I’ll start by stating the obvious. The Grand Strand has 60 miles of beautiful beaches, and they’re all free. But when you’re ready to do something else, there are a lot of other choices for free and cheap things to do in Myrtle Beach.
Aside from the beach, these are my top picks for having a good time on a limited budget:
- Visit Broadway at the Beach. Broadway at the Beach is a huge entertainment complex that includes more than 100 specialty shops, a variety of restaurants and nightclubs (including Hard Rock Café, Senor Frogs, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and many others), and lots of attractions. It’s free to walk around the complex; there’s a fee for the attractions. Broadway is a great place to go window shopping and to people watch. They also put on a lot of free events like concerts and family-friendly shows. Click here for upcoming events. Broadway at the Beach is also a nice place to sit on an outdoor patio and have a drink or get something to eat. Hint: Ask about happy hour specials before you are seated. Many of the restaurants only offer happy hour deals to people who are sitting in certain areas.
- Catch a Pelicans game. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are a minor league baseball team. Game tickets start at $8 each. The Pelicans also run daily promotions that can save you money at the concessions (e.g., $1 hot dogs on Wednesdays and $1 draft beers on Thursdays).
- Stroll the Boardwalk. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade runs along the ocean between 2nd Avenue Pier (2nd Avenue N) and Banditos Mexican Cantina (14th Avenue North). Along the Boardwalk, which is free to stroll, you’ll find several oceanfront restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or a frosty drink (some places are cheaper than others, so you might want to shop around). The Boardwalk frequently holds free concerts, holiday celebrations, and other events. Click here for the event calendar. There are also shops along the Boardwalk, an arcade, and some attractions for which there’s a fee (e.g., the SkyWheel). If you cut over to Ocean Boulevard between 8th and 12th Avenue North, you’ll find several more shops and attractions.
- Visit The Market Common. The Market Common is a shopping and dining complex in a beautifully-designed village setting. It has everything from upscale shops and restaurants to ice cream and pizza. The Market Common is a great place to go window shopping or do happy hour on the patio. Hint: Ask about happy hour specials before you are seated. Many of the restaurants only offer happy hour deals to people who are sitting in certain areas. The Market Common also hosts a lot of free festivals and family-friendly events throughout the year. Click here for the event calendar.
- Play mini-golf. Myrtle Beach has tons of miniature golf courses. Prices average around $8 for kids and $6 for adults. Click here for coupons.
- Watch live tigers play. T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station is a free wildlife exhibit where you can watch tiger cubs and large cats interact and play. It opens at 5:00 p.m. daily from March through October. You can also have your picture taken with the tigers for a fee.
- Visit the state park. Myrtle Beach State Park has a beach, picnic shelters, playground equipment, a nature center, a recreation area, and more. They also have a lot of educational programs, most of which are free with park admission ($5 for adults; $3.25 for SC seniors; $3 for kids age 6-15; free for kids 5 and younger). Click here for upcoming events.
- Go to a museum. The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum has both permanent and rotating exhibits. It also has interactive educational and creative programs for people of all ages. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. The Children’s Museum of South Carolina is an interactive playground for the mind. Kids can touch, explore, and play while learning through interactive exhibits and programs. Tickets are $8.00 per person; kids 23 months and younger get in free. Click here for a discount.
- Take a vineyard tour. La Belle Amie Vineyard is actually in Little River, which is just north of Myrtle Beach. They give free tours, but the days and times vary so you’ll need to call in advance for the schedule (843) 399-9463. They also hold weekly music and wine events on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, many of which are free. Click here for the schedule.
- See a show. I know that many of the shows in Myrtle Beach are not cheap, but there are some theaters where you can catch a really good show for a fraction of what you would pay at the larger theaters. Atlantic Stage puts on quality theatrical productions of classical, contemporary, and new works. Tickets start at $10. Click here for current or upcoming shows. State Left Theatre Company is the newest community theater company in Myrtle Beach, specializing in an intimate theater experience. Tickets are $15 in advance; $18 at the door. Click here for current or upcoming shows.
For discounts on other Myrtle Beach shows, hotels, and attractions, click here.