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Planning the Ultimate Family Vacation in Myrtle Beach

In the last year, I have planned two family vacations in Myrtle Beach. Both of those vacations were two very different experiences. The first vacation was focused on relaxing and spending quality time at the beach as a family.

The second vacation was with my in-laws and we did a lot more activities. Both vacations were fun, but I enjoyed the second one because it was more researched. The first trip I had a “let’s just wing it” mentality and it also rained a lot. 

Peaking at the sunrise at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina through tall grass.

Best Time to Visit Myrtle Beach 

The best time to visit Myrtle Beach is in the summer months. Myrtle Beach is a popular family vacation destination due to the attractions, affordability, and its convenient location. With Myrtle Beach being located on the eastern side of the United States, the water tends to be colder, so it’s usually not warm enough to swim until late-May. 

How Many Days Do You Need in Myrtle Beach? 

I would say 5-days to the whole week should be plenty of time! My first family vacation in Myrtle Beach was only 3-nights/4-days and I don’t feel like that was enough time. Between soaking up some sun on the beach to doing other activities, it’s hard to squeeze a whole trip into a couple of days. 

Transportation in Myrtle Beach

If you are flying to Myrtle Beach, I would suggest getting a rental car unless you feel comfortable taking a Lyft or Uber everywhere. You could probably get away with not having a car if you’re staying close to the boardwalk and aren’t planning on doing much since mostly everything is located on Ocean Boulevard. Just like most of the United States, Myrtle Beach relies heavily on car transportation and most attractions are out of walking distance.  

Myrtle Beach Airport 

Myrtle Beach does have its own airport. The airport code is MYR. It is small so you may not have as many lounges or restaurants as other airports, but it gets you to where you need to go! This makes planning your family vacation in Myrtle Beach a bit easier since most major and budget airlines fly to and out of Myrtle Beach airport. Just be prepared to have a layover since most airlines will probably fly you into one of their hubs before flying you to your final destination. 

Airplane wing with a clear blue sky and fluffy white clouds

Family Friendly Hotels in Myrtle Beach 

Overall, you can’t go wrong with having a family vacation in Myrtle Beach because it’s so family friendly. Most of the hotels are kid-friendly and include amenities that cater to children. This is the list of hotels that I have personally stayed at and enjoyed. 

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Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations

Ocean 22 is in a convenient location. It’s a short 15-minute walk from the boardwalk and a 5-minute drive to Broadway at the Beach. It’s a timeshare resort so you can pay a cash price through booking.com or Hilton’s website unless you’re a Hilton Grand Vacation member.

We booked an oceanfront 3-bedroom suite, and it was amazing! It included a full kitchen, wash/dryer, and multiple bathrooms. It was perfect for all 5 family members. The resort also included 2 pools, a kids-room, a small market store that also served Starbucks, and a gym. My favorite part was it had easy beach access. 

Hotel room at Ocean 22 in Myrtle Beach

Kingston Plantation 

I’m just going to be honest and say Kingston Plantations wasn’t as nice as Ocean 22, but it was still nice. We had a one-bedroom condo for my family that included one bathroom with a standing shower.

It was a short 5-minute walk to get to the beach and we also had pool and waterpark access. The location isn’t as convenient, but it is more remote so it’s not as loud. You are still within a 10-minute drive to all the major attractions. 

Embassy Suites by Hilton 

Embassy Suites is in the same allotment as the Kingston Plantation Condos, so you’ll need to drive to all major attractions. This is a standard hotel room so you may not have access to a kitchenette depending on the type of your reservation.

The hotel has recently been renovated, so everything is clean and up-to-date. Embassy Suites is an oceanfront hotel, so there’s easy beach access. The hotel also has a spa and waterpark access that the whole family can enjoy!

Restaurants in Myrtle Beach 

Just like the rest of Myrtle Beach, there are so many family-friendly restaurants to choose from. However, my family doesn’t enjoy seafood so finding local restaurants that weren’t seafood restaurants was a challenge. You’re more likely to find bigger chain restaurants than small locally owned ones. Here are my favorite Myrtle Beach Restaurants. 


Cici’s Pizza

This restaurant gets an honorable mention because it was my favorite restaurant growing up. There’s not many Cici Pizza Restaurants around anymore, which makes it even more special. Your family can enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet of pizza (my toddler’s favorite food) and play some arcade games after. It’s not as good as I remember, but it’s still tasty! 

A plate of pizza at Cici's Pizza in Myrtle Beach

Rio’s Brazilian Steakhouse 

This is another all-you-can-eat buffet with different kinds of meat! You get a double-sided card and when it’s flipped to the green side, the waiters will offer you all sorts of food and when it’s flipped to the red side, you’ve had enough to eat, and the waiters will leave you alone. This is geared more towards adults, but they have a kid’s menu available. 

Harry’s Breakfast Pancakes 

The name of the restaurant is pretty self-explanatory. I love breakfast food and this restaurant does it very well. Even though their main food is pancakes they still serve a wide variety of breakfast and brunch options. They are open 7 days a week from 6:30am-1:30pm. The atmosphere is very welcoming and homey. In a way, it felt like I was sitting in my Grandma’s kitchen. 

Things to do in Myrtle Beach 

There are so many activities to do during your family vacation in Myrtle beach. Between both trips, we still haven’t done everything we wanted to do. Once you get to Myrtle Beach, make sure to pick up a “monster book” because it’ll have a bunch of coupons to attractions in the area. 

Mini-Golf 

I was surprised to learn that Myrtle Beach is well known for its golf courses. Although we aren’t a family of golfers, we enjoyed mini golfing during our family vacation in Myrtle Beach. We golfed at Lost Mines Mini-Golfing due to it being free with our Ocean 22 reservation. We also played mini golf at the Broadway Grand Prix. 

Happy child mini golfing during a family vacation in Myrtle Beach

Broadway Grand Prix 

This is essentially a mini amusement park. This was a ton of fun for the whole family. They have several Go Kart tracks to ride on and even some for little kids. My toddler is under 40” in height so he couldn’t do the Go Karts, but they have a whole kiddie section that has trains, carousels, and bumper cars he could ride on. He loved this because it made him feel he was driving a car. There is also an arcade and food available for purchase. 

Ripley’s Aquarium 

Ripley’s Aquarium is geared towards children. The exhibits are brightly colored and each one has some sort of interactive element whether it’s a tunnel in the tank, a little play area, or touching the fish.

My child loved climbing through the tunnels and feeling as if he was in the tank with the fish. For the stingray exhibit, you can pet the stingrays or feed them for an extra $5 charge. This was easily his favorite and he loved seeing the stingrays get so excited for their food. 

We visited in mid-April and I’m not sure I would be brave enough to visit during the summer. When we went, the crowd was light, but in some areas there were a lot of children running around. I would make sure to get there early to avoid the crowds, especially since the immersive tunnels get very crowded due to everyone wanting to get pictures.

I would also make sure your children are wearing socks and shoes because there’s a playground in the middle of the aquarium, but kids can only play on it if they’re wearing socks. 

Eel swimming at Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach

Fly a Kite on the Beach 

I was pleased to find out that you can fly kites in Myrtle Beach. I think I enjoyed this activity more than my child did. Before leaving for our family vacation in Myrtle Beach, we purchased 2 kites for $5 from our local department store.

Since Myrtle Beach can be very windy at times, it was the perfect location to fly our kites! It took very little effort to get our kite soaring in the air and it entertained my kid for a solid 10 minutes. 

Attend a Magic Show 

There are a few different magic shows to attend, but the main one is at Broadway at the Beach. Charles Bach Wonders Magic Show features illusions, puppet, and dancing entertainment. The whole family will be amazed watching these magical illusions take place. There are both evening and matinee shows available.

Conclusion

No matter what you’re traveling to Myrtle Beach for, there’s something for everyone. From food to entertainment your family is sure to love their vacation in Myrtle Beach!

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