Have you ever considered booking a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina during the winter months? We think it should be at the top of your list! Heading to the beach in the winter can be an excellent time to explore the Myrtle Beach area without crowds, while still enjoying all the fun the Grand Strand has to offer. Kidding Around will tell you why a trip to the coast of South Carolina in the off-season is not only a fun vacation, but also a budget-friendly one.
If you are looking for a fun and affordable family vacation with plenty of activities to keep you busy, Myrtle Beach is the place!
*Accommodations and a media pass were provided by Visit Myrtle Beach for the purpose of this guide, however, all opinions and words are that of the writer.
Why Vacation During the Myrtle Beach Off-Season?
Why would you plan a trip to the beach, and never actually go to the beach? It’s a funny thing to consider, but I’m going to give you a bunch of reasons why a trip to one of South Carolina’s most popular coastal destinations is a great idea during the winter!
Having spent the majority of my life near the ocean, I can assure you that there are plenty of things to do near the ocean that don’t involve the ocean. An excellent example of that is found at Myrtle Beach! Winter weather is typically very mild toward the coast, so all of those extra things you like to do while you are on a summertime beach vacation are still available in the winter.
The most alluring reason to book a trip in the winter is the savings. Because of the high volume of rooms in Myrtle Beach, winter rates in the off-season are drastically reduced. Where you might spend hundreds of dollars for a resort with indoor water features away from the coast, the same type of fun can be found for a fraction of the price, along with all of the fun Myrtle Beach has to offer.
Where to Stay: Myrtle Beach Winter Friendly Resorts
Depending on when you plan to take your off-season trip, there are a few things to consider when you book accommodations. Whether you want to look for hotels with views of the Atlantic Ocean, or resorts that are close to Broadway at the Beach and other year-round attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Myrtle Beach, winter seasonal activities as well. However, you want to make sure the hotel fits your desires based on the fact that its colder and this may not be your typical beach trip. One thing we heard from readers when we polled them about trips to Myrtle Beach in the off-season, was making sure your hotel pool is really “indoor”.
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My kids and I stayed here on our most recent trip, and we had so many things planned, we didn’t get to take full advantage of the resort amenities! The resort boasts 10+ pools, with a partially indoor set of pools, a lazy river, and hot tubs. The kid’s waterpark and waterslide are separate from the rest of the pool areas. Because none of the pools here are completely enclosed, I wouldn’t recommend a stay here in the colder months if a dip in the pool is an expectation on the trip.
The parking garage makes coming and going from your room easy. Less hauling of tired children through the hotel and onto elevators is always a plus. The hotel has a restaurant, a lounge, and a Starbucks coffee shop in the lobby which makes grabbing a bite to eat easy.
The room we stayed in at The Grande Cayman Resort had a small kitchen area that included a mini-fridge, a coffee maker, and a sink. One of the features I always love to see in hotels is a dining table. Our room had a full-size table and four chairs, along with a walk-out patio and chairs to enjoy coffee in the morning. Our room was spacious, had hard flooring which I prefer over carpeting in hotels, and comfortable beds. A feature that I have never seen before was the resort’s virtual assistant. I got a text from “Ivy”, and if I needed something like new towels, garbage service or information it was just a text message away.
This family of resorts is one of my family’s favorites. They share accommodations and by bouncing back and forth between resorts, your whole family can have a trip suited to them!
Captain’s Quarters amenities include 15 water features! There’s a kid’s splash park, hot tubs, an arcade, a bowling alley, special weekend activities, and more. Hotel BLUE amenities include a swim-up bar, an indoor lazy river open year round, a Cafe, and a Starbucks in the lobby. Both locations have indoor, and completely enclosed water features, making a dip in the pool ok, any time of year.
Off Season Things to Do in Myrtle Beach: Winter Weather Approved!
There is so much to see and do in Myrtle Beach! Activities you probably always think “oh we should do that!’ during a beach trip, but then never get around to, you can do now! Off season is the perfect time.
The 2-story aquarium is home to over 10, 000 animals. Everything from sharks to penguins, and the elusive mermaid. Ripley’s Aquarium is conveniently located within the Broadway at the Beach entertainment and shopping complex, so you could easily spend an entire day of fun in this one location.
Expect to spend at least two hours visiting the aquarium. You may stay longer if you plan on adding one of the additional experiences to your visit. If you have a fan of mermaids in your family, be sure to make note of that days visit times in front of the Ray Bay Reef. The mermaids will make an appearance in the tank, and then afterward will pose with fans.
The aquarium is completely indoors, and is perfect for a day when it is too cold, or rainy day. The Ripley’s Aquarium also has special Holiday events like visits with Santa, Drive-in Movies, a Holiday Festival of Trees, and more.
Broadway at the Beach boasts 350-acres of shopping, dining, and entertainment in one convenient location. Aquariums, celebrity chef restaurants, surf shops, fireworks and more will keep your family busy all day. The added benefit of free parking will make this a favorite spot for all the members of your family. Some popular spots to check out are:
Seasonal events are listed on the Broadway at the Beach Event Calendar, and include things like Santa visits and more.
There are several different dinner show, year-round attractions in Myrtle Beach, and something for everyone. One of the most popular is the Medieval Times show. The show includes horse riding knights, jousting, an appearance by the queen, and more during the 2-hour long experience.
The sixth highest Ferris wheel in the US provides riders with amazing views of the beach and the boardwalk area. A ride on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is fun no matter what time of year it is. Check the SkyWheel Website for special events. They offer sunrise rides that include breakfast! Also, the Winter Wonderland at the Beach attraction set up in the square next to Sky Wheel.
Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens
Located just south of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet is the lovely Brookgreen Gardens. During the winter months, you can see a stunning display of lights illuminating the gardens. The awe-inspiring display is affectionately deemed the Nights of a Thousand Candles due to the sheer amount of actual lit candles throughout the gardens, over 2700! Guests will hear holiday music, sip warm cider, and take in the refreshing ocean scents during their visit. Nights of a Thousand Candles begins at the end of November every year and runs through the first of January.
If you are visiting Myrtle Beach during the off-season, then catching a show at The Carolina Opry is certain to be on the itinerary. Every November through December, The Carolina Opry offers The Carolina Opry Christmas Special. The show is full of color, energy, and brightens the Christmas spirit with festive performances. You can also check out performances outside of the Christmas Special during the Myrtle Beach winter months, including concerts and performances from some of your favorite artists.
Kidding Around Readers Recommend Myrtle Beach Off-Season Travel
we just got back for a four day three night trip from Myrtle Beach. The kids had an amazing time and the resort we stayed at all the pools where heated we spent all our time in the outdoor pool and the kids played on the water slides…. It was our first time staying with them and we are planning on going back.Kristina Michelle Owenby Green
Kristina Michelle Owenby Green stayed at the Crown Reef Resort & Waterpark: Myrtle Beach Family Resorts
We always go in Oct or Nov. Usually the weather is still warm enough for the kids to enjoy the water and i dont die of a heat stroke. Its less crowded and much quieter!Elis ZG
We go every December. Alot less people, cheaper, weather isn’t blazing hot, absolutely prefer it to summer time and the kids ask for that to be part of their Christmas and they pick what we do while thereCrystal Proffitt Laird
We got back last night! We go every year tge weekend of Columbus Day. It’s awesome. Still warm enough to play on the beach and swim (especially because our condo place has heated pools and an indoor one too). It’s beautiful weather. It’s not as crowded. It’s not so hot you’re miserable in the sun. It’s one of my favorite long weekends of the year!!Laura Jones
Laura Jones stayed at the Mar Vista Grande
It’s less expensive and less crowded. But some things are only open seasonally so you have to come up with what you want to do and check if it’s open. Unless you are a real big “get in the ocean “ type of person it’s probably easier and cheaper to go on off season.Kody Ward
We went the first week of February for the weekend. It was cold but quiet. We got a suite for around 100 a nightTraci Pittman
Kidding Around’s Kristina recently stayed at the Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort, and had a great time!
Spending The Holidays at the Beach
Using the winter break from school as a chance to go away is becoming more popular. Some families even use a vacation away from home during Christmas. It’s a clutter-free way to celebrate in lieu of an avalanche of gifts on Christmas morning. Breaking away from tradition might be scary for some readers. However, my kids and I went to Orlando one year and woke up in a hotel room Christmas morning; we had a blast.
There is a guide to Holiday Experiences in Myrtle Beach that you can enjoy. Here are some fun holiday activities mentioned by readers.