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The Grand Strand comprises 60 miles (100 kilometers of uninterrupted sandy beach along the South Carolina Coast. A majority of the area’s 14 million annual visitors come for the boardwalks, beaches, amusement parks, and mini golf courses of Myrtle Beach, while Murrells Inlet serves as the region’s culinary capital.
The Grand Strand ranks among the most popular areas of South Carolina for good reason—there’s fun for just about any type of traveler. While the sandy shores are a major draw, the entire stretch of coastline is dotted with resorts, golf courses (some of the best golfing in the state), and small towns. Myrtle Beach represents the most developed area of the Grand Strand, with a ton to see and do in a relatively small area. Visitors looking for a sleepier beach vacation can opt for a stay in Garden City, Surfside, or Little River instead. The historic town of Georgetown was one of the first European settlements in North America.
The Grand Strand runs along the Atlantic coast of South Carolina from Little River to Winyah Bay. Myrtle Beach International Airport serves as the main point of entry into the region.
The best time to visit the Grand Strand is in the early fall, when temperatures are still warm but the summer vacation crowds have diminished. Be sure to book well ahead of time if you’re visiting during the peak summer season or spring break.
The Grand Strand area of South Carolina is home to two excellent state parks. Myrtle Beach State Park protects an area of maritime forest, where visitors can hike a nature trail or enjoy some of the best surf fishing in the state. At Huntington Beach State Park, go bird-watching, see nesting loggerhead turtles in their natural environment, tour the former winter home of Anna Hyatt Huntington, or visit the nearby Brookgreen Gardens.