Coastal Retreats: Day Trips From Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Coastal Retreats: Day Trips From Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA
| 3 min read

Myrtle Beach is the busiest resort in the Grand Strand, a 60-mile (96.6-kilometer) stretch of beach land. Approximately 14 million visitors go to Myrtle Beach each year, so it’s no wonder that the beach front is filled with towering hotels and restaurants targeted at tourists. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach, there are several great destinations along the east coast that will take you away from the crowded restaurants and busy streets, not to mention giving you a better overview of the area and providing lots of fun. Here are some of the best day trips to enjoy from Myrtle Beach:

1. Relax at Murrells Inlet

At just 14 miles (22.5 kilometers), a 24-minute drive, away, Murrells Inlet seems to be the complete opposite of Myrtle Beach. There are neither high-rise buildings nor is the placed spoiled by concrete. The historic fishing village has managed to retain its little-town atmosphere. Golfing and fishing are popular past times in Murrells Inlet. Try catching your own dinner on a half or full day fishing charter. At the edge of the town lies Huntington State Park, where you will find an underdeveloped beach, hiking trails, and campsites. And just beyond Huntington State Park is Brookgreen Gardens. The largest outdoor sculpture garden in the world can be found at this historic site, and it also happens to be a perfect spot for a picnic.

It’s a place sought out by fisherman and naturalists, whispered about by antique collectors, and revered by art lovers and horticulturists. It’s the place where golfers come to relax, families come to dine and snowbirds come to retire. Murrells Inlet 2020

Brookgreen Gardens

Address: 1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Price: Adults: 16 USD. Seniors 65 and over: 14 USD. Children aged 4 to 12: 8 USD. Children 3 and under enter for free when accompanied by an adult

Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 5 pm. Closed on Christmas Day

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 843-235-6000

Website: Brookgreen Gardens

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2. Kick back on Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island, one of the oldest and most beloved resorts on the east coast, is located a mere 24 miles (38.6 kilometers) from Myrtle Beach, approximately a half-hour drive away. Check out the historic district where you will see a number of signs inscribed with a brief history of the antebellum homes, most of which are available as rental as summer homes. Pawleys Island has a laid-back and carefree attitude. Swimming and tanning under the sun are the main activities for the day, while the nightlife consists of dining out and strolling on the beach under the stars. Pawleys Island is truly a place of simple virtues and lack of pretense. If you want to explore the area more, why not rent a kayak and paddle around the waters, making it as active or as relaxed as you like?

Pawleys Kayaks

Address: 17 South Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

Price: from 30 USD

Opening Hours: 7 am - 7 pm

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 843-315-4567

Website: Pawleys Kayaks

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3. Dine in Calabash, the Seafood Capital of the World

Calabash, North Carolina, sits just across the state line separating North and South Carolina, about a 30-minute drive from Myrtle Beach, 28 miles (45 kilometers) away. The town prides itself as being the “Seafood Capital of the World” because of its Calabash-style seafood restaurants. Typical Calabash seafood is dipped in evaporated milk and then seasoned with a combination of flour, pepper, and cornmeal, and finally, fried to golden-brown perfection. Another trademark of a genuine Calabash seafood platter is the size of the portion. In line with traditional Southern hospitality, servings are often large and very generous. After you’re done with the treat to your taste buds, it’s time to give your eyes a treat! Wander about Sunset River Marketplace, where you will find beautifully handcrafted jewelry, exquisite pieces of blown glass, paintings, and pottery.

Sunset River Marketplace

Address: 10283 Beach Dr SW, Calabash, NC 28467

Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm. Closed on Sundays

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 910-575-5999

Website: Sunset River Marketplace

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4. Experience the charm of the South in Charleston (from USD 110.0)

Located 96 miles (154.5 kilometers) away, reachable by a 2-hour drive, Charleston is a fine example of a charming Southern city. Its well-preserved architecture, pastel-colored antebellum (pre-war) houses, beautiful scenery, and horse-drawn carriages have made it a popular tourist destination. The city even received the title of the most polite and hospitable city in America several times! To understand why, you really have to visit. The city embraces its visitors and lets them feel welcomed, safe, and well taken care of. The Charleston Waterfront Park and Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge are both excellent choices for relaxing and enjoying the sunset, both boasting beautiful scenery. Although this elegant city is growing fast, it has managed to stay true to its roots and keeps the Southern hospitality alive.

2-Hour Historical Walking Tour of Charleston

Price: from 20 USD

Duration: around 2 hours required


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Charleston Savor the Flavors Food and History Walking Tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

833 reviews

5. Have a day of fun on Folly Beach (from 45 USD)

A 20-minute drive from Charleston on South Carolina Highway 171 will bring you to Folly Beach. The whole journey from Myrtle Beach will take you across 108 miles (174 kilometers), and around 2 hours and 15 minutes. Home to numerous surf spots, Folly Beach has gained prominence as a popular surf spot along the east coast. Apart from just the surf, you can try out other water sports on the beach. The public beach is a popular and splendid locale, however, it may feel a little overcrowded at times. Folly Beach Fishing Pier is another superb place to enjoy the sea breeze and, to have some fun doing it, fishing rods are available for rent and you can buy bait there as well. Visit this eclectic beach community and have a day of folly!

2-Hour Salt Marsh Cruise from Folly Beach

Price: from 45 USD

Duration: around 2 hours required


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Feel the breeze in your hair

You can’t go wrong with any of these destinations; there’s plenty to be explored at each of them. Although they are located pretty close to one another, each of them gives off a very different vibe, which makes all of them unique. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen! You’ll probably be spending a lot of your time under the sun! Have a great stay in Myrtle Beach and get out and explore the surrounding places of interest for a varied and fun vacation.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Ben loves adventure and exploring places that are unfamiliar to him. He is intrigued by people of different cultures from all over the world. When he's not writing or chatting with strangers at a...Read more

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