Hotspots in Myrtle Beach, SC
If you have kids who love magic, storytelling, videogames and using their imagination, they'll have the time of their lives at MagiQuest in Myrtle Beach. Each player gets their own wand (they get to take it home!) that guides them through the live-action role-playing game. At each turn, they get to choose the route to take -- should they battle a goblin or befriend a pixie? This unique experience is best for the five and up crowd and is especially fun for pre-teens and teenagers. Dueling, which allows players to battle each other with powers earned in the game, is only available in two locations and Myrtle Beach is one of them. The other is Japan. The cost of MagiQuest ranges from $14 for returning players to $40, depending on the experience they choose. Wands can be used at any of the 15 locations around the world.
Brookgreen Gardens is located less than 20 miles from Myrtle Beach, across from Huntington Beach State Park, off Highway17 Bypass. Visitors often add the National Historic Landmark to their agenda. Brookgreen Gardens is an outdoor paradise of gardens, sculptures and animals. Children enjoy the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the coast of the Carolinas. Moss-draped live oaks line the gardens’ paths and are worth the drive, and there’s so much more. Plan a December stopover to see one of the Nights of a Thousand Candles with hand-lit candles and white lights glowing, all the while musicians perform throughout the gardens. Or go during spring when the gardens are in full bloom. Year-round, Brookgreen Gardens is a special place to visit.
Looking for a good, old-fashioned amusement park with cotton candy and a thrill-of-a-ride on a wooden rollercoaster? Family Kingdom is the place for you! More than 30 rides are located in the park that is across the street from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Family Kingdom Water Park, Myrtle Beach’s only oceanfront water park. No admission is charged at the park. Instead, choose either a wristband for unlimited rides or a ticket book, depending on how much you want to ride and for how long. Parents especially love that Family Kingdom is clean and the employees are helpful and friendly. New in 2011, The Picnic Pavilion is centrally located in the amusement park and can be rented for events. It is spacious enough for up to 100 people. Catering is available.
Myrtle Waves is the largest water park in South Carolina with more than 30 slides, a lazy slow-flowing river, a faster racing river with skim boards, a toddler spray park and large wave pool -- there truly is something for every member of the family here! If you have young ones who may need to take a rest or get out of the heat, consider renting a cabana for your visit at the park -- they have weekday packages that are reasonably priced and include a meal. Insider Tip -- pay the extra $4 to have your own personal tube for the slides and lazy river, otherwise you may get stuck waiting in line for one when the park is busiest.
Drivers, start your engines! You don't have to be a NASCAR enthusiast to enjoy the NASCAR SpeedPark in Myrtle Beach. There are options for drivers of all ages. For those who hold a valid drivers license, try the thrilling Thunder Road, a half-mile course where you drive a half-scale of the actual Nextel Cup car. The unlicensed drivers can have a turn at a few different courses, including a slick track and high-banked race course. Insider Tip -- lines for the tracks can be long in the evening (up to a 90-minute wait), so try to hit this park during the off-hours, such as during typical mealtimes. Please note that there are height requirements on all tracks.
Barefoot Landing is practically a destination of its own at Myrtle Beach. Designed to look and feel like an old fishing village, families will love spending the day checking out the shops, with both local and well-known name brands, and eating at one of the numerous restaurants -- younger kids especially like dancing along with the wait staff at the 1950’s themed diner Johnny Rockets. Beyond just shopping and eating, Barefoot Landing's biggest family hit is Alligator Adventure, home to more than 700 alligators! Local’s Tip -- go online and get a free Preferred Members card before you arrive for discounts at many of the stores and dining locations.
If there is one thing Myrtle Beach loves, it's their miniature golf courses and Captain Hook's Adventure Golf is a family favorite for all ages. There are two separate courses from which you can choose -- Hooks or Lost Boys. Each course offers different adventures that include all the fun of Peter Pan -- pirate ships, a hologram Tinkerbell and secret caves filled with smoke. Both courses are 18 holes and take approximately two hours to complete, depending on how busy they are and if you run into any roving pirates or animated crocodiles along the way. A family package for admittance is available and coupons are online. Insider Tip -- if unexpected weather stops your game, be sure to ask for a rain check so you can come back later and finish!
Myrtle Beach’s newest attraction, Dolly Parton’s Pirates Voyage, is a great indoor treat! Family landlubbers of all ages, even the tiny ones, love this variety show featuring pirates battling each other over lost treasure -- skirmishing in the water, acrobatically in the air, and on the deck of their full-sized pirate ships. A five-course meal is served and, in the spirit of fun, there are no utensils. Call ahead for tickets since this show is gaining popularity by the day. Tip: Bring baby wipes in your bag for those messy fingers.
SkyWheel has brightened the Boardwalk and riding it round and round is nearly as spectacular as the ocean it overlooks. The 187-foot-tall Ferris wheel, about as tall as a 20-story building, is the largest on this side of the Mississippi River. Forty-two glass-enclosed gondolas seat up to six people each. A nightly lightshow shows off SkyWheel’s 1 million LEDs. The cost of the 12-minute ride is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 11. For some, Jimmy Buffett’s LandShark Bar & Grill (his third restaurant in Myrtle Beach to date) is as big of an attraction, with its oceanfront deck next to SkyWheel.
Located right on the water at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, Pavilion Nostalgia Park is a magical place. The park offers a variety of family-friendly classic amusement park rides, the highlight being the famous Herschell-Spillman Carousel that dates back to 1912. The atmosphere of the park is very inviting and feels like a true old-time amusement park with organ music playing in the background and the smell of funnel cakes in the air. This is a great place for that first time amusement park trip with your younger kids!