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Posts Tagged ‘Myrtle Beach SC’

A Travel Guide To Myrtle Beach, SC: Things to Do, Where to Stay, and Places to Eat

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Planning a Myrtle Beach family vacation? Myrtle Beach is a clear favorite, and it is easy to see why. As one of the most popular beaches for vacationing in SC, Myrtle Beach offers top-notch hotels and resorts along with tons of family-friendly activities along the Grand Strand. So we’ve gathered up reviews and coverage from Kidding Around into one convenient guide! Our guide includes places to stay, where to dine, fun activities, and more to help you create the perfect vacation.

Travel Guide to Coastal SC: Myrtle Beach
Places to travel in the United States

There are lots of other great places for family vacations! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite travel spots with all the best things to do and see while you’re there in this Ultimate Travel Guide!


Your Next Family Beach Trip Awaits at the Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort

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If you’re trying to figure out a great vacation for your family that is within a few hours of the Upstate, has plenty of entertainment within walking distance, and is located directly on the ocean, the Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort may be just the ticket.

Kristina visited the resort for a couple of days with her kids at the invitation of the Westgate and has all you need to know to plan a wonderful trip to the coast!


Explore Ocean Animals and Meet Penguins at Ripley’s Aquarium: Myrtle Beach Reviews

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If you are looking for things to do in the Myrtle Beach area, you should certainly consider a trip to Ripley’s Aquarium. Myrtle Beach reviews of the aquarium say it is an excellent choice for a family-friendly outing. Plus, it is located at Broadway at the Beach, one of Myrtle Beach’s most visited attractions. This two-story attraction includes multiple touch tanks, a shark tunnel, and lots of fish, jellies, frogs, and more to watch and learn about. There has also been a recent expansion, with the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach now having a penguin exhibit! Here’s what you need to know for your visit.

Thank you to Visit Myrtle Beach and Ripley’s Aquarium for hosting us for this review. To read all about our adventures at Myrtle Beach, see our Spring Break Itinerary for Myrtle Beach.

I’ve actually been to at least 5 other aquariums, two of which were outside the US. I was pleased to find that the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach was very clean and brightly decorated, had several significant exhibits such as the shark tunnel and tank, and that the hands-on exhibits were all in working order. The aquarium is a smaller aquarium, but still has so much to explore!

Lower Level Exhibits at Ripley’s Aquarium: Myrtle Beach, SC

Ray Bay

This tank is full of rays and sharks! The Ray Bay sting-ray exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has a full tank where you can watch divers swimming in the tank at showtimes, hand-feeding the rays. That part is pretty neat. The touch tank in the shallow area is one of my favorite exhibits at the aquarium. This large, shallow area allows you to touch the stingrays! You can run your hand along their back as they glide past you in the tanks, feeling their smooth skin. These stingrays are really large and it’s fascinating to watch them up close. This exhibit can get pretty crowded on super busy days, so keep that in mind if you’re wanting to get to the edge of the touch tank.

Ripleys Ray Bay

Dangerous Reef

Dangerous Reef at Ripley’s Aquarium is one of the coolest exhibits they have. This extra large shark tunnel and tank has a number of fish that swim above and around you. It is amazing watching the sharks swim overhead in the shark tank. There are thousands of fish, which makes for a lot of awe while you travel down the tunnel on a convey belt glide path. This is where you will find most of the large fish, including large sharks, at Ripley’s Aquarium.

Ripley's Aquarium dangerous reef exhibit

Rainbow Rock

Rainbow Rock, aka the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef, is a super colorful exhibit of fish and animals. These fish are from the Indo-Pacific and include Clownfish, Blue Tang, Clown Trigger-fish, and Emperor Angelfish. The reef itself is pretty neat since most of us have never or may never see a reef up close in person. The exhibit is a great way to learn about their defense mechanisms and why they have such bright coloring.

Living Gallery

My little kids absolutely loved this exhibit. The Living Gallery includes some of the ocean’s most beautiful creatures such as seahorses, jellies, and living coral. My favorite animal on the planet, the Octopus, can be found here. They also have some really cool sea dragons, which are relatives of seahorses, but look way cooler.

Upper-Level Exhibits at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, SC

Rio Amazon

I love the rainforest. The biodiversity is spectacular, and being able to see even a snippet of what lives there was really cool and fed my inner ecology nerd. The Rio Amazon exhibit at the Ripleys Aquarium has piranhas, colorful poisonous dart frogs, rainforest native fish, and more. They also have freshwater stingrays, which I honestly did not know existed until our visit.

Friendship Flats

If you’re wanting to learn even more about stingrays, you can head upstairs to the Friendship Flats exhibit, where you can touch stingrays as they glide by. You can also get an educational lesson on the rays, horseshoe crabs, and more from the Aquarium Educators. If you are super adventurous and willing to fork out the money, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach offers a Stingray Experience where you can swin alongside the rays.

Planet Jellies

This exhibit was pretty cool, not going to lie. The way the Planet Jellies exhibit is set up, you can watch several types of jellyfish swim through the color-changing displays. The way the lighting plays off of the jellyfish’s colors really adds to the experience, making it super fun to watch. There are moon jellies, Japanese Sea Nettles, and even unique-looking jellies like the Upside Down Jelly to watch. My 3-year-old was mesmerized by the jellies floating around the tanks, so we spent a good bit of time here in awe of them gliding through the water.

Ripleys aquarium Myrtle Beach

New Addition: Ripley’s Penguin Playhouse

Though we didn’t get to visit this particular exhibit during our visit, this recent expansion has people talking. Ripley’s Aquarium Myrtle Beach reviews sound amazing, so we had to mention it! With over 5500 square feet added on to the aquarium, the addition offers penguins, 8 new tanks with a worldly array of fish, classrooms, and more! One of the key features of the expansion is the penguin exhibit, with 21 penguins you can observe (and potentially interact with!). The Ripley’s Aquarium website has all of the penguins’ names and information, so you can learn about their personalities. The exhibit also has a 360-degree tunnel you can crawl through as penguins swim above you. There is even a penguin nursery! How adorable.

Other features at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, SC

  • There was a small playground and food court available. The playground was more suited for small children and provided a nice break.
  • One of the exhibits Systems Control allows you to see the pipes, pumps, and filters behind the scenes that keep all the tanks running smoothly.
  • You can pay an additional fee to ride the Glass Bottom Boat across a coral reef for a close look at the shark tank.
  • The new penguin exhibit also has penguin encounters for a fee, where you can get up close and personal with those adorable little birds.
  • If you are interested in the ecology of the aquarium, you can purchase tickets for the Marine Science Research Center Tour, where you will get a behind-the-scenes look at Ripley’s Aquarium.
  • Be sure to check online before your visit to find out what shows are going on that day. You can even see a Mermaid show on some weekends.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach: Ticket Information

Ticket prices for the Ripley’s Aquarium are $24.99 for kids 3-11; $39.99 for 12 and older. Purchasing online also allows you to skip the long ticket booth lines. (Note: prices may change, please check the website for current deals).

You can also purchase Ripley’s bundle and save money if you want to also visit additional Ripley’s Attractions during your trip to Myrtle Beach. The aquarium also has online deals for tickets that include animal encounters, breakfast with mermaids, pancakes with penguins, and more!

About Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
1110 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Have you ever been to Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach? What did you think?

Travel Guide to Coastal SC: Myrtle Beach

Plan Your Trip to the Coast
KA’s Guide to Myrtle Beach

10+ Beachy Adventures to Have at Huntington Beach State Park

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Have you visited Huntington Beach State Park? If you’re looking for an all-in-one camping experience that includes the beach, an abundance of wildlife, a castle, a nature center, and opportunities for learning and adventure, Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet is the place. I spent an incredible couple of days there and was planning to return even before I left. 


Vacationing at Myrtle Beach: Winter Off-Season Makes for an Excellent Time to Visit the Coast!

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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!


What to Expect at Pirates Voyage in Myrtle Beach

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Recently, my family traveled to nearby Myrtle Beach in order to check it out for our Kidding Around community. We had a lot of adventures (you can read our full Myrtle Beach itinerary here) but one of the experiences that stands out for being truly amazing and beyond our expectations was the dinner & show, Pirates Voyage produced by the Dolly Parton Company. Here’s a review of our experience at Pirates Voyage plus some tips for your visit.

Thank you to the Myrtle Beach CVB and Pirates Voyage for inviting us to enjoy the show.

Pirates swing from ropes in front of a pirate ship. Pirates Voyage Myrtle Beach

Before the show

Don’t head in too quickly as you might spy a sea lion or parrot outside before the show.

The doors open at 50 minutes before the performance. The show is around 2 hours long so take that into consideration when you plan your arrival time. However, there is an entertaining pre-show in the Pirates Village with pirates singing and tricks to help pass the minutes before your meal begins. We were happy to see lots of seating in the waiting area and there was popcorn and drink available for purchase if you needed a snack.  Before the show you can also pay $19.99 per person to “Join the crew” which includes face painting, costume accessories, and flags. The face painting area was decorated very nicely with huge chairs for the kids to sit in and the face painting looked very elaborated. You should reserve your spot ahead of time if you want to add this to your package.

I was also pleased to find that the gift shop had a wide range of prices and types of items.  Our kids had brought some of their own spending money but it wasn’t much and both found a decent costume prop for $3 each in the gift store.

About the show

Pirate on stage spinning fire

Be prepared to be entertained by pirates, tricks, animals, and even mermaids during the two hour show. My family was impressed by the number of tricks and the many surprises. The show also included singing, dancing, and a fun story plot. Don’t worry if your kids are not into pirates, there are parrots, sea lions, mermaids, and lots of tricks and aerobatics. The show is fast paced and kept my kids’ attention for the entire time.

You will also be assigned a pirate team to cheer for which adds a fun interactive element. It’s all lighthearted and while there is enough sword fighting and banter to keep the kids entertained, it’s not violent or scary.

At a couple points in the show, members of the audience were given a chance to participate. I’m not sure how the members are chosen, but my kids were picked to chase ducks. They received a book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and a medal for their participation.

It’s easy to see from any level of seating in the arena. We were seated in one of the higher sections and had no trouble seeing. In my opinion, it’s worth paying a couple extra dollars to be in the preferred section though in order to be in the middle of the room.

The food

Plates of food and a drink

Like most dinner & show venues, you will be served a set menu, though you can request a vegetarian meal or gluten free meal when you make your reservation. The beverages served are Coke, Diet Coke, tea, and water and you are served multiple refills during the meal. The food was hot and fresh and included chicken, shredded pork, corn on the cob, creamy vegetable soup, bread, basted potato, and an apple pie pastry. You can purchase additional beverages at the start of the show.

Last Tips

Be sure to bring a suitable cash tip as tips are not included in your ticket price. Our table had a small sign that suggested 15% for good service. The servers work very hard carrying large trays across the arena while in costume and they deserve a decent tip.

Have your kids use the restroom before the show as it’s a long show during which they will possibly be consuming a lot of beverage. We were really happy to find clean restrooms that were actually large enough to accommodate the crowds (in fact when we headed there after the show we didn’t even have to wait in line).

If you choose to skip the pre-show, be sure to still arrive early enough to allow time to go through the ticket lines and get your photo taken before the show.

You can purchase a bundled deal on the Pirates Voyage website when you purchase your tickets to save money on tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium or Wonderworks.

About Pirates Voyage

8907 N. Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
(843) 497-9700
Pirates Voyage website
Ticket prices: $49.99/adults, $26.99/children

Have you ever been to Pirates Voyage? What did you think?

Brookgreen Gardens Is a Miniature Paradise Near Myrtle Beach

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If you are visiting Myrtle Beach, you must put Brookgreen Gardens on your bucket list. This miniature paradise is located in Murrells Inlet (about 45 minutes from Myrtle Beach) and it’s only a couple minutes from Huntington Beach State Park.

Thank you to the Visit Myrtle Beach and Brookgreen Gardens for inviting us to experience Brookgreen Gardens during our week stay at Myrtle Beach. You can get our complete Spring Break Itinerary for Myrtle Beach here.

The azaleas at Brookgreen Gardens

What’s there to do at Brookgreen Gardens?

First, don’t allow the name to trick you into thinking that you will only experience a garden (though you will certainly stroll through plenty of beautiful gardens), this award winning destination includes also a lowcountry zoo, several children’s areas, a large sculpture collection, and more. Put on your walking shoes and sunscreen because you could easily spend the entire day exploring.

The Creek Excursion

The Creek Excursion at Brookgreen Gardens

We started our visit by heading to the Wall Lowcountry Center to purchase tickets for the Creek Excursion. This pontoon boat tour down the creek is not included in general admission but it’s priced very fairly. I’m so glad that we choose to go on the boat excursion because the tour guide shared a lot of interesting historical information about the rice plantations that were originally in the area and the various owners of the property. We also saw several alligators and native birds. The pontoon boat is shaded too giving you a little break from the sun. Be sure you have your kids use the restroom before the boat ride as it is 45 minutes. Children old enough to enjoy the presentation or that don’t mind sitting quietly for longer periods of time will enjoy the ride best.

Children’s Discovery Center

After we finished the boat ride, we headed back to the Wall Lowcountry Center where we discovered that the Children’s Discovery Center had opened for the day. This small room was stocked with fun activities for the kids including a dinosaur dig, a clay sculpture area, and an art station. It was also air conditioned and had two rocking chairs. I imagine that in July, this is the most popular spot in the gardens for kids needing to cool off for a couple minutes.

Walk to the Lowcountry Zoo

You can either ride the trolley up to the Lowcountry Zoo or walk, but if it’s spring you should definitely choose to walk because you won’t want to miss the path framed by Azalea bushes and the many look out stations and trees that you will pass on the pathways. There are complimentary strollers parked at the Wall Lowcountry Center if you have a little kid that tires quickly from walking. The strollers are quite large and our seven year old managed to cram herself in one.

Storybook Forest

Right before you reach the zoo, you will find the Storybook Forest which is a collection of play houses and structures painted and themed around fairy tale characters. There isn’t a lot of shade (despite it being a “forest”) but the kids didn’t seem to mind at all.

Lowcountry Zoo

The Lowcountry Zoo is not large but it’s perhaps one of the most relaxing zoos I’ve ever been in. The pathways were shaded and beautifully landscaped with plenty of shade and the animal exhibits mostly blended in very well with the native surroundings. Inside the zoo we walked close to herons, watched otters play, and saw an alligator. All of the animals in the zoo are native to the area and the raptor area is all rehabilitated birds that can not live in the wild. The zoo does offer free tours and activities depending on what time and day you visit. We also saw a butterfly house but it was not open during our visit.


Of course, you cannot visit Brookgreen Gardens without seeing the famous gardens. They are quite large and varied. The azaleas were in bloom when we visited in early April and were absolutely beautiful. In the gardens, you will find not just flowers and fountains but also a large collection of around 2,000 pieces of art, mostly sculptures.

Tips for Visiting Brookgreen Gardens

We learned a couple things during our visit that I’m sure you will want to know:

  • There are plenty of bathrooms, but if you go on the Creek excursion like we did, make sure your kid goes to the bathroom FIRST. It’s 45 minutes which is plenty of time for a kid to go from “I need to go to the bathroom” to “it’s an emergency”.
  • Your ticket includes the entire gardens and zoo. It’s quite a large area and there are several guided tours. Plan on eating while you are there. There are several restaurants onsite and there are lots of great spots to eat a picnic.
  • There are complimentary strollers (including “adult strollers”) which is really nice because there is a lot of walking.
  • Almost everything is outside so be sure to put on your sunscreen and bring a bottle of water.
  • Many of the sculptures have a fig leaf or less of clothing. Be prepared for your child to point this out loudly at the most inappropriate moments.

About Brookgreen Gardens

1931 Brookgreen Drive
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Hours: 9-5 every day (with extended hours during select periods of the year)
Admission: $18 for adults (13 and older), $10 for children (4-12), FREE children under 4, $16 for seniors (65+)

Have you ever been to Brookgreen Gardens? What did you think?

What to Expect at Medieval Times: Myrtle Beach, SC

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If you have ever wanted a chance to let your kids be a medieval lord or lady for a night, you should consider reserving tickets for the dinner/show Medieval Times. Myrtle Beach is full of unique places to visit, and Medieval Times is one of the most creative and interesting experiences you’ll find. Here’s what to expect and also some key tips from our visit to help you have a fantastic experience.

Information about Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Plan out your next epic vacation with our Guide to Myrtle Beach, SC, loaded with things to do, places to stay, places to eat, and more!

Thank you to Visit Myrtle Beach and Medieval Times for making it possible to write this review.

Entranceway to Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The Preshow and Souvenirs at Medieval Times Myrtle Beach

The doors open 75 minutes before the show and seating is first come, first serve. We arrived about an hour before the show started and while it did result in some of the best seats in the house, our children had trouble waiting until the show began. If you are craving those front-row seats, early arrival is key, but we recommend waiting if you have younger kids.

Upon arriving you will be given your seat ticket, officially crowned with a paper crown, and posed for a photo. My kids were especially impressed when they saw that we were entering a castle, complete with a drawbridge.

Be sure to have your children use the restroom right before the show as you won’t want to have to take them in and out during the action.

The Preshow

Before the show begins you can watch a pre-show where you can pay to be “knighted”, several gift shops, a bar, and a torture museum (additional fee). The show is around two hours, so if your kids are younger you may want to arrive closer to 20-30 minutes early if you don’t care about your seats.

Gift Shop

The gift shop has a number of interesting souvenirs such as light-up swords, costumes, and rather real looking weapons.  You may want to consider budgeting for flags as your children can wave them during the show. The gift shop sells some really nice flags but we were also offered $3-5 pennants and flags once we were seated in the arena.

The main arena at Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The Food at Medieval Times Myrtle Beach

Remember that the show is a big part of the evening, but my family did really enjoy the meal too. You will be served a four-course meal, which ours included tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, garlic bread, corn on the cob, herb basted potatoes, a dessert (it was pound cake our night), and Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or water. Coffee is also on the menu, but it wasn’t offered to us the night we attended. You can substitute a vegetarian meal that includes items such as warm pita bread and humus, carrots and celery, three bean soup, and fruit which is a nice option.

The meal is served to you throughout the show so there is no customization available (other than the option to choose vegetarian), you will have no silverware (since you are in the Dark Ages), and there is just two rounds of drinks served. You can order additional drinks including non-alcoholic and kid-friendly drinks from the bartender who will visit your table before the show. They also have a full-service bar for adults who want a drink or two.

What Is The Show Like at Medieval Times?

Medieval Times at Myrtle Beach knights on horseback.

The show is approximately 2 hours and includes horses, a falcon demonstration, a knight tournament, and then a battle between the knights to determine the victor. The different parts of the story are tied together through dialogue of the king, his daughter, and the herald who frequently address the audience. Our family had trouble understanding what was being said but we were still able to follow the general flow of the story.

Each family is seated in the arena and assigned a knight and team to cheer for. The show is very personable with the knights making eye contact directly to the people in their sections (or even sneering at the opposing sections). The knights are also awarded flowers from the princess throughout the night which they throw out to the children in their section.

My children seemed particularly captivated by the closeness and realism of the arena. In fact, my daughter kept blowing kisses to our knight after receiving a flower. All the seats are really quite good in the arena. But, you are a little closer to the knights and action if you have a front or second-row seat.

My kids favorite part was definitely the sword fighting at the end of the show. It was full of big clangs, sparks, and all sorts of weapons. There is no blood, but be prepared for your knight to die as only one will survive.  I did read reviews online where some families felt like the fighting was inappropriate for small children, but I personally did not think that it was scary or particularly violent beyond being a sword fight.

Tips for Medieval Times

Gratuity is not included in your ticket price. Be sure to bring cash so that you can tip your server rather than tipping with your credit card. Even though the meal seems simpler than what you would experience at a regular restaurant, your server is having to carry massive trays (possibly a long distance) and be in character and costume during the entire evening. After some online research, we settled on $5/person which seems to be a common tip amount for the show.

Medieval Times is a show with horses and animals. So, don’t be surprised if you occasionally smell horses or see things that you would rather not during dinner. At least though your average kid thinks that horse poop during dinner is pretty funny. The arena is continually cleaned throughout the show.

If your kid needs to use the restroom at the end of the show (and it’s an “emergency”, of course), you might want to duck out right before the show officially ends. Lines for the restrooms can get quite long after the show.

You may be able to find deals on the Medieval Times website depending on when you are attending.

General Information

We attended the Medieval Times show in Myrtle Beach and had a great time. You can also find a show close to the Upstate in Atlanta, Georgia.

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
2904 Fantasy Way, Myrtle Beach, SC

Have you ever been to Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach? What did you think?

Places to travel in the United States

Check out our Travel Guide for more places to visit throughout the US, with reviews to help you plan the perfect trip.

Kid-Friendly Vacation Ideas for Spring Break? Myrtle Beach, SC is Perfect for Families

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Are you planning a fun family trip for spring break? Myrtle Beach makes an excellent choice for a family friendly spring break vacation! Though it may be a little chilly for swimming in the ocean and the waterparks won’t be open yet, don’t think for a minute that spring weather will limit your fun in the Myrtle Beach area. Instead, the cooler weather will make the parks and attractions more pleasant. There are also smaller crowds and plenty of kid friendly hotels with indoor pools to enjoy. Here is a list of things to do during spring break at Myrtle Beach, plus a schedule of how to fit it all in (complete with dining options).

Thank you to Visit Myrtle Beach and the many venues we visited for hosting Kidding Around.

Where to stay in Myrtle Beach?

This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites Myrtle Beach/Oceanfront. The hotel is situated right on the beach and has multiple indoor and outdoor pools. The outdoor pools even have sprinklers and there is a lazy river and hot tub. Since it was April, we spent most of our time swimming in the indoor pool but the outdoor pools were open even though it was only early April.

Hampton Inn Oceanfront Myrtle Beach hotel room view

Our room faced the ocean with a porch with rocking chairs and a table. It was pleasant to be able to watch the sunset over the ocean from the comfort of our room in the evening and the kids loved being able to open our porch doors to let in the fresh ocean breeze in the morning. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the complimentary “continental” breakfast at our Hampton included a hot bar with eggs and sausage, fresh waffles, fruit, and plenty of other choices. Not only is breakfast great but the breakfast room overlooks the ocean and it’s quite pretty. It was a good start to the day.

Hotels in Myrtle Beach with Indoor Pools

If you want the summer beach vacation experience during your Spring Break vacation, finding a hotel with an indoor pool is a must. Captain’s Quarters Resort Myrtle Beach offers a wonderful indoor lazy river and indoor pool that is open all year, so your spring break vacation will feel more like summer. The resort is kid friendly and is only a few miles drive to Broadway at the Beach, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and tons of attractions.

First Evening of Spring Break in Myrtle Beach – Catch a Dinner Show!

Medieval Times at Myrtle Beach

Who says that you need a full day to start having fun. Start your spring break vacation off right and make your first night part of vacation by heading to Medieval Times for a dinner show. The show will transport you right back to the Dark Ages. Upon entering the castle, you are immediately lords and ladies (complete with a crown). The show includes a full knight competition with horses followed by serious threat to the kingdom that requires an all-out sword fight to determine the best knight to defend the kingdom’s honor. It’s full of cheering, booing, and fun.

Tip: Make sure you plan plenty of time. The traffic into the Myrtle Beach area can be a little slow and you will want to arrive at the dinner show at least a half hour or more in advance.

Day 1 of Spring Break – Visit the Murrells Inlet & the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk

We decided to hit the ground running our first day of spring break in Myrtle Beach with an action-packed day at Murrells Inlet. Murrells Inlet is about a 45-minute drive from Myrtle Beach, but it’s well worth the drive.

brookgreen storybook forest

Brookgreen Gardens – We started our morning at Brookgreen Gardens. I had researched the gardens online before our visit but was still amazed by the size and the beauty. We started out our morning in the gardens with a Creek Excursion that took us in a pontoon boat along the creek where we saw rice fields and wildlife (including a couple gators). The excursion is super family friendly, and it is interesting to watch your kids awe over the boat ride. We also learned quite a bit about the history of the area and the Brookgreen Gardens. After our boat ride, we spent time exploring the Children’s Discovery Room, Storybook Forest, Lowcountry Zoo, and the Gardens.

For lunch, we packed a picnic to eat at Brookgreen Gardens where we found ample picnic spots. There were also a couple restaurants on the grounds to choose from.

huntington beach

Huntington Beach State Park – After the gardens, we headed over to Huntington Beach State Park which was just a short distance down the road. This state park offers hiking, a wide 3 miles of beach, and Atalaya. Huntington Beach State Park is also one of the best places to spot birds in the Southeast. Our kids were tired and itching to get on the beach but I was able to sneak off first and get a peek inside Atalaya. You can tour Atalaya, the original 30 room winter home of the Huntingtons for just $2/person.

Drunken Jack's Murrells Inlet Marshwalk

We decided to splurge on fresh seafood that night at the iconic Drunken Jack’s at the Murrells Inlet marshwalk. Our table offered a view of the ocean and I tried Chef Casey’s Risotto (an award-winning dish that has Mahi-Mahi, scallops, risotto, and lobster & crab cream sauce). It was a more expensive meal, but the atmosphere, fresh seafood, and cool decor made it worth the cost. Our kids felt very welcome as their kids’ meals came with pirate hats and they were presented with a gold coin at the end of the meal as a reward for “eating good”. After eating dinner, you can take a walk down the docks to watch native birds perching, boats cruising through the marsh, or even catch an evening sunset. The Murrells Inlet marshwalk is quite magical at sunset, and my kids loved looking at all the herons and seabirds hanging around.

Spending our first day of spring break in Murrells Inlet was really packed and resulted in some tired kids, so we elected to head back to the hotel after dinner where the kids had a quick swim before bed.

Day 2 of Spring Break – Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and Broadway at the Beach

Ripleys aquarium Myrtle Beach

We started our second day, by heading to Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach. The aquarium was really clean and brightly decorated and the exhibits were very nice. There was a shark tunnel, sting ray exhibit, jelly area, and more. I was impressed to see two sting ray petting tanks (one with some massive stingrays) and even a moon jelly touching tank. If you are looking for additional options beyond the aquarium Broadway at the Beach offers shopping and several kid-friendly attractions including Ripley’s Odditorium, Ripley’s Movie Theatre 5D, Ripley’s Mirror Maze, Wonderworks, and a nice playground. Broadway at the Beach is one of our favorite attractions because it is super family friendly, offers live music and entertainment, has excellent dining options, and is a great way to spend a day during your spring break vacation.

Dagwoods Deli Myrtle Beach

After a couple hours at the aquarium, we ate lunch at Dagwood’s Deli. The burgers and sandwiches we ordered were absolutely delicious and we were glad that we arrived a little before noon as the restaurant quickly filled up soon after we arrived. It was an affordable meal too with most menu items priced under $10.

Dagwood’s Deli was located near several $5 parking lots where we were able to snag a parking space that was not only perfect for lunch but an easy walk to our next destination, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel.

Myrtle Beach Skywheel

We had never ridden a ferris wheel as tall as the Skywheel before and we were all a little nervous (in fact, one of my kids almost backed out), but we decided to all give it a try. The line looked long but moved remarkably fast (I think that we were only in line for about 10 minutes). There was space for our entire family to be in one car and it felt safe and even had air conditioning. (If ferris wheels make you nervous, you will be glad to know that there is also an emergency button in the car too).

The Skywheel is in middle of the strip at Myrtle Beach where you can easily shop for souvenirs or walk along the Myrtle Beach boardwalk.

Savannah's Playground

After the Skywheel, we headed to Savannah’s Playground, a massive all-inclusive playground for children. The playground offered a zipline, large playground, swings, and plenty of space to play. It’s also completely free.

Pirates Voyage Myrtle Beach

Evening Entertainment & Dinner: We chose to experience the dinner show, Pirate’s Voyage, where we were delighted by acrobatics, singing, dancing, and animals. It was a fast-paced show with a lot of special effects and music and there were even mermaids.

Day 3 of Spring Break – Myrtle Beach Full Experience

On our third day, we decided to experience the heart of Myrtle Beach by heading out to nature followed by a relaxing game of mini golf (Did you know that Myrtle Beach is the mini golf capital of the world?).

Myrtle Beach State Park

We were struck immediately by the beauty of Myrtle Beach State Park. It’s a lovely drive into the park area where you will find a Nature Center and programming, a nature trail, a fishing pier, and a beach front. The hiking was very simple and easy for our two children and while we did not fish we did walk out on to the pier to get a better view of the ocean and shore. Our kids then played in the ocean despite it being a nippy 50 degrees outside. Fortunately, the park has rinsing stations and bathhouse where you can change. We packed a couple sandwiches figuring that our kids would be hungry before we left the park.

Captain Hook's Adventure

After the park, we decided to try our hand at mini golf. One thing, we noticed immediately when we drove into Myrtle Beach was how many mini golf options there were to choose from and they all looked fun. We chose Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf, which ended up being just perfect. The easier course, The Lost Boys was fun but not too difficult and our greens took us past mermaids, into a skull cave, near a pirate ship, and past numerous waterfalls.

After a good game of mini golf, you need ice cream! So we returned our putters and drove over to Kirk’s 1890s Ice Cream Parlor. There we found not only an excellent selection of ice cream flavors but also cute retro decor.

 Kirk's 1890s Ice Cream Parlo

Dinner & Evening Entertainment – We were all in the mood for pizza that last night, so after a little bit of research we settled on Ducatis Trattoria and Pizzaria. We knew it was a good choice, the second we saw the ginormous garlic knots arrive at our table. The pizza was equally delicious.

After dinner we decided to cap our trip off with a night at the Carolina Opry. The show was truly amazing and our kids really enjoyed the singing and the dancing. We also saw a couple acts that gave a taste of Thunder and Light (a dance & laser light show) and Pure Magic the Wagsters (a magic show). Both performances were amazing and fun. The evening show did end up having a couple jokes and a song that were too close to PG-13 for our family. In addition, it was a little long for little kids (over two hours) but the music and dancing were incredible. Next time we are in town, we plan on snagging tickets for either the Thunder and Light show or the Pure Magic show as both of those are in the morning and our kids especially loved those acts.

Enjoying the Trip back home

LW Paul Living History Farm

On our way home, we decided to stop in route in Conway to see the LW Paul Living History Farm. This working farm is open to the public on Tuesdays-Saturdays from 9-4. You can either call ahead and schedule a tour or explore at your own pace. There are animals, restored original buildings, and it’s completely free. Check their schedule ahead of time as they also have events on the calendar. The farm is only about 45 minutes from Myrtle Beach. The Horry County Museum is also just a couple minutes away and is also free to the public.

Have you ever been to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break? What are your favorite things to do?