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OnSite in Myrtle Beach

There’s fun, history and beautiful coastal scenery around every corner in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

That’s what 14 tour operator and travel planner readers of The Group Travel Leader discovered during a four-day familiarization tour through the area in April. Hosted by the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, this trip showcased the classic amusements, innovative performances, surprising history and waterfront beauty in Myrtle Beach and nearby Murrells Inlet.

During the trip, participants got plenty of free time to enjoy the sand, sun and surf on the more than 60 miles of coastline that make up South Carolina’s Grand Strand. They also visited attractions old and new and took in three of the city’s legendary live shows. And, of course, there were ample opportunities to savor delicious fresh seafood.

Follow along on this itinerary to begin planning your group’s next oceanfront adventure in Myrtle Beach.

Day 1

Travel planners from around the country drove and flew into Myrtle Beach and had time after their arrival to enjoy their accommodations at the Breakers Resort, which would serve as the group’s home base throughout the trip. Breakers Resort sits directly on the oceanfront and features four condo towers, as well as a beautiful pool complex, two restaurants, a bar and other resort amenities.

Once everyone had arrived, the group headed to the Broadway at the Beach development for a matinee performance at Charles Bach Wonders Theatre. Bach, an accomplished Las Vegas magician, leads a show full of grand illusions and close-up magic — accompanied by music, dancing and plenty of laughs — that features extensive audience participation.

For dinner, the group visited the Sea Captain’s House, an oceanfront institution in Myrtle Beach that has been serving seafood and steak in an elegant traditional setting for more than 60 years.

Day 2

Breakfast and tour at Residence Inn

• Ripley’s Crazy Golf

• Boardwalk free time

• Myrtle Beach Skywheel

• Lunch at Peaches Corner

• Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show

Travel planners began their first full day in Myrtle Beach with a breakfast and site inspection tour at Residence Inn, one of many hotels in the area that work well with tour groups. Next, they headed to Myrtle Beach’s famed boardwalk, where they enjoyed a lively game at the inventive Ripley’s Crazy Golf, browsed vintage gift shops, got a stunning view of the coastline from atop the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, and enjoyed a delicious lunch at Peaches Corner, a local favorite boardwalk diner. After some free time at the hotel, the group ended the day at Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show, a dinner theater featuring high-flying stunts and swashbuckling fun.

Ripley’s Crazy Golf

Situated right on the Boardwalk, Ripley’s Crazy Golf brings a bold and colorful twist on the traditional game of miniature golf, which has long been a staple activity in Myrtle Beach. This indoor attraction features three floors of themed holes that push the boundaries of golf, with players navigating their balls through an oversized pinball machine, across a pool table, over a chess board and around myriad neon obstacles.

Oceanfront Boardwalk

The 1.2-mile Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade is a Myrtle Beach staple beloved by generations of visitors. On one side, the boardwalk provides beach access and beautiful waterfront vistas. On the other side, visitors will find restaurants, amusements and shops. Among highlights is the Gaye Dolphin Gift Cove, a 26,000-square-foot store with some 70,000 items that has been operating on the boardwalk since 1946.

Myrtle Beach SkyWheel

In the center of the boardwalk, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel dominates the beachfront skyline. Standing at 200 feet above the sand, this extra-large attraction features 42 enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas that can each hold six adults. The group started with a photo in front of the iconic wheel, then boarded the gondolas for a ride that gave them unparalleled views of the ocean, the beach and the boardwalk.

Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show

Owned by legendary entertainer Dolly Parton, Pirates Voyage is an interactive and immersive dinner show attraction. The group got to meet several of the pirate actors before the show began, then took their seats in the auditorium, where dozens of actors, singers, acrobats and animal wranglers performed a lively show on elaborate pirate ship sets over a massive indoor water tank. Guests cheered on teams of pirates in competition while they enjoyed a hearty meal.

Day 3

• Breakfast and tour at Homewood Suites

• Colored School Museum

• Tour and lunch at Charlie’s Place

• Broadway at the Beach

• Dinner at RipTydz Oceanfront Bar and Grille

• Legends in Concert

After a good sleep, the FAM group headed out to Homewood Suites for breakfast and a site inspection tour. Next, they visited a pair of historic sites in Myrtle Beach — the Colored School museum and Charlie’s Place — that tell the story of the area’s Black history and its role in 20th century music and dance. After a wonderful catered lunch at Charlie’s Place, they headed back to Broadway at the Beach for shopping and free time. After a brief rest at the hotel, they had dinner with great views at RipTydz Oceanfront Bar and Grille, then enjoyed an evening of performances by talented tribute artists at Legends in Concert.

Colored School Museum

There’s a rich Black history in Myrtle Beach, and the FAM group got a taste of it at the Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum. The museum is a re-creation of a school that was founded in 1932 and educated the area’s Black children for 20 years. Exhibits detail the history of the school and the community members who taught and studied there and include various historic items and artifacts from that time period.

Charlie’s Place

From the 1930s through 1960s, a Myrtle Beach man named Charlie Fitzgerald operated a supper club and dance hall in one of the area’s Black neighborhoods. Known as Charlie’s Place, the club became a stop on the famed Chitlin’ Circuit, and musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Little Richard, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday played there. Though the nightclub no longer remains, Fitzgerald’s home and adjacent hotel now serve as a museum that tells the story of Charlie’s Place and its contribution to Black history.

Broadway at the Beach

Among the most popular visitor destinations in the Myrtle Beach area, Broadway at the Beach is a 350-acre shopping, dining and entertainment development built around a 23-acre manmade lake. It’s home to numerous key attractions, including Ripley’s Aquarium and WonderWorks, as well as restaurants such as the Hangout, Dave and Busters, Hard Rock Café and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. Travel planners explored the charming outdoor pedestrian area and browsed the more than 75 local and national retail outlets.

Legends in Concert

The day ended with a lively show at Legends in Concert, a theater where tribute artists perform as legendary musicians from the 20th and 21st centuries. Accompanied by backup dancers and a live band, the performers use costumes, makeup and choreography to take their tribute performances to ultra-realistic levels. The group enjoyed hits by Elvis Presley, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Jason Aldean.

Day 4

• Breakfast and tour at Holiday Inn Surfside

• Brookgreen Gardens

• Lunch at Drunken Jack’s

• Murrell’s Inlet Eco-Tour

• Dinner at The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood

• “Iconic” at Alabama Theatre

Travel planners began their final day in Myrtle Beach at Holiday Inn Surfside, where they enjoyed a private breakfast and a tour of hotel rooms and amenities. Then, they made the short trip south to Murrells Inlet, where they admired world-class sculpture and beautiful horticulture at Brookgreen Gardens. Next was lunch at Drunken Jack’s, one of several popular waterfront restaurants in Murrells Inlet, followed by a fascinating eco-tour aboard the Explorer. The group then made its way back to Myrtle Beach for some free time, followed by dinner at the expansive Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood. They ended the evening with the all-new show “Iconic” at Alabama Theatre, an exciting ending to a Myrtle Beach adventure that left the travel planners full of ideas for return trips with their groups.

Brookgreen Gardens

Spanning 9,000 acres on a former rice plantation that was later purchased and transformed by philanthropist Archer Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, Brookgreen Gardens is among the most peaceful and picturesque spots in the Myrtle Beach Area. On a beautiful morning, the group enjoyed a tour that highlighted centuries-old live oaks, beautiful floral gardens and some of the 2,000 sculptures on display throughout the grounds.

Murrells Inlet Eco-Tour

The waters around Murrells Inlet are rich in scenery and ecology, and the group got to experience both on an eco-tour aboard the Explorer, a pontoon boat staffed by a professional captain and an experienced naturalist. During the excursion, the crew lowered crab traps into the water, then brought them back on board to show the catch of crabs, urchins, starfish and other sea life to the group. The trip also included a walk on the beach of a beautiful peninsula in Garden City.

Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood

Since 1986, Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood has been a favorite spot for hungry travelers in Myrtle Beach. The restaurant features a buffet with more than 170 items, including the area’s signature Calabash seafood, which is lightly battered and deep fried. In addition to dining, the FAM group marveled at the restaurant’s collection of antique nautical memorabilia, including dozens of model ships crafted by the resident model ship maker.

Alabama Theatre

Named for the legendary country music group Alabama, which got its start performing in Myrtle Beach, the Alabama Theatre has been entertaining visitors and locals alike with professional comedy and music shows for decades. During this visit, travel planners experienced “Iconic,” the theater’s new show featuring high-energy songs performed by dozens of singers, musicians and dancers. The new show includes aerialists, juggling and a state-of-the-art video wall.

For more information on this itinerary or trips to Myrtle Beach, please contact:

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB

Sandy Haines


Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.