The best way to spend the day on the water in Myrtle Beach is through one of the many professional outfitters on the Grand Strand, such as Capt. Dick's Watersports. Deep-sea fishing tours and dolphin-watching adventures are available on a daily basis, as are more extreme water sports such as Banana-boat rides, jet-ski rentals and kayaking tours.
Parasailing over the Atlantic — Photo courtesy of Capt. Dick's Watersports
Perhaps the most popular activity for families is parasailing, in which riders are pulled by boat high across the sky with a large parachute, offering a bird's-eye view of the ocean and coast and the thrill of ascending and descending over the sea. There are some age, height and weight restrictions, but for the most part families of all ages and sizes can enjoy a thrill-packed day enjoying some form of water sports through the right outfitter.
Looking for a more man-made form of water-borne fun? You should check out one of the many outstanding water parks on the Grand Strand, such as Myrtle Waves or Wild Water & Wheels. These massive aquatic playgrounds offer towering water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers and kiddie parks where the little ones can have a splashing good time. Private cabanas and lounge chairs provide plenty of chances for the grown-ups to enjoy some downtime, as well.
Braver parents can catch a wave with the kids on some of the thrill rides and slides, like the Arooba Tooba, Thunderbolts and Turbo Twister at Myrtle Waves and the Free Fall Cliff Dive, the Sidewinder and the Triple Dip at Wild Water & Wheels, which also offers go-cart racing, miniature golf and more. There's plenty of spine-tingling fun at both of these water parks.
But the aquatic fun doesn't have to end when the sun goes down. There are plenty of waterfront options in the evenings that can make for memorable moments on your family vacation. Check out the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk or the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, where visitors can enjoy the waterfront view and partake at many of the adjoining shops and restaurants, or take a ride down the Intracoastal Waterway aboard the Barefoot Princess at Barefoot Landing.
Fins to the left — Photo courtesy of Ripley's Aquarium
Broadway at the Beach is home to Ripley's Aquarium, featuring fish and other aquatic species in full display in the 750,000 gallons of water at this popular attraction. Among the highlights are Danger Reef, where visitors come face to face with giant sharks and other species of fish, and Ray Bay, where patrons can pet stingrays in a shallow pool.
Perhaps the most fun and popular way for families to get a true taste of life on the high seas is the Pirate's Voyage Fun, Feast and Adventure at the old Carolina Opry Theater. A life-sized pirate ship sails in a large pool that serves as the stage, and the ship's crew is the cast in this musical-comedy show that comes complete with a pirate's feast.