There's a lot to do in Myrtle Beach for kids and adults, but the teens stuck in between may not enjoy a trip to the playground or a dinner theater. "OMG," they'll text their BFF. "How lame!" But your family trip doesn't have to turn into a battle of ages and wills. Finding age-appropriate activities for teenagers in Myrtle Beach can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be impossible or expensive.
Hang ten and hang out in Myrtle Beach — Photo courtesy of Grand Strand Sports Report
Finding teen fun in the city literally starts right under your nose - at the beach. And if building sand castles with "the fam" doesn't register on the cool meter, there are plenty of free activities on the oceanfront that might make them put away their cell phones. Free surf lessons and paid surfing camps are held throughout the Grand Strand (South Carolina's famous stretch of beaches) during the summer months. Through lessons hosted by surf shops and clubs, like the Surfrider's Foundation, teens can borrow a board and get one-on-one instruction on how to "hang ten" from an experienced surfer.
If your teen prefers fun on dry land, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk in the downtown district provides a public area where many teens congregate. With easy beach access and a row of shops and restaurants, the boardwalk spans 1.2 miles of coastline with interesting points in between, such as the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and other attractions. Several beach volleyball courts are set up near Plyler Park and pick-up games can be found from sunup to sundown.
The city of Myrtle Beach also maintains a skateboard park and basketball goals at Pepper Geddings Recreation Center, where teens play even after dark. Special summer nights see free fireworks shows, live music and street performers take over the downtown district at Plyler Park. The Hot Summer Nights concert series features music on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from June through August, as well as other special events.
Down by the sea — Photo courtesy of Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Committee
If money's no issue, lots of teens can spend an entire day and a month's allowance hanging out at the major malls and shopping areas, like Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, Market Common and Coastal Grand Mall. Movies, ice cream shops and people watching are on the menu.
For more extreme fun, the Grand Strand offers several saltwater adventure outfitters, including deep-sea fishing, dolphin-watching tours, jet-ski rental and banana boat rides. And there's putt-putt golf, water parks and fishing piers, depending on what floats your teenager's boat. A little free time for your teen could be just what they (and the whole family) need for a fun vacation.