Sun-seeking Canadians have long known about Myrtle Beach, yet its reputation as a raucous spring break hotspot means that it’s sometimes overlooked as a family-friendly destination. I recently traveled to Myrtle Beach with my teens and can confirm that it is a wonderful place to visit with your family anytime of year. If you’re thinking of escaping winter soon though, here’s your family friendly spring break guide to Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach is much closer to eastern Canada than resorts in Florida, Mexico or the Caribbean, which means you’ll spend less time traveling and more time enjoying the sun, surf, and outstanding family attractions & dining in the area.
The Family Getaway
If you’re planning a family getaway to Myrtle Beach, the first thing you’ll want to arrange is your accommodations. We recommend the Hampton Inn and Suites; located surfside, it’s perfectly situated for strolling Myrtle Beach’s extensive boardwalks and massive beachfront, and boasts several pools if swimming in the ocean isn’t quite your thing. Breakfast is included daily, but it’s worthwhile to book a suite so you have a kitchen for preparing other meals (nobody wants to eat out every day, even on vacation). A suite also gives you more space to spread out in, which is important when traveling with your kids.
Once you’re settled in and you’ve had a chance to hit the beach and the pool, chances are your kids will start getting restless so it’s wise to have some fun activities planned to keep everyone busy and happy. Staying close to the beach you have an excellent selection of watersports available, including paddle boarding, kayaking, banana boat rides and much more. On a recent trip, our family tried out parasailing at Express Watersports. Soaring up to 500 ft above the Atlantic for a full 10 minutes, we spotted dolphins and other marine life, while enjoying a serene bird’s eye view of the Grand Strand.
Looking a bit further afield, we spent a day in North Myrtle Beach exploring the forest canopy at Go Ape. This was one of the highlights of our trip to Myrtle Beach and one that the whole family loved. Go Ape features 5 action packed treetop obstacle course sections, leading you higher into the forest canopy. We tried out every challenge their high ropes courses had to offer, including the tarzan swings and zip lines (some of them take you right over the water). If you have an adventure-loving family, you don’t want to miss Go Ape.
If you’re looking for evening activities, one excellent choice is to take in a Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball game. This Advanced-A level team are the current Carolina League Champions and have sent over 125 players on to successful careers in the big leagues as a Class A advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Myrtle Beach used to be home to the Toronto Blue Jays’ affiliate team (the Carolina Hurricanes), so this is also a town with a connection to Canadian baseball. The Pelicans play in the evenings, which means it’s never too hot in the stands, and the level of play is outstanding. With reasonably-priced tickets, the Pelicans are definitely worth a visit, whether you’re die-hard baseball fans already (or not yet).
Another location for rollicking good evening entertainment is the Carolina Opry. Offering a wide range of shows from bluegrass to opera, dramatic readings to musicals, and even a laser show, there is literally something for everyone at the Opry. If you can’t decide what to see, a good bet is to get tickets to TCO, an award-winning show that blends two hours of high-energy music, comedy and dance. It’s a crowd-pleaser but it has also earned high praise from major media outlets including NBC and The New York Times.
Before you take in a show, you’ll want to sample some of the excellent dining Myrtle Beach has to offer. For a stellar fine dining experience, be sure to make reservations at Thoroughbreds. Our entire family raved about our meal, with superb traditional steakhouse fare and especially delicious desserts.
For traditional Myrtle Beach nosh, you won’t want to miss eating at The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood Buffet. Benjamin’s is very family-friendly with an all you can eat buffet, offering lots of choice in a fun environment. One of our favourite memories from Benjamin’s were the many model ships throughout the restaurant, featuring the work of their own onsite Master Shipwright Jimmy Frost, who has either built or restored every one of the many model ships on display here.
For a more casual yet still refined dining option, we can’t recommend Croissants Bistro & Bakery enough. Their motto, “bon appétit, y’all” says it all! Located in a beautiful spot and boasting fabulous service, Croissants Bistro serves up spectacular food, which is great for brunch as well. But y’all, at Croissants it’s the desserts that are truly to die for!
With so much to offer families, from sun, sand, surf and adventure to pro-level sports, award-winning theatre and out of this world dining, it’s easy to see why Myrtle Beach is the perfect sunshine destination.