This Fall Break, my two teens and I headed to Myrtle Beach. While it felt like all their friends left Nashville for North Florida, we headed East. Now, I'm sharing with you all the top things to do in Myrtle Beach with teenagers. Plus, you know I'll tell you how you can save money in Myrtle Beach and along the way.
After a long weekend in Myrtle Beach, we learned a thing or two about where to go, eat and stay. Thus, here's my list of top things to do in Myrtle Beach with Teenagers:
While there is SO much to see and do, I'd venture to say some of the things are similar to attractions you'll find at other beach towns and tourist destinations. I was a little surprised when I heard my teens say they wanted to skip some things I'd planned to stay at the beach, but also thankful. After all, it's hard to come back from a trip feeling rested if all you've been doing is running around.
We were originally invited to stay in Myrtle Beach courtesy of Vacation Myrtle Beach after I shared about the chance to win an oceanfront Myrtle Beach Condo. They provided our accommodations, as well as access to some Myrtle Beach activities.
After our experience, I wanted to share both the best parts of our trip, as well as some questions we wish we'd asked before visiting. And since every family is different, I believe it's important to not only share our own experiences, but provide you a framework for how you can decide the best way for your family to vacation in Myrtle Beach.
Before you book your stay in Myrtle Beach, you need to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
If you are looking for a true escape, aren't traveling with a large party and don't plan on eating or hanging out in your room much, you may choose to opt for a hotel.
But if you are traveling with friends or family, plan to eat at least a meal or two each day on-property and don't plan to do as much off-site, you may want to look into a vacation rental property.
It's equally important to ask your teenagers these questions as well. I found when my kids were smaller, they liked doing a lot of activities while on vacation. As they've gotten older, they'd rather spend all day at the beach or pool. While they do like to do something fun after dinner, it might be something as simple as getting ice cream before coming back to the room to watch a movie.
Case in point: don't assume anything when traveling with teens. Why kill yourself planning every minute of your day when they may be wanting to relax by the water as much as you do?
Once you answer the questions above and decide the most important aspects of your vacation, you need to count the entire cost of your stay.
For example, we previously stayed at the Palm Beach Marriott and had an amazing trip. One thing we loved was the beach lounge chairs and activities that were included in our stay. But we discovered the Marriott Myrtle Beach, like most of the other Myrtle Beach oceanfront properties, doesn't provide lounge chairs on the beach.
Instead, you can rent two beach chairs with an umbrella for $40 a day from the city's lifeguards. For us, that was too much.
It's also important to ask if parking is included in your stay and if the property charges any resort fees. For our family, the more we have to spend on extra fees, the less we get to spend on having fun or eating at new restaurants. Be careful to read the fine print; it may look like you're getting a cheaper room price at first glance but then you end up paying more after you add up all the additional charges and taxes.
Myrtle Beach is about a 9 hour drive from Nashville. I was actually surprised at how big (or should I say long) Myrtle Beach is.
We drove down through Atlanta and then across I-20 East to get to Myrtle Beach. I didn't realize we could drive almost an hour once within city limits and still be in Myrtle Beach.
Originally, we were booked to stay in (South) Myrtle Beach. To be honest, this area reminded me of Pigeon Forge. There is no shortage of pancake houses, mini-golf and beach-themed gift shops. Most of the restaurants are local and many are family-owned, though you'll still find familiar fast-food franchises and drug stores.
Just a short drive up the coast brings you to North Myrtle Beach. Dare I say, it's a little more 'upscale', for lack of a better word. There is no shortage of chains you'll recognize (both restaurants and shops). We also discovered more high-end restaurants, including the 'farm to table' feel we see in so many Nashville restaurants.
While you will find some of the activities I suggested above in Myrtle Beach (like the SkyWheel and Rockin' Jump), we found staying in North Myrtle Beach more convenient. (For example, Barefoot Landing & Flying Fish were just down the street from Beach Cove resort where we stayed).
We spend our first night at the Captain's Quarters Resort. But after realizing it was an exterior-entrance, motel-style oceanfront property, we opted to move. Also, not all the outdoor pools were heated and since we visited in October, this was important to us, especially for nighttime swims after dinner.
The team at Vacation Myrtle Beach graciously offered us a one-bedroom suite at the Beach Cove Resort in North Myrtle Beach for the remainder of our stay. You can read my review of Beach Cove Resort in this post.
It's no secret that Nashville isn't known for its seafood. So the one thing we knew we wanted to find in Myrtle Beach was a seafood restaurant with the freshest seafood possible.
Spoiler alert, our favorite seafood restaurant in Myrtle Beach was the Flying Fish.
After a good deal of research and recommendations, we also uncovered these other favorite Myrtle Beach seafood restaurants that all get rave reviews for different reasons (click the link to read the full post for my reviews).
I just shared a lot of information, so if I had to sum up, here's what I want you to remember:
I'll continue to update this post as I process more pictures and gain more insights. If you have any of your own tips for traveling to Myrtle Beach with teens, I'd love for you to leave them in the comments below.