Go for convenience, accessibility, and selection. Those are the perks of Myrtle Beach's best malls and shopping centers. You can get in and out quickly and see a ton of things. Loads of local shopping options include high-brow and low-brow stores, along with food offerings should you need a drink or a bite along the way. Check out the wide variety at places like Broadway at the Beach or Market Common, both conveniently located just a short drive from the beach, or more traditional malls such as Coastal Grand Mall or the Myrtle Beach Mall. To turn your shopping experience into an all-day entertainment fest, try Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, which features live music and theater venues like the Alabama Theater and the House of Blues. Of course, some of the best places to bargain hunt aren't the modern malls with bright lights and music. Some of the best treasure hunting hot spots on the Grand Strand are tucked away from the big crowds, such as Hudson's Flea Market in Surfside Beach or the rows of stores in the Town of Calabash, N.C. No matter what you're looking for, from first-class apparel to second-hand clothes, Myrtle Beach has the right stuff for shoppers of all tastes.
Town of Calabash
There's not much else to do in this tiny port city than fish and eat, but shopping is a pleasant surprise. Located just across the North Carolina state line, there are plenty of neat little specialty and gift shops sit at the intersection of River Street and Beach Drive, and it's darn near impossible to leave town without a trinket, piece of art or some other unique memento. One last note: Local lore has it that legendary radio personality Jimmy Durante once stopped here for a bite to eat and was so impressed by the hospitality of his hostess, he pledged to make her famous; ergo, his famous sign-off, "Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."
Myrtle Beach Mall
This enclosed mall, located between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, features traditional anchors JCPenney and Belk as well as popular specialty shops like Books-a-Million, Aeropostale, and Pacific Sunwear. But perhaps the mall's biggest draw is Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, the only South Carolina location of the popular fishing, hunting, hiking and camping superstore. A destination unto itself, Bass Pro Shops carries a mind-boggling range of merchandise (from waders all the way to ATVs) and supplements that with occasional demonstrations (from outdoor cooking or bird-dogging, for example) and one very impressive fish tank (stocked with bass, of course) to test your gear before you buy it. (843-272-4040)
Inlet Square Mall
The fishing village of Murrells Inlet is famous for its seafood, but this mall shows there's also great shopping. Anchored by Belk, JCPenney, Kmart, and Stein Mart, this popular mall is ideal when you need to get the kids out of the house on a rainy day. At the food court, you'll find the "Kid's Zone," a soft play area that's lots of fun. The mall offers numerous special events for kids as well, so check local listings if you have some time to kill. Of course, if it's shopping you want they have that, too, including Bath & Body Works, Books-A-Million, Hibbett Sports, Rack Room Shoes and Cato. (843-651-6990)
Pawleys Island Hammock Shops
The original Pawleys Island Hammock Shop drew such a steady stream of tourists that several additional shops and restaurants sprung up in its shadow. Today, you'll find not only hammocks, but a nice array of other goods, from candles and children's clothing to Christmas decorations and jewelry. There are gourmet and South Carolina specialty food shops, an Audubon gift shop, and a couple of art galleries as well. And at lunchtime, whether you're looking for a bite on the go or a full sit down meal, you'll find it here. Individual business hours vary, but most shops are open Mon-Sat 9:30am-6pm and Sun noon-5pm. (843-237-8448)
Tanger North Outlet Mall
This Tanger Outlet Mall, at the northern end of Myrtle Beach, offers shoppers a plethora of upscale outlet stores, including BCBG Maxazria, Polo Ralph Lauren and Ann Taylor. There are more casual options as well, such as Gap, Old Navy, Reebok and Easy Spirit. It's a documented fact that intense shopping makes you hungry, and there's plenty of good food to choose from here in a vast food court, such as Ben and Jerry's and Five Guys., as well as an abundance of other shopping, dining and entertainment alternatives in the immediate area. (843-449-0491)
Hudson's Flea Market
Bargain hunters take note - Hudson's has 430 vendor spaces, and you can find some awesome deals among the stalls, whether you're looking for antique tables or computer desks, china or cheap dishes for you college-bound daughter. The family owned business was started in 1975 and is now the largest covered flea market on the Grand Strand. Hudson's has five whole acres of free parking and pick-up spaces for those loading larger purchases. You'll also find food booths, and on Sunday mornings, there are non-denominational church services for both kids and adults. A fun place to spend the day in the shade. (843-238-0372, 843-651-5783)
Coastal Grand Mall
Opened in 2004, this fashionable mall is anchored by Belk, Sears, Dillard's, Bed Bath & Beyond and Dick's Sporting Goods. All the familiar favorites are here like Bath & Body Works, Charlotte Russe, Earthbound Trading Company, Express, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aéropostale, Gymboree, Jos. A. Bank, PacSun and Victoria's Secret. For entertainment, there's a 14-screen cinema, an indoor climbing wall, a modern arcade, a food court and a few sit-down restaurants. Several strip malls, restaurants and specialty shops have sprang up around the Coastal Grand Mall since its opening so visitors should make the loop to get the full experience. (843-839-9100)
Located on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, which closed in 1994, this new multi-purpose complex features great dining and entertainment options. But shopping is the top draw, and Market Common does an awesome impersonation of an urban retail district one would expect to find in a major city. With more than 50 shops on one city block, window shoppers can stroll through this retail district and check out such exclusive stores as Anthropologie, Fossil, Ivy & Leo, Orvis and many more. Upscale restaurants, a state-of-the-art theater and biking and jogging trails are part of the atmosphere at Market Common. (843-839-3500)
This North Myrtle Beach multi-purpose complex offers the best in entertainment, dining and shopping in one scenic location on the Intracoastal Waterway. The House of Blues, Alabama Theater and Alligator Adventure are among the fun stops along the way through the maze of unique restaurants and shops. Wooden walkways over the lake allow visitors to shop while the drop and recover with a rest break on the benches while enjoying a beautiful view. Located across the Waterway from Barefoot Resort and four championship golf courses, Barefoot Landing is a great place to unwind after a long day on the links. (843-272-8349, 800-272-2320)
Broadway at the Beach
Live entertainment venues, nightclubs, dining, specialty shops and more all situated around a 23-acre freshwater pond known as Lake Broadway. Shops include specialty apparel boutiques for women, men and kids, shoe stores and resort wear specialists. There's also a Build-A-Bear Workshop, art galleries, numerous jewelry and accessory stores, and souvenir and gift shops. Dining and nightlife options include everything from seafood to pizza and rock 'n roll to classical, with a number of national chains represented. Entertainment options range from Ripley's Aquarium and miniature golf to movie theaters and a baseball stadium. The nightclubs are open late but individual business hours vary. (843-444-3200, 800-386-4662)
About Terry Massey
It's no surprise that journalist Terry Massey is credited with creating the word 'stay-cation.' He considers the past 18 years in Myrtle Beach a vacation.
He and his wife Stephanie were honeymooning in Myrtle Beach, when Terry was offered a job at the local newspaper. Without hesitation, they packed a U-Haul with their belongings - including unopened wedding gifts - and moved to the beach. They now have a daughter, Riley, a golden retriever, Duff, and their roots are deeply grounded in the sand.
After 13 years at the newspaper, Terry became a freelance writer to cover all the things that brought him to the beach.
Read more about Terry Massey here.
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