Here’s where to head for great outdoor activities on the Grand Strand. Check the websites for details, including hours and costs.
The Boardwalk, in downtown Myrtle Beach, runs along the sand for 1.2 miles between 2nd Avenue Pier and Pier 14. The area is home to restaurants, shops, night spots; attractions including an arcade, a miniature golf course, Plyler Park and the Myrtle Beach Skywheel. It hosts tourist-friendly events throughout the year.
Brookgreen Gardens, 1931 Brookgreen Garden Drive, Pawleys Island, S.C., has the largest and most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture in the U.S., set against a backdrop of endless flora and fauna. It’s one of the most beautiful and popular attractions in the area. Details: www.brookgreen.org.
Pier 14, 1306 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, offers diners’ amazing seafood dining, a lounge with live music and dancing and a wooden walkway for enjoying views of downtown. The pier itself provides an opportunity for those wanting to test their fishing skills; you can rent all the tackle and buy all the bait you need. Details: www.pier14.com.
Wild Water & Wheels. 910 U.S. 17 S., Surfside Beach, S.C., is a 16-acre water park filled with rides both wet and dry. There are 33 rides with amazing water slides, a Wipe Out Wave pool, Lazy River, waterfalls, awesome slides, go-karts, mini golf and more. Details: www.wild-water.com.
Myrtle Waves, 3000 10th Ave. N. Extension, Myrtle Beach, is a 20-acre water park with amazing rides and famous slides. There’s also an enormous wave pool, a fun and relaxing lazy river, kiddie pools and snack bars. Details: www.myrtlewaves.com.
Downwind Sails Watersports, 2915 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, features the thrilling (jet skis, banana boats, parasailing) and relaxing (kayaks, sailboats and catamaran tours). Details: www.downwindsailsmyrtlebeach.com.
Family Kingdom, 300 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, holds more than 35 rides. Try the Twist ’n Shout steel roller coaster and the interactive bouncing Jump Around Dune Buggies and and flying fun with the Magic Bikes. The facility holds Splashes water park, which offers a variety of slides. Details: www.familykingdomfun.com.
Ocean Drive Pavilion Amusement Park, 90 S. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach, is more nostalgic than thrilling, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had on its six-story roller coaster, restored antique Ferris wheel and kiddie rides. Details: www.odpavilion.com.
Alligator Adventure, 4604 U.S. 17, North Myrtle Beach, isn’t just gators and crocs. From monkeys and tigers to bats and birds, there’s plenty to enjoy at this mini-zoo at Barefoot Landing. You’ll be face-to-face with more than 700 alligators and crocodiles, rare exotic snakes, lizards, tropical birds, tortoises and warthogs. Check out live shows, alligator feedings and demos. Details: www.alligatoradventure.com.
In the air
Myrtle Beach Skywheel, 1110 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, takes you 200 feet in the air in one of 42 climate-controlled gondolas. You can see and photograph the Atlantic Ocean and all the area sights – including the entire oceanfront boardwalk. Details: www.myrtlebeachskywheel.com.
At the Sling Shot at Myrtle Beach Thrill Rides, 1201 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, two riders lie on their backs and are strapped in before being shot into the sky like a sling shot and propelled more than 300 feet high at speeds up to 100 miles an hour; they bounce up and down repeatedly, twisting and turning, as a pair of cables brings them back to a stop. Details: www.myrtlebeachthrillrides.com.
Myrtle Beach Zipline Adventures, 321 9th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, on the site of the former Pavilion amusement park, features six side-by-side racing lines that zip riders 600 feet – between a pair of towers – at up to 40 mph and 50 feet in the air. Complete the experience with a jaw-dropping free fall from a 60-foot tower. Details: www.mbziplines.com.