Vacation and Tourism Information for Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach is a major tourist destination along the South Atlantic seaboard of the United States, widely known for its wide beaches, large selection of challenging golf links, excellent seafood restaurants, and outlet-style shopping activities. It is set at the center of a 60-mile long chain of tranquil, sandy beaches known as the 'Grand Strand', and is only a couple hours' drive from such historical day-trip destinations as Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC.
Myrtle Beach City Info:
* Land Area: 16.8 miles
* Elevation: 33 feet
* Parks: 3 (Chapman Memorial Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, Midway Park)
* Golf Courses: 120
* Media: 1 newspaper (The Sun News), 1 TV (WFXB), 1 Radio (Surf 94.9 FM)
* Transportation: Myrtle Beach International Airport
Myrtle Beach Weather and Climate:
* Average daily temperature — 64 degrees Fahrenheit
* Average water temperature — 66 degrees Fahrenheit
* Average rainfall — 55 inches
Distances to other Metropolitan Areas from Myrtle Beach (in miles):
* Atlanta, GA — 318
* Boston, MA — 735
* Branson, MO — 834
* Charlotte, NC — 152
* Chicago, IL — 739
* Dallas, TX — 1,033
* Jacksonville, FL — 283
* Las Vegas, NV — 2,050
* Los Angeles — 2,246
* Knoxville, TN — 327
* Memphis, TN — 638
* Miami, FL — 554
* Montreal, Quebec, CN — 1,040
* Nashville, TN — 594
* New Orleans, LA — 828
* New York — 558
* Orlando, FL — 376
* Philadelphia — 584
* Richmond, VA — 276
* Salt Lake City, UH — 1,867
* San Diego — 2,200
* San Francisco — 2,236
* Seattle, WA — 2,434
* Washington, DC — 375
Myrtle Beach Safety Phone # and Major Hospitals:
* Police/Fire/Ambulance: 911
* Hospital: Columbia Grand Strand Regional, 809 82nd Pkwy., 843-497-2128)
Myrtle Beach Top Tourism Draws and Seasons:
* Season: Spring
* Myrtle Beach Bike Week
* Atlanta Beach Memorial Day Weekend Bike Festival
* Marline Quay Marina Billfishing Tournament
* Grand Strand Fishing Rodeo
* Dupont Coolmax World Amateur Championship
* National Shag Dance Championships
* Myrtle Beach Marathon
* Can-Am Festival
* Hydra-Sports Frantic Atlanta Summer Fun Festival
* Myrtle Beach Fourth of July Concert
* Annual N. Myrtle Beach Winter Run
* Carolina Craftsmen's Summer Classic
* Carolina Heritage Festival
* Annual Premier Shag Contest
* Annual Myrtle Beach Wildlife Expo
* Cherry Grove Fishing Pier
* Barefoot Landing
* Dixie Stampede
* Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
* IMAX Discovery Theater
* Caledonia Golf/Fish Club
* The Carolina Opry
* True Blue
* Dunes Golf and Beach Club
* Pavilion Amusement Park
* Ripley's Aquarium
* Ripley's Believe it or Not
* Family Kingdom Amusement Park
* Grand Strand
* Myrtle Waves Water Park
* NASCAR SpeedPark
* Brookgreen Gardens
* Alligator Adventure
* Legends in Concert
* Sea Thunder
* Hawaiian Rumble Golf
* Children's Museum of So. Carolina
* Fanta-Sea Wheels
* North Myrtle Beach
* South Beach Adventure
* Planet Hollywood
* Hard Rock Cafe
Myrtle Beach Major Shopping Areas:
* Myrtle Beach Factory Stores
* Waccamaw Factory Shoppes
* Barefoot Landing
* Hammocks Shops at Pawleys Island
* Mall at Shelter Cove
Myrtle Beach Major Dining Areas:
* Murrell's Inlet (collection of fish restaurants)
* North Myrtle Beach
* Sea Captain's House
* Nick's on 61st
* Croissants Bakery/Caf'
* Joe's Bar/Grill
* House of Blues
* Greg Norma's Australian Grill
* Collector's Caf' & Gallery
* Library Restaurant
* Bummz on the Beach
* Victoria's Country Cooking
Myrtle Beach Famous Landmarks & Historic Places:
* Hopsewee Plantation
Myrtle Beach Famous Natives and Residents:
* Vanna White (Wheel of Fortune)
Notable Moments in Myrtle Beach History:
* Kings Highway began as an Indian trail long before Europeans settled along the Grand Strand. Later, this trail became the route from the northern states to Charleston and Savannah.
* The area's first inhabitants were the Waccamaw and Winyah Indians, who named the region Chicora meaning 'the land.'
* Early attempts by European explorers to settle the Grand Strand were disastrous. Spaniard Lucas Vasques de Allyon founded the first colony in North America here in 1526, but the settlement was ravaged by disease, and the inhabitants perished within a year.
* English colonists formed Prince George Parish and laid out plans for Georgetown, the state's third oldest city, in 1730. Surrounded by rivers and marshlands, Georgetown became the center of America's colonial rice empire.
* Before the Civil War, plantation owners turned Pawleys Island into one of the first summer resorts on the Atlantic coast. Historic beach cottages and other landmarks still stand.
* Until the 1900s, the beaches of Horry County were virtually uninhabited due to the county's geographical inaccessibility and poor economy.
* Near the turn of the century, the Burroughs & Collins Company, a timber/turpentine firm with extensive beachfront holdings, began developing the resort potential of the Strand. In 1901, the company built the beach's first hotel, the Seaside Inn. At that time, oceanfront lots sold for $25, and buyers received an extra lot if they built a house valued at $500 or more. The beach community was called New Town until the Horry Herald newspaper held a contest to name the area. Mrs. F.E. Burroughs, wife of the founder of Burroughs & Collins, won with the name Myrtle Beach, which she chose for the many wax myrtle trees growing wild along the shore.
* In the 1920s, a group of businessmen began building an upscale resort called Arcady at the north end of the community. Arcady featured the present Pine Lakes International Country Club (home of the Strand's first golf club and birthplace of Sports Illustrated) and the legendary Ocean Forest Hotel.
* In 1936, the Intracoastal Waterway was opened to pleasure boats and commercial shipping. During the 1940s, the Air Force Base was established and used for training and coastal patrols during World War II. The base was closed in 1993. The Myrtle Beach Pavilion was built in 1949, followed closely by the installation of the historic band organ and carousel at that site.
* Myrtle Beach was incorporated in 1938 and became a city in 1957.
* Hurricane Hazel demolished buildings and trees along the Strand in 1954, clearing the way for new hotels and homes. During the rebuilding phase of the 1960s, a golf boom began, with new courses being built each year. The number of golf courses along the Grand Strand now totals around 120.
* In the 1970s and '80s, construction of attractions, homes, retail shops, and other amenities increased steadily, paving the way for another boom in the early '90s. The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 13th fastest growing area in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. The area grew 36.5 percent over the past decade.
Interesting Facts About Myrtle Beach:
* Birth place of Wheel of Fortune hostess, Vanna White.
* Received its name after the Sweet Myrtle tree native to the area.
* The 'Grand Strand' was coined by newspaper columnist Claude Dunnagan on 12/3/49.
* Intra-coastal waterway was originally built in order to be used as a secret passageway during WWII.
* The dance called, 'The Shag' was thought to have originated on Ocean Drive in the 40's. It began as an attempt to do the Jitterbug but the Jitterbuggers had drank too much so the slowed-down version of this became know as 'The Shag'.
* Oceanfront lots in Myrtle Beach were $25 in 1905. If you built a property for at least $500 you received a second lot for free.
* The first people to arrive in Myrtle Beach were a group of Spaniards from Hispaniola in 1526 who established the first European settlement 30 miles south of the beach town called San Miguel de Cauldape; however it was abandoned one year later when the settlers returned to their homeland.
* Listed among the top five golf values in the United States in an edition of Money magazine.
* Is the second most popular beach in the United States.
* Restaurant Business magazine ranks the area No. 1 in the U.S. for growth potential.
* One of the 100 Best Retirement Towns in America according to 'Where to Retire' magazine.
Myrtle Beach's many titles include, 'The Seaside Golf Capital of the World,' 'Branson by the Sea,' 'The Campground Capital of the World,' and 'The Miniature Golf Capital of the World.'
Myrtle Beach Population and Demographics:
* City of Myrtle Beach Population — 22.859 (increases to over 350,000 in summer)
* White — 81%
* Black — 13%
* Hispanic/Latino — 6%
* Asian - 1%
* Less than 1% - Native American, Pacific Islander, and other races
* Population 18 and under — 18%
* 65 and over — 15%
* Median age — 37 years
* Average family size: 2.79
* Median family income - $35,498
Myrtle Beach Colleges and Universities:
* Coastal Carolina University (10 miles outside of town)
Myrtle Beach Economy & Business — Notable Employers and Industries:
* Tourism industry in general
* Horry County School District
* Burroughs & Chapin Company
* Horry County Government
* Myrtle Beach National
* Blue Cross/Blue Shield
* Grand Strand Regional Medical Center
* Coastal Carolina University
* Loris Health Care System
* Sands Oceanfront Resorts
* City of Myrtle Beach
* HTC Communications
* Kingston Plantation
* Santee Cooper Electric
* Conbraco Industries
* Ocean Lakes Family Campground
* Sun Publishing