Myrtle Beach, South Carolina continues to rank as one of the fastest-growing family and vacation destinations in the nation, attracting roughly 19 million visitors annually. Given the accessibility and multitude of attractions for families, the Myrtle Beach area received several new accolades in 2018 including being ranked by Google as the “Third Most Searched Travel Destination in the World,” one of the Travel Channel’s “Best East Coast Beaches” and a “Top 10 Beach Town with the Highest Quality of Life” by Coastal Living. The following is the latest information on new tourism developments in the region, listed alphabetically by category.
ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
A new 55,000-square-foot complex along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at 14th Avenue North called THEBlvd was completed in October 2018. The new beach club brings several new restaurants, retail stores and a live music venue. They include Tin Roof, a Nashville-based live music venue, and the national chains BurgerFi and a Starbucks. The Mexican restaurant Bandito’s, which had formally resided at that location, also moved into the new complex. The building is 70% leased but also plans to include a ground floor retail store selling light groceries, beach essentials, fashionable brands and sundries. New tenants are being sought to fill the remaining space. For more information, visit https://theblvdmyrtle.com.
Cultural Arts Center in Downtown Myrtle Beach
The City of Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina University (CCU) have entered into an agreement to purchase property that will be turned into a new cultural arts center and theater in downtown Myrtle Beach. The center would be located in what is now three properties in the downtown area of Myrtle Beach along Highway 501. The space would include a 250 to 300 seat theater, an art gallery, reception area, dressing rooms and rehearsal space. It would be used for performances by CCU students as well as allow the city to host up to 30 productions per year. A construction date has not yet been set.
EdVenture Children’s Museum
EdVenture, previously known as the South Carolina Children’s Museum is relocating to The Market Common district in Myrtle Beach. With a planned opening by March 2019, the new location will be on Howard Avenue and will feature a themed environment to be revealed at the opening geared toward learning and activity. EdVenture’s mission is to inspire children and the adults who care for them with the joy of learning. This is a temporary location for EdVenture until details are finalized for a more permanent structure planned to be built in partnership with the City of Myrtle Beach in the downtown area. For more information, visit www.edventure.org/about-us/edventure-myrtle-beach/.
Gateway Galleria Mixed-Use Complex Coming to Ocean Boulevard
Plans have been approved for a mixed-use complex on Seventh Avenue North and Ocean Blvd. in downtown Myrtle Beach called the Gateway Galleria. The $20 million project will include a four-story 75,000-square-foot complex that will house over 40 visitor condos and a bottom floor filled with restaurants, fitness and retail. A completion date has yet to be determined.
Grand Strand Arts Trail
A new Grand Strand Arts Trail has been formed by a local group of artists. The trail showcases 18 fine art galleries and three “artsy” restaurants in the region with an easy to follow map. A printed map of the trail can be picked up at the Myrtle Beach International Airport Welcome Center or at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center and a digital copy can be found at https://TheArtsGrandStrand.org.
GTS Theatre New Shows
The GTS Theatre in Myrtle Beach is getting more shows and cast members in 2019. The award-winning Motown Tribute Show-Motor City Musical has added more cast members, Motown history and songs for an evening of soulful entertainment. New shows include Elvis Live starring Alex Mitchell, which will present the Elvis concert years in an almost two-hour performance, and Michael Bairefoot’s Comedy and Magic Show. The Dixie Variety Show is coming in the spring of 2019 and Christmas in Dixie remains the ultimate seasonal holiday variety show. There will also be a new matinee performance of Men of Motor City featuring the legendary sounds of Detroit’s all male groups. For more information, visit http://gtstheatre.com.
Intracoastal Waterway Development
A new mixed-use development is planned to come to the Socastee area of Myrtle Beach along the Intracoastal waterway. The development is proposed to include 1,600 units of homes and apartments as well as 370,000 square-feet of space for retail and dining. The development would include event space, docks for boats, boat rentals and tours. There would be a mix of indoor/outdoor restaurant space, no chain restaurants, serving local seafood in a village type atmosphere along with a possible farmers market. The developer, Bennett Hofford Construction, received approval by county council in spring 2018 and construction is expected to begin in early 2019 and will take three to seven years to fully complete.
Jerry Cox Warehouse Restoration in Conway
Plans are underway to restore and rebuild the historic Jerry Cox warehouse along the Riverwalk in downtown Conway, just 20 minutes west of Myrtle Beach. The building dates back to 1880 when it was used as a warehouse for the Waccamaw line of steamboats that would carry people and cargo along the river landings between there and Georgetown, SC. Local and owner Trip Nealy plans to construct a new building that meets current building codes and preserves the original history. Once completed, the warehouse will get new life as a restaurant. A construction date has not been set.
Jump Jam Jungle Floats of the Grand Strand
With three locations in the Grand Strand, Jump Jam Jungle Floats is sure to make a splash! The first was opened at the Crazy Sister Marina in Murrell’s Inlet in the summer of 2018. This “floating water park” offers two trampolines, a rope swing, curvy water slide, six-foot platform leap, 14-foot high dive, and a staff dedicated to fun and safety. This family-friendly attraction is open for extreme sport play-by-the-hour or for private parties. Two additional locations will open the summer of 2019; one in North Myrtle Beach and one in Myrtle Beach just off the 501 in the Intracoastal Waterway. www.jumpjamgs.com.
Medieval Times New Show and Queen Role
For the first time in its over 34-year tradition of casting a king as the show’s lead role, Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament Myrtle Beach has made changes to the show that include making the queen in charge and sole ruler of the land. The new show was based on guest feedback that they would like to see women having more significant roles. Guests will see one of three Myrtle Beach locals who have been cast as “queens.” Other changes to the show include new custom designed and hand-made costumes, armory, music, LED lighting system and other technical upgrades. For more information, visit www.medievaltimes.com/plan-your-trip/myrtle-beach-sc.
Myrtle Beach Mall Plans for The District
The Myrtle Beach Mall is planned to get a makeover with the proposed opening of $15 million in new retail and restaurant space. Named “The District,” current plans include multiple waterfront restaurants and a boardwalk with a lighthouse and gazebo along the Intracoastal Waterway. Renderings also include a promenade and garden in the middle. A construction date has not yet been set. Additional details can be found at https://www.mymallmyrtlebeach.com/
Track Family Fun Park
The Track Family Fun Park in Myrtle Beach has added a new Blaster Boats attraction. The ride provides guests with an opportunity to battle and soak each other. Water cannons are mounted on each boat, so everyone is fully loaded while riding around. The park also features two multi-level go-kart rides, rookie karts, kiddie karts, Kids Country rides, Fat Daddy’s Arcade, and more. Visit www.funatthetrack.com for more details.
Tradition Golf Club and Myrtlewood Pine Hills New Greens
Staff at Tradition Golf Club in Pawleys Island and Myrtlewood Pine Hills in Myrtle Beach have replaced the Tifdwarf Bermuda greens at each course with Sunday Ultra-Dwarf Bermudagrass and returned each green to its original design. As a result of the investment into the green resurfacing, greens at both courses have returned to the size of their original designs, resulting in the putting areas being about 20 percent larger. The greens project at Myrtlewood will be followed later in the year by a beautification plan to add Fescue grass in certain roughs to complement the existing mounding. Visit www.MBN.com for more information.
A new Topgolf is planned to open in early 2019 in Myrtle Beach inside a 38,382-square-foot building at 29th Ave. Topgolf features point-scoring golf games, food, drinks, big-screen TVs and live music for golfers and non-golfers alike. The golf games feature micro-chipped golf balls that produce instant scores, while also showing players their accuracy and distance on a TV screen. The venue has two floors of hitting bays features 102 climate-controlled hitting bays that can accommodate up to six players at a time. Topgolf features events for kids and families, golf tournaments, golf instructions and social leagues. Topgolf has 30 venues in the U.S. topgolf.com/us/myrtle-beach/.
Barefoot Landing New Restaurant District
A new restaurant district has opened in the Barefoot Landing shopping and entertainment complex in North Myrtle Beach. The district is called Dockside Village and features waterfront dining along the Intracoastal Waterway as well as new outdoor attractions and live music. It is anchored by Lulu’s restaurant, owned by musician Jimmy Buffet’s sister, Lucy. The restaurant offers live nightly music, a large sandy beach area, and a ropes climbing course, arcade and other activities in the 20,000 square-foot-space. Additional new restaurants include Taco Mundo Kitchen Y Cantina (Mexican) and Blueberry’s Grill (creative breakfast and lunch fare). For more information, visit www.bflanding.com.
Carolina Food Tours
A new food tour option is available in the Myrtle Beach area. Corina Whitehead, owner of Carolina Food Tours plans to open new food tour locations in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Conway in 2019. The guided food tours last between two and a half to three hours and include three to four restaurant stops along with historical background of the area. Tours are currently offered in Murrells Inlet, Georgetown and Pawley’s Island. Prices range from $70 to $100 a person. For more information, visit www.carolinafoodtours.com.
Crepe Creation Café Expansion
Crepe Creation Café, located in the Market Common district of Myrtle Beach recently expanded adding a full bar and new menu items. A new daily happy hour has been added as well as new breakfast items including eggs, omelets and French entrees. Visit www.crepecreation.com for more information.
Ms. Margaret’s Soul Food
Located in historic Conway, Ms. Margaret’s Soul Food Restaurant and catering recently opened, serving up traditional southern and Gullah dishes native to the African-American history of the region. The restaurant offers daily lunch and dinner specials serving regional favorites like chicken bog and staples like fried chicken and flounder. All of the ingredients are fresh and sweet tea is included in the meal price. For more information, visit www.msmargaretscatering.com.
P. Reynolds by the Ocean
A new music themed restaurant has opened at the former location of The Library restaurant in downtown Myrtle Beach. P. Reynolds by the Ocean features live jazz music and Cajun French style cuisine. Owner Patrice Reynolds, who is also a musician and playwright, hosts an open jazz night where local musicians can sign up to play. Other nights are filled with local and out-of-state recording artists. The venue has 61 seats and can be changed to theater-style seating or restaurant seating. Visit http://preynoldsrestaurantandtheatre.com for more information.
Sweet & Sour Asian Kitchen
In early 2019, local restauranteur Greg Pranzo is opening Sweet & Sour Asian Kitchen in the Grande Dunes Marketplace in Myrtle Beach. The restaurant will feature an eclectic blend of Asian cuisines with many options served on shareable plates. It will also include unique cocktails, rice and noodle combinations plus classic signature sushi rolls. For more information, visit http://eatatsweetandsour.com.
Tidal Creek Brewhouse
A new brewery is planned to open in the Market Common district of Myrtle Beach in the spring of 2019 named Tidal Creek Brewhouse. It will be owned by Myrtle Beach entrepreneur, Michael Grossman who has been in the beer brewing industry for over 23 years. Myrtle Beach currently has three brew pubs and one production brewery.
La Vinotinto Venezuela Restaurant
A new South American restaurant has opened in downtown Myrtle Beach named La Vinotinto. The restaurant offers dishes from Venezuela and Columbia and plans to also offer dishes from Peru. Classic dishes include Pabellon Criolla; a shredded beef, rice and beans dish, and Reina Pepiada; bread filled with chicken and avocado. Visit www.facebook.com/lavinotintomb for more information.
A new local chocolate shop has opened in the Market Common district of Myrtle Beach. Uncommon Chocolatier specializes in made-from-scratch, gourmet fudge and other specialty chocolates. Using only fresh ingredients, they have over 100 flavors of fudge available from gluten-free to sugar-free to vegan. Visit www.facebook.com/The-Uncommon-Chocolatier for more information.
Carolina Country Music Festival New Artists
The Carolina Country Music Fest (CCMF) will return for its fifth year to Myrtle Beach from June 6-9, 2019. The festival features more than 30 of the industry’s biggest stars. The music group Alabama will headline this year’s festival as Myrtle Beach is where the group got their start playing at the iconic music club, the Bowery. Other performers announced include Dierks Bentley, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Brothers Osbourne, Midland and many more! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.carolinacountrymusicfest.com.
City of Myrtle Beach & Horry County Join Surfside Beach as Autism Friendly
The City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County have recently been declared as autism friendly following the nearby beach town of Surfside Beach earning the first-ever designation in 2016. Area restaurants and attractions are collaborating with the Champion Autism Network, an organization spearheaded by a local mother with a son on the autism spectrum, to train staff to spot and react to autism-related challenges, offering sensory-friendly programming and events and create unique perks to ensure the area remains a seamless vacation option for families. For more information, visit https://championautismnetwork.com.
Myrtle Beach Bowl
South Carolina is getting its first ever college football bowl game. The Myrtle Beach Bowl is coming to Brooks Stadium at Coastal Carolina University starting in 2020 and will be shared by Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, and the Sun Belt. ESPN will own, operate and televise the game. The three conferences will participate in the game four times each from 2020 to 2025. Visit https://www.myrtlebeachbowlgame.com/ for more information.
The Myrtle Beach area, popularly known as the Grand Strand, stretches from Little River to Pawleys Island, comprising 14 distinct cities along the South Carolina coast. Home to 60 miles of sandy beaches, an assortment of entertainment and family attractions, Southern hospitality and world-class golf, the Myrtle Beach area presents the quintessential vacation experience.
SOURCE: Visit Myrtle Beach
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