In my unfinished novel, I describe Myrtle Beach as “the painted harlequin of the Southeast coast.” I like that. That’s how it feels to me.
Some beaches you go to for the unspoiled scenery. Ocracoke, for example. Some you go to for the “scene.” Like South Beach in Miami. You go to Myrtle Beach for the “stuff.” Adults tend to prefer the quieter beaches, the places where the world seems far away. But kids want things to do, and boy oh boy, does Myrtle Beach have that.
Dads can get away to one of the 16,822 golf courses in the area (I estimated, might be a tad high). Moms and daughters can go to the outlet malls. There’s a beach store on every corner. Maybe there’s another place in the world with more miniature golf courses per capita, but you’d have to prove it to me. Did I forget anything?
Oh, yeah – the beach. It’s broad, and well kept, and looks beautiful from the twelfth floor of your condominium. At least it does from ours. Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach (they know the difference, you won’t) is a condo/hotel place. Not many beach homes to rent. Not at prices Joe Sixpack can afford, at least.
One thing Myrtle Beach has going for it, even if all the aforementioned “stuff” isn’t your thing, and that’s restaurants. Not fine dining palaces serving remoulade of this and confit of that. But lots of family-friendly and budget-safe choices that are quite good. Particularly if you like lightly breaded seafood, called “Calabash” style down there. But then, that’s another post.
For powdery white sand and that unbelievably aqua water, go to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos or St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Great American Things No. 31). But for a family beach with lots to do, you have a harlequin waiting for you in South Carolina.