Myrtle Beach History
Myrtle Beach history dates back hundreds of years. The Myrtle Beach area was originally inhabited by the Waccamaw and Winyah Indians. You will notice driving around town that several places have names pointing to Indian heritage. The native Indian tribes named the land that is now Myrtle Beach “Chicora” meaning “the land”. Attempts to colonize the area failed until the English colonists settled here. Because of supply shipments, pirates soon followed and the coastal inlets proved to be great hiding spots. Local legends include Blackbeard and Drunken Jack, and their history is woven through the history of Murrells Inlet.
In the early 1900s, Myrtle Beach was not well inhabited but used, instead, as an area to farm timber. The first hotel, the Seaside Inn, was built in 1901. Amazingly, at the time, ocean front lots were sold for $25 a piece! If you built a home valued at $500 or more on the lot, you got a 2nd lot free! The land that we now know as Myrtle Beach was previously known as Long Bay, Withers and New Town. Still today, you will see the names Long Bay and Withers used throughout Myrtle Beach. The name was changed to Myrtle Beach after a local newspaper held a contest to change the town name. Myrtle Beach was chosen after the wax myrtle trees that grew wild in the area.
More development came about in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The area’s first golf course, now known as The Pine Lakes International Country Club, was created along with the Ocean Forest Hotel. Not only was Pines Lakes the first golf course in Myrtle Beach, but Sports Illustrated was started there! At the time, the Ocean Forest Hotel was one of the finest hotels on the east coast and definitely the finest hotel in Myrtle Beach. The hotel was ocean front, 10-stories tall and consisted of 202 guest rooms, ballrooms, convention rooms, dining rooms and theater. The Ocean Forest Hotel was torn down in 1974.
The Intracoastal Waterway was opened in 1936. The Waterway brought personal recreation boats and commercial shipping to the area. In the 1940s, the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base was opened to train and for coastal patrols during World War II. The base brought an influx of people and businesses to Myrtle Beach and surrounding cities like Surfside Beach. The Air Force Base was closed in 1993 and subsequently redeveloped into The Market Common. The Myrtle Beach Pavilion, an amusement park, opened in 1949. In 1949, the historic German band organ and carousel were placed at the Pavilion. The Pavilion was closed in 2006.
Hurricane Hazel hit Myrtle Beach in 1954 and was a turning point for the area. Development came from the hurricane’s destruction. Myrtle Beach officially became a city in 1957. The 1960s brought the golf boom to Myrtle Beach, and Myrtle Beach grew to become “the Golf Capital of the World” with 100+ golf courses.
Today, Myrtle Beach consists of the city of Myrtle Beach and some surrounding areas that have Myrtle Beach addresses but are not located within the city limits of the town. The northern border of Myrtle Beach is the North Myrtle Beach/Myrtle Beach line (around Restaurant Row and Barefoot Landing) and the southern border stops at Surfside Beach. The eastern border of the town is the Atlantic Ocean and the western border of the town is the Carolina Forest area and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Myrtle Beach has many, many things to do…both outdoor activities and indoor activities. The two biggest attractions for the area are the beach and golf. Myrtle Beach has 40 beach access points and offers beach accessible wheelchairs at no charge from lifeguard stands. Each beach access point is a different size and has a different amount of parking. Parking meters are installed and enforced March 1st – September 30th from 9:00 a.m. to midnight. You can also visit the Myrtle Beach State Park which is nestled among live oak trees and located off of Hwy. 17 Business just south of the entrance to The Market Common. As mentioned earlier, Myrtle Beach is known as “the Golf Capital of the World” and has more than 100 golf courses. Almost all of the golf courses in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area are public. You can pick up passes to play at different courses through Myrtle Beach Golf Passport or play individual golf courses. Here is a list of golf courses in Myrtle Beach, but you can visit my other community pages to find golf courses in Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Garden City Beach, Surfside Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway, Longs and Carolina Forest.
- Grande Dunes – 2 golf courses…the Resort Club with 7 holes along the Intracoastal Waterway and the 18-hole Members Club designed by Nick Price
- Whispering Pines – 6,771 yard golf course is just across from the Myrtle Beach Airport so you can play a round of golf as soon as you get in town
- Midway – A par 3 golf course on the south end of Myrtle Beach. Catch glimpses of the ocean while you play.
- Pine Lakes – Known as “the Granddaddy”, Pine Lakes is the oldest golf course in Myrtle Beach.
- Myrtlewood – Two 18-hole courses, the Pine Hill and the Palmetto, wind around the Intracoastal Waterway and condo villas.
- Dunes Club – A private country club featuring a golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones and a tennis facility.
- Legends – 3 courses, Heathland, Moorland and Parkland, combine to make the Scottish-themed Legends course off of Hwy. 501.
- World Tour – Play 18 famous holes and take a trip around the world all while staying in Myrtle Beach!
Myrtle Beach Attractions
Even the beach lovers need things to do other than go to the beach. Myrtle Beach has some great attractions to give you something to do on rainy days or when you have had a little too much sun!
- Broadway at the Beach – Shopping, restaurants, shops and night life
- Adrenaline Adventures – Experience the adrenaline rush of a zip line with views of the Atlantic Ocean
- The Market Common – An urban shopping experience that includes clothing shops, home decor shops, restaurants, spas and movie theater. The Market Common also features a 1.1 mile lake, sidewalks throughout and sporting fields.
- Pier 14 – The only restaurant and lounge directly above the ocean.
- 2nd Avenue Pier – Open air bar and grill and the anchor of the Boardwalk
- Carolina Opry – Calvin Gilmore’s Carolina Opry has been voted the #1 show for 27 years. Live shows 7 days a week.
- Pirate’s Voyages – “The Most Fun Place to Eat” features a show filled with acrobatics, animals and new music by Dolly Parton.
- The Boardwalk – The Boardwalk spans from 2nd Avenue North to 14th Avenue North.
- The Skywheel – Get a panoramic view of Myrtle Beach and the Atlantic Ocean from the 200-feet above sea level on the Skywheel. The Skywheel is part of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
- Palace Theatre – Located at Broadway at the Beach, the Palace Theatre features many live shows, Broadway plays and musicals each year including Jersey Nights, Ron White, Christmas on Ice and Illusions of Magic.
- Children’s Museum of South Carolina
- Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament – Travel back in time to the 11th century and enjoy watching royal guests as they joust and entertain while King Don Carlos and Princess Catalina preside over a four-course meal.
- Movie theaters at The Market Common and Coastal Grand Mall
- Ripley’s Aquarium – Watch fish being fed, see sharks, stingrays and colorful fish while traveling on the moving walkway and touch stingrays
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
- Family Kingdom Amusement Park – Myrtle Beach’s only ocean front amusement and water park
- Myrtle Beach Pelicans – Enjoy a night or afternoon at the ballpark. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are a Class A farm team for the Texas Rangers.
Myrtle Beach Shopping
- The Market Common – A urban shopping experience with restaurants and shops.
- Coastal Grand Mall – Located just off Bypass 17, Coastal Grand Mall has many of your favorite stores
- Tanger Outlets – Two convenient locations…Hwy. 501 and Hwy. 17 at Hwy. 22
- Pink Cabana – Find Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, Southern Proper, Southern Tide and High Cotton here
- Ooh La La – A stationary store and shoe boutique.
Myrtle Beach Dining
Whether you are a yer-round resident or someone here on vacation, you will not go hungry in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach has a mix of inexpensive restaurants and 4 star restaurants as well as different types of food. Here is a short list of some of our restaurants.
- Mrs. Fish – My favorite seafood restaurant in Myrtle Beach. Mrs. Fish is a local favorite. Enjoy fresh seafood in a very friendly atmosphere.
- Divine Prime – One of Myrtle Beach’s best restaurant’s. Divine Prime is a upscale restaurant featuring steaks, chops and seafood.
- Gordon Biersch – Variety of menu items and locally brewed beer
- Nacho Hippo
- King Street Grille
- Toffino’s Italian Bakery and Deli – Wonderful sandwiches, pizza and desserts
- Red Robin
- Ruth’s Chris
- Grecian Delight
- River City Cafe
- Sea Captains House – One of Myrtle Beach’s oldest restuarants…built in 1930. This award-winning ocean front restaurant makes the finest, freshest lunches and dinners every day.
- Burro Loco
- Thoroughbreds Restaurant
- Croissants Bistro and Bakery
- Angelo’s Steak and Pasta
- Aspen Grille
- Bandito’s Restaurant and Cantina
- Captain Benjamin’s Restaurant
- Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Liberty Steakhouse
- Magnolia’s at 26th
- Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville
- Cheeseburger in Paradise
- Sticky Fingers
- Collectors Cafe and Gallery
Myrtle Beach Grocery Stores
For nights when you would rather stay in and cook, you can pick up what you need at one of our local grocery stores.
- Food Lion with locations on 13th Avenue South, the Myrtle Beach Flea Market shopping center (across from the Myrtle Beach State Park), Hwy. 501, 62th Avenue North, 76th Avenue North and Carolina Forest)
- Lowes Foods on 82nd Avenue North and Carolina Forest)
- Piggly Wiggly at The Market Common
- Bi-Lo at 38th Avenue North
As you can see, Myrtle Beach as a lot to offer full-time residents and visitors. Myrtle Beach also has many different types of properties available – condos, townhouses, single family homes and vacation properties. Get the latest information about real estate for sale in Myrtle Beach by contacting Kathy Rukat at 843-267-2710. Sign up on my website to get the latest homes for sale in Myrtle Beach emailed to you.
Start your search now and find your dream home. When you are ready to buy real estate in Myrtle Beach, Kathy Rukat is here to provide you with the best service and make you a client for life.
“Helping You Find the Sandcastle of Your Dreams!”