The Best Things to Do in Myrtle Beach Are Free

Vacationing in the Myrtle Beach area can be an expensive endeavor. From gas or airline tickets to get there to the many lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment options such as golf and theaters, it can cost a pretty penny just to spend the week on the Grand Strand, but that doesn't have to involve doing nothing.

With a little creativity and knowledge of the area, visitors can find lots of enjoyable activities without going broke, or even spending a penny.That can be a handy bit of information for families vacationing on a budget, retirees seeking the simpler things in life, or spring-breakers who are road-tripping with empty pockets.

The most obvious option is also the best - the beach. For all the man-made resorts and fancy restaurants, golf courses and theaters on the Grand Strand, the area's No. 1 drawing card is still, and always will be, the Atlantic Ocean and the strip of white sand that surrounds it. It's like a free playground for all ages.

But there are plenty of options off the immediate coast that don't cost a thing, such as the many entertainment complexes in the Myrtle Beach area with no admission fees. The Burroughs and Chapin Art Museum near Springmaid Beach requests only donations for admission, and there are lots of local festivals and events that are free to the general public.

Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens


Travel just north of Myrtle Beach on Highway 17 into the Little River community and you'll see a sign for this 115-acre park and designated wildlife refuge. The trails and boardwalks extend into the salt marshes and pass by a Civil War cemetery....  Read More



Learn about the rich history of the Grand Strand area from its humble beginnings as a logging and railroad town to one of the top tourism destinations in the world. Displays feature old photographs and documents that tell the story of how early...  Read More

Pavilion Nostalgia Park
Photo courtesy of Pavalion Nostalgia Park


History never looked so fun as a trip to the Pavilion Nostalgia Park, a smaller but memory-provoking version of the old Pavilion that served as the centerpiece of downtown Myrtle Beach for decades. Located at the popular Broadway at the Beach...  Read More



Located on the first floor of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, this display features portraits and exhibits of famous South Carolina historical figures, including eight of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a Nobel prize...  Read More

Franklin G Burroughs – Simeon B Chapin Art Museum


Known for its holdings of Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild works and a wonderful collection of antique maps and prints, the Burroughs-Chapin Art Museum is a must-see. The contemporary art museum first opened in 1997, but it was some 13 years in...  Read More

Family Kingdom


After the old Pavilion closed, Family Kingdom was left as Myrtle Beach's only oceanfront amusement park. Rather than rest on its monopoly, Family Kingdom expanded into two attractions in one. The amusement park has several new and modern thrill...  Read More

Barefoot Landing


This multi-purpose complex offers the best in entertainment, dining and shopping in one scenic location on the Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach. The House of Blues, Alabama Theater and Alligator Adventure are among the fun stops along...  Read More

The Market Common, Myrtle Beach


This multi-purpose complex brings the feel of an upscale, urban shopping district to the Grand Strand. Featuring dozens of entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities, Market Common offers national outlets that can't be found anywhere else...  Read More

Broadway at the Beach


This multi-purpose complex is home to some of the best entertainment, dining and shopping on the Grand Strand. Featuring top attractions, such as Wonder Works and Ripley's Aquarium, Broadway features hundreds of business surrounding a large...  Read More



The downtown district has been revitalized by this new attraction, highlighted by the 190-foot SkyWheel that lights up the Myrtle Beach skyline. The largest ferris wheel on the East Coast offers scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the entire...  Read More


Meet 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...  More About Terry