Best Early Entertainment in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Offers Plenty of Entertainment for Early Bird

There are plenty of reasons to get up early in the morning during your Myrtle Beach vacation. When the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean and shines through your hotel window, it's tough to stay in bed with the beach and waves beckoning, the 100 area golf courses calling, the fish biting and, of course, the kids screaming to go outside and play.

The result can be a vacation day that starts much earlier than your usual sleep-late/party-late getaway, and your entire schedule gets shifted ahead. Happy hour and early bird specials suddenly seem reasonable times of day for dinner, and your night out on the town might start before the sun goes down. Fortunately for early-risers and early-partiers, Myrtle beach has you covered.

The various musical and performance theaters adjust their show times accordingly, so The Palace and Alabama Theatre ensure their shows are over before 10 p.m. The same is true for comedy clubs, like the Big Laughs Theater and Comedy Cabana, and hybrid entertainment clubs such as Crocodile Rocks. And even if you prefer to hit the same hot spots as the late-night crowds for dancing and live music, there are a handful that cater to the early crowd.

So get your nightly entertainment started early so you can enjoy the next morning on the beach.


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 Early Entertainment because: 2001 keeps kicking well after midnight, but it also starts hopping much earlier than traditional nightclubs.

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

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North Myrtle Beach

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 spilled beer. This place is always hopping, but about once a month the S.O.S. (Society of Shaggers) holds gatherings and shag to the sounds of some of the top beach music acts in the country.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Dancing continues late into the night, but the high number of old-timers who love to shag insures a nice early crowd.

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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A unique and fun entertainment experience featuring your requested songs performed by some of the coolest and funniest piano players anywhere. Enjoy your favorite libation, sing-along and join in the fun. The two pianists are not only talented musicians with a vast vocabulary of songs, they are also de facto comedians with humorous routines that involve audience members. They play off the crowd and invite eager participants onto the stage to perform dances and skits that crack up the crowd and make good-natured fun of the volunteers. The pianists play for tips in the form of cash and shots of alcohol.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Although the show runs deep into the night, there's no cover charge until the performance starts a 8 p.m.

Terry's expert tip: If you prefer to watch the show rather than be a part of it, sit near in the back and keep your moouth shut.

Read more about Crocodile Rocks Dueling Pianos →

GTS Theatre
Photo courtesy of Wild 4 Hypnosis Fusion Family Show

Big laughs come in small places at the GTS Theatre in Myrtle Beach. This venue allows for intimate crowds for one of the most creative comedy outfits on the Grand Strand. The husband and wife hypnotist team of Rich and Elizabeth Wylde convince volunteers from the audience that they are rock stars, actors in a movie or even wild animals in this subconscious scenario role play while the crowd rolls in the aisles with laughter. Become a part of the show or simply take it all in from your seat. Be sure to bring a camera in case when of your friends go.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: GTS features an early, family friendly show to send you to bed with a good laugh.

Terry's expert tip: There are family shows that are kid-friendly and more adult-oriented shows later in the night for the wilder crowds.

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In 1986, Calvin Gilmore unveiled his Carolina Opry, which brings to the Grand Strand area some of the industry's top dancers, musicians, and singers for shows that dazzle audiences with their unique blend of music and comedy. Two decades later the Carolina Opry continues to draw big crowds and attract some of the top performers. In addition to year-round productions and concerts, the holiday season sees the Opry put on a stunning Christmas Special. Well reviewed and one of the most sought after tickets in town, the Carolina Opry is great entertainment for the entire family no matter their musical tastes.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Located in the heart of Restaurant Row, guests can enjoy a nice dinner out and an 8 p.m. show and still be done by 10 p.m.

Terry's expert tip: Check with your hotel's front desk or local coupon dispensers for special discounts.

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Like something straight out of Las Vegas (actually, it is!), this five-concert impersonator show is so good that a lot of patrons admit these performers do the songs as well as (in some cases better than) the originals. If you're thinking, "No way!" then come see for yourself as performers like Shania Twain, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Jackson and even Elvis take the stage and leave the crowd blown away. The location at Broadway at the Beach features state-of-the-art sound, lighting and multi-media displays. Shows usually begin on the hour. Depending on the season, there may be multiple show times in one day.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Legends in Concert features occasional matinees, and even the 8 p.m. shows are over before 10 p.m.

Terry's expert tip: Legends offers special "dinner and a show" tickets that include admission and dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in the area.

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Named for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Grammy Award-winning group that got its start on the Grand Strand, the Alabama Theatre stands as a testament to the band's roots. Live concerts and regular theater performances keep the action hopping at this 2,250-seat theater, which attracts country music's biggest stars to thye stage and some of the best singers and dancers this side of Broadway. Nightly shows feature the Alabama's very own entertainers, with frequent appearances by greats such as Loretta Lynn and George Jones. Most regularly appearing shows are held Tuesday through Sunday, but call ahead for exact schedule.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: The Alabama Theatre's curtain opens at 7:30 for most shows, giving guests plenty of time to check out Barefoot Landing.

Terry's expert tip: Check in advance for an special live shows that comes to town, including regular visits from the theater's namesake - country super-group Alabama.

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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. A side bar from the showroom makes this place feel more like a locals hangout than a comedy club, and the food is surprisingly good. There is a two-drink minimum per customer during the show and reservations are recommended, especially when big-name acts are in town.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Comedy Cabana offers an early show that lets out before 10 p.m., and usually features a less rowdy crowd.

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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Rising high above the complex at Broadway at the Beach is the shining Palace Theatre, which hosts some of the top concerts and off-Broadway productions in the Southeast. This elegant theatre has hosted such talent as Aretha Franklin, Kenny Rogers and many other top-name celebrities and acts. Previous shows include Wynonna, Randy Travis, Clint Black, "Evita," "Lord of the Dance" and "Le Grand Cirque." The 1920s-style lobby, concessionaires and gift shop are worth a visit and the helpful staff can help you find your seats or select your tickets to your show of choice. Show times and admissions vary, so call ahead.

Recommended for Early Entertainment because: All shows at the Palace Theatre are over by 10 p.m., just in time to catch the fireworks at Broadway at the Beach.

Terry's expert tip: Shows are held nightly, but occasional discounted matinees make it more affordable for the while family to catch the show.

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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