What’s your favorite thing about summer? For many, the one or two weeks that make up a yearly family vacation are the most anticipated times of the season. Rounding up the kids into the car, packing snacks for the road, and enjoying several days of quality time is a truly special and relaxing experience. While there is no shortage of destinations, there’s nothing quite like a family vacation at the beach. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect spot, Myrtle Beach is an especially enjoyable stretch of East Coast shoreline.
The sand and surf make for a perfect change of scenery, and they can keep yourself and the kids occupied for hours. But what do you do when you’re ready to take a break from the sun?
Thankfully, Myrtle Beach is packed with family-friendly attractions for those times when you want to get away from the shore and do some exploring. From zoos and amusement parks to laser tag and aquariums, there’s plenty to see.
Here are five of the most favored family attractions in Myrtle Beach along with all the details you need to plan a visit. If you’re in search of more activity recommendations for the Myrtle Beach area, check out the graphic at the end of the post.
Family Kingdom Amusement Park
The Family Kingdom Amusement Park is a one-stop shop for hours of entertainment. The park has several rides for visitors of all ages. Bring your swimsuit and you can cool off at the Family Kingdom Water Park too!
“The park was super fun to visit, especially at night when all the lights are on after dark! I love that you can go in to walk around without having a full ticket and that you can either get wristbands for the rides or just a few tickets. The kids had a blast and so did the whole family! Oh, and the food was amazing!” – TripAdvisor Reviewer
Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and Aquarium
The famous Ripley’s has two wonderful family attractions in Myrtle Beach, one right near the shore and the other just minutes away.
First, the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum houses some of the most remarkable novelties in the world, including shrunken heads, a transformer replica built from scrapped car parts, and an authentic vampire hunting kit. That’s just a few of the bizarre and unusual sights you and the kids can experience in the museum’s 12 galleries. There are often special exhibits, too.
Not far from the museum, you’ll find the Ripley’s Aquarium, by far one Myrtle Beach’s best. Your family can get up close and personal with tons of aquatic wildlife – stingrays, eels, and even sharks!
“This is a great place to bring the kids and spend an afternoon. You get to see all sorts of ocean life up close – even got to pet a stingray. Loved being able to walk though with water all above you [in the Dangerous Reef viewing tunnel] so we could look at the fish from all sides.” – TripAdvisor Reviewer
The kids are sure to love this one – parents, too, if they’re kids at heart! Five major activities are available on the WonderWorks grounds: a six-dimension motion simulator, laser tag, an elevated ropes course, a museum of exhibits (a Tesla coil, hurricane simulator, and bed of nails to name a few), and 1,000-foot zipline. Some activities have age and height requirements, so be sure to check the WonderWorks website for details.
WonderWorks has enough activities to keep you and the family occupied as long as you’d like. Depending on your family’s interests, this spot might be worth two visits!
There’s no other place to get a better view of Myrtle Beach than the boardwalk SkyWheel. Standing tall at 187 feet, this enormous Ferris wheel will give you a bird’s eye view of the boardwalk, coastline, and more.
There are no height requirements, and even infants can take a “flight” on the wheel (children 2 and under are free). If you’re wary of heights, there’s no need to fear. The SkyWheel uses totally enclosed gondola baskets to lift you and your family to the top and back.
You can access the SkyWheel right from the boardwalk, so there’s no hassling with parking or transportation.
Although primarily known for their gorgeous botanical exhibits, the Brookgreen Gardens also have a fantastic zoo. At around 40 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, this spot is perfect for a family day trip.
“My family of four, 2 daughters (ages 6 & 11) enjoyed a day at the Brookgreen Gardens while on vacation. We were all amazed with the beautiful artwork nestled among the plush gardens. Although we did choose to do only a self guided tour, they have knowledgeable guides to give you those extra tidbits of information. We really enjoyed the small zoo area. The kids loved playing in the castle, houses and pirate ship while my husband and I rested our feet in two of the many colorful Adirondack chairs. Tip: they have courtesy strollers for children and adults so this would be great if you’ve forgotten your stroller or have an elderly person in your party who isn’t able to walk great distances on their own.” – TripAdvisor Reviewer
Now that you’ve got the scoop on family attractions in Myrtle Beach, start planning your next visit. And if you need some tips on other local favorites, check out the graphic below.
Graphic created by Captain’s Quarters in Myrtle Beach