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Myrtle Beach Neighborhoods

The Grand Strand/Myrtle Beach area is comprised of 60+ miles of coastline and several neighboring towns, each with its own unique flavor. If you’re looking for restaurants and nightlife, join the other young, budget-conscious families that flock to North Myrtle. Idyllic Pawleys Island, on the other hand, attracts families in search of a quieter atmosphere. Historical Georgetown with its attractive waterfront is an ideal day trip, while Murrells Inlet is the area’s best location for seafood. With so many miles of white sand beaches, there are plenty of opportunities for sunbathing and swimming, no matter where you find yourself along the strand.

Downtown

Myrtle Beach proper is home to a wide array of restaurants, hotels and attractions. Highway 17, Ocean Boulevard and Kings Highway offer numerous options for day and nighttime entertainment, including Broadway at the Beach, plus the ever-popular beaches and ocean-going activities. Beware, however, that this area is one of the Grand Strand’s most congested (expect massive crowds on the beaches during weekend summer months and heavy traffic at rush hour). Reserve hotels at least three months in advance (we recommend calling ahead up to six months if you’re coming during the summer) to secure prime views and rates.

Georgetown

Home to Declaration of Independence signer Thomas Lynch, Georgetown has a rich history, particularly during the Antebellum period, when it was a center of the United States’ rice production before Charleston took top honors. The town suffered greatly during the Reconstruction and Depression and was hit hard by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, but the once sleepy town has since modernized and is now home to a steel mill, picturesque waterfront, and such attractions as the famed Brookgreen Gardens.

Murrells Inlet

Considered the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina,” this small town in Georgetown County is, not surprisingly, primarily a fishing village. Known best for its restaurants, many Grand Strand residents and visitors flock to the popular Restaurant Row, a grouping of award-winning restaurants and barbecque joints along the main street. In recent years, Murrells Inlet has also gained acclaim as an affordable retirement destination. Attractions include the Marsh Walk and numerous restaurants.

North Myrtle Beach

Slightly north of Myrtle Beach proper, North Myrtle Beach offers numerous fun and hotel options, plus popular attractions including Barefoot Landing, the Alabama Theater and Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Slightly less crowded than the downtown area; younger crowds and families often choose this destination for its slightly more PG-rated entertainment options and budget-friendly hotels and resorts.

Pawleys Island

One of the last towns in the Grand Strand area to be developed, this four-mile long island is the quietest with a population of less than 200 people. The picturesque beaches are the reason this area is famous and, as a bonus, the winds tend to keep mosquitoes at bay. Connected to the mainland by two small bridges (separated from the mainland by a salt marsh and accessible by two short causeways), the town is most famous for its namesake Pawleys Island Hammocks, which are unfortunately no longer made on island. The area has been hard-hit by several hurricanes, including Hugo in 1989. Local legend says that “Gray Man,” a friendly ghost, is often seen walking along the beach before strong storms.

Garden City/Surfside Beach

Located between downtown and Pawley’s Island / Murrells Inlet, these neighborhoods offer a number of family-friendly attractions and numerous beachfront vacation homes for rental. Like North Myrtle, the two towns are slightly more affordable than Downtown proper. Generally speaking, this is the place to go for a relaxed, residential vibe (you won’t find too many amusement-park style attractions here).
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