We took a road trip to Myrtle Beach over Memorial Day weekend to kick off summer with some sun, sand, and surf. We were fortunate enough to stay with family so we wanted to explore some beach options outside of the traditional Myrtle Beach hotel area. We visited both Myrtle Beach State Park and the the free public access beaches north of 38th street.
For a family of all ages, Myrtle Beach State Park was a perfect destination and worth the nominal entrance fee to have access to so many amenities not available at the public access beaches.
5 Reasons to Fall in Love with Myrtle Beach State Park
1. Minimal crowds
Some people go to the beach to people watch and enjoy the crowds. I'm not one of those people so I love to find a less crowded beach. Even on Memorial Day weekend, we had plenty of space to spread out on the sand and play. In the water, we had the waves to ourselves.
2. Restrooms and picnic areas
We started our morning with miniature golf so when we arrived at the beach we needed to change our clothes. We were grateful for nice public restrooms with changing stalls that gave us a place to get ready for our day at the beach.
When we were at the public beaches the day before, we missed not having access to a bathroom.
3. Blue Bell ice cream
After living in Texas for eight years, we are ecstatic when we find blue bell ice cream. Blue Bell ice cream that you can enjoy right on the beach is a little slice of heaven on earth.
4. Fishing Pier
The fishing pier at Myrtle Beach State Park is perfect for fishing and crabbing, or simply taking a stroll out over the water. An additional fee applies for fishing, but anyone is welcome to walk along the pier.
The section north of the pier at Myrtle Beach State Park has lifeguards from mid-May to mid-September. If you are enjoying the beach with young children, swimming in a lifeguarded area is always wise. As an added bonus, the lifeguards offer umbrella and chair rentals for a fee. Bring cash.
Myrtle Beach State Park offers camping and nature programs as well. Reservations are recommended for camping.
Good to Know
Location: 3 miles south of Myrtle Beach on Highway 17
Hours: Daily 6am-10pm, March-Nov.; Daily 6am-8pm, Dec.-Feb.
Amenities: Camping, restrooms with changing areas, covered picnic pavilions, swimming area with lifeguard, fishing pier, gift shop, etc.
Cost: $5/adults, $3/child (ages 6-15), free for children 5 and under