is lacking in elegance. It is every bit an old-fashioned dining establishment, but it comes with one of the best reputations in Myrtle Beach. The menu is amazing, and everyone leaves happy.
8. Nacho Hippo
With both indoor and outdoor seating in addition to nachos and margaritas, what’s not to love? You can sit outdoors on a gorgeous day with the kids – because kids outside is always better than kids inside cooped up and looking for fun – and you can enjoy a margarita and your favorite nachos at the same time. It’s a winning situation for the entire family.
7. RipTydz Oceanfront Grille and Rooftop Bar
Perched right on the water, the entirely family will love spending their meal overlooking the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a great place for families throughout the day and into dinner, and the rooftop bar is a great place for couples after the kids are in bed or back at the hotel with a sitter. Fresh seafood, a great cocktail menu, and plenty of killer ocean views are found here.
6. Grande Shores Ocean Resort
From a standard hotel room to condo-style suites with multiple bedrooms, there is so much you can enjoy here. This hotel is perfect for families who need space and fun for the whole group. What makes this resort stand out among the others is the fact that there are two lazy rivers here. There are also two outdoor pools and an indoor pool for cooler months located at this oceanfront resort.
5. Crown Reef Resort and Waterpark
We said it before – kids love a waterpark. This resort boasts the longest lazy river in Myrtle Beach as well as two water slides that stand four stories tall. There are 15 water features in all, and there is an ice cream shop, a coffee bar, and plenty of rooms to choose from when booking for the entire family.
4. Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort
Situated directly on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, this resort is everything you are looking for as a family. This resort offers condo-size rooms with multiple bedrooms for larger families (up to four bedrooms and three bathrooms). The lazy river is indoors here, but there is also an outdoor pool, beach access, restaurants, and an ice cream shop on site.
3. Dayton House Oceanfront Resort
It’s oceanfront, which is obvious, but it’s also got its own zero-entry pool – perfect for small kids. The rooms here are spacious, and some come with kitchens. There’s also a lazy river with ocean views, so you and your kids can have the time of your life while checking out the beautiful views.
2. Dunes Village Resort
There’s a reason that this hotel is consistently rated one of the best in Myrtle Beach. It’s features include multiple sports courts, a spa, restaurants, and even a children’s program if you need a little bit of time to yourself while on vacation. If your kids are older and can stay alone in the room from time to time, you don’t need to book a children’s program, but it’s a perfect idea for families with small kids. What makes this oceanfront resort stand out from the crowd is its full-size indoor waterpark. The waterpark features slides, a lazy river, and multiple whirlpools. It’s something that appeals to kids, adults, and families of all sizes. It’s also close to everything, so there is plenty for the family to enjoy.
1. Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort
Situated on the beach, you’ll find upscale rooms, plenty of space at the pool, and championship golf courses on site. From regular rooms to oceanfront suites, there’s a room here for every family. Each room features luxurious bath amenities, and there are multiple on-site restaurants. The beach is just outside, and the hotel is close enough to most of the fun things to do in town that you and the family can walk. There is also a full-service spa, which means you can book a massage or a facial and an hour to yourself and your family won’t even miss you.