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13 Free Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

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Planning your dream vacation to Myrtle Beach? Here’s the great news: there are so many free things to do in Myrtle Beach. 

You can have a blast at the beach without breaking the bank. From the captivating beaches that don’t cost a dime to gorgeous hiking trails, Myrtle Beach is an adventure waiting to unfold. 

Whether during the summer months or not, Myrtle Beach has plenty to offer. Spend your days bathing in the sun and your afternoons at one of many local dining establishments. 

If you’re a beach bum looking for a beach to crash, Myrtle Beach is the perfect place. 

So pack your enthusiasm, leave your wallet at home, and let’s dive in.

What Is Myrtle Beach known for? 

Myrtle Beach is best known for its 60-mile string of beautiful beaches, often referred to as the Grand Strand. It’s a popular place for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. 

It’s also known for its extensive golf community. With over 90 championship golf courses, it offers a wide selection of courses, some of which were designed by famous architects.

Myrtle Beach is often considered the ‘Golf Capital of the World.’ The mini-golf community is quite rampant too.

The area is a haven for fishing and watersports enthusiasts, with plentiful opportunities for deep-sea fishing, surf fishing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

Photo by Maggie Kelly

13 Free Things to Do in Myrtle Beach 

Myrtle Beach is full of places to eat, shop, and explore. There’s always something to do in Myrtle Beach and many of them are free.

Here are a few things you can do in Myrtle Beach that won’t cost you a thing. 

1. Discover Natural Beauty at the Conway Riverwalk

Situated along the mesmerizing Waccamaw River, the Conway Riverwalk offers a front-row seat to a piece of South Carolina’s exquisite natural beauty.

This famous blackwater river, which elegantly weaves its way through the heart of Conway, sets the stage for a picturesque journey that unfolds as you amble down the Riverwalk.

The peaceful walk features a variety of scenery, from a delightful playground to keep kids entertained to picnic spots perfect for an afternoon out. There are informative signs throughout the walk, shedding light on the local history. 

As you reach the end of the trail, there is a beautiful arboretum featuring an assortment of trees and plants. 

As a hub for community festivals and special events all year round, the Conway Riverwalk offers more than just a pleasant stroll along the riverfront. Its historical significance traces back to times when it served as a crucial route for shipping tobacco and turpentine.

Whether you’re a fishing enthusiast, a duck hunter, or simply someone who appreciates being near water, the Waccamaw River, with the Conway Riverwalk as its charming sideline, provides an unparalleled experience.

2. Experience Local Charm at Market Common

Photo by Maggie Kelly

Market Common is a small district home to shopping, dining, entertainment, and parks. It’s a little downtown area where you can enjoy walking among stores like White House Black Market, Anthropologie, and Bijuju.

You can also dine at many of our local eateries and support small businesses, like getting a smoothie at Loleo. 

You can walk around the lake at Grand Park, where there is a storyboard for kids to follow along.

It’s fun for kids and adults alike, and there are even interactive exercise stations around the lake. Stop at any one of the interactive stations to move your body in a new way.  

Valor Memorial Garden is the host site for many activities and festivals throughout the year. If you happen to be in Myrtle Beach, it’s a great place for you to experience annual activities like:

  • Art in the Park 
  • Farmers’ Markets
  • Summer Concerts
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Military Appreciation Days Picnic
  • Market Common Southern Time Square
  • Christmas Craft Fairs & Holiday Markets

Market Common also features Savannah’s Playground. The full name is Savannah’s Enabling Park Playground.

And the place is one of the first in the region designed with special needs children in mind. It’s a large playground with lots to do if you have a kid, and it’s fully interactive.

3. Watch Fireworks at Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach, a haven for tourists, is a vibrant hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment nestled around a stunning lake.

This expansive complex, spanning 350 acres, offers not just shopping opportunities but a plethora of exciting activities. Fancy ziplining or boating? Lake Broadway has got you covered.

A large population of fish inhabits the lake, and while you’ll need to purchase their food, the joy of feeding them is yours to enjoy for free. 

Especially in the summer, Broadway pulsates with life, presenting a variety of nightly activities.

Spot stiltwalkers meandering about or enjoy a leisurely evening of window shopping – the choice is yours. With three theaters, over 20 restaurants, and more than 100 specialty shops, there’s never a dull moment.

And let’s not forget about Broadway’s year-round, nightly fireworks. Be sure to check their calendar to experience this dazzling display. On top of this, you can also indulge in free concerts featuring live music.

Broadway at the Beach hosts a variety of renowned establishments, such as:

  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Ripley’s Aquarium
  • Hollywood Wax Museum
  • Legends in Concert

In essence, Broadway at the Beach promises a dynamic mix of fun, food, and festivities, making it an unforgettable part of your Myrtle Beach experience.

4. Watch Planes Take Off at Warbird Park

Photo by Maggie Kelly

Nestled on the edge of Market Common, Warbird Park stands as a poignant tribute to the brave men and women who once called Myrtle Beach home while serving their country.

Today, it’s more than just a park—it’s a living testament to our nation’s rich history, a place that prompts reflection and instills respect.

A significant highlight of the park is its 9/11 memorial, a solemn reminder of a day that left an indelible mark on our collective memory.

This location served as a vital military base before its deactivation in 1993. Now, the echoes of its past are captured in the form of several iconic military aircraft exhibited in the park. 

The formidable A-10 Thunderbolt II, fondly referred to as the ‘Warthog’, was a prominent fixture at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, serving as its diligent workhorse.

The F-100 Super Sabre, another aircraft on display, played a significant role between 1954 and 1971, notably contributing to the Vietnam War.

Visitors can also witness the LTV A-7 Corsair II, which once majestically soared in the skies of Southeast Asia and was a regular sight at the Air Force Base.

To cap off your visit, the park boasts an excellent viewing area where you can watch planes ascend into the sky and land gracefully, adding a unique touch to your historical journey.

In essence, Warbird Park offers a blend of history and aviation that makes it a must-visit location in Myrtle Beach.

5. Meander Trough the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk

The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk is a captivating half-mile boardwalk that promises more than just a walk.

As you stroll, delight in the sight of great white herons, blue herons, and pelicans gracefully gliding overhead and playfully splashing in the water.

The Marshwalk features an array of establishments, like the Dead Dog Saloon and Wicked Tuna. 

Throughout the year, the Marshwalk springs to life with numerous activities such as the ’75 Days of Summer’, ‘Halloween on the Marshwalk’, and ‘the Santa Crawl on the Marshwalk’, offering something for every season.

Watch the beautiful marsh grasses while sipping on your drink overlooking the water. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some of the goats on our very own Goat Island. 

And don’t leave without sampling some of the freshest seafood on the beach, a perfect culmination to your Marshwalk experience.

6. Walk the Nature Trails at Vereen Memorial Gardens 

Photo by Maggie Kelly

Vereen Memorial Botanical Gardens, also known simply as Vereen Gardens, is a verdant 114-acre oasis nestled in the wetlands. Visiting it is one of the best free things you can do in Myrtle Beach.

This hidden gem offers more than just picturesque nature trails; it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle. 

Vereen Memorial Gardens features numerous hiking trails and is right off the Intracoastal Waterway. In the colonial days, it belonged to the Vereen family before they deeded it to the Horry County Historical Commission in 1972. 

As you traverse the park, you’ll encounter a network of pathways and wooden boardwalks that wind through salt marshes, stretching across small islands. Your journey culminates at a charming gazebo, offering unrivaled views of the Intracoastal Waterway.

The trail is approximately 3 miles from the trailhead to the wetlands and back.

For bird lovers, Vereen Gardens is a paradise, teeming with a diverse avian population, making it a prime location for birdwatching.

7. Visit the South Carolina Hall of Fame 

The South Carolina Hall of Fame stands as a testament to the lasting impact of remarkable individuals on South Carolina’s rich heritage and progress.

Operating as a nonprofit corporation, its mission is to honor past and present citizens who have substantially contributed to the state’s history and culture.

A walk through the Hall of Fame is akin to stepping into the past. Its walls are adorned with portraits and exhibits showcasing the lives and achievements of South Carolina’s most notable historical figures.

Take a closer look, and you’ll find:

  • The eight signatories of the Declaration of Independence
  • John C. Calhoun, whose political philosophy left an indelible mark on American history
  • Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States
  • Apollo astronaut Charles M. Duke, who left his footprints on the moon
  • Robert Mills, a prolific architect
  • Dizzy Gillespie, the jazz trumpet virtuoso who transformed the world of music

These distinguished personalities are just the tip of the iceberg.

The South Carolina Hall of Fame hosts an extensive collection, paying tribute to a multitude of influential figures who have shaped the state’s identity.

This celebration of remarkable lives serves as a history lesson and an inspiration to all who visit.

8. Catch Live Music at North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex 

Photo by Maggie Kelly

The North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex is a sprawling, activity-rich destination designed to engage visitors of all ages.

With abundant offerings, from walking trails to a children’s water park, it is a playground of endless fun and entertainment.

The complex features expansive baseball and soccer fields, inviting sports enthusiasts for thrilling games. The added allure of pickleball beckons both seasoned players and curious beginners. 

And for our four-legged friends? There’s a spacious dog park where they can run free and revel in the joy of open space.

As you explore, make sure to walk along the complex’s numerous trails, an excellent way to stay active while enjoying the scenic surroundings. After getting your steps in, you might find yourself in the mood for some relaxation and entertainment.

This is where the amphitheater comes into play.

Home to live music events, including the popular Sounds of Summer and Music on Main series, it serves as a hub for cultural engagement during the summer. Grab a blanket or beach chair, find a comfortable spot, and let the music take over.

9. Discover Barefoot Landing

Photo by Maggie Kelly

Barefoot Landing is one of Myrtle Beach’s pride and joys, blending natural beauty and Southern hospitality perfectly. 

Strategically positioned along the Intracoastal Waterway, Barefoot Landing provides breathtaking views of the water and an abundance of activities.

With its Dockside Village, a pedestrian-friendly restaurant district, it’s a hub for year-round live entertainment and events.

Offering a selection of more than 80 establishments to shop, dine, and revel in, Barefoot Landing ensures there’s always something to explore.

From casual browsing to dining experiences, it’s a location that invites both relaxation and fun.

In the summer, Barefoot Landings hosts nightly entertainment, from live music to strolling entertainment.

With a nightly roster of live music and strolling entertainers, it’s the perfect spot to soak in the vibrant beach culture. To cap off the perfect day, take advantage of their spectacular fireworks shows every Monday night at 10 pm. 

Whether seeking a serene waterfront stroll or a lively shopping and dining experience, Barefoot Landing presents a perfect blend of natural beauty, lively entertainment, and Southern charm.

10. Go Back in Time at the L.W. Paul Living History Farm

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the early 20th century at the L.W. Paul Living History Farm.

This picturesque, operational farm provides an authentic recreation of rural life in the Myrtle Beach area during the first half of the 1900s.

As you wander the farm, you’ll encounter a variety of historic structures, each telling a story of the past. 

Explore the saw mill, blacksmith shop, smokehouse, and outhouse, or marvel at hand-dug canoes and vintage tools from the era.

Discover the farm’s barn, chicken coop, chapel, and the tobacco barn, all carefully preserved.

Signs around the property provide information about the various buildings. 

The farm produces its own range of produce and houses traditional farm animals like cows, turkeys, and pigs. You’ll also find handmade toys reminiscent of a simpler time.

Adding to the authenticity, the staff, dressed in period costumes, transport you back to the 1900s, enhancing the immersive experience.

11. Check Out the Art at Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum

Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
Photo by Maggie Kelly

Living inside a historical beach home, Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is the only art museum in Myrtle Beach.

Since its doors opened to art enthusiasts in 1997, the museum has been a sanctuary of creativity and culture.

Spread over two floors, the museum boasts 11 galleries whose exhibits rotate throughout the year, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

The collections are a vibrant mix of various artistic mediums, from traditional paintings to innovative visual art pieces.

There’s a quaint gift shop filled with unique souvenirs and mementos.

Furthermore, the museum takes an active role in nurturing budding artists with art workshops, particularly aimed at kids, fostering creativity from a young age.

While entry to the museum is free, donations are always appreciated, helping support the museum’s mission and programs. If you can’t visit in person, the museum ensures its art is accessible through virtual tours online.

12. Play On the Boardwalk

Photo by Maggie Kelly

Stretching from the 14th Avenue Pier to the 2nd Avenue Pier, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk covers 1.2 miles.

Bursting with thrilling adventures, unique shopping experiences, and diverse dining options, it is a popular hotspot among locals and tourists. The boardwalk took nine months and nearly $6.5 million to build. 

Acting as the center stage for numerous festivals and events throughout the year, the Boardwalk livens up, especially during Ocean Boulevard’s Hot Summer Nights at Plyler Park. 

The Boardwalk is neatly segmented into three key sections. The northernmost part, a winding trail from the 14th Avenue North Pier down to Plyler Park.

The mid-section, a vibrant stretch from Plyler Park to the former Pavilion Amusement Park at 8th Avenue North.

Lastly, the southernmost tip leading to the 2nd Avenue Pier houses an enchanting oceanfront park. 

Home to some of the finest attractions in Myrtle Beach, the Boardwalk boasts thrilling adventures like the Slingshot ride, fascinating discoveries at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and the iconic SkyWheel. 

Standing tall at 200-feet above sea level, the SkyWheel, albeit requiring an admission fee, rewards you with breathtaking, dream-like views of the beach.

Experiencing the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a journey filled with fun, excitement, and unforgettable moments.

13. Go for a Swim at Our Public Beaches

Photo by Maggie Kelly

This is one of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach.

Stretched along the iconic Grand Strand, these beaches offer nothing short of awe-inspiring sights.

The feel of the soft sand underfoot, the rhythmic lullaby of the ocean waves, and the captivating beauty of the coastal horizon – it’s truly a treat for the senses.

With an impressive 114 public access points dotting the coast, your pathway to this sun-soaked paradise is always close.

Each beach has its own unique charm, presenting a new facet of Myrtle Beach’s beauty. From peaceful, secluded spots perfect for a tranquil beach day, to vibrant locations teeming with activities, there’s a beach to suit every mood and preference.

Among the many delightful experiences, the Myrtle Beach coastline offers, watching the dolphins frolic in the surf stands out.

These graceful creatures put on a natural spectacle that will bring joy to your beach visit. 

In short, whether you’re looking to bask in the sun, make a splash in the surf, or simply soak in the mesmerizing views, Myrtle Beach’s vast coastline has got you covered.

Embark on this beach exploration journey, and discover the unforgettable allure of Myrtle Beach’s fabulous beaches.

What is the best month to go to Myrtle Beach? 

While summer is a decent time to visit, the best month to visit is September. With the peak season running from May to August, you’ll face the highest prices and the scorching August heat.

The overcrowding and potential sun damage don’t really scream ‘vacation’, do they?

A smarter choice? Consider dropping by in September. It’s the sweet spot right after the tourist season winds down, offering the same exhilarating experiences but with a reduced price tag and less perspiration. 

With the sweltering heat taking a backseat, September’s weather is far more appealing. Plus, the usually crowded hotspots will finally breathe easy. 

Enjoy the attractions at your own pace without the hassle of lengthy queues or inflated prices.

This is when the kids are back to school, adults are resuming work, and you can explore more freely. If bustling tourist seasons don’t bother you, that’s great.

But remember, September offers a serene window into Myrtle Beach life, minus the crowd and chaos.

Is Myrtle Beach safe to swim? 

Generally speaking, Myrtle Beach is perfectly safe to swim, but like any body of water, it’s important to exercise caution. 

Lifeguards are stationed along the beach during peak season to ensure the safety of swimmers. 

However, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to the flag warning system – green for low hazard, yellow for medium, red for high, and double red for beach closure. 

Rip currents can occasionally occur, so swimming parallel to the shore is advised if you get caught in one.

As a rule of thumb, never swim alone and always be mindful of local weather conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable beach experience.

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