The Most Luxurious Myrtle Beach Vacation Possible
Over the years, Myrtle Beach has developed a great reputation as one of the best and most affordable family vacation destinations in the U.S. Thanks to discount hotel rates, a variety of free things to do — including the beach — and many great restaurants that won’t break the bank, the Grand Strand is a bargain-lover’s paradise.
But what if you’re someone who isn’t living paycheck-to-paycheck, pinching pennies or using coupon books? What if you’re the type of person who’s looking to splurge and money’s no object to you? Is a vacation in Myrtle Beach still the place for you? Of course, it is!
Believe it or not, amidst all the bargain buffets and low-cost accommodations in Myrtle Beach, there are also many exquisite fine dining restaurants, luxury resorts and high-class entertainment options. If you’re not afraid to spend the extra couple of bucks to venture off the beaten path of the typical family vacationer, you’ll find an unexpectedly refined and charming piece of the South Carolina Lowcountry here that couldn’t be further from the “Redneck Riviera” image we’re known for.
Here’s a look at our Myrtle Beach vacation planner for the most luxurious trip possible:
Luxury Myrtle Beach
If you’re looking to skip the discount hotels and coupon books and splurge on a luxurious Myrtle Beach vacation, here’s the perfect trip for you.
The Bridge at North Beach Plantation
Opened in 2014, this one-of-a-kind penthouse is the absolute pinnacle of Myrtle Beach accommodations. At rates up to $20,000 per week this immaculately designed and decorated multi-level space is sure to wow. With seven bedrooms, 7 ½ bathrooms and 5,500 square feet of living space, The Bridge features amazing views of the ocean, gorgeous marsh views from each of the bedrooms and a great location connecting the two towers of North Beach Plantation, a 4-diamond resort in North Myrtle Beach.
Nestled into a quiet stretch of beachfront property, surrounded by quaint beachfront cabanas on one end and luxurious beach houses on the other, Island Vista is possibly the nicest oceanfront hotel in Myrtle Beach. With plenty of barefoot luxury” to go around, this property features plenty of amenities and top-notch accommodations including four bedroom suites with gorgeous views and plenty of living and dining areas. These roughly 2,000 square-foot suites will run you about $3,000 per week depending on the time of year.
Marina Inn at Grande Dunes
Located in the exclusive 2,200 acre Grand Dunes Resort — home to some of the area’s best golf courses and most luxurious homes — the Marina Inn provides elegant, yet casual accommodations along the Intracoastal Waterway. With five-star amenities and service, this hotel has a reputation for playing host to many of the area’s most notable guests. The four bedroom penthouse suite is a sight to behold, with stunning panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway and deluxe accommodations through and through. Even at $4,000-5,000 per week, those who treat themselves to this stay won’t be sorry.
Luxury Beach House Rentals
If you really want to get away and soak in the beach life in style, the best way to do so is by renting one of area’s many fabulous luxury beach houses. By staying on the outer edges of the Grand Strand in areas such as Surfside Beach, Garden City and Pawleys Island to the south or Cherry Grove, Ocean Isle and Sunset Beach to the north, you can avoid the traffic and crowds of downtown Myrtle Beach, while still having access to the best attractions and features of our area. Vacation rentals companies such as Elliott Luxury Rentals in North Myrtle Beach, Dunes Realty in Garden City Beach, and The Dieter Company in Pawleys Island, each offer a number of extravagant oceanfront properties, each with their own unique amenities and charm.
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
Consistently ranked among Golf Digest’s America’s Greatest 100 Public Golf Courses” and Golf Magazine’s Top 100 You Can Play” this Pawleys Island golf course is the cream of the crop for Myrtle Beach golf — Along with a few other courses including Dunes & Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach and fellow Pawleys course True Blue Plantation. Built on a former rice plantation, Caledonia has been described as having 18 signature holes,” with many routed around majestic oaks and meandering streams.
Myrtle Beach Safari
Want a truly unique experience during your Myrtle Beach vacation? Why not spend the day hanging with Hercules, a 900+ pound Liger who is the world’s largest cat? That’s right. This mammoth beast lives right here on the Grand Strand at Myrtle Beach Safari. Located on a 50-acre preserve in an undisclosed area of Horry County, this unique wildlife attraction is home to more than 60 big cats and offers visitors a chance to to get up close and personal, with tigers, chimpanzees, elephants and other wild creatures. At $299 per person Myrtle Beach Safari’s Wild Encounters tour is definitely one of the area’s most memorable experiences.
Helicopter Rides at Helicopter Adventures
Driving around town, you’re sure to see at least a few signs advertising $20 Helicopter Rides” … but really, who needs a 5 minute up and down” trip, when you can afford to spring for a grand tour of the Grand Strand. For $179 per person you can get a full trip around the area in a helicopter from either Helicopter Adventures near Broadway at the Beach or Oceanfront Helicopters near Myrtle Beach Airport. Depending on which company you choose you’ll be whisked away high above the beach heading north to Cherry Grove or the N.C. border before heading back down the coastline and being treated to amazing ocean views. This is truly the best way to see the ENTIRE beach.
$5 Off Any Adventure at Helicopter Adventures
No matter what type of activities you’re into, no trip to Myrtle Beach is complete without at least a little shopping. Sure, you can find some great bargains at the outlets and the malls are nice and you can always find something interesting at shopping complexes like Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing, but if you really want avoid the crowds, you’ll want to seek out some of our great locally-owned shopping spots. For gifts, classic shops like the Gay Dolphin, Lazy Gator and Callahan’s of Calabash can’t miss. If it’s clothing you’re looking for, try places like The Pink Cabana, Gallery Boutique and Foxy Lady in Myrtle Beach or any of the several unique boutiques at The Market Common. You find many great options at shopping centers like The Hammock Shops Village and Village Shops in Pawleys Island, The Rainbow Harbor complex in Myrtle Beach.
SeaBlue Restaurant & Wine Bar
Since opening in 2004, this upscale dining experience has racked up numerous accolades over the years. Being tabbed as the #1 Restaurant in America” by OpenTable (2014), recieving Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence and being named on the World’s Best Wine Lists” by The World of Fine Wine Magazine speak volumes about this North Myrtle Beach restaurant. But if you cut through the hype, what really makes this place special is a sleek, modern interior, outstanding service and an amazing wine list. Throw in great steaks and seafood and entrees like Cocoa & Chili Dusted Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast or Mushroom & Black Truffle Risotto, and you’ve really got something special. Other great North Myrtle Beach restaurants include 21 Main at North Beach Plantation, Midtown Bistro and Joe’s Bar & Grill.
Frank's & Frank's Outback
One location with two distinct atmospheres, Frank’s is a cozy indoor bistro while Frank’s Outback provide a unique outdoor setting — in a garden, under a canopy of trees — with white tablecloth candlelight dining. Both restaurants offer the same excellent service and food from world-class chef, Pierce Culliton. Inside you’ll find a great selection of small plates, salads, locally-caught seafood and a full chophouse menu. Outback, you’ll find variations on the same, with the addition of scrumptious appetizers and wood-fired pizzas. Some favorites include options like Pan Seared Jumbo New Bedford Sea Scallops, Pan Fried Cornmeal Encrusted Grouper Served over Yellow Stone Ground Grits and Duck Two Ways: Pan Roasted Breast and Housemade Duck Confit. Also worth your time in Pawleys Island are Perrone’s Fine Food & Wine Market, Bistro 217, Chive Blossom Cafe and Austin’s Ocean One.
The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro
Situated inside a beautiful, turn-of-the-century Victorian home in Little River, the Brentwood serves up Lowcountry French cuisine” crafted by one of the area’s most notable chefs, France’s own Eric Masson. Choose from the four-course Prix Fixe menu or seven-course Chef’s Tasting menu or order off the main menu which includes a wide variety of small plates and amazing entrees. There’s an extensive wine list, an upstairs wine bar with live jazz and even a ghost tour where you can learn about the Brentwood’s haunted history. Also highlighting the Grand Strand’s north-end eateries are fellow Little River restaurants the Parson’s Table — a farm-to-table eatery in a historic building — and Clark’s Seafood & Chophouse.
Part fine dining restaurant, part art gallery, Collector’s Cafe is a must-try” restaurant in Myrtle Beach for any art enthusiast. Adhering to the motto life’s too short to eat boring food,” this local’s favorite offers dishes like Sonoran Spices Market Fresh Fish, Duck Au Poivre and Cioppino all artfully plated and presented by a friendly, attentive staff. Other recommended Myrtle Beach restaurants include local’s favorite, The Library, Southern/French fusion spot Croissant’s Bistro, Kingston Plantation’s Cafe Amalfi and Vintage Twelve and a hip, new downtown eatery called The Chemist.
Brunch at Gulfstream Cafe
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but since you’re in vacation, you might as well sleep in, relax a bit and do brunch instead. And since you’re at the beach, why not add in a great waterfront view to go with your meal? There are several spots on the Grand Strand which offer just this, including Sea Captain’s House in Myrtle Beach, the Pier House Restaurant — which sits along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at Second Avenue Pier — and Gulfstream Cafe in Garden City Beach. Each of these eateries offer a combination of southern favorites and traditional breakfast items, and of course some top-notch mimosas and Bloody Marys. If you go, you’ll want to make sure and reserve a seat, as these popular spots tend to draw a crowd … but even so, we think this is a local tradition you won’t want to miss. And if you like a little music with your meal, you might want to try Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues.