Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Myrtle Beach Spring Break: Have a blast on a budget

Bars & Nightlife
Myrtle Beach Spring Break: Have a blast on a budget

By Terry Massey

The first time I visited Myrtle Beach was an impromptu spring break road trip with three college friends with maybe $200 bucks in my pocket.

Needless to say, you can’t do a lot of fine dining on that kind of cash, and that was 20-(ahem) years ago. But we weren’t exactly the wine-and-cheese crowd. More like Boone’s Farm and Cheetos. But now that I have lived here for more than 15 years, I’ve learned you can have big fun on a small budget in Myrtle Beach as long as you have the right attitude and information.

Here are some free tips on getting your spring break on without breaking the bank.

Ocean Annie’s at Sands Ocean Club is Myrtle Beach’s only oceanfront bar with a pool deck that is open to the public and it attracts a crowd this time of year. Ocean Annie’s hosts live outdoor bands during daytime hours with no cover charge, meaning you can get your groove and tan on at the same time.

The stores, bars and restaurants at Broadway at the Beach can be expensive, if you buy something. But for good old-fashioned “I’m just looking” window-shopping and people-watching, you can’t beat it. You can spend a day walking around the complex without spending a penny if you can resist the smell of fresh seafood, coffee and fudge.

Your hotel room is more than a place to crash when you wonder in at night. It also can be a gathering place for the pre-party, an important ritual that will drastically cut down on the cost of your night out on the town. Instead of going straight from the shower to the clubs, invite a few friends over for pre-game warmups. You might have so much fun you never leave the room.

The best thing about the beach – besides the sun and surf and members of the opposite sex – is it is free. Pack a cooler, a bluetooth speaker and a Frisbee and it becomes an outdoor party for you and all your new best friends.

Happy hour is the finest hour for broke spring-breakers. You can get good food and cheap drinks from 4 to 7 for a fraction of the cost a few hours later. Check with your hotel bar for specials, as well. 

This one is more of a common-sense tip than a money-saver, but many people forget about it: Don’t do anything stupid to get arrested. Nothing drains the fun and money out of spring break than a trip to the most expensive hotel in town, and the accommodations are less than ideal. The slogan “Came on Vacation, Left on Probation” makes for a better T-shirt than a real-life issue.