MyMyrtleBeach View from Marriott Grande Dunes Ocean

photo credit: Carissa Rogers

When you have 5 big bodies in a double bed hotel room with only one shower after sandy beach time it can get a bit dicey.Here’s how we managed to enjoy the weekend, the best things to do in Myrtle Beach with teens and make it home without any teen meltdowns!

Using my Secret Recipe for teen travel happiness we had a successful first trip to #MyMyrtleBeach.


If you’re a fan of hoity toity beach towns with their rules and restrictions on signs and building codes not to mention— crowded 1 lane roads, bottle-necked by bridges… then Myrtle Beach isn’t for you. If on the other hand you get a kick out of loud neon signs and more entertainment options than most resort towns and in my experience very little traffic or bottle-necks… then you absolutely need to enjoy the fun and entertainment that is Myrtle Beach!

It’s an unpretentious town: What you see is what you get.

Day 1 in Myrtle Beach with Teens

The Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes (Pictured above) has a fab online check in tool and we requested early check in for Saturday. We knew before we left on our 4-hour drive that we were already set for an 11AM check in.

As a backup plan, we packed our swimsuits & sunscreen on top and if needed would check our bags at the front desk while we enjoyed the huge pools and nearby beach. We also packed sandwiches for lunch and lots of beach snacks and drinks in a cooler. Because we knew the kids would be dying to go straight from the long drive to beach.

When we were tired and ready to be free of the sand in our suits, half of us retired to the pool area while the others went up to shower and begin getting ready for dinner. {HINT: Taking showers in shifts alleviated much of the crowded hotel room problem.}


photo credit: Carissa Rogers

The first night we kept it light and silly by dining at Senor Frogs, saying HECK YES! to balloon hats of course! And later we took advantage of one of the hundreds of Mini-Golf options in the Myrtle Beach area. Since we were already at the walking-friendly area called ‘Broadway on the Beach’ we walked over to the Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Mini Golf and were treated to a late evening of FIERCE competition! Someone might have gotten a hole-in-one! (It wasn’t me.)

{SURVEY: I learned in the south many people call it Putt-Putt. I’d never heard that before? What do you call it? Putt-Putt or Mini Golf?}

Day 2 in Myrtle Beach with Teens

Start out by SLEEPING IN. A big secret to keeping teens happy on a short trip: PLENTY of sleep. Let their body clock wake them up for at least one of your travel days.

Normally I would suggest finding a hotel with a built-in breakfast.While the Marriott Grand Dune Resort had direct beach access it didn’t include breakfast. We brought bagels and our own cream cheese to start the day off slowly but surely.

Next up, we explored the huge pool area, including a free water slide. Then we lounged around the pool. And then we spent more time at the pool. {NOTE: get out early and grab a handful of shaded pool chairs because they go fast.}

MyMyrtleBeach hammocks at Marriott resort and spa grande dunes

photo credit: Carissa Rogers

You can also rent cabanas for the day if you want and the Marriott Grande Dunes had these divine hammocks (free of charge to use) near the pools as well! There is also a video game room just off the pool area where my son was entertained after he realized how happy (and boring) the rest of us were ‘lounging’.

Lunch Fiasco… and Jersey Mike’s to the rescue.

We received a special insider tip to try Bimini’s Oyster Bar for really local seafood. But it turns out the restaurant is only open for dinner after 4PM and we had planned to eat lunch there. Instead we tried Jersey Mike’s sub shop—which is new to us but more of a chain than I had hoped for. Regardless, the kids were THRILLED to have giant subs to fill them up.

After lunch we split up and let the kids choose which they preferred: Beach Time or Down Time back in the room. {Heads up on the Grande Dunes: parking is free and while it wasn’t super close to the beach we were able to keep our ‘beach gear’ in the trunk — ie. beach umbrella, boogie boards and folding beach chairs. You can rent umbrellas at the beach but bringing your own saves cash. You will have to walk further to set up your own umbrella though.

medieval times in myrtle beach, sc

photo credit: Carissa Rogers

Dinner and a show—combine entertainment with your evening meal.

I asked my local Carolina friends and they all said you simply HAVE to catch one of the shows while in Myrtle Beach. There are several to choose from and I decided we needed to find out what Medieval Times is all about. Honestly I was surprised how much we all liked the whole evening. The horses were amazing and the riders were fun and entertaining.

Knights at medieval times myrtle beach, sc

photo credit: Carissa Rogers

You are given a ‘Knight’ in which to cheer and ours just happened to be a Justin Timberlake Look-alike. What’s NOT to cheer about!!?

Overall the dinner was extremely filling and tasted fine, but if you are expecting fine dining while watching horse tricks and ‘knightsmanship’ you’ll be sorely disappointed. On the other hand, my 3 kids had a blast watching the show and cheering for JT…er… I mean the Black and White knight and they were very happy with their meal.

Ideally we would have used the cooler part of the later evening this second night to explore the boardwalk everyone talks about… but… we decided to save some fun for a later trip? Because after sun, sand and finger-lickin chicken and Knights, everyone was exhausted! {NOTE: The price of the Medieval Times show including dinner is $50 per person. For a family of 5 it’s a big splurge!}

Day 3 in Myrtle Beach with Teens

For our final breakfast we checked out a local Pancake House. There are several breakfast spots to choose from all along the main through way— Highway 17. We weren’t super early but I do think we beat the main crowds by getting there before 9AM.

Holloywood Wax Museum myrtle beach with teens

photo credit: Carissa Rogers

Since it was our last day and we still wanted one last dip in the warm South Carolina ocean we went straight to the beach after breakfast. We also requested a late check out… can’t hurt to ask right? And we were given an extra hour. Which we definitely needed to properly clean up before the long drive home.

On our way out of town we stopped first at the Hollywood Wax Museum. I had never been to one, and I was determined to get as many selfies with as many ‘celebrities’ as I possibly could. The kids did get into the fun of the wax museum but it took them a few minutes to shed their annoyance at mom’s selfie obsession and just have fun!

My favorite tip for the last day of a roadtrip is to NOT eat lunch. Instead, get on the road and find a place to eat after a few miles are behind you. Hand the navigation app to a kid and let them pull up restaurant or fast food options, then ask them to guide you to the one they choose.

Disclosure: Portions of this trip to Myrtle Beach were sponsored by Visit Myrtle Beach. Our opinions, hole-in-one, zombie fears and ogling over the JT Look-alike are our own.