20 super tacky souvenirs to avoid when shopping in Myrtle Beach
We've all been there. It's your last day of vacation and you've spent so much time enjoying the area's awesome attractions, restaurants and things to do in Myrtle Beach that you still haven't gotten anything for your mom, your brother or your beloved Aunt Agnes. You quickly run to the nearest beachwear store, gift shop or corner market and pick out the first thing you see so that your loved ones won't think you went away for a week and completely forgot they exist.
Next thing you know you're coming home with a bag full of Justin Bieber beach towels and Rebel Flag shot glasses for the whole family.
Point is, while you'll find tons of great gifts, beachy artwork and awesome shopping in Myrtle Beach, if you're not careful you can also end up with a whole bunch of junk.
In an effort to help you avoid the confused looks of your family when you get home from this year's Myrtle Beach vacation, we've created this list of 20 common trinkets you'll find at beachwear stores and gift shops across the Grand Strand that you should try to avoid buying as a souvenir. Yes, some of them may be funny or cute at the time, but let's be honest no one REALLY wants a pair of underpants with “Myrtle Beach, SC” printed across the back.
1. Shark Fetus - $12.99
Because nothing says “I went to the beach” like a dead baby animal preserved in formaldehyde. If you've got a shark lover to shop for, there's plenty of better options, including a real shark tooth, a T-shirt from Landshark Landing or a plush shark toy from Ripley's Aquarium.
2. Nipple Mugs - $8.99
No matter how much your uncle Bob loves him some ladies, it's going to be tough for him to find an occasion for which drinking from a nipple isn't incredibly tacky and borderline offensive. There are plenty of slightly-off-color items that are less obvious than this — such as this bikini girl t-shirt as made famous by the Myrtle Manor cast.
3. Toilet Ashtray - $7.99
Not only is the thought of displaying a fake toilet on your coffee table or kitchen counter a little repulsive, but the “rest your ash” pun is just ridiculous. If you've got a hardcore smoker on your list and simply can't think of anything else, maybe opt for a waterproof cigarette case that says “Myrtle Beach, SC” — at least it's useful.
4. Novelty Ashtrays - $6.99
We'll admit, these are slightly less obnoxious than the toilet ashtray, but let's face it the “They went to Myrtle Beach and all I got was this lousy _______” joke hasn't been funny since the 80s. If silly novelties are what you're looking for, you're sure to find funnier sayings at any of the T-shirt shops on Ocean Boulevard.
5. Shark Frame - $9.99
Sending someone a picture of their loved ones is nice. Sending someone a picture of their loved ones getting eaten by a shark is not. If you want to give someone a family photo from your vacation, maybe opt for a Old-Timey photo on the boulevard or at Broadway at the Beach.
6. Oysters Playing Poker - $12.99
Spearheaded by the “Dogs Playing Poker” series of paintings in the early 20th century and reproduced endless times and various ways, this infamous aesthetic is basically the definition of tacky. Whether its dogs, clams, olives or otherwise we say avoid anything playing poker and opt for something else for your lovd one's man cave. In fact there's an entire shop at Broadway called the Man Cave Store with better options.
7. Alligator heads - $12.99
Ignoring the potential issues about how these preserved alligator heads are actually made, let's just point out the obvious fact that these things are CREEPY. Unless you've got a living room full of taxidermied animals, we can't imagine this fitting into your home decor very well. Why not try a less “authentic” gator gift, like something from Alligator Adventure or the Lazy Gator gifts?
8. Oversized Shot Glasses - $9.99
We get it, shot glasses are a common collectable loved by many. But these oversized shot glasses are just a bit too much. Not only are they less useful —seriously, who's shooting like 8oz of Whiskey at once? — but they're also harder to display as they don't fit in most shot glass cabinets. Not to mention these huge shooters are generally emblazoned with WAY more obnoxious sayings than their smaller counterparts. If you wanna buy someone a shot glass, stick to the smaller size and keep it (a least a little) classy.
9. Super Sip 'N' Swirl - $5.99
Here's a tip: If it needs to say “super hilarious” on the packaging, it's generally not that funny. This one also reeks of the type of toy that will come apart in two minutes of use and have the recipient wishing for you'd opted for something different. But if gag gifts and toys like this are what you're looking for, you can find better options at places like Kilg's Kites, which have plenty of silly novelties to choose from.
10. Boogie Boards - $11.99-14.99
This may seem obvious, but it needs to be said. Boogie boards are great fun for playing with in the waves while you're vacationing at the beach. They are not nearly as fun for playing with in the pool or at your house. No matter how cool they look, don't take them home to your landlocked friends.
11.Coffee Mugs - Two for $5
There's absolutely nothing wrong with coffee mugs as a souvenir. In fact, this can be a great option for a boss or co-worker who you don't really know that well (almost everyone drinks coffee, right?!?). The reason these made the list is to simply warn you that there are lots of low-quality and knock-off items at some of the “discount” beachwear stores. Before you buy, give your mug a once over to make sure everything looks right. Check for misplaced punctuation — like “Kisse's” in the photo above — and misspelled words. Bringing back a mug from “Mrytle Baech, SC” is a dead giveaway you were being cheap.
12. Myrtle Beach Skulls - $2.99
Even if you do have someone with a love of skulls on your list, chances are they still wouldn't appreciate these. There's just something less frightening and inherently not cool about printing Myrtle Beach, SC across the head. And we're not even sure what the heck the “skull on toilet” is all about. What exactly is the target market for this item? Goths who like to poop? This one still has our heads shaking. Maybe opt instead for something fantasy-based from Medieval Times or a skull and crossbones T-shirt from Pirate's Voyage.
13. Coasters - $0.99
There's nothing particularly wrong with a nice set of “beachy” coasters from a gift shop like Lazy Gator or the Gay Dolphin, but few things say “I forgot about you until the very last-minute” like a set of tacky 99-cent coasters from a beachwear store. You can do better.
14. Glass Elephants - $8.99
Yes, there are plenty of grandmothers out there who would probably love these little guys to add to their glass menagerie of miniature animals. But even if you are going to go this route, we'd suggest skipping the elephants and opting for something a little more “beachy” like turtles, dolphins, seahorses, etc. Call us sticklers for logic, but it just doesn't really make sense to slap a “Myrtle Beach, SC” on something you won't even find here outside of the T.I.G.E.R.S. Preserve.
15. Coconut Fish - $8.99
Unless the the person you're buying for owns a tiki bar somwhere, just steer clear of these brightly painted and downright gaudy fish made from old coconuts.
16. Booty shorts - $9.99
Even if the person you're shopping for is the type of person who doesn't mind having “It ain't gonna spank itself!” written across their behind, chances are they don't want you to buy them said shorts. There are so many cute clothing items to be found at bargain basement prices around town, just pass on these. If they really need to prove their Twerk Team membership, they can buy the shorts on their own time.
17. Extendable Fly Swatter - $4.99
Yes, a fly swatter can be a very useful tool. But do you really need one so often that you'd want to be able to collapse it down in your purse or pocket and take it with you wherever you go? Are you really that afraid of a rogue attack by an angry swarm of houseflies? We say skip this one. If they really want it, they can probably find several out back in the dumpster of the nearest “As Seen On TV” store.
18. Inflatable Tongue - $5.99
Just the fact that it says “Oh yeah, it's gross…” right on the package should be enough to push your toward a better toy for the kids on your list. Unless, that is, you entire goal is to annoy your brother or sister back home by buying your nieces and nephews the most obnoxious toys possible. In that case, go for it.
19. Snow Globes - $8.99
If done properly, these common collectables can actually be pretty darn cool. But when you throw a few flakes of glitter in some water surrounding a bikini girl inside of a plastic ball, that's not exactly what we'd call a “snow globe.” Why not wait until your next winter vacation to Vail or Snowshoe, W.V., to buy one of these? Instead opt for something beachy filled with sand and shells.
20. Novelty Underwear - $4.99
It probably goes without saying why purchasing novelty underwear isn't a good idea But with sayings like “I Pooped Today!”, “Advice to Women Whenever A Man Farts Say: WOW!” and “I Fart of the First Date!” we find it hard to believe even the most fervent fan of bathroom humor would find much use for these.