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A Bucks County Parent’s Guide to Traveling to Myrtle Beach, S.C., With Young Kids

Instead of taking the family to the Jersey Shore, consider a trip to Myrtle Beach.

When my husband and I decided to take a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., with our three children (ages 5, 2 and 11 months) in tow, we knew we weren’t taking a “vacation” in the same sense that we would have in our earlier years of marriage. But we still wanted to have a good time, and not feel like we were just taking care of our kids in a different city.

Luckily for us, Myrtle Beach is a super family-friendly destination, and not just for families of older kids. While there may be tons of activities for the thrill seekers (think roller coasters, escape rooms, making your own monster truck and more), there’s still plenty you can do with your toddlers.

Below are some of the top places to take your younger kiddos to in Myrtle Beach, as well as tips for where to eat, stay and even how to get through the 9-plus hour drive down. I will fully disclose, however, that my family did not check out every place on this list, in fact, we probably only barely scratched the surface. Our kids were more than happy to spend the majority of our days poolside, but I look forward to checking more of these places out next year!

Tips for Getting Through the Drive

If you’re coming from Central Bucks County, the drive down is roughly 9 and a half hours, but can easily extend based on traffic and how many stops you make along the way. We packed our car the night before to make for a smoother getaway and then left early the next morning. We’re fortunate to have family in Virginia and so our first stop was to their home to have a quick breakfast and playtime. Then we continued on our way, stopping for a second rest for a late lunch at a local fast food chain somewhere in North Carolina. Again, this provided our kids the opportunity to stretch their legs and get some pent up energy out, in addition to using the bathroom and getting diapers changed.

Another thing you’ll want to do is pack the car with plenty of snacks and travel friendly toys (and if you’re bottle-feeding or nursing don’t leave those items behind! If you have a portable pump, bring it, as well as freezer bags for pumped milk). Some of the best road trip toys we’ve brought along on our journeys include travel doodle boards, magnetic game sets, activity flash cards, and of course, the cars and monster trucks my boys can leave home without. My daughter snuggled most of the way down with whatever stuffed animal was her favorite that week (I think a unicorn?). Oh and my son’s favorite cooling blanket (he goes almost everywhere with it – think Linus from Peanuts).

Where to Stay

You might find that when traveling with kids, choosing the right accommodations for your family can make or break a trip. For example, if you’re a family of four you might not want to go with a studio that will require everyone to sleep in the same room (we did this two years ago when we went to San Juan). Think about your family’s needs. Do you need a separate room for the baby? A full kitchen to make meals (which I highly recommend) or will you be eating out?

We stayed at the Sheraton Broadway Resort Villas, a family-friendly resort that’s a mere 2 miles from the beach. As a family of three young children all ages five and under, we knew we would be spending the majority of our time at our resort. A place with a pool was a must, as well as a place that had a kids center (one day when it simply poured, the kids were able to make a craft with other families and then we picked out some board games to take back to our accommodations).

The resort has not one but three pools, one of which is indoors, as well as a pirate ship with waterworks, a lazy river and a mini toddler wading pool. My kids loved stopping at the pond on the way to and from the pool to feed the turtles! And one more thing, they had their own mini golf.

If your family is the camping type, check out Myrtle Beach State Park. This parks offers a mile of beach, cabins, campsites, a fishing pier, and picnic shelters.

What to Do

The Beach

Obviously, if you’ve come all this way, you’re family is probably going to spend most of their time at the beach! Myrtle is located right in the center of a long and continuous 60-mile stretch of beach known as the “Grand Strand.” Do what we did and park near a portion of the beach that includes a playground and wash-off station. Don’t make the same mistake we did and try to bring your stroller out onto the sand. Do grab a couple of kites and fly them along the dunes if it’s windy unless it’s busy, you don’t want your kids tripping over sunbathers trying to keep their kite in the air!

The calm waves of the beach create an idyllic environment for families with young children to engage in activities such as building sandcastles, collecting seashells, and leisurely strolls along the shoreline. We only went to the beach a few times, to be honest, and not during the height of the day. We went before or after dinner in order to avoid the harsh sun and my kids had the absolute best time simply running back and forth at the water’s edge, running from the waves. It really is the simple things!

Brookgreen Gardens

You and your toddler will love walking hand-in-hand through this lovely garden that also host daily activities and extra play areas, like the Enchanted Storybook Forest, the Children’s Sensory and Nature Trail, the Lowcountry Zoo, and the Whispering Wings Butterfly Experience.

Photo courtesy of Myrtlebeach.com

Mini Golf

They take their mini golf VERY seriously in Mrytle Beach, which is great because so does my family. Though my son is only five, he made for a challenging competitor with not one but two hole in ones! When you step onto the green here, you’re not just entering into the Mini Golf Capital of the World, you’re embarking on a totally new adventure.

Though there are more than 30 miniature golf centers to choose from, a couple of our favorites (outside of the convenience of our resort’s) were Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf and Mount Atlanticus Minotaur Golf. The later of these two hosts two 18-hole courses, water features and lushly planted tiki huts in-between holes which make for a perfect covering during a rogue rain shower. One more point, they had a stroller friendly course, elevators and free parking.

Broadway at the Beach

If you’re family is into attractions and doesn’t mind the crowds, this is where you want to be! Just a 10-15 minute walk from our resort, Broadway at the Beach stands alone as by far the most popular tourist destination in the entire Myrtle Beach area. Some of the best attractions for younger families are their Ripley’s Aquarium, Pelicans Ball Park, the carousel, and Dino Park. They also have one of those old times portrait studios to make for a fun family memory!

Photo courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

EdVenture Myrtle Beach

If you’re looking for a break from the beach, this 3,000 square foot museum space, located in Market Common, packs big fun, and exciting exhibits into a one-of-a-kind experience. Let your little ones crawl, climb, and explore this interactive children’s museum in The Market Common. In EdVenture, they can pretend to shop for groceries like Mom and Dad at the Publix exhibit, blast off into space in the Space Climber, be wowed by the Airways tubes, play in Toddler Beach, build a house, and more!

Photo Courtesy of EdVenture Myrtle Beach

Savannah’s Playground

Sure big, novel attractions are fun, but they also come with a price tag and when you’ve got real small kids nothing beats a playground. And nothing beats this playground, which helped Myrtle Beach earn its title as an “autism-friendly” city and destination.. The now $2 million dollar playground was built for children of all ages and abilities, with soft surfaces and design planning that enhances the safety and experience for all.  Myrtle Beach’s most unique playground includes a few recent improvements to include four permanent restrooms, a water fountain, a bottle-refilling station and a fence around the pond.  The restrooms also have changing stations.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show 

You don’t often find a live show featuring high-diving pirates waging an epic battle on land, on deck, in a lagoon and high above a pair of full-sized pirate ships — much less with mermaids, acrobats, live animals, cannons, singing and dancing thrown in, too — but Myrtle Beach can deliver, even on a tall request like this one. All of the above can be found at the Dolly Parton-produced Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show on North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, and guests can enjoy the spectacle of it all while savoring a delicious four-course meal.

Photo Courtesy of Destination North Myrtle Beach

Where to Eat

Art Burger Sushi Bar

This modern spot is exactly what it sounds like, serving up creative sushi side by side gourmet burgers alongside local art on the inside and gorgeous beach views on the outside. And while it may sound fancy, it’s a really chill place for families. The kids were given coloring books while mom and dad sifted through the menu and tried to decide whether to go surf or turf (the correct answer, both). Unfortunately, we only got one out of two of our kids to try the sushi, but they were content with their kids burger and fries, and afterwards, we stepped out their back patio and took a little walk along the boardwalk.

Crooked Hammock Brewery

I breathed a sigh of happy relief when I saw the outdoor set up at Crooked Hammock Brewery, an establishment within this cute little retail and entertainment village called Barefoot Landing. Connected to their outdoor seating area is an all-ages backyard escape experience, featuring indoor and outdoor seating, fire pits, a playground for kids, bocce ball, corn hole and of course, hammocks! Our kids happily played with a game of corn hole while my husband and I watched from a safe distance, washing our Longboard Nachos down with their watermelon sour ale.

Medieval Times

Now we didn’t go here because our kids are still a pretty young BUT I went to one of these back in college and I had the greatest time shouting along with my friends and cheering on our appointed knight. If you’ve been to the Pennsylvania Renaissance fair then your family will have a time fit for a king watching knights battle with brawn and steel to determine one victor to protect the throne, all while sitting down to a delicious medieval-style meal. Maybe we’ll give this place a try next year!


I canno’t not put our favorite wholesaler on this list. It’s the very first place our family headed after checking into our resort. After all, we had an empty fridge that needed filling with snacks! But seriously, we knew from past experiences that getting three small kids out to a sit down restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner would make for a logistical nightmare so we stocked up on our kids’s tried and true meals and then kept our dining experiences very low key to avoid unnecessary stress.

Editor for Bucks County Parent. Email tips to christine@familyfocus.org.