Living Like a Local in the Myrtle Beach Area
Even as a visitor, living like a local in the Myrtle Beach area can be a cinch, especially with the multitude and variety of beach homes and condos so many families choose to stay in while on vacation. But for those interested in making the Myrtle Beach area their new home or second home, an insiders guide on how to live like a local in the Myrtle Beach area can be helpful. We’ve tried to round up the top ten things you can do to ‘live like a local’ in the Myrtle Beach area below.
- Invest in flip-flops. Even when you live in the Myrtle Beach area, it’s perfectly okay to dress like you’re on vacation. Dress is casual in most restaurants and area attractions, and with our mild temperatures, you’ll find most locals wearing flip-flops well into the fall months. After all, Myrtle Beach area locals are laidback, happy to be here and in no hurry to leave.
- Venture inland. While the Myrtle Beach area is comprised of 60-miles of stunning Atlantic shoreline, there is plenty to see and experience beyond the beach. In fact, 12 distinct communities make up the Myrtle Beach area and three of those (Conway, Aynor and Loris) lie inland. These historic towns boast a great deal of Southern charm and could be seen as our locals’ best-kept secret. Authentic southern cooking, historic museums and family-friendly festivals are just a few of the things you’ll find.
- Learn to shag. The Myrtle Beach area is the home and birthplace of South Carolina’s state dance, the shag. Choreographers describe the classic shag as a slotted swing dance where couples tend to move forward and back in a set spot. The dance involves a lot of improvisation and is generally set to the area’s much-loved beach music. During the shagger’s ‘spring and fall migrations,’ many locals will head to the Main Street and Ocean Drive areas of North Myrtle Beach where many of the best shag clubs can be found. If you’re going to make the Myrtle Beach area (or South Carolina) home, it’s worth investing in a shag lesson or two.
- Cook local cuisine. Learning to cook local and regional food is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture or hometown. Fortunately for visitors and locals alike, the Myrtle Beach area is well known for its fresh local seafood, rice, grits, sweet potatoes, peaches, berries and a fresh produce season that starts in early spring—giving new cooks a lot to work with. Some local specialties that you definitely don’t want to miss? Atlantic blue crab, prepared any way, and chicken bog, a low country chicken and rice dish that can be prepared a variety of delicious ways.
- Get to know the music scene. While shag dancing is usually set to the area’s native beach music, there are plenty of other musical options Myrtle Beach area locals are able to enjoy. The area is home to a professional orchestra loved by locals called the Long Bay Symphony, while a variety of other musical concerts are happening all the time. In the summertime, free outdoor concerts are a wonderful way to exercise the joy of being a local in a premier vacation destination.
- Take advantage of shoulder season discounts. There is nothing Myrtle Beach area locals love more than utilizing the special deals and discounts offered to those who live here year-round. At many restaurants and attractions, simply showing a local ID will earn you a percentage off the regular price, while other buy one get one free discounts make exploring the area like the tourist in the shoulder season well worthwhile.
- Become a history buff. Myrtle Beach area natives are proud of their heritage and history, and it’s easy for newcomers to brush up on their local history at one of the area’s many museums. The Horry County Museum, located in Conway, S.C., offers a variety of exhibits and programs on site for people of all ages. It also offers walking tours of Conway's picturesque historic district. On the southern end of the Myrtle Beach area lowcountry, locals take great pride in the historic plantations—some dating back to the before the Revolutionary War.
- Play ball. Everybody likes having home team. In the Myrtle Beach area, the locals’ home team is the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The Pelicans are a Texas Ranger Carolina League Class A affiliate, and their season begins in April and wraps up in September. Along with exciting sports action, fans are treated to between inning entertainment that is fun for the whole family. TicketReturn.com Field in Myrtle Beach is the team’s home field, and locals can often find special deals and discounts.
- Explore your artsy side. The Myrtle Beach area’s cultured side may be what most visitors miss out on when they stay with us. Locals have the opportunity to invest in annual passes to attractions like Brookgreen Gardens, where the largest outdoor display of American sculpture can be seen alongside centuries-old oak trees, or Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, the Myrtle Beach area’s home for contemporary visual art in all mediums.
- Shop local. There is no question that Myrtle Beach area locals love shopping local. With a variety of small artisan shops and boutiques and local products, it’s easy to find an authentic gift for out-of-town friends or new beach bag for yourself. Some of the area’s favorite local shops can be found at the Market Common in Myrtle Beach, while others can be found in the downtown districts of the different Myrtle Beach area communities. One of our most popular locally-made and sold products? The hand woven Pawley’s Island rope hammocks, whose creation and design dates back to the 1800s, is made and sold by The Original Pawley’s Island Rope Hammock Shop in Pawleys Island, S.C.