Myrtle Beach could stand for Mega Busy. There’s TONS to do and see here. Visitors flock year round to this South Carolina mecca for the superb stretch of beaches, bustling atmosphere, and diverse activities. A Myrtle Beach trip is certain to be one of your most memorable vacations. Here are 4 of our most fun experiences that kept our family with teen and tween bustling at Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach is one of the most diverse beach locales in the United States. This area was dubbed “The Grand Strand” by a local reporter in 1949 to describe the string of communities from Little River all the way down to Georgetown. Myrtle Beach beckons travelers with entertainment and activities galore. It’s a smorgasbord where you can choose a little of everything: beach time, shows, shopping, water sports, miniature golf, and restaurants.
4 Family Fun Myrtle Beach Experiences
Our family of four (including 1 teen and 1 tween) found 4 experiences during our vacation last month that were as diversely different as we all are.
WonderWorks will flip how you view science on its head…literally! It starts when you see the building as it appears to be upside down. Already you know you are in for something different!
Located at Broadway at the Beach, a behemoth complex of shops, restaurants, and activities, WonderWorks is a 50,000 square feet indoor amusement park. With over 100 exhibits this experience will enthrall all ages and test your sense of adventure. Mine was challenged as soon as we arrived with the Xtreme 360 bikes. As you pedal, you and your partner swing back and forth on your bike like a pendulum. If you generate enough power, you will do a 360-degree rotation. We did several revolutions, and I squealed the whole time.
My next thrill seeking adventure was to lie down on a bed of nails. Yes, really, an entire bed of 3,500 sharp, prickly nails and yet you manage to not feel them. Definitely a photo worthy opportunity. My son said, “No way.” But my teen was up for the challenge!
Go Ape Treetop Adventures
The tagline for Go Ape is “live life adventurously.” Perfect description! It is a thrilling experience that is incredibly fun and also physical and mentally challenging.
This is more than just monkeying around in the trees. Be prepared to work up a sweat as you navigate the obstacles such as Tarzan swing, wooden steps, and balance beam.
I was very impressed but the safety measures in place. The guides do a safety presentation and show you how to always stay connected to the safety line at all times.
There are some requirements for participation:
- Minimum Age: 10 years
- Minimum Height: 4 feet 7 inches
- Maximum Weight: 285 pounds
- Must wear closed toe, closed heel shoes.
There’s also a Treetop Junior at the Myrtle Beach location designed for kids (but fit for all ages) and has 20 obstacles and 2 zip lines.
The best moments are when you complete a course and can zipline over the lake.
Despite the July heat, we hung out in the canopy of trees and it wasn’t bad. But Go Ape IS strenuous, and you do need to be somewhat fit to complete all 6 of the courses available. We all had an incredible sense of accomplishment when our feet touched the ground after we zipped across the lake. Read more about why I encourage everyone to Go Try Go Ape.
Pricing: Treetop Adventure for 16+: $58; 10-15 years: $ 38; Treetop Junior: $ 28.
Lords and ladies, you are invited to take a step back in time at this dinner and a show concept that will have you thoroughly entertained and with a full belly to boot! This castle of entertainment awaits you, and here’s what the King has in store at Medieval Times:
- 2 hour medieval jousting tournament
- 6 competing knights
- Real weapons
- Beautiful horses
- Live flight of the royal falcon
- Utensil-free dinner
Medieval Times’ noble guests enjoy a feast of garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes, apple pastry, coffee and two rounds of select beverages. And it was really good! That’s saying something because usually I’m a buffet snob and prefer made to order dishes. For feeding an arena of patrons all at the same time, Medieval Times did an exceptional job. A full service bar is also available for more potent grog.
The horses aka noble steeds are one of the most popular parts of the show — especially when the Andalusian does its jumps or “airs,” and the horse’s entire body leaves the ground. (Every time I hear “noble steed”, I think of Donkey from Shrek!) I almost missed the first jump, but thankfully my trusty Panasonic Lumix captured the images quickly for me!
It wouldn’t be a royal feast without a bountiful banquet of food. My tween LOVED not having to use any utensils to eat, and he gobbled up all the food. Another major standout: the fighting and jousting. He said “they went all John Cena” on each other, which apparently is a good thing!
He was bummed that our “Black and White” section of the Castle and our corresponding knight hardly won anything. After the show we met him, and he couldn’t have been nicer. Then we found out he was just back from having surgery several months ago from an injury he had at work. Ouch! Suddenly we had a new appreciation for the stunts they do.
Meanwhile, my teen loved the horses (since she is an equestrian) and the medieval atmosphere. From the knighting of several guests in the lobby to the banners and fanfare, it was a festive evening that gave us a chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy the revelry. I felt as if I had been transported back in time to an era of castles, jousting, and nobility.
Pricing: Adults: $ 53.95; Kids 12 and under: $ 26.95. There are usually many promotional rates and discounts online, so don’t be a court jester and forget to check.
Jet Skiing with Myrtle Beach Watersports
Prepare for a fabulous morning on the water when you sign up for a Dolphin Tour with Myrtle Beach Watersports, located at the Marina at Grande Dunes. The company is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and they boast all new 2016 jet skis!
I was super excited about riding a jet ski out to the ocean and doing a Dolphin Tour. Myrtle Beach Watersports says you can “[f]ollow one of our experienced guides up the Intracoastal Waterway through North Myrtle Beach out to the ocean. Once in the ocean, our guides will try to get you as close as possible to dolphin. (No experience required)”
But in a humbling turn of events, I couldn’t control my jet ski. (Whomp whomp) I would overcorrect and go sideways when I tried to get it to the necessary 20+ mph speed to get the jet ski to level out. Total bummer!
So we switched around and my teenager who is just learning how to drive took over and drove our jet ski. While I was extremely embarrassed at not being able to control the jet ski (despite having done it before), I was thankful we didn’t have to abandon the experience and was happy my daughter took to it so quickly.
Downside: we weren’t able to go out to see the dolphins because of the currents and our relative lack of jet ski experience. (Ahem, all because of me).
Consolation prize: If no dolphin are sighted on the tour, you will receive a voucher to ride one of our dolphin cruise boats. The company guarantees dolphin sightings one way or another. That is a major selling point which we had no idea we would have to rely on!
Although we didn’t see dolphins, the flip side: 1 guide for the 4 of us, and we learned a lot about the area. The tour also lasted well beyond 2 hours-it was close to 4 hours from start to finish.
FYI: They ask that you be at the marina at 8:00am so they can get you to the dolphin spot early enough in the morning. Keep this in mind if you are not a morning person!
My favorite part was our pit stop on Bird Island where we beachcombed and swam.
Pricing: $165 for 2 Hour Dolphin Watch Tour, $10 for additional riders
Looking for places to stay while at Myrtle Beach? Then check out Vacatia for Myrtle Beach properties that offer all the space of a home PLUS all the services of a hotel.