You’re not a typical traveler, are you? You forgo theme parks and tours for off the beaten path experiences. Instead of a chain restaurant, you’d rather eat at the hole-in-the-wall, family-owned cafe. Rather than push your way through crowds, you prefer to discover the local spots and secret destinations. If you prefer this type of travel, you need to experience these 10 Myrtle Beach hidden gems.
1. La Belle Amie Vineyards
What’s better than wine and a beach? Tucked away in Little River, South Carolina, La Belle Amie Vineyards is the perfect addition to a Myrtle Beach vacation. This Grand Strand operating vineyard is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. While at the vineyard, you can peruse the tasting room, stroll through the gift shop, take in the live music, and relax on the porch with a glass of wine.
2. New South Brewing
If you’re more into microbrews, check out New South Brewing. With over 15 years of brewing history in Myrtle Beach, New South Brewing is a local staple. The microbrewery serves everything from lagers to nut brown ales to limited time specialty brews.
New South Brewing is open Tuesday through Friday from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Brewery tours are available for visitors during select seasons and times. Check the microbrewery’s website for the next tour date.
3. Murrells Inlet MarshWalk
Located in the historic Murrells Inlet village, the MarshWalk is a ½ mile wooden boardwalk boasting waterfront dining, live music, fishing, tours, and more. Whether you want to grab a bite to eat with a picturesque backdrop or test your skills in watersports, you can do it all at the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk.
In addition to elegant dining and entertaining attractions, the MarshWalk also hosts a series of events throughout the year. One popular event includes the MarshWalk Wonderland of Lights during the winter holidays—a local favorite.
4. Inlet Point Plantation
Have you ever thought to yourself, “How cool would it be to go horseback riding along the ocean?” (I have.)
At Inlet Point Plantation, you can do exactly that! Saddle up and trot along the shoreline with the plantation’s majestic horses. Once you experience horseback riding on the beach, there’s no question as to why Inlet Point Plantation is one of the top Myrtle Beach hidden gems. Don’t forget your camera! You’ll want to remember this horseback riding opportunity forever.
5. Atalaya Castle
Between horseback riding on the beach and whimsical vineyards, these Myrtle Beach hidden gems seem right out of a fairy tale. Continuing the fairy tale theme is Atalaya Castle.
Located in the Murrells Inlet area, Atalaya Castle was originally designed to be a winter resident for Archer Huntington and his wife Anna during the early 1930s. The structure was inspired by Spanish or Moorish architecture, along with the couple’s imagination. In 1984, the castle was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you’re spending the day at the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, make sure you include a trip to Atalaya Castle as well!
6. Huntington Beach State Park
If you prefer your Myrtle Beach hidden gems to be more in the “outdoor adventures” category, check out Huntington Beach State Park. If you can’t tell by the name, Archer and Anna Huntington were prominent characters in Myrtle Beach’s history. Be sure to explore the park after visiting Atalaya Castle!
This state park includes ample camping grounds, 3 miles of beachfront (away from the traditional Myrtle Beach crowds), and numerous hiking trails. The hiking trails and park boardwalk offer several opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
7. Brookgreen Gardens
For more magical hidden gems in Myrtle Beach, a day at Brookgreen Gardens is a must. Combining art, history, and culture, Brookgreen Gardens was also founded by the designers of Atalaya Castle, Archer and Anna Huntington. The grounds boast botanical gardens, exquisite art installations, tours, and a zoo for wildlife education and preservation.
Also located in Murrells Inlet, you can combine a trip to the MarshWalk, Huntington Beach State Park and Atalaya Castle with a visit to Brookgreen Gardens for an adventure-filled day in Myrtle Beach. Just be sure to budget enough time for each!
8. Sandy Island
If you truly want to escape the Myrtle Beach crowds, head to a secret island! Sandy Island is situated in Georgetown County and only accessible by boat. Since it is an isolated nature preserve, the island does not have restrooms, running water, or a trash removal service. While on the island, you can explore the hiking trails, go fishing, take incredible nature photos, and have a picnic. Remember to take all of your trash with you on the way out.
The Larry Paul Hiking Trail is a popular choice among visitors as it presents many wildlife watching opportunities and spectacular views along the way.
9. Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens
Located just outside of the greater Myrtle Beach area, Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens is a local secret you have to visit. In addition to the sprawling botanical gardens, the park also offers miles of hiking trails, 115 acres of forest and marshland, and scenic boardwalks for oceanfront views.
Outdoor enthusiasts love visiting the gardens for the scenery, wildlife spotting, and lack of crowds. Be sure to bring a camera! The 115 acres of land to explore presents several photo opportunities along the way.
10. Strand Cinema
Are you into art and film? If so, catch a movie at Strand Cinema. Strand Cinema is a 1940s box office theater showing newly released independent films, foreign films as well as documentaries. The theater has been meticulously preserved and offers a glimpse into Myrtle Beach’s historic past through the decor, structure, and more.
Plus, if the Myrtle Beach temps prove to be too brutal, you can grab a movie ticket and watch the latest film in the comfort of the theater’s AC.
Visit these Myrtle Beach Hidden Gems on Your Next Trip
If you don’t enjoy crowds, theme parks, or large attractions, these hidden gems offer an adventurous vacation. Whether you sip wine a vineyard or discover a secret island, Myrtle Beach boasts plenty of off the beaten path fun. Which hidden gems will you add to your Myrtle Beach vacation?