May 27, 2022

Olympia Travel

Olympia Travel Tips

Best affordable things to do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Savannah’s Playground is the only recreation area in Horry County designed for children with disabilities.

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Inflation during the pandemic has raised the cost of everything from groceries to gas to, of course, vacations.

Myrtle Beach is known as one of America’s most affordable travel destinations. The local Chamber of Commerce often proudly talks about how many of the Grand Strand’s visitors are working class folk.

Even as everything gets a little, or a lot, more expensive, people still want to go on a vacation, though maybe for a little less money than in the past. We asked locals for the best ways to save money while still having fun around town. Here’s what they said.

Best places to eat on a budget

Crabby Mikes: What better way to save money than an unlimited Calabash seafood buffet?

290 US-17 Business, Surfside Beach

Dirty Don’s (multiple locations): You can’t visit Myrtle Beach without going to an oyster bar, of course.

408 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach

910 North Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach (on the Boardwalk)

661 Main St., North Myrtle Beach

Foster’s Cafe: This Myrtle Beach staple is beloved by many.

6307A N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach

Jimmyz Original Hibachi House: Tired of American food? Jimmyz is more than just a restaurant. It’s an experience.

1780 Pine Island Road, Myrtle Beach

Mammy’s Kitchen: Homesick on the road? Try this good, family-style home cooking.

1010 N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach

Mr. Fish: This place has it all — a fish market, sushi, oyster bar, drag brunches, quick lunches and nice, sit-down dinners.

6401 N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach

Most affordable attractions

Alabama Theatre: One local said to watch out for the two-for-one ticket discounts.

4750 Hwy. 17 S., North Myrtle Beach

Broadway at the Beach: Located at the center of town, this has dozens of shops to wander through, restaurants to pick from and low-cost attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium.

1325 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach

Brookgreen Gardens: Your tickets to Brookgreen are good for seven consecutive days. Didn’t see everything you wanted? Planning to go back without the kids? Go back again for no extra cost.

1931 Brookgreen Garden Drive, Murrells Inlet

Carolina Opry: Dinner AND a show? That’s the definition of getting the most bang for your buck.

8901 N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach

Polynesian Fire Luau: This might seem a little out of place on the East Coast, but we assure you it’s quite fun.

St. John’s Inn, 6803 N. Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach

SkyWheel Myrtle Beach: This has the best view of the Grand Strand’s skyline without needing to book an expensive room at a high-rise hotel.

1110 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach

Places to visit for free around town

The Hulk: More of the athletic type? Annoyed that your family chose to hit the beach rather than the mountains? Check out this mountain biking trail. Who said Myrtle Beach didn’t have it all?

150 Frontage Road B-2, Myrtle Beach

The Market Common: This place has shops and restaurants, yes, but cross the street to reach a gorgeous park with baseball and soccer fields, great spots for picnicking and extra-wide sidewalks for bikers. Be sure to check out Savannah’s Playground, too, which has ADA-approved equipment made for children of all abilities to have a blast.

3600 Emmens Ave., Myrtle Beach

You know what’s the most free thing of all in Myrtle Beach? You guessed it. The beach!

Want to avoid paying for parking? Beach access points in Garden City have free spots. In fact, any beach access point outside any of the city limits of any town has free parking, year-round. Plus, those places tend to be a lot less crowded.

Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Beach and across South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Political Communication. He began working for McClatchy in 2020 after growing up in Texas, where he has bylines in three of the state’s largest print media outlets as well as the Texas Tribune covering state politics, the environment, housing and the LGBTQ+ community.