Family Vacation in North Myrtle Beach: Where to Stay, Play and Eat

As a kid, we went to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina with family friends over several summers. It’s been years since I’ve been to North Myrtle Beach, and I loved getting the chance to go back with my son to join my family for vacation. Although our family vacation in North Myrtle primarily consisted of relaxing on the beach, we did have a chance to explore the area a bit while we were there. And while there are several beaches to choose from in the area, I love North Myrtle Beach for the easy beach access and fewer crowds.

Read below for our guide on where to stay, where to eat and things to do for a family vacation in North Myrtle Beach.

North Myrtle Beach Toddling Traveler

The Best Time to Visit North Myrtle Beach

When visiting the Myrtle Beach area growing up, we typically visited in July or August. On this most recent trip, however, we went during early June. The weather was warm but not extremely hot, and the water was already warming up. Although it’s slightly rainier in the Myrtle Beach area in June, the mild weather is ideal for a family vacation with kids. The crowds are also much more reasonable if you visit in May or early June. I would definitely go to North Myrtle Beach in early June again!

How to Get to North Myrtle Beach

My family was meeting us from eastern Pennsylvania and made the 11 hour drive there. We always drove to Myrtle Beach growing up and eventually got used to those long road trips. Since my husband was working and it was just my son and I coming from Pittsburgh for this trip, we opted to fly this time. (And it was so easy that I’m going to have trouble making that drive next time.)

The Myrtle Beach International Airport offers a number of different flights and discount carriers. Spirit and Allegiant are two airlines that specifically fly nonstop from Pittsburgh. We flew Allegiant this time, based on the flight prices and times and had a great experience with the no frills airline.

The Myrtle Beach International Airport is fairly small, making it easy to navigate. The Myrtle Beach airport is about a 30 minute drive from North Myrtle Beach.

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Myrtle Beach Airport North Myrtle Beach Family Vacation Toddling Traveler

Where to Stay in North Myrtle Beach

With 5 adults, 2 almost adults and 2 toddlers, we needed a 4 bedroom condo in North Myrtle Beach. It was a little tricky to find something beachfront for that size. My family stayed in the Ocean Bay Club previously, and it was the perfect condo and location for our needs. Since the condos at the Ocean Bay Club are privately owned, each one varies in style and how updated and maintained they are. We were really happy with our condo, both in terms of the maintenance and decor. The fully stocked kitchen and two balconies were definitely a plus as well.

We rented unit 210 at the Ocean Bay Club, and I highly recommend it. You can find it here on AirBnB. If you’re not currently a member of AirBnB, you can sign up through my referral link here to get a credit toward your first stay.

Ocean Bay Club Rental in North Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

Amenities at the Ocean Bay Club in North Myrtle Beach include:

  • Private Beachfront Access
  • Lazy River
  • Separate Baby Pool and “big kid” pool
  • Small indoor pool
  • Covered parking garage
  • A pair of beach chairs and an umbrella are included with some units or can be rented. (Our unit, 210, included chairs and an umbrella with the rental.)

Note: Kids wearing diapers are not allowed in the big pool at the Ocean Bay Club. The pool is also closely monitored to prevent outside parties from using it. Be sure to include an accurate number of people staying with you. Each person needs a pool tag and will not be allowed in the pool without one.

Things to Do in North Myrtle Beach

The Beach at North Myrtle

The beach is obviously the biggest draw to the Myrtle Beach area. I was surprised how warm the water was in early June, and the beaches are short and easy to access from the street or condos. Both seashells and shark teeth are prevalent in North Myrtle Beach. You’re bound to find a few if you look!

If you’re not staying right near the beach in North Myrtle, there is ample street access and parking to get to the beach. There are also restrooms, beach chair and umbrella rentals and other facilities available throughout the beachfront. (The closest restroom facilities near us were at Ocean Park, 101 South Ocean Boulevard.)

Be sure to check out North Myrtle Beach’s beach laws prior to your visit. Particularly if you’re planning to bring a tent or other shading device with you.

Related Post: 8 Tips to Prepare for the Beach with a Baby

There are so many other things to do in the North Myrtle Beach area depending on your family’s ages and interests. Keep reading for additional recommendations of things to do in North Myrtle Beach based on our recent and prior trips to the Myrtle Beach Area.

Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach

It’s not a trip to North Myrtle Beach without at least one visit to Barefoot Landing. This waterfront area is filled with shops, restaurants and activities. It was a favorite of ours growing up, and I loved visiting again with my 2 year old son and a local friend of ours. While many of the older parts of Barefoot Landing remain from 20+ years ago, so many new things have been added in the past several years. Since Barefoot Landing has grown, it’s been divided into four sections, or villages. These include, Low Country Village, Harborwalk Village, Lakeside Village and Dockside Village. Below are a few highlights of places to go in Barefoot Landing if you’re visiting with kids.

Barefoot Landing things to do with kids in North Myrtle Beach Toddling Traveler

Fun Things to Do with Kids (or Without) at Barefoot Landing

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth at one of many candy stores including It’Sugar, plus several ice cream shops and other sweet treats.
  • Visit the newly opened Savannah Bee Company store. This honey and bee themed store includes live honey bees, honey tasting and several gifts made from honey. Plus, there’s an awesome play house and reading nook to entertain the kids while the parents are sampling mead or honey flavored coffee drinks at the cafe.
  • Play in the new, interactive playground that includes both a toddler playground and one suited for older kids. There’s also ample seating for the parents, and you can even listen to the live music from there while the kids are playing.
  • Experience fun for the whole family at LuLu’s, including an arcade, ropes course and games on the sand including corn hole and a water fountain feature.
  • Listen to the live music and entertainment available in the summer at Barefoot Landing. Music is available at several locations throughout Barefoot Landing. See here for more info.
  • Ride one of several rides available at Barefoot Landing, including a carousel, bumper cars, a train ride and more.
  • Walk on the boardwalk area and search for wildlife including turtles, fish and alligators.

Topgolf in Myrtle Beach

The Topgolf in Myrtle Beach was my first experience at this franchise, and it didn’t disappoint! I definitely recommend it, whether you’re visiting on a nice day or looking for a fun, rainy day activity in the Myrtle Beach area. We went in the morning around 10am on a rainy day and it was filling up quickly after we got there. There was also a mix of adult groups and families with kids of all ages.

To play at Topgolf, you rent out a bay per hour that can be used for up to 6 people. This includes use of golf clubs and unlimited balls during that time. Hourly rates are lower in the morning, and it was only $25 per hour for the 5 of us. If it’s your first visit to Topgolf, you need to pay $5 for a lifetime membership to activate your profile. Once purchased, your membership can be used at any other Topgolf location.

Topgolf Things to do with Kids North Myrtle Beach Toddling Traveler

Music on Main Summer Concert Series

From mid-May until the end of September, North Myrtle Beach has a live band each Thursday night from 7-9pm. This is a favorite of locals, and you’ll find hundreds of beach chairs lined up as well as golf carts parked at the section of the street that’s blocked off.

Be aware that it does get crowded when concerts are talking place on Thursday nights. Definitely keep that in mind if you’re planning to eat dinner on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach on a Thursday. A portion of Main Street is also blocked off to accommodate golf carts from 5-9pm each Thursday night. The beach access parking lot also closes at 2pm.

Main Street Music North Myrtle Beach Family Vacation Toddling Traveler

Additional Ideas for Things to Do with Kids Near North Myrtle Beach

While we stayed close to the beach on this trip, below are a few additional ideas for things to do with kids near North Myrtle Beach. (All of which we have done in the past or have been recommended to us by locals.)

Where to Eat in North Myrtle Beach

We cooked several meals at home on this trip. (And it was actually nice to split crockpot meals and casual dinners versus getting everyone dressed and fighting the crowds for dinner each night!) We did have a chance to check out a few great local restaurants, though.

Blueberry’s Grill in Barefoot Landing

Blueberry’s has a few locations throughout the Myrtle Beach area, and we ate at the one in Barefoot Landing. The menu is huge, with every kind of breakfast option for those in your list. They didn’t offer a separate kids menu, but my son had the signature grilled blueberry muffin which he loved. I opted for a healthier breakfast option, and the kale and avocado omelet with a side of fruit was exactly what I was looking for.

Blueberry's Grill Where to Eat in North Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

Krispy Kreme Donuts

Although Krispy Kreme stores are located throughout the US, it was founded in North Carolina. Ever since having my first Krispy Kreme donut at one of the original locations in Wilmington, I can’t make a trip to the Carolina’s without at least one stop at Krispy Kreme. If you’re grabbing donuts in the morning, be sure to look for the “hot light” hours. (This is when the freshly made donuts are available!) Any location I’ve been to gets busy in the morning, but it’s definitely worth waiting for Krispy Kreme donuts that are freshly made.

Buoys on the Boulevard

We stopped at Buoys on the Boulevard for a quick dinner on our first night in North Myrtle Beach. It was easily accessible to the main part of North Myrtle and was less than 2 blocks from our house. Buoys is primarily known for sushi and burgers. It has a huge, diverse menu which makes it great for everyone in the family to find something they enjoy. (I opted for sushi and a locally brewed beer.) There was Jenga available on every outdoor table, which was a big hit for the big and little kids. There is also live music on the patio on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well as happy hour from 4-7pm each day.

Brisket Bar-b-Que

We passed this small, locally owned Text BBQ joint one day and decided to stop for a late lunch. Everything at brisket is smoked daily, and they offer a huge variety of smoked meats and bar-b-que. With so many choices to pick from, our group of 5 opted for the “Feed Bag” to get a sampling of everything. The Feed Bag at Brisket included several cuts of smoked meat, hush puppies and other sides including baked beans, collard greens and cole slaw. While the menu indicates it’s good for 4-5 people, we had a lot of leftovers. (Even with 2 hungry teenage boys!)

Brisket BBQ Places to Eat North Myrtle Beach Family Vacation Toddling Traveler

King’s Sushi North Myrtle Beach

Our family was craving sushi and discovered King’s Sushi in our search for something close. King’s is an all-you-can-eat sushi and hibachi restaurant. If you don’t like sushi, there are several other options including hibachi and other appetizer and entree problems. Unlike all you can eat seafood buffets, the food at King’s Sushi is made fresh to order. We ordered several varieties of sushi, along with salads, edamame and hibachi. (For the non sushi eater in our family.) The fish was fresh, and while the rolls weren’t the most innovative I’ve seen, it was a good value for the price.

King’s also offer kids menu items, and our toddlers were happy with their edamame, chicken nuggets and french fries. The price is reduced for kids, and children 3 and under eat for free.

Bimini’s Oyster Bar

We heard about Bimini’s from three different people during our trip to North Myrtle Beach, so we knew we had to try it. Bimini’s is a local favorite known for it’s oysters and happy hour specials. The oysters we had were super fresh, and my fresh caught grouper and tuna were great as well. If you’re looking for a sampling of their best seafood, my brothers shared a classic steampot and were raving about it. It’s packed with crab, mussels, shrimp, clams and sides including hush puppies and corn on the cob. (And I was having food envy that I didn’t get it myself!)

Note: Bimini’s is located in a shopping plaza in a busy part of Myrtle Beach. There’s limited parking in front, but ample parking is available in the back of the restaurant. Be prepared for a wait at Bimini’s unless you go early!

Bimini's Seafood Places to Eat North Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

Melt Craft Ice Cream

Definitely saving the best for last here. There are several ice cream stores available throughout the North Myrtle Beach area. Melt is so good though, that after our first stop we didn’t want to go anywhere else. This family owned craft ice cream shop updates its menu regularly with several unique flavors made fresh each day. Our favorites when we were there were cookie monster, midnight caramel, and grasshopper. There’s almost always a line out the door of this small shop, but it goes quickly. Seating is also available outside.

Have you been to Myrtle Beach or North Myrtle Beach recently? Please share in the comments if you have any favorite places to eat or things to do.

For more inspiration on family beach vacations in the US, check out these posts:

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10 thoughts on “Family Vacation in North Myrtle Beach: Where to Stay, Play and Eat

  1. This makes me want to plan a trip to Myrtle Beach! I need to bring the kids. Pinning for future reference!

  2. I love this post!! It’s well written and really gives details for every need making it super mom approved for others who would want to visit. This includes me! I’ve been wanting to visit Myrtle Beach and this will be my go to post when I plan that trip. Thank you, Beth,

  3. This looks so fun. We’ve talked about visiting Myrtle Beach but have yet to do so. I love that you have included everything in this post. Great job!

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