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. One of our favorite family beach activities is looking for sharks teeth. We seem to have the best luck finding sharks teeth several hours after a high tide.
Aside from the beach, these are my top picks for Best Free or Cheap Things to Do in Myrtle Beach:
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, Fat Tuesday, 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’re seated. Many of the restaurants only offer happy hour deals to people who are sitting in certain areas. Pavilion Park offers three areas of rides for kids and kids at heart.
Broadway at the Beach has undergone a large amount of transformation the past few years, if you haven’t visited lately, you should give it new look see.
Visit Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, another huge entertainment, shopping and dining destination. Located between the Intracoastal Waterway and Highway 17, Barefoot Landing offers 15 restaurants that include the iconic Johnny Rockets Hamburgers to the fine dining at Greg Norman Australian Grille. Recently opened Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s, is part of the Jimmy Buffet chain of restaurants.
Future additions to Barefoot include the massive Crooked Hammock Brewery, a brewery, restaurant and beer garden that is slated to open up this year.
Entertainment is the name of the game at Barefoot Landing with the Alabama Theatre, House of Blues and Alligator Adventure are all located with the complex. One recent addition is LuLu’s Beach Arcade and Rope Course. The kids aren’t left out of the fun, check out the old timey Carousel, the authentic representation of a long-ago Barnum & Bailey carousel which features 41 animals cast from original molds. Barefoot Amusements features a variety of kiddie rides and family fun!
You can get more Barefoot Landing information on their website.
Practice Your Golf Swing at TopGolf Myrtle Beach
TopGolf, the indoor practice driving range, is located across the street from Broadway at the Beach. Rent a bay for an hour with prices as low as $4.50 per person, maximum of 6 people per bay. Tuesdays is 50% OFF, no coupon or reservation required, just show up and play!
TopGolf Myrtle Beach features 70 climate controlled practice bays, full service restaurant and bar, over 200 Hi-Def TVs and FREE Wi-Fi.
Catch a Pelicans game. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are a minor league baseball Advanced Class A Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Game tickets start at $8 each. The team game-day promotions that can save you money at the concessions (e.g., BOGO hot dogs on Wednesdays and $1 draft beers on Thursdays). The 2020 season starts in April. The Pelicans ballpark is located across the street from Broadway at the Beach. Myrtle Beach on the Cheap will have discounted admission tickets on sale shortly before the season begins.
Stroll the Boardwalk. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade runs along the ocean between 2nd Avenue Pier (2nd Avenue N) and 16th 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 nightlife around The Boardwalk features RipTydz, Tin Roof and several other establishments, where food and music are aplenty. 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.
Play mini-golf. Myrtle Beach has tons of miniature golf courses. Prices average around $10 for an all-day-play pass. Click here for money savings discounts.
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.
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.
Explore Pawleys Island. 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach, the little village of Pawleys Island holds it’s own magical charm. It is one of the oldest summer resorts on the east coast. Rich plantation owners built magnificent mansions, many still stand today, even through numerous hurricanes. A must visit is the Pawleys Island Hammock Shop, where hammocks have been made by hand for over two centuries. The quaint little shops around town are a far cry from the commercialized retail in Myrtle Beach.
Visit the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk. Just a few miles south of Myrtle Beach, the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk offers nature at it’s best.
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.
- Visit the Myrtle Beach Pinball Museum. Take a totally awesome journey back to the 1980s and 90’s, share the games of your youth with your kids or reconnect with friends. This is a unique museum where you can actually play pinball games from the ’70s to the present day. If you’re on a budget and looking for Myrtle Beach arcades and affordable fun things to do, this is nostalgic must see! Located close to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and only 4 blocks from the ocean. This top-ranked attraction is currently one of the top things to do in Myrtle Beach, SC on TripAdvisor!
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.
If you’re not in the mood for a wine tour, how about a wine tasting! Duplin Winery, in North Myrtle Beach, offers wine tastings all day long, no reservation is needed. Duplin Winery classic wine tasting is $5.00 and you get a small plate of gourmet crackers to help cleanse the palate between wines. Upgrade to a $10.00 deluxe wine tasting and receive a gourmet cheese dip to accompany the gourmet crackers, and a glass of wine after the tasting has been completed. Wine tastings are held Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m.- 7 pm. Duplin Winery is located at Barefoot Landing. Tours are FREE but please call ahead.
See a show. I know 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 $17.50. Click here for current or upcoming shows.
Hunt for shark’s teeth. If the weather is nice enough, try hunting sharks teeth at the beach. When we first moved to the beach, Myrtle Beach was in the midst of a beach re-nourishment project where tons of sand was being pumped on shore. We got lucky and found enough sharks teeth to fill several Mason jars. From experience, the best time to hunt sharks teeth is 2 to 3 hours after high tide. Make sure you take a ziplock bag or something of that sort to put your sharks teeth in as you find them.
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For discounts on Myrtle Beach attractions, shows, and hotels, click here.