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Myrtle Beach Offers Great Dining in the Great Outdoors



Nothing beats great food in the great outdoors, and Myrtle Beach has you covered when it comes to uncovered dining. Whether you are looking for scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east or lovely vistas of sunsets to the west, the Grand Strand has all the angles on excellent dining opportunities under the sun and stars.

Fine dining without walls and a roof may be hard to find in some cities, but places like Frank's Outback in Pawleys Island offer upscale in a romantic outdoor setting. Oceanfront seating is in even greater supply, especially in the downtown Myrtle Beach district. Places like Damon's Oceanfront allow diners to soak up some sun and salt air in a casual and festive atmosphere.

But there's more scenery than just ocean views in Myrtle Beach, including the Intracoastal Waterway that cuts through across the Grand Strand. Waterfront dining at such restaurants as the Gulfstream Cafe in Garden City Beach give guests spectacular views of the coastal rivers and sunsets.

Murrells Inlet, about 15 miles south of Myrtle Beach, may be the outdoor dining capital of the Grand Strand with a row of waterfront cafes along the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk that offers some nice dockside dining.

Millions come to Myrtle Beach for the excellent weather. Why not enjoy it with a great meal?


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Pawleys Island Tavern
Photo courtesy of Pawleys Island Tavern


This laid-back, friendly restaurant and bar features live bands several nights a week and also offers great crab cakes, hickory-smoked barbecue and pizza. With a large outdoor seating area and stage nestled under a canopy of live oak trees and Spanish moss, this lowcountry eatery provides the perfect place to relax outside and take in some sights and sounds of live music in a festive atmosphere. Located behind the Pawleys Island Hammock Shops, "the PIT" is the perfect place to take a break from a full day of shopping and sip on a few cold ones while watching the sun go down.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: "The Pit," as it is known to the locals, is tucked away in a grove of live oaks and pines, adding to its rootsy appeal.

Terry's expert tip: The warmer months sees bands use the outdoor stage, so arrive early for a good seat and some good eats while taking in some of the best bands on the Grand Strand.

Read more about Pawleys Island Tavern →




The Murrells Inlet Marsha Walk is where you will find Wahoo's Raw Bar & Marina. Overlooking the very waters where your dinner came from, likely just hours before your arrival, this waterfront eatery is always on island time, thanks to its open-air tiki bar and band stage. Choose from all types of fresh seafood, including lobster, flounder, snapper and shrimp prepared however you like. As for the perfect recipe to "chill" at dusk, just kick back on the deck with one of their signature frozen cocktails and enjoy live music while the fishing boats return to port for the night.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Keep an eye out for live music on the waterfront deck during certain nights and seasons.

Terry's expert tip: There's lots of indoor seating but we recommend a seat on the outdoor deck to take in the sights and sounds of the inlet and Marsh Walk.

Read more about Wahoo's Raw Bar & Marina →




Damon's specializes in ribs - big, meaty ribs char-grilled and slathered in a tantalizing sauce. Not a fan of ribs? Well, Damon's obliges, with a well-rounded menu of prime rib, steaks, barbecued chicken, juicy burgers and tasty salads. Even the kids menu will satisfy the pickiest little eaters this side of the Mississippi, with corn dogs, popcorn shrimp, and chicken fingers among the favorites. A great oceanfront location outdoor seating make for a sublime experience any time, and take out is available all day. Take a break from the beach and sip a cold one on the deck with a rack of ribs.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Damon's is one of the few oceanfront restaurants that doesn't specialize in seafood. Great ribs with a great view.

Terry's expert tip: Ask your hostess for a table on the outdoor oceanfront deck and experience the ocean breeze and view. It's worth a slightly longer wait.

Read more about Damon's –Oceanfront →


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Mako's Oceanfront Bar and Grill


Drop into Mako's Oceanfront Bar and Grill for good times and great food. The restaurant is a neighborhood favorite, and offers a casual, friendly dining atmosphere that you and your friends are sure to enjoy. Mako's Oceanfront Bar and Grill also features a friendly, professional staff of great people, who will make sure you enjoy your visit and that Mako's Oceanfront Bar and Grill lives up to its reputation for pleasant dining and superb cuisine. The menu offers an inspired array of selections that is sure to satisfy everyone in your group, every time. Whether you're in the mood for casual dining or a special occasion, Mako's Oceanfront Bar and Grill is sure to please.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Mako's is one of the best outdoor bars in downtown Myrtle Beach.

Terry's expert tip: In addition to a solid lineup on the regular menu, be sure to ask your server about new selections, daily specials, and special chef's creations.

Read more about Mako's Oceanfront Bar and Grill →




Dudley the dog may be dead and gone, but his saloon is still going strong! This Murrells Inlet institution burned to the ground last summer but was rebuilt bigger and better than ever, especially the large outdoor deck overlooking the inlet. Dead Dog Saloon delivers a tasty array of fresh seafood, steaks, burgers and pasta dishes. Without doubt, though, the place's chief asset is its awesome deck, which offers great views of the water and even a few hammocks for lazing with a cold one. Dead Dog is famous for its seafood platters, featuring fresh catches grilled, blackened or fried.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: The Dead Dog even has a cozy hammock for guests to kick back and enjoy the view.

Terry's expert tip: The Dead Dog also provides live music on the outdoor deck on the weekends, so sit outside and enjoy some of the best local bands in action.

Read more about Dead Dog Saloon →


Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery


Comfortable and friendly, Liberty offers outdoor dining on both the back porch overlooking Lake Broadway and the front porch with great views for people-watching. Liberty is famous for two of America's favorite things: beer and beef, both of which they do extremely well. Beers are crafted right on the premises, in Myrtle Beach's largest brewery; try the Rockets' Red Ale, Miss Liberty Lager or a full-bodied Oatmeal Stout. Steaks are char-grilled, topped with fried onions, and accompanied by a salad and your choice of potato. There are other tasty options as well, such as fish and chips, awesome burgers and a fabulous spicy chicken and shrimp sandwich.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: The front patio at Liberty is the happy hour headquarters of the Grand Strand.

Terry's expert tip: One of the best happy hours on the Strand offers half-price drafts and appetizers from 4-8 p.m. Sit out front for one of the best daily parties on the Grand Strand.

Read more about Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery →


Bummz Beach Cafe
Photo courtesy of Bummz Beach Cafe


Ocean views, frozen concoctions, live music and great food. Sounds all too perfect doesn't it? Well Bummz Beach Cafe offers this and more in a family-friendly, 1930's beach house setting. Sip on a cocktail while lounging on beach chairs out back, or get your grub on via a host of tasty burgers, sandwiches and salads. Bummed out? Cure your blues with the Bummz Burger, which is loaded with bacon, cole slaw, mushrooms and two kinds of cheese. Another popular dish is the Chicken Philly, made with melted cheese, onions, peppers and sliced chicken breast piled high on a hoagie roll.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Bummz lives up to its name by attracting the laid-back, good-times beach bum crowd.

Terry's expert tip: Soak up the sun and watch the waves roll in on the back porch, one of the best beach hangouts on the Grand Strand.

Read more about Bummz Beach Cafe →




This award-winning restaurant features an excellent combination of food and scenery. Located in the new Grande Dunes Marina, guests can relax on the deck and watch the boats sail up and down the Waterway while enjoying some of the best dining on the Grand Strand. Live music is occasionally held on the outdoor patio and happy hour is a popular time to visit for locals. The food is off the hook, featuring creative seafood dishes that keep people coming back for seconds after the awesome views of the Intracoastal Waterway brings them in for their first Waterscapes experience. Reservations are recommended.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Upscale dining with an Intracoastal Waterway view is a winning 1-2 combination for WaterScapes.

Terry's expert tip: Make reservations for one hour before sundown so you can enjoy the lovely colors over the Intracoastal Waterway.

Read more about WaterScapes Restaurant at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes →


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Garden City


What a view! Gulfstream is the only restaurant in Garden City Beach overlooking the ocean on one side and Murrells Inlet on the other and, fortunately, the food lives up to the view. Recommended starters include the onion loaf (a mass of fried onion rings with bleu cheese dip), kicky N'Awlins shrimp served atop a crispy fried grits cake, she-crab soup and oyster shooters. Popular main courses range from Low Country crab cakes, a variety of fried seafood, garlic crab claws, and grilled or blackened catch of the day. Kids can opt for fried fish, shrimp, chicken fingers, or spaghetti.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Gulfstream Cafe has one of the few westward facing views of sunset over the waterfront on the Grand Strand.

Terry's expert tip: Ask for a seat on the outdoor deck and enjoy a lovely, Lowcountry sunset over the inlet and salt marshes.

Read more about Gulfstream Cafe →




Frank's Out Back, literally a separate restaurant behind the original, puts a new spin on fine dining in the great outdoors. A canopy and giant live oaks draped with Spanish moss serve as the roof at this establishment, which also features a water fountain and a fireplace for the chillier months. Like the main restaurant, the Out Back's menu features similarly creative cuisine with a Southern seafood emphasis. Experience Southern coastal classics like the shrimp and grits or the cornbread-encrusted grouper. Frank's also is known to feature live jazz music under the stars for one of the most romantic dining settings on the Grand Strand.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Frank's Out Back offers excellent good and an elegant atmosphere in the outdoors.

Terry's expert tip: For a romantic evening during the fall and winter months, make reservations for a table near the outdoor fireplace.

Read more about Frank's Restaurant / Frank's Out Back →


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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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