Outdoor Activities in Myrtle Beach
Local rivers, bays and the ocean are some of the best playgrounds for outdoor enthusiasts. Throughout the Grand Strand, there are countless opportunities for guests to make a splash and have some fun. Whether relaxing on the beach, paddling on a wavy surface, or soaring above the coastline, there is something for everyone.
Shelling in Grand Strand
Here are some tips from William Tilley, a founder of the Grand Strand Shell Club, for hunting and finding shells along the shores of Myrtle Beach.
- The more deserted the beach, the better the chance of finding shells; there’s less competition. Barrier islands, generally accessible only by water, are the best. Huntington Beach State Park, about 15 miles south of Myrtle Beach, is another good bet.
- Best times to look: early in the morning before the beach gets crowded, and after a storm. A rough sea usually tosses many shells onto the shore.
- One can often find shells at the high water line, at water’s edge, or in the small pools left on the beach at low tide.
- Shells you might find are the lettered olives (South Carolina’s state shell), knob whelks and channel whelks, giant heart cockles, tulips, augers, and shark-eye moon snails. Though not technically shells, sand dollars, sea urchins, and shark’s teeth are other prizes found on local beaches.
- Though big shells are the “showiest” and easiest to spot, don’t overlook the small ones. You’ll find some real beauties!
- Unless you plan to eat what’s inside, it’s best, ecologically, to leave “live” shells where you find them.
- Don’t take your treasures home and throw them in a drawer. Frame and display them for your enjoyment and as a reminder of your wonderful Myrtle Beach vacation!
Boating is perhaps the most luxurious way to enjoy the water. For a relaxing and enjoyable tour, reserve a seat aboard a boat operated by Waccamaw River Tours. Explore the beauty of nature while cruising through a wildlife preserve down the Intracoastal Waterway. Glimpse alligators and great egrets while on a wine or breakfast cruise.
Enjoy a perfect day on the water while gaining a vast amount of insight into the region with Cap’n Rod’s Shell Island Lighthouse & Plantation Tours. Choose either the 4-hour Shell Island Lighthouse Tour where you’ll have the opportunity to stroll on an unspoiled beach, or the 3-hour Plantation Tour past abandoned rice fields and historic plantations. Both tours offer beautiful scenery and the chance to witness local wildlife in their natural habitats.
Fishing in Myrtle Beach
For those who believe they can’t be on a boat without a fishing pole in their hands, two great companies offer full and half-day fishing trips. Hurricane Fleet Fishing in the quaint nearby town of Calabash and Voyager Deep Sea Fishing in North Myrtle Beach will take you offshore into the Gulf Stream for an all-day fishing experience of a lifetime. Wahoo, snapper, tuna, mahi and sportfish like marlin and sailfish are just a few that you might catch. The best part is, you don’t need any equipment or experience. These companies provide bait, tackle, rod, reel and expertise. Bringing others along with you? Make it a party and book a chartered excursion for your friends. Both companies offer various vessels to choose from depending on the number of people in your group. They also offer inshore fishing expeditions and (non-fishing) dolphin cruises for those who prefer to witness the ocean’s creatures. Visit their websites to choose your ideal trip but be sure to book in advance as these trips fill up quickly. Good luck hooking the big one!
Myrtle Beach Dolphin Tours
Dolphins naturally intrigue us. Their intelligence, communication styles and playful antics have endeared them to many, and the love for these mammals continues to grow. That’s why dolphin boat tours have become so popular in Myrtle Beach.
There are approximately 40 different species of dolphin including the orca or killer whale and the most commonly seen in Myrtle Beach, the bottlenose. Dolphins are highly intelligent—one of only a few species that can identify themselves in a mirror and strategize hunting techniques. They communicate by using a clicking and whistling “language” that is generated through their blowhole. The sounds vary with each individual and the pitch differs based on the message. They can be taught complex tricks and have a natural curiosity. Dolphins seemingly investigate us while we’re watching them.
For those hoping to get a closer look at these beautiful creatures, many fishing boat companies including Hurricane Fleet Fishing and Voyager Deep Sea Fishing can accommodate you on a tour. Reservations are recommended because of the popularity of these excursions.
It’s possible to get some exercise while having a ton of fun on the water with Great Escapes Kayaking & Paddleboards. Nature lovers can take a guided tour either by kayak or paddleboard down the Waccamaw River to see wildlife such as otters, deer and birds as well as native plants including the bald cypress and the rare Atlantic white cedar. The 4-hour Waites Island tour offers shelling, swimming and the opportunity to see dolphins, an array of birds, and turtles. You can also explore on your own by renting a paddleboard or kayak.
Myrtle Beach Adventure
Adventurers don’t have to travel far to find excitement at new heights or thrilling speeds. Ocean Watersports is your ticket to adrenalized water activities. Whether your group likes to bounce over waves on a speedy banana boat ride or you prefer to race through the ocean on a solo jet ski, they have you covered. Go aboard the jet boat and zoom across the water’s surface. Ocean Watersports also offers parasailing for those looking to see the Myrtle Beach oceanfront from a different (and higher) perspective.
So take advantage of the local resources and choose a water activity that sounds appealing or is something you’ve never tried before. Chances are, you’ll discover a whole new passion!