Explore the beautiful Grand Strand along South Carolina’s coast on your vacation to North Myrtle Beach.
This large swath of coastline encompasses some of South Carolina’s most popular destinations, as well as some small towns that are big on charm. The perfect location for a family vacation rental, romantic getaway, or solo adventure, the Grand Strand is a true gem of South Carolina.
About The Grand Strand
The term “The Grand Strand” dates back to 1949 when the local paper, The Myrtle Beach Sun, coined the term for a column. Nestled in Horry County, The Grand Strand area is a 60-mile section of the beautiful South Carolina coast, encompassing the popular tourist beachfront destination of North Myrtle Beach.
The Grand Strand starts with the town of Little River and stretches all the way south to Georgetown. You’ll find numerous beautiful beaches along the way, including Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach, and Garden City Beach.
This section of the coast is extremely popular, attracting over 20 million visitors to its sandy beaches every year, and it is easy to see why! This region is truly beautiful and offers a wealth of activities.
Whether you want to laze on the beach, spend the day on the golf course, or feast on the freshest seafood you’ve ever had, the Grand Strand has something for you. Here is our guide to some of the top destinations along the Grand Strand.
The charming fishing village of Little River offers a quiet, relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach. Little River offers many memorable activities, perfect for families looking for a low-key vacation or couples wanting a romantic and peaceful getaway.
Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens
Take a break from the beach and explore the 115-acre Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens, also known as the Vereen Botanical Gardens.
This completely free attraction allows visitors the opportunity to stroll through the gorgeous foliage and enjoy true peace and quiet. The boardwalk trail takes you over wetlands and marshes, where you can spot unique wildlife.
The Vereen Gardens also have a cool history: the original owner of the land, Joshua Vereen, once entertained George Washington in these very gardens.
Go Horseback Riding With Wampee Stables
Experience the sights of Little River’s countryside from the saddle when you book a trail ride with Wampee Stables!
The stable is home to 35 loved and well cared for horses. The experienced guides will ensure that you have a safe and fun ride. Suitable for children and adults alike, everyone will enjoy this unique excursion.
Big “M” Casino Boat
Docked three miles offshore in Little River, the Big “M” Casino Boat is just far enough into the sea for gambling to be completely legal! Enjoy an evening playing Vegas-style slot machines and table games like blackjack, roulette, poker, and more. The luxury yacht has a bar and buffet on board.
The casino boat offers two departures daily, one in the morning and one in the evening, making it easier to plan your excursion.
The Little River Waterfront
A scenic detour on the Grand Strand, The Little River Waterfront offers a great mix of things to do, see, and eat! Check out one of the many restaurants offering fresh and delicious seafood or catch your own dinner with one of the fishing charters in town.
In the spring, Little River is the home of the famous Little River Blue Crab Festival. This two-day festival has arts and crafts, entertainment, children’s activities, and tons of delicious blue crab! If shrimp is your preferred crustacean, you can check out the Little River ShrimpFest in the fall.
La Belle Amie Vineyard
Relax with a glass of excellent vino when you spend a day at the gorgeous La Belle Amie Vineyard! The Grand Strand is home to many wineries, and this is one of the best.
A staple in Little River since 2000, this vineyard, winery, and gift shop offers daily tastings, guided tours, and self-guided tours. Enjoy the beautiful views of the grapevines as you sip on their beloved French-inspired wines.
The North Myrtle neighborhood of Cherry Grove is a fantastic place for families to enjoy the Grand Strand. With plenty to do for all ages and an incredible restaurant scene, Cherry Grove is a beloved section of the strand.
The Cherry Grove Fishing Pier
One of the most recognizable spots in the Cherry Grove neighborhood is the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier. A must-see location during your time here, it is possibly most famous for being the location of world record-setting tiger shark catch, coming in at a whopping 1,780 pounds. It’s no surprise that the pier is a popular fishing spot.
There is a full-service tackle shop on the pier where you can rent fishing equipment, and those who aren’t interested in fishing can peruse the gift shop for souvenirs or enjoy the gorgeous ocean view.
You can also take a short walk down from the pier to Cherry Grove Oceanfront Park, a beautiful green space perfect for picnicking.
Heritage Shores Nature Preserve
Enjoy a walk in the park at Heritage Shores Nature Preserve. This beautiful park is accessible by raised boardwalks, allowing the natural marsh and wetlands to remain untouched and natural.
The park is a great location to spot local wildlife, such as dolphins, foxes, raccoons, pelicans, egrets, and more. Heritage Shores is a birdwatcher’s paradise, so be sure to bring your binoculars!
You can’t discuss Cherry Grove without mentioning its restaurant scene! Known for delicious fresh seafood, Cherry Grove also offers many options for other cuisines such as barbecue, Italian, Mexican, and local seafood.
Get the best of both worlds when you stay in North Myrtle Beach! Far enough from the hustle and bustle, bright lights, and crowded beaches of Myrtle Beach proper to enjoy some quiet relaxation but close enough to the action never to get bored, North Myrtle is the perfect vacation destination.
With so many activities available, one can almost forget the main draw of a Myrtle Beach vacation: the beach! The waterfront runs the length of Ocean Drive in North Myrtle, boasting miles of clean, quiet beaches perfect for relaxation.
While Myrtle Beach tends to have a boisterous party atmosphere, the less-crowded North Myrtle beaches are best for lazing in the sun or playing in the surf.
Get your adrenaline pumping with some water sports in North Myrtle! The coastal waterways, inlets, and marshes are best seen by kayak or stand-up paddleboard tours.
If you are itching to get your pole in the water, there are plenty of fishing charter tours to pick from in North Myrtle. The opportunities for fun water activities are endless!
North Myrtle offers a huge range of entertainment options, from live music performances at the Alabama Theatre to the House of Blues to Broadway Beach, a 350-acre complex with endless shopping, dining, and entertainment.
For unique entertainment options, The Alligator Adventure zoo is one of the largest reptile zoos in the world and is perfect for a family outing. If reptiles are your thing, check out one of the many escape rooms in town!
Head over to Fat Harold’s Beach Club for the chance to learn the famous beach dance, the Shag. First created in Myrtle Beach, Fat Harold’s offers lessons and nightly shag dances so you can have the full experience.
There is over eighty golf courses along the Grand Strand, representing a huge part of the local economy. North Myrtle has a particularly large number of golf courses, making it a true mecca for golf enthusiasts from around the world.
Azalea Sands Golf Club, Barefoot Resort & Golf, Beachwood Golf Club, and Eagle Nest Golf Club are only a few of the dozens of courses in North Myrtle. It is possible to book tee times directly with the club, or you can utilize one of the local booking companies to book tee times for you.
The main destination along the Grand Strand and one of the most popular vacation spots in the entire country, Myrtle Beach is a hotspot for fun and entertainment. With its flashing neon lights, delicious restaurants, copious shopping opportunities, and one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the country, it is easy to see how Myrtle Beach got its reputation for fun and excitement.
Broadway at the Beach
Easily the most popular tourist attraction in all of the Myrtle Beach area, Broadway at the Beach truly offers a little bit of everything.
Enjoy shopping, dining, live shows and entertainment, and numerous attractions for the whole family. Try your hand at zip lining, mirror mazes, TopGolf, and more. The Ripley’s Aquarium is also located at Broadway at the Beach, the perfect place to learn more about marine life.
SkyWheel Myrtle Beach
See Myrtle Beach from above with the towering SkyWheel observation wheel. This 200-foot tall Ferris wheel with glass-enclosed gondolas provides a safe and exciting way to view the town below.
Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach State Park is a quiet escape from the excitement of Myrtle Beach.
Opened in 1936, it was the first park in the South Carolina state park system. The park offers a nature trail, educational exhibits and classes, and wonderful fishing opportunities.
Just a few miles south of Myrtle Beach, you will find the small town of Murrells Inlet. This quiet, unassuming town is big on culture and history. It is said that this town is the location of the lair of the infamous pirate Blackbeard.
Today, it is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and seafood lovers, even being named the seafood capital of South Carolina.
Litchfield Beach is a great option for travelers looking for natural beauty, quiet beaches, and fine dining opportunities. Located near the southern end of the Grand Strand, this spot is perfect for a relaxed vacation. Be sure to check out the 26-mile Waccamaw Neck Bikeway, popular with hikers, runners, and cyclists.
Known for its carefree, laid-back vibes, the beach town of Pawleys Island is one of the oldest summer resorts on the East Coast. First settled in the 1700s by the owners of nearby rice plantations who wanted to escape the summertime mosquitos, Pawleys Island is still the perfect place for a relaxing oceanfront getaway.
The Grand Strand ends in the south at the city of Georgetown, the third oldest city in South Carolina.
This historic town is big on good food, fascinating history, and ample boating and fishing opportunities. Check out the Rice Museum to learn about the colonial rice plantations that surrounded the area, or visit the South Carolina Maritime Museum for educational exhibits on the state’s maritime history.
The Georgetown Harborwalk offers scenic views of the Georgetown waterfront and Front Street. Walk along this path in the evening for beautiful sunset views before stopping for dinner at one of the restaurants along Front Street.
The Grand Strand is a Perfect Getaway Destination
Spanning dozens of miles from Little River in the north to Georgetown in the south, the Grand Strand along South Carolina’s coast encompasses some of the most beautiful and exciting locations in the entire state.
Best known for the bustling city of North Myrtle Beach, the Grand Strand offers something for everyone and is the ideal place for your South Carolina vacation rental.