Explore southern culture and food beyond the Grand Strand
From historic Charleston to charming Wilmington, these nearby road trips will complement your Myrtle Beach fun.
Myrtle Beach has something for everyone: Sun and surf, golfing, shopping, and world-class entertainment. But if you’re looking for a quick road trip while you’re on vacation, the Lowcountry coastline has some other great ports and towns to explore, too.
While there’s plenty to keep you busy in and around Sheraton Broadway Resort, you’ll also find charming cities, coastal stops, and historic sites within a two-hour drive that are perfect for an easy road trip:
Taste the Local Flavor
While in Myrtle Beach, 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.
The historic city of Charleston — a living picture of charm — is less than 100 miles south of Myrtle Beach.
Start your day with a stroll through iconic Rainbow Row, a cluster 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, the site of the start of the Civil War.
Slow Down for Some Island Time
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.
For a different type of local flavor, grab some casual dancing shoes and head up to North Myrtle Beach, the birthplace of the shag dance— the “swing dance of the South.” The official state dance, the shag allows for extensive improvisation and imagination. You can learn the basics at Fat Harold’s Beach Club.
While in North Myrtle Beach, be sure to check out Alligator Adventure, a 15-acre park filled with reptiles, birds, and animals ranging from squirrel monkeys to spotted hyenas. This is a go-to spot for gator feedings, snake-handling, and other interactive experiences.
When it’s time to feed the humans in your party, head to Barefoot Landing, an expansive complex of eateries, shops, and entertainment venues. The complex also boasts a carousel, an arcade, and a ropes course, plus live music at both the Alabama Theatre and House of Blues.
Step into History
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 and spans an impressive 230 church-, garden-, and museum-filled blocks.
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. Afterward, head to The Pilot House Restaurant for fresh seafood and local craft beers served on a breezy riverfront patio.
When you’re ready for a break from the sand and surf, head back to your spacious villa at Sheraton Broadway Resort. Located across from Broadway at the Beach and near over 100 challenging golf courses, this resort positions you close to plenty of activities for endless family fun.