Story by Ian Guerin
Sometimes, the name brand speaks for itself.
While South Carolina’s Grand Strand is a vibrant collection of communities with individual identities and their own golf attractions, the centerpiece of it all has been and will always be Myrtle Beach. The city of 30,000 or so residents and its immediate outskirts have developed an unrivaled personality and a foundation that drives millions upon millions of dollars to the area each year.
And for those wishing to stay close to the majority of action, a stay-and-play package in the heart of the city may just be right for you.
Surprisingly enough, the central section of Myrtle Beach has very few tracks by comparison to the area as a whole. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some very good options. In the middle of it all, Myrtlewood Golf Club’s PineHills and Palmetto courses are as reliable as it gets for a pair so readymade for constant foot traffic. A few blocks away, the Granddaddy, Pine Lakes Country Club, continues to show while it has lasted 90 years and counting.
Just across the Intracoastal Waterway, Arrowhead Country Club and River Oaks Golf Plantation are two of the better 27-hole properties in the area. World Tour Golf Links is the arguably the most unique course along the Grand Strand, with its holes mimicking some of the most famous ones from around the globe.
Maybe no aspect of staying within city limits has as many benefits as the restaurant selection. Some of the earliest business owners and transplants here ensured their eateries were located inside Myrtle Beach, either as models to succeed or simply for bragging rights. Either way, many of the best or right here.
And since we’re talking seaside locale, let’s talk seafood. Sea Captain’s House is one of the finest restaurants in the area, hands down, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic. For those looking for a slightly more economical option, Mr. Fish has been Mr. Right for so many for so long.
Art Burger Sushi Bar is a relatively newer joint (although it’s owners are coastal mainstays), but its concept of food, drink and art has been a jolt to the downtown district in a short span of time. Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse is another concept that wasn’t borne in Myrtle Beach, but has made its mark via a calorie-riffic all-you-can-eat meal that can lock down the biggest of appetites. And for quick-and-easy, Bummz Beach Cafe has held onto its prime location between mega hotels by earning a loyal following and simple-yet-dependable menu.
“Beach” is right in the Myrtle Beach moniker, so why fight it. The miles of sand separating businesses and homes from the water are what put this city on the map. Although portions can get overloaded with locals and tourists, it’s also possible to find quieter spots to soak in the rays. So whether it’s a pre-round relaxation seminar or a post-round wind-down, a chair, the sun and some waves can do the trick.
Broadway at the Beach is one of the true chameleons Myrtle Beach has to offer. There, the day-time options include shopping, dining and attractions like the Ripley’s Aquarium or Wonder Works. But by night, it transforms into something altogether different. Everything from sports bars to dance clubs, piano bars and frozen drink joints can be found at Celebrity Square, a frequent gawking spot for regular fireworks shows during a significant chunk of the year.