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Myrtle Beach's Best Nightlife: Sun Fun City Gets Better after Dark



The downtown district of Myrtle Beach has undergone a serious transformation in recent years, becoming a center for nightlife thanks to the construction of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. The 1.2-mile oceanfront walkway weaves through arcades and open-air cafes and bars to create a festive atmosphere that had disappeared with the closing of the old Pavilion. The colorful 190-foot SkyWheel and numerous new clubs, like Jimmy Buffett's LandShark Landing, are hubs of activity, and Plyler Park Plaza features an outdoor stage where free concerts and fireworks shows are held throughout the summer. Myrtle Beach's entertainment complexes continue to serve as centers for night activity. Broadway at the Beach boasts The District, featuring a dozen clubs that allow visitors to pub crawl their way around the complex, Barefoot Resort has the House of Blues and Alabama Theater for great live music and Market Common has an urban neighborhood feel with great pubs and dance clubs. For those partial to the good old days, Ocean Drive in North Myrtle Beach has historic beachside dance clubs, like Fat Harold's and Duck's, where '60s music and the shag are still in style. When you return safely back to your hotel, don't be surprised if the outdoor pool bar is still open for a nightcap.


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Alabama Theatre


This 2,250-seat theater attracts country music's biggest stars and a great local cast. Nightly shows feature THE Alabama's very own entertainers, with frequent appearances by the proud owners - country music supergroup Alabama. Most shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, but call for exact schedule or purchase advanced tickets online at www.alabamatheatre.com. Located in Barefoot Landing, the theater is surrounded by excellent dining options to make for a nice night out for dinner and a show. Barefoot Landing also offers lots of other shopping and entertainment options so it's a great place to make a night of it.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: If your timing is good you can catch a nice touring act as well as the regularly running shows.

Terry's expert tip: Check for special appearances through the summer. Country stars like George Jones and Loretta Lynn have made stops here for a weekend set.

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If laughter is the best medicine then the Comedy Cabana is like the local hospital. The longest-running laugh factory on the Grand Strand brings in nationally touring comics that normally wouldn't travel this far off the beaten path except for the chance to take a break from their hectic schedules to relax at the beach. Top nationally touring acts frequent this small but popular hangout and the mood is always light and happy among visitors and employees. A sidebar from the showroom makes this place feel more like a locals hangout than a comedy club, and the food is surprisingly good.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: There are lots of new comedy clubs in town, but Comedy Cabana has been serving up laughs for more than two decades.

Terry's expert tip: Go to the bathroom before or after comedians take the stage - not during unless you want to be the target of some good-natured ribbing.

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The Bowery


Don't miss the chance to see where country music supergroup Alabama got its start back in the 1970s, and little has changed at this hole-in-the-wall honky-tonk since those days. The house band kicks out live music six days a week and visiting bands and musicians get together to jam on its night off. Patrons off all walks of life share the common bond of live music. Not the fanciest place in town but a must-see for those looking for a true taste of the Myrtle Beach nightlife. The surrounding Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a great place to take a walk for some fresh ocean air.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Bowery is the most legendary club in Myrtle Beach, and second place isn't even close.

Terry's expert tip: Drink selection is limited (beer and wine) but there are plenty of places nearby to get a mixed drink in the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk area.

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Carolina Opry


Calvin Gilmore opened the Carolina Opry in 1986 and it has grown into the most popular live theater in town. Featuring top dancers, musicians, and singers, the Carolina Opry's shows keep audiences coming back year after year for this unique blend of music and comedy. Well reviewed and one of the most sought after tickets in town, the Carolina Opry is great entertainment for the entire family. Shows are held nightly but times and shows vary, so check the schedule and purchase tickets in advance at www.carolinaopry.com. Located next door is the new Pirates Voyage show that's also worth checking out.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The talent level and production quality at Carolina Opry rivals that of off-Broadway.

Terry's expert tip: If you're in town in December, be sure to catch the annual Christmas show.

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Stroll down the waterfront of this sleepy fishing village along the only stretch of town that doesn't go to bed early. The Murrells Inlet Marshwalk weaves along a path that backs up to a dozen bars and restaurants, most featuring outdoor decks with live music on the weekends. Places like Bubba's Love Shack and the Dead Dog Saloon have bands virtually every night of the week, while other stops like Divine Prime and Fishhouse offer a hip scene for more laid-back revelers. Enjoy a great view of the sunset as the fishing boats return to the inlet after a long day at sea.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This place serves as a seafood hot spot by day and night but becomes a great party spot after hours.

Terry's expert tip: A great photo-op presents itself on a small island filled with deserted goats just off the Marsh Walk.

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North Myrtle Beach
Fat Harold's Beach Club


South Carolina's state dance is alive and kicking at Fat Harold's, a legendary beach club that claims to be "Home of The Shag." Located on North Myrtle's famed Ocean Drive, the club looks like a big shack from the outside, but don't let appearances fool you. Inside, you'll find everybody from teens to Baby Boomers strutting their stuff on the hardwood dance floor sprinkled with sawdust and spilled beer. Don't know how to shag? Never fear. Free dance lessons are held regularly, and there are always some friendly locals willing to take you for a spin around the dance floor.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This place has been called the birthplace of the shag, and the dance is definitely still alive and well at Fat Harold's.

Terry's expert tip: Don't know how to shag? No problem. Fat Harold's offers free lessons every Tuesday night.

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Featuring four unique clubs in one massive nightlife complex, Status Nightlife is the hottest new club in town. Replacing the long-standing 2001 Night Club in 2018, Status Nightlife has something for revelers of all tastes. The Bourbon Cowboy is designed for those with country and western in mind, complete with a spacious dance floor for line dancing. The Jungle Room specializes in Caribbean beats and colorful frozen drinks, while Club Rewind caters to the retro crowd with hits from the 1980s, '90s and 2000s. Club Envy is the DJ-driven dance venue and attracts a younger crowd.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: 2001 used to be a futuristic title for party-goers; now it's a retro-theme and still going strong.

Terry's expert tip: Even if you have a favorite venue in mind, be sure to check out all four clubs for the full experience.

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A small slice of Nashville comes to the beach at this oceanfront hot spot. Featuring a restaurant and bar with an open-air rooftop, this place turns into a nightlife favorite after hours. Featuring a concert stage with top-notch talent and sound, Tin Roof provides the rare opportunity to dance along to the beat while experiencing the sea breeze and ocean views. Musical genres vary from performance to performance, but Tin Roof has a distinctly Southern twang with the top country and Southern rock acts taking the stage.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Palace is worth a visit just to see the 1920's-style lobby and concession area.

Terry's expert tip: Come early and claim a prime table with a view of the stage and the Atlantic Ocean.

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This restaurant and music hall offers Cajun fare and Southern cuisine along with great live music performed by nationally and internationally known rock, folk, blues, jazz and blues bands. Besides offering interesting nightlife entertainment, they also serve up a wonderful Sunday Gospel Brunch on the outdoor patio deck. Phenomenal gospel music is performed live during the entire brunch. A murder-mystery dinner series is also held during certain times of the year. Call ahead for a schedule of upcoming events. Ticket prices and showtimes vary; most are about $20 and start around 8 pm. After a late Saturday night, repent the next day at the HOB's Sunday Gospel Brunch.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Nowhere else in town attracts the big-name national touring acts like the House of Blues.

Terry's expert tip: Diners get priority first seating for shows, so come early, enjoy dinner and avoid the long lines for concerts.

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Club Oz
Photo courtesy of Club Oz


Captivating crowds with its Latin beats and techno sounds, Club Oz is the trendy spot in Broadway at the Beach's nightlife lineup. Billed as the Strand's one and only "big city-style" dance clubs, Club Oz is one place that certainly warrants your hippest threads and coolest footwork. State-of-the-art light and sound shows create quite the late-night spectacle, and the young and sexy crowd isn't shy about letting world-class DJs work them into a beat-driven frenzy. If the action inside gets too intense, you don't have to leave - just grab a seat and catch your breath at Mango's lounge inside.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: If variety is the spice of life then The District and its 12 clubs in one area is the hottest spot on the Grand Strand.

Terry's expert tip: The upstairs bar and balcony is a great place to take a break from the long lines and crowded dance floor.

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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

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