Best Waterfront Dining in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach's Top Places to Dine with a Waterfront View

When you're looking for ambiance as much as food, satisfying restaurants can be hard to come by. After all, you want the whole package, not just a suitable meal. Fortunately, Myrtle Beach delivers in spades. The city promises a superb selection of restaurants to sate your desire for waterfront dining. These places take care of the details, making you feel welcomed, plying you with wonderful dishes, and sending you on your way with an experience you won't soon forget.

For a hint of the quality and a rare westward facing sunset view, try the Gulfstream Cafe, in Garden City Beach, which features indoor and outdoor vistas over Murrells Inlet. The Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk offers several of the top waterfront options, such as the Divine Fish House, Drunken Jack's and the legendary Dead Dog Saloon. The north end of the Grand Strand also has its claim to seafood claim with Capt. Nance's, featuring Calabash-style seafood named after the fishing village that invented it. And for those who love a nice ocean view but not necessarily seafood, Damon's Oceanfront in downtown Myrtle Beach serves up the best ribs in town, and the world-famous Sea Captain's House epitomizes great waterfront dining in Myrtle Beach.


This longtime Murrells Inlet standby sits right on the water and is always a big hit with diners from near and far. Jack's booty, of course, comes in the form of fresh-from-sea numbers that are prepared to taste - grilled, blackened, sautéed or fried. From specialty dinners like Grouper Royale topped with crabmeat and béarnaise sauce to the substantial combination platter that allows you to pair up your choice of flounder, shrimp, oysters, deviled crab, scallops and creek shrimp, it's all good here. Don't stop by Drunkén Jack's without sampling a few handfuls of their famous hushpuppies dipped in honey butter.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Good times, great food and a wonderful view make Drunken Jack's a favorite among the Murrells Inlet crowd.

Terry's expert tip: Drunken Jack's was named for a legendary pirate who was stranded on a nearby island and was found dead surrounded by empty bottles of rum. Order the Drunken Jack's Rum Punch in his honor.

Read more about Drunken Jack's Restaurant & Lounge →

Located on the north end of the Grand Strand at the Prince Resort on the Cherry Grove Beach Pier, 3500 North Ocean Grill is an open-air restaurant offering a relaxing ocean breeze and an unprecedented vista of the Atlantic. The atmosphere is beach casual but the food is something you would expect from a fine-dining restaurant. Excellent steaks and seafood are on the dinner menu, and lighter fare is available for lunch. A breakfast buffet is a great way to start the day as the sun rises over the horizon. This special spot between the beach and the sea makes the perfect environment for surf and turf.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Lots of seafood restaurants say "Calabash style" on the sign, but Capt. Nance's is the real deal. The hot hushpuppies melt in your mouth.

Terry's expert tip: Friday evenings are prime rib night, and you can combo it with the fresh catch for an ideal surf-and-turf experience.

Read more about 3500 North Ocean Grill →

Dudley the dog and inspirational namesake may be dead and gone, but this saloon is still going strong! Another in a long line of solid Murrells Inlet eateries, Dead Dog Saloon delivers a tasty array of fresh seafood, steaks, burgers and pasta dishes. Without a doubt, the place's chief asset is its awesome patio deck, which offers great views of the water and even a few hammocks for lazing with a cold one. Speaking of spirits, this fish-shack style restaurant is believed by many to be haunted by the ghost of Dudley, so be sure to save a hushpuppy or two as a peace offering.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: This locals' favorite is the centerpiece of the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk for both food and festivities.

Terry's expert tip: This legendary establishment burned to the ground in 2011, but a new-and-improved version was reopened in under 100 days. If you haven't been to the new Dead Dog, it's worth a revisit.

Read more about Dead Dog Saloon →


This Barefoot Landing hot spot is the brainchild of Lucy Buffett, the sister of "Son of a Son of a Sailor" Jimmy Buffett. Inspired by the same laid-back beach lifestyle in her brother's music, Lulu's (Jimmy's childhood nickname for Lucy) brings that same seafaring spirit to the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway at Barefoot Landing. Featuring a wide variety of food and drinks, including "the frozen concoctions that help me hang on," Lulu's also offers good times, live music and a big back yard that features a massive arcade, climbing tower, sand pit, beach volleyball, corn hole and other games.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: The back porch provides a great view of the Intracoastal Waterway and some of the best seafood you will find.

Terry's expert tip: There are plenty of options on the menu, but no matter what you order be sure to try a cup or bowl of Lulu's lip-smacking gumbo.

Read more about Lulu's →

Not all waterfront restaurants have to highlight local seafood. Proof comes in the form of Damon's Oceanfront, which 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 kid's 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 right on the shore in downtown Myrtle Beach, outdoor seating makes for a sublime experience any time.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Barbecue joints are hard to find amid a sea of seafood restaurants, but Damon's stands out for its delicious ribs and remarkable 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 →


Known as the Seafood Capital of South Carolina, the tiny fishing village of Murrells Inlet is where you will find Wahoo's Raw Bar & Marina. This waterfront dining eatery is always on island time, thanks to its open-air Tiki Bar and beautiful waterfalls. A raw bar and sushi table provide great starters before you get to the main menu. 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 let everything else take care of itself.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: In addition to outstanding seafood with an excellent view, Wahoo's also serves some of the best sushi on the Strand.

Terry's expert tip: A small outdoor stage often features live music during the warmer months.

Read more about Wahoo's Raw Bar & Marina →

Bummz Beach Cafe
Photo courtesy of Bummz Beach Cafe

The name says it all for this casual, come-as-you-are bar and grill, where patrons often stroll up from the beach with sand on their feet for a bite to eat and a cold one. Ocean views, frozen concoctions, live music and great food is what it's all about at Bummz Beach Cafe, which offers all these and more in a fun-filled and family-friendly atmosphere just steps away from the ocean. Situated in a 1930's beach house setting, guests can sip on a cocktail while lounging in beach chairs and hammocks on the back patio deck, or get their grub on via a host of tasty burgers, sandwiches and salads.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Bummz lets you sit in the sun, feel the ocean breeze, feast on comfort favorites and sip on a frozen drink all under one umbrella.

Terry's expert tip: The menu is loaded with can't-miss classics, but the Bummz Burger, which is loaded with bacon, coleslaw, mushrooms and two kinds of cheese, is a unique and filling fixture.

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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 Waterfront Dining because: Upscale food and a stunning view of the marina make WaterScapes a great escape for a romantic evening.

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 →

Garden City

What a view! Gulfstream is the only restaurant on the Grand Strand overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Murrells Inlet on the other, offering 360-degree views of the water and a rare westward facing spot to see the sunset. 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 Lowcountry crab cakes, garlic crab claws and grilled or blackened catch of the day.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: In addition to excellent seafood, Gulfstream Cafe offers one of the best happy hours and most beautiful vistas on the Grand Strand.

Terry's expert tip: A seat on the back porch is the place to be for spectacular views of the sunset over Murrells Inlet.

Read more about Gulfstream Cafe →

Sea Captain's House
Photo courtesy of Terry Massey

Once a privately-owned family beach cottage, this picturesque oceanfront restaurant serves up some of the best seafood dishes in Myrtle Beach. Featured in national publications such as Southern Living and the New York Times, Sea Captain's House ranks at the top of the list because of its combination of great food with a great view. Highlighting seafood and Southern cuisine, this half-century-old restaurant has a wall full of awards for its she-crab soup, shrimp and grits and other favorites. Sea Captain's House also serves one of the best and most underrated breakfasts on the Grand Strand, especially with the beachfront restaurant's spectacular view of sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: For nearly 60 years this converted beach house has been a must-visit for guests looking for excellent seafood and an even better view.

Terry's expert tip: Often on a long wait during the tourist season, guests can relax on the back porch in swings overlooking the Atlantic Ocean - not a bad place to watch the sunrise while waiting to be seated.

Read more about Sea Captain's House →


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