North Myrtle Beach is a small community about ten miles north of Myrtle Beach and just to the north of the Grand Strand Airport. Next to the community of Little River, this is the northernmost of the towns along the 60 miles of the Grand Strand. The history of this area shows it was relatively uninhabited until the railroad was built after the Civil War. Although North Myrtle Beach was named for the larger city, it has its own charm and character. Like Surfside Beach further to the south, it prides itself on being a family destination.
Also like Surfside Beach, the North Myrtle Beach attractions include a large number of vacation rentals. These range from beach houses and cottages to luxury villas and condominiums. Some of the condominiums call themselves “condotels,” and have many of the facilities you might find at resorts, including swimming pools, fitness centers, lazy river water parks and playgrounds, and even restaurants and bars. You will also find oceanfront hotels and several North Myrtle Beach golf resorts.
One of the most popular of the North Myrtle Beach attractions is Barefoot Landing. This is a large shopping, entertainment, and dining complex set along Highway 17 next to the Intracoastal Waterway. There is a marina, so you can actually arrive by boat. This is one of the region’s premiere places for nightlife, with the legendary House of Blues featuring international headliners and several other venues. Everyone in the family can enjoy the Alligator adventure in Barefoot Landing, with a number of species indigenous to the oceans and marshes as well as exotic creatures like tiger and lemurs, as well as what is claimed to be the world’s largest alligator. There are live animal lectures and shows where you can handle baby alligators and learn about the wildlife.
North Myrtle Beach attractions include a number of important and popular events. This is said to be the place where the unique South Carolina shag dance originated. You can see this interesting mixture of swing and Lindy hop dancing if you are out enjoying the nightlife any time of year. If you visit in January, you can enjoy the Mid-Winter Shag Classic, and March brings the National Shagdance Championships. Other events include the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta, which usually occurs near the end of November. Residents and visitors alike decorate their yachts and fishing boats and parade along the Intracoastal Waterway from Little River to one of the marinas in town. There are public landings where you can view the spectacle and numerous restaurants offering special menus along the parade route. If you will be dining in a restaurant during the parade evening, you should make reservations as far in advance as possible.
There is golf everywhere along the Grand Strand, but there are so many North Myrtle Beach golf courses, that you may never leave the area and still experience a new course virtually every day of your vacations—there are at least ten in the immediate vicinity of the town. One of the most scenic of the North Myrtle Beach golf courses is the Waterway Hills Course, which stretches along the Intracoastal Waterway for two full miles. Most of the holes play to or alongside the canal. And, of course, North Myrtle Beach offers its pristine, wide beaches, fishing piers, party and fishing cruises, and even beach horseback riding. If you still need more things to do, some of the region’s best outlet stores and shopping malls are located here.
Image: North Myrtle Beach Area CVB