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Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | You can’t sell South Carolina’s northern coastline without selling the Atlantic Ocean.
Can’t be done.
But telling someone “head to the beach” is sort of like NASA instructing Neil Armstrong to “just land anywhere.” The patches of sand up and down the Grand Strand have different personalities. Depending on what you’re looking for between rounds of your Myrtle Beach golf vacation, where you end up is important - both in terms of what you’ll experience and what you need to bring.
Consider this a roadmap of sorts to taking full advantage of the sun and sand properly.
CALM AND COLLECTED
If you want to enjoy a quieter section of the sand with a book and drink without much competition for prime spots, three areas will serve you slightly better than many of the others. For starters, locals have headed for the residential spots, and the area between 63rd Avenue North and 68th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach may lead the list. The high-rise hotels to the north and south tend to bleed most of their traffic directly in front, while the small number of homeowners between have access to what must feel like private beaches. At the southern tip of city limits, the Springmaid section at the end of South Ocean Boulevard lost some of its luster after the pier was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. But the beach itself has continued to thrive and provide a great setting framed by the natural grass dunes blocking the view of most of the development just inland. Murrells Inlet has become known as much for its famed Marshwalk in recent years, but those willing to go off the beaten path are rewarded. By taking a southern turn off Atlantic Avenue and heading down Waccamaw Drive, a large number of quieter beach accesses may be exactly what you’re looking for.
If something more upbeat is your preference, several sections of the beach provide more of a party atmosphere, complete with bigger crowds. We’d recommend two spots in the heart of Myrtle Beach, starting with the Boardwalk (1st Avenue North up to 14th Ave North). The access from those driving in on U.S. 501 makes this a natural first stop for many day trippers. What’s more, the prominence of restaurants, bars, and entertainment (most visibly the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel) provide a nice backdrop for the ocean. Up the boulevard less than a mile north from the Boardwalk opens up another stretch for the masses. Anchored by some of the city’s largest beachside resorts, 21st-30th Avenues North are typically entertaining for the people watching alone.
A small breed of individuals who surf and play golf can be found, so for those bringing the board and clubs, we can point you to some consistently solid waves. Start by checking out the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier (3500 N. Ocean Boulevard, North Myrtle Beach). Near the northern bend of the cove toward the North Carolina state line, the potential for action is a little more viable than other sections of the beach. Surfside Beach near 13th Avenue South has served as the home for the annual Guy Daniels Memorial Surfoff for much of the past two decades, and it doesn’t disappoint during the other weather-ready times of the calendar. Don’t want to travel with a board or don’t own one? Check out Jack’s Surf Lessons and Board Rentals (3200 S. Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach). They can hook you up with the right equipment and even do group surfs during certain times of the year.