We’re not saying we have more pictures of our favorite family vacation meals than we have of our kids, but it’s a close second. If finding new places to eat and exploring farmer’s markets is always at the top of your vacation roster, you’re definitely a foodie family. And you’re in for a treat when you visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Fun fact: there are more than 2000 restaurants in the beloved beach town, more per capita than Paris, France.
Here are five reasons every foodie family should plan a trip to The Grand Strand this summer.
1. Fresh Seafood for Days
Whether you’re an aficionado with a craving or fans of Spongebob Squarepants, this beach town’s seafood cuisine will not disappoint. If you head to Murrells Inlet you'll find yourself in the "seafood capital of South Carolina" with an abundance of restaurants including Wicked Tuna, a grill and sushi bar (with locations at Murrell’s Inlet and right near the SkyWheel). Embrace the history of the inlet (once a hideout for Blackbeard) at the piratey Drunken Jacks. Myrtle Beach is also home to the Sea Captain's House, a 1930s oceanfront home converted into a restaurant dubbed "Best Seafood Restaurant" by Southern Living. Combine your love of seafood with a relaxing adventure and head out on a chartered fishing excursion to catch your own.
2. Ice Cream Galore
Let’s face it, ice cream is at the top of every kid’s yes list. Add in the beach and beautiful sunshine, and you’ve got a recipe for happiness. The good news is there’s no shortage of places to find that sweet treat around Myrtle Beach. For a best-vacation-ever feel, let the kids pick their milkshake toppings from Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar. Get a touch of nostalgia (and a banana split) at Kirk’s 1890 Ice Cream Parlor or on-site made ice cream Original Painter’s Home Ice Cream in North Myrtle Beach, open since 1952. Along the Boardwalk, you’ll find funnel cakes and ice cream treats at Mad Myrtle’s Ice Creamery. If soft serve is your jam, Twisters Soft Serve, located near the MarshWalk, a historic village well worth the trip (more on that next).
3. Dinner with Entertainment
Keep the party going at dinner time and surprise the kids with a royal feast at Medieval Times. Or take in a dinner and a swashbuckling show at Dolly Parton’s Pirates Voyage. Get some southern cuisine and great music at House of Blues, which also has regular mystery dinner theaters, suitable for kids ages 13 and up. Kids of all ages will roar with excitement at DinoLand Cafe, a full-service restaurant with moving dinosaurs everywhere. Be sure to also check Ripley’s Aquarium to try to catch Breakfast with a Mermaid.
4. Beautiful Barbeque
You’re in the South, which means it’s your family’s duty to try as much Carolina BBQ as possible. You’re in luck because there are plenty of places to choose from. Start with family-owned and local favorite Bar-B-Que House with two locations (North Myrtle Beach and Surfside). At Broadway at the Beach you’ll find Sweet Carolina’s, known for their in-house sauce. After you’ve topped your dinner off with some peach cobbler, be sure to stay for the fireworks on the beach. A landmark in Myrtle Beach for decades, Little Pigs Bar-B-Q smokes whole pork shoulders rubbed in spices over burning hickory.
5. Food Festivals & Culinary Events
Visit The International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach and sample the wares at their renowned on-site cafe and bakery. Grown-ups can even sign up for one-day cooking classes. You’ll find more than one farmer’s market year-round and seasonal festivals including a chili cook-off and some of the biggest seafood festivals around. Highlights for families include the World Famous Blue Crab Festival. Held in May just north of Myrtle Beach in Little River, along with the area’s signature blue crab dishes you’ll find music, kids’ activities, and arts and crafts. In October, Little River also hosts the annual Little River ShrimpFest with a shrimp cook-off and jazz music. An area specialty, chicken bog is a spicy dish with rice, chicken, sausage, and pepper. The Loris Bog-Off Festival includes live entertainment, arts and crafts, fireworks, and more.
Ready to sink your teeth into the most delectable eats in Myrtle Beach? Start planning your vacation today and head to visitmyrtlebeach.com for more recommendations you don’t want to miss!