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Play by Day and Dance the Night Away at Myrtle Beach Clubs



Myrtle Beach has been famous for dancing since kids from the Southeast used to road trip to the Grand Strand in the 1950s and '60s to shag the night away on the beach at the old Pavilion and clubs of North Myrtle Beach. The live music of big bands and the juke boxes of beach music played on many moonlit nights amid the sounds of crashing waves and whispered sweet nothings while couples dipped and twirled on the sawdust-strewn dance floors. Decades later, visitors still flock to the Carolina coast to shake what their mommas gave them. The music may have changed over the years and the dancing is definitely different, but there's something about the swaying waves and sweet music that make people want to dance in Myrtle Beach. There's something for all ages and tempos on the Grand Strand. The older crowd still migrates to the Ocean Drive shag dives like Fat Harold's to keep the official state dance of South Carolina alive and to take a musical stroll down memory lane, while the younger set trend to the hipper hot spots like Club Boca. For those who prefer a country beat, be sure to check out The Bowery, where country super-group Alabama got its start as the house band back in the 1970s and '80s and live music still plays six nights a week while crowds boot-scoot across the dance floor. However you get your groove on, Myrtle Beach has you covered.

 


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For more than two decades, this beachfront bar has served as one of the hottest spots in all of Myrtle Beach. Featuring fun under the sun, cold drinks in the shade and a party atmosphere that lasts into the night, Ocean Annie's attracts large crowds from the nearby resorts and locals alike. Located behind Sands Ocean Club, the large pool deck includes a stagel for live music and dancing beside - and even inside - the enormous swimming pool. Guests can take a stroll down to the beach for some sun and surf then step back to the bar for a drink or a snack.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: There aren't many places in town where you can dance in the daytime with an ocean view.

Terry's expert tip: Grab a lounge chair by the pool early in the day and hold on to it. Ringside seats at Ocean Annie's become prime real estate as the party progresses.

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Just as Spanish ships used to sail local waters, the Spanish Galleon Dance Club is another bit of hidden treasure on the Grand Strand. Located in the heart of North Myrtle Beach's Ocean Drive district, the Spanish Galleon offers high-energy dancing for a wide variety of revelers. Featuring live bands and DJs, the Spanish Galleon features beach music and shagging, as well as modern beats and dancing. The oceanfront location also allows patrons to take a break from the action on the dance floors to enjoy the cool ocean breeze and a beautiful view. The hotel and bar host the National Shag Dancing Competitions each year.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: For folks who believe they stopped making good dance music in the 1980s, Revolutions is the place for you.

Terry's expert tip: The Spanish Galleon is only a short walk to other dancing hot spots, such as Fat Harold's and OD Pavilion.

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This international theme restaurant and music hall offers Cajun fare, South comfort fid and great live music performed by nationally and internationally known rock, folk, blues, jazz and blues bands. Besides offering interesting night life entertainment, they also serve up a wonderful Sunday Gospel Brunch. Phenomenal gospel music is performed live during the entire brunch. Call ahead for a schedule of upcoming events. Ticket prices and showtimes vary - most are about $20 and start around 8pm. The outdoor/indoor Gator Bar also features live music and dancing on the patio deck, and be sure to hit the souvenir shop and take home a piece of the blues.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The House of Blues chains stores are primarily based in big cities, so this relative small town is lucky to have one.

Terry's expert tip: Diners get priority first seating to the concert hall. The Gator Bar has live music or a DJ every night of the week.

Read more about House of Blues →


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North Myrtle Beach


Don't let the name of this North Myrtle Beach institution fool you. The "OD" stands for Ocean Drive, as in right on the beachfront, and the "Arcade & Lounge" don't tell the true story of this historic hot spot. As one of the birthplace clubs of South Carolina's state dance, the Carolina Shag, the OD Arcade & Lounge has been host to generations who flock to the beach to slip and slide across the sawdust and sand-covered dance floor. Yes, there's also an adjoining arcade, bar and grill, but the music and dancing are the main attractions. The annual SOS (Society of Shaggers) hold contests and events here, and some great beach music bands play on special occasions.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Rodeo also offers a full dinner menu specializing in steaks. Wash it down with a cold beer, and work it off on the dance floor.

Terry's expert tip: Take a break from the action on the dance floor to stroll out by the beach or visit some of the other nearby shag clubs.

Read more about OD Arcade & Lounge →




You don't have to be 21 to get into the action on the dance floor at these teen/ nightclub.The VUE at Karma offers early hours for ages 18 and over when no alcohol is served but the beats are still thumping. This nightclub gives the younger set the opportunity to experience the high energy of a modern nightclub without being exposed to all the adult themes. The VUE at Karma has live DJs, video walls, high-definition sound and non-alcoholic drinks. Special concert events and nationally touring DJs are regularly featured. For those over 21, there are other dance clubs nearby.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The VUE at Karma is one of the few places in town where teenagers can enjoy the nightclub experience.

Terry's expert tip: The VUE at Karma ihas an age cap of 21 so spare yourself the humiliation of being too old to get in a dance club.

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2001 Nightclub
Photo courtesy of 2001


2001 is billed as three clubs in one, and indeed it is. Razzie's Beach Club is the most time-tested of the three, a live music space that's been open since Reagan was in office and welcomes to its stage classic beach bands like The Fantastic Shakers and The Catalinas. Funky Town, meanwhile, goes the disco route with its pop tunes, LED lighting system and groovy decor. Last but not least is Club Touch, a big-city style space that features outstanding club music, huge bar areas and great-looking clientele. 2001 host occasional live music, featuring rock, country and beach musical genres.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: 2001 used to be considered futuristic in the 1900s. Now it's retro, but still a great place to go.

Terry's expert tip: One cover charge gets you into all three bars at 2001.

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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 saw dust and spilt beer. Crowds of all ages pack this place to celebrate the lifestyles of beach music and shag dancing, which dates back to the 1950s and '60s along this stretch of the Grand Strand.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Fat Harold and his namesake bar are both legendary in North Myrtle Beach.

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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The Bowery


Don't miss the chance to see where country music super group 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. Stumble out the door to more live music at the Plyler Park stage.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: This downtown watering hole is a must-see for visitor and guests wanting a true flavor of old-school Myrtle Beach.

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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Malibu's Surf Bar


One of the top places on the Strand to let your hair down and strut your stuff, Malibu's is a beach-themed dance club that features two top-notch DJs playing today's hottest music as well as some classic oldies that are sure to make you get out on the dance floor and shake what your momma gave you. The crowd of mostly 20-somethings is a well-attired bunch that parties late into the night. Keep your eyes peeled for weekly drink and admission specials, which include Thursday and Saturday Ladies' Nights and "Beat the Clock" Fridays. Make this club the last stop on your Broadway pub crawl.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The young party crowd makes Malibu's a hot spot that never goes out of style.

Terry's expert tip: Paying the cover at Malibu's also gets you into Celebrations' three other hot spots - Club Boca, Mango and Froggy Bottomz.

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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 Dance Clubs because: Club Oz is the closest thing the Grand Strand has to a modern metropolitan dance club.

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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