The best beaches near Myrtle Beach are some of the most spectacular on the South Carolina coast. With 100 km of stunning, uninterrupted sandy shores, the stretch of coastline called the Grand Strand brings together a diverse set of beach destinations.

    Beachgoers are spoilt for choice and can find plenty of picture-perfect spots to soak up the sun and admire dazzling views of the Atlantic Ocean. Pick from quiet fishing villages, laidback surfing towns, state parks with oceanside forests or lively city beaches. Read on to discover the best beaches near Myrtle Beach so you can start planning your next trip.

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    Cherry Grove Beach

    Catch an awesome sunset and get some R&R

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    Cherry Grove is truly a beach lover’s paradise with soft, golden sand, gently lapping waves and a relaxed vibe. The little beach town is about 29 km north of Myrtle Beach, almost on the border with North Carolina. It generally attracts couples, families and friends seeking tranquillity and spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

    Apart from sunbathing, fishing is a favourite activity here among locals. The Cherry Grove Pier boasts several record catches and even if you’re not into the sport, it’s fun to watch the pros in action. The lovely restaurants that line the pier are a fantastic place for lunch and drinks.

    Location: North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582, USA

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    2

    North Myrtle Beach

    For long beach walks

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    North Myrtle Beach is lined with resorts, iconic beach clubs and a wide variety of restaurants and shopping options. It’s where you go to soak up the small-town charm and big-city attractions. It’s an ideal place to bask in the sun, take relaxed walks on the 14 km of beaches and create unforgettable memories with friends and family.

    The beach community is also the birthplace of the Shag dance – the official state dance of South Carolina. So when the sun goes down, head to the Main Street in North Myrtle Beach’s historic downtown. Beach music and shag dancing still thrive here – on Saturday nights, it’s like stepping 50 years back in time.

    Location: North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582, USA

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    photo by Loadmaster (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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    Central Myrtle Beach

    Enjoy an activity-filled beach day

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    Central Myrtle Beach is at the heart of South Carolina's 100-km long Grand Strand coast. There are plenty of safe spots for swimming, and you can try out an array of watersports, such as kayaking, jet-skiing, paddle boarding, parasailing, surfing and even scuba diving. Be sure to claim a spot on the beach early in the day if you're visiting in the peak summer season.

    If you'd like a break from the sea and sun, explore Myrtle Beach Boardwalk where there are tons of restaurants and places to shop. Families with children can swap the sand for an adrenaline rush at the beachfront Family Kingdom Amusement Park or look for sea creatures at Ripley's Aquarium.

    Location: Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, USA

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    4

    Myrtle Beach State Park

    Get in touch with nature

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    Myrtle Beach State Park is a pristine stretch of coastline and preserves one of the last remaining maritime forests in South Carolina. With expansive dunes peppered with sea oats, soft, soothing white sand and easy access to restrooms and outdoor showers, the 1.3-sq-km park is just right for a long, lazy beach day.

    The park is home to all kinds of wildlife, including sea turtles which use this sandy shore as a nesting spot. You can explore the scenic area along short, easy nature trails that pass through the woodlands, thick with live oaks and magnolias. For stunning ocean views, head to the fishing pier.

    Location: 4401 S Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29575, USA

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    5

    Surfside Beach

    A family-friendly destination south of Myrtle Beach

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    Surfside, about 14 km south of Myrtle Beach, draws in visitors with its 3-km stretch of white sandy beach and an excellent array of kid-friendly attractions in the area. Fun things to do include mini-golf and a water park. The beach is manned by lifeguards and has a gentle slope, ensuring plenty of safe, shallow water for young children to swim and splash about.

    When you want a change of scenery, take a stroll along the long boardwalk lined with bars, restaurants and a fishing area. You can also rent umbrellas and comfortable beach chairs for a small fee. Adventure seekers wanting to learn how to surf can sign up for lessons.

    Location: Surfside Beach, SC 29575, USA

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    6

    Murrells Inlet

    Seafood capital of South Carolina

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    Murrells Inlet is a small, historical fishing town neighbouring Garden City Beach to the south. Separated from the Atlantic by a large saltwater marsh, the village offers a beautiful natural setting for sun-seekers, outdoor enthusiasts and fishermen and women in search of secret fishing holes away from large crowds.

    If fresh fish is what you want, you've come to the right town: Murrells Inlet is the self-proclaimed seafood capital of South Carolina. Boats dock here daily to offload their fresh catches of the day. Head to the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk, a charming waterfront boardwalk by an estuary, and relax with a cold drink, tuck into fresh seafood and watch the sunset from one of the lively open-air cafes.

    Location: Murrells Inlet, SC 29576, USA

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    7

    Huntington Beach State Park

    A paradise for nature lovers and birdwatchers

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    At Huntington Beach State Park, there’s little chance you’ll run out of things to do. Unspoilt and wide open, the coastal preserve is a sweeping Grand Strand beach with more than 10 sq km of sand and semi-tropical maritime forest to explore. Revel in seaside camping, enjoy surf-fishing or try to spot more than 300 species of birds.

    In addition to its pristine beach and 4 scenic nature trails, the park boasts picnic facilities, a beachside gift shop and the picturesque 1930s-era Moorish Atalaya Castle open to visitors. Bring along some cash for the park admission fee.

    Location: Georgetown County, SC 29576, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 6 pm

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    8

    Litchfield Beach

    Spend a day on a beautiful, serene beach

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    Although surrounded by upscale resorts and luxury golf courses, Litchfield Beach retains a quaint coastal village kind of charm. With fewer crowds – even during the weekends and summer months – the dune-flanked beach is a fantastic option if you’re looking for an intimate, tranquil place to unwind.

    The soft, white sand and small waves crashing softly onto the shore create the ideal natural setting for a day of lazy beach lounging. You can also go fishing, kayaking, surfing or swimming. Make sure to arrive early – there are only 2 beach access points, so parking is limited.

    Location: Litchfield Beach, SC 29585, USA

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    9

    Pawleys Island

    A slice of island life without the crowds

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    As soon as you cross the causeway, over the salt marsh and onto the 7-km-long Pawleys Island, all your stress and worries melt away. Known as one of the oldest summer resort destinations on the East Coast, the island has preserved its traditional carefree, barefoot and laidback lifestyle.

    You could laze, read a book or take naps on the expansive, immaculate white-sand beach for hours. Kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, crabbing off a crab dock and searching for shells are just a few popular pastimes on Pawleys Island.

    Location: Pawleys Island, SC 29585, USA

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    10

    Garden City Beach

    A chilled-out oasis with gorgeous sunsets

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    Garden City Beach is where you go if you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing beach experience along the South Carolina coast. Even in the peak of summer, the 8 km of golden sand never gets overly crowded.

    The shoreline is dotted with charming, colourful little homes, and there are plenty of eateries at the Pier – the heart of this unhurried beach community. This area is the go-to stop for fishing fanatics, surfers wanting to catch the perfect wave and visitors wanting to dance to live music in the evenings.

    Location: Garden City, SC 29576, USA

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    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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