There’s so many things to do in Myrtle Beach, that’d it would be easy to sit back and think that the Grand Strand has it all.
There’s traditional favorites like golf, shopping and the beach. There’s top-notch shows, entertainment and nightlife. There’s cutting-edge activities, interesting exhibits and iconic landmarks.
But even with all this, it seems each new season Myrtle Beach is stuck looking for new things to add in order to lure visitors and new ways to secure our spot as one of the top destinations in the world.
Luckily, as far as new ideas are concerned, it looks like we’ve only scratched the surface.
All it takes is a quick look around at what some other top vacation spots are doing to realize there’s still so much untapped potential for attractions in Myrtle Beach.
And since we’re nothing if not helpful here at GoToMyrtleBeach.com, we’ve decided to take a few minutes to offer up some suggestions we’ve seen in other cities that we’d love to see added in Myrtle Beach.
This list of “20 Attractions Myrtle Beach Needs Now!” is meant as a tongue-in-cheek look some of the most fun, interesting and outrageous attractions around … but just in case there’s anyone out there looking to find the next big thing, who knows? It may just be below.http://www.myrtlebeachlife.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/05/WitbitSportsPark-300×156.jpg
1. Wibit Sports Park
The customizable inflatable water parks produced by this German company and sold to commercial properties around the world seem like the perfect fit for Myrtle Beach.
These flashy and fun-for-all-ages attractions would surely make a splash for any resort, municipality or entrepreneur and can be customized for spaces as small as a hotel pool or as large as a lake or even the ocean with options ranging from around $700 up to more than $85,000.
The parks are modular, so that pieces can be reconfigured or changed out each season to keep things fresh and you can add in bells and whistles of all types including slides, trampolines, swings and huge climbing walls that resemble icebergs.
Honestly, it’s kind of surprising there’s not already 2-3 of these attractions in Myrtle Beach.
2. Magical Flying Beach Chair
Mahogany Bay, Roatan Island, Honduras
Traveling high over the beautiful, white sandy beaches of Mahogany Bay in Honduras’ Bay Islands, the “Magical Flying Beach Chair” is an aerial tram ride (aka Skylift) which carries visitors from the area’s Carnival Cruise center to the beach.
It’s a longer, more scenic version of the famous Daytona Beach Skylift which sat atop the destinations Main Street Pier for decades before closing down a few years ago.
In Myrtle Beach, local officials had floated the idea of building a similar ride along the path of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk when it opened in 2010, but plans never materialized beyond the idea stage.
We think it’s about time they brought the idea of an oceanfront ski-lift back to the table.
Locations all over U.S. and Canada
This chain of indoor trampoline parks allows visitors to bounce, flip and jump around an arena completely covered in trampolines — both on the ground and even up the walls.
With foam pits as a landing spot for crazy aerial acrobatics and basketball hoops scattered around the facility for epic dunks, it’s a unique, high-impact form of fun.
Since opening its first location in 2004, SkyZone has expanded to more than 30 cities across including several in the Carolinas in Charleston, Greenville, Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte.
4. An Ice Rink
Though the wintery fun of gliding around an indoor sheet of ice isn’t exactly the type of activity most folks visit the beach for, Myrtle Beach is overdue for its own ice rink.
With a large number of Myrtle Beach transplants coming from the northeast and Canada, where some folks are taught to strap on skates as soon as they can walk, there’s no doubt in our mind that a rink would find support among the hockey and figure skating-loving crowds from up north.
There has long been discussion of adding a sheet of ice in the area — the closest now is in Wilmington, N.C. — but past efforts to bring rinks to Coastal Carolina University campus and to the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base have fallen flat.
The latest plan, from a group called Grand Strand Ice Management, is to build a $5 million, 45,000 square foot single-ice-sheet facility to a growing area of town off of International Drive near Carolina Forest. Though the push began strong in 2012 and has garnered some support both locally and beyond it currently remains on hold and in search of investors to make it happen.
5. Pedal Pub
Locations across the U.S.
Seating up to 15 visitors, this unique vehicle features a bar-like countertop and seats where riders help pedal their way around town, generally stopping at a number of bars and pubs along the way.
While most cities’ laws don’t allow for serving beer aboard the bike or for patrons to bring drinks on board, this unique type of vehicle has become a big hit in cities including Honolulu, Boulder, Austin, San Diego, Seattle and many more as a way to safely embark on a “bar crawl” while someone else steers.
Would be a great way to cruise the many excellent beach bars along Ocean Bouelvard including spots like Bummz, Banditos, Oceanfront Bar & Grill, 8th Avenue Tiki Bar and Pier View Bar, among others.
6. More Crazy Theme Restaurants
Yes, Myrtle Beach already has tons of unique and interesting restaurants including themed spots like Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe as well as dinner shows like Pirate’s Voyage and Medieval Times.
But take a quick look around the globe and you’ll find these local spots don’t hold a candle to some of the off-the-wall themes in other major destinations.
Some of our favorites include the Kung-Fu themed Ninja and out of this world Mars 2112 restaurants in New York City, not to mention truly odd ideas like Barbie Cafe (Tapei, Taiwan), the prison-themed Alcatraz ER (Tokyo, Japan), the all dark Opaque (Multiple locations), and funeral-themed Eternity (Truskavets, Ukraine).
7. Hard Knocks
Hard Knocks is a chain of "indoor war arenas" with locations across the U.S. including in Orlando, Charlotte, Raleigh, Jacksonville and Tulsa, Okla.
The play at these unique combat attractions is like a cross between paintball, lazer tag and Call Of Duty all put together in one intense shoot ‘em up experience.
Players can choose from a huge arsenal of weapons to battle head-to-head in various urban arenas or work together to complete more than 70 unique missions.
Las Vegas, Nevada
One of the best family-friendly attractions in Sin City, Adventuredome is a 5-acre indoor theme park with a great lineup of rollercoasters, bumper cars, midway games, video arcades and more.
While the idea of an indoor theme park may not exactly fit for visitors who come to Myrtle Beach just for it’s great weather, we like the idea of throwing a huge roof over the former Hard Rock Park/Freestyle Music Park and calling it an indoor theme park.
If nothing else it would get the defunct rollercoaster and this largely vacant property out of sight, removing a sad reminder of the pre-recession excess of this Myrtle Beach attraction that originally cost more than $400 million to build.
9. Edgier Live Shows
Even if you’re of the mind that the beach isn’t ready for something that progressive, even the options for new family-friendly shows are endless.
Why not take a page of out Branson’s book and try something like Amazing Pets Show, Legend of Kung Fu or Buckets & Boards Comedy Percussion Show? Even the ever-popular Blue Man Group show would be a welcome change of pace.
This entertainment complex is one of a handful of attractions around the U.S. — also in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit — dedicated to the sport of Whirlyball.
This unique team game is a 5-on-5 competition that combines aspects of basketball, Jai-alai and hockey while players ride around in bumper car-like motor vehicles.
It may sound a little strange, but there’s something undeniably fun about the thought of watching families go head-to-head on the Whirlyball court with grandmas bashing into each other while chasing after a stray ball in their Whirlybug bumper cars.
11. Trader Joe's
While it’s not an attraction in the traditional sense, it seems there’s a constant buzz among shoppers along the beach to bring this ultra-hip chain of grocery stores to town.
Though there's locations across the U.S., folks currently have to make the trek to Wilmington, N.C., or Mt. Pleasant to get their fix.
It seems even the addition of Fresh Market and other health food shops in Myrtle Beach can’t satisfy the urges of this small, but rabidly loyal group on TJ’s fans.
There’s even a Facebook page called “Bring Trader Joe’s to Myrtle Beach, SC” with more than 2,600 likes to date.
12. Titanic Museum
Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Branson, Mo.
However, one quite popular museum yet to make its way to the beach is the Titanic Museum a popular boat-shaped exhibit that explores everything related to the infamous cruise ship.
Located in comparable destinations like Branson and Pigeon Forge, this place bills itself as the “World’s Largest Museum Attraction.”
While we think this attraction could “stay afloat” here on the Grand Strand, we’d also support even more off-the-wall options like the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum (Gatlinburg, Tenn.), Trash Museum (Hartford, Conn.), Spam Museum (Austin, Minn.) or International Banana Museum (Mecca, Calif.).
13. The Cage of Death
Darwin City, Australia
If you’ve ever driven down Kings Highway or Ocean Boulevard during the height of tourist season, you already know what it’s like to risk your life in Myrtle Beach — but we think it’d be great to have yet another way to tempt fate with this death-defying attraction.
Currently housed at a place called Crocosaurus Cove in the land down under, The Cage of Death lets swimmers submerge themselves underwater in a clear acrylic box while a huge saltwater crocodile tries to take a bite out of you.
Of course, we’re pretty sure the attraction poses little danger to participants, but the deep teeth marks on the side of the tank and the intimidating presence of the huge beast are enough to make it thrilling for many.
Ahem, Ahem … Alligator Adventure we’re looking at you on this one. Let’s make it happen!
14. Elevated Track Go-Kart Racing
If you’ve ever taken your family to this mountainous destination, you’ve surely run across these go-kart attractions, each claiming to be faster, taller or with more twists and turns than the last.
With carts that travel up to 40 mph and tracks that climb 3 or 4 stories high, the racing at these spots is far superior to the go-kart action you’ll find on the Grand Strand.
If we had our way, we’d like to see the brand-new Broadway Grand Prix take a page out of the Smoky Mountains’ playbook and build vertically instead of outward as they add new features to the former NASCAR Speedpark.
15. iFly Indoor Skydiving
Of course the folks at Skydive Myrtle Beach would tell you nothing is more thrilling than the real thing, but the indoor version of skydiving definitely provides its own version of fun, which we think could be an interesting addition to the area’s attractions.
The iFly chain of indoor skydiving attractions has more than 20 locations around the world including Chicago, Orlando, Hollywood, Perth (Aus.), Dubai (UAE) and London.
Here you can experience free fall conditions, just like skydiving, without having to jump out of an airplane as iFly’s vertical wind tunnel generates a wall-to-wall cushion of air, on which you safely float.
There’s no parachute, no jumping, and nothing attaching you to the ground — it’s just you, the air, and an incredible adrenaline rush.
16. 16-bit Bar + Arcade
Though the “barcade” concept of combining a bar and an arcade is nothing new in Myrtle Beach — see Broadway Louie’s or UCP Game Zone — it’s the execution of this Midwestern throwback spot that’s intriguing.
The 16-Bit bar is a “retro watering hole offering classic arcade games, old-school cocktails and an awesome beer selection.”
It’s a spot where 80s and 90s nostalgia of Broadway at the Beach’s Retro Active shop reigns supreme and combines with the growing craft brew culture bubbling up under the surface of the Grand Strand.
Here patrons can grab some good food and reasonably priced drinks in an upscale neighborhood bar atmosphere while also geeking out on games such as Donkey Kong, Frogger and Dig Dug to NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Bros.
And while we’re on the subject of bars,if we could maybe get a Dave & Buster’s or a World of Beer to come to town too, that’d be great. Thanks.
17. Surf’s Up Indoor Surf Park
Nashua, New Hampshire
Though there are some avid boarders that may tell you differently, when it comes to stacking up surfing spots our area isn’t exactly known for its huge waves.
Luckily, modern technology is amazing and has given us the ability to create our own waves with enormous jets like the ones at this indoor surf park.
Unlike in Myrtle Beach, where Surf’s Up is a family fun center with an arcade, lazer tag and pizza, in New England the name refers to largest indoor surfing facility in the country.
At this surfer’s haven riders can catch a wave year round and ride on a 32-foot Surfstream wave, the first of its kind in North America and the largest in the world.
And since we’re dreaming, why not take a “bigger is better” approach and see if we can make some waves with a facility even bigger than the original?
18. Better Mini Golf Courses
Better, you say? How can you possibly top the 30+ miniature golf courses that have led to Myrtle Beach being known as the “mini golf capital of the world” by some?
Well, we’re glad you asked. Because for every great mini golf course theme along the Grand Strand — like Mt. Atlanticus’ Mythical Minotaur — there’s at least three or four tired pirate-themed or island-themed courses to bore tourists to sleep.
Instead of relying on these tried and true (i.e. unexciting) ideas for you courses, why not get creative and try UFOs, barnyard animals, Rock ‘N’ Roll or even The Bible as a theme for the area’s next putt putt place?
19. Challenge Chambers
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In Dubai, a tourist destination that never met a crazy idea it wouldn’t try, is where you’ll find this “Real-Life Escape Game.”
Introduced earlier this year, Challenge Chambers is an attraction where players end up locked in a small room under mysterious circumstances. The objective is to solve the mystery by finding hidden objects, answering riddles and solving puzzles by connecting the missing links.
Players must use their intellect, intuition and their sixth sense to make a successful escape while racing against the clock to get out in time.
20. Castle of Chaos
This “5D Adventure” is a family attraction that combines the thrills of a haunted house with the action of a video game.
Located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Branson, Mo., this action-packed adventure plays out in the form of a 3D film with heart-pounding motion and special effects, while riders shoot at specters throughout the ride aiming for the top score.
It’s like a combination between Broadway at the Beach’s MagiQuest attraction and the classic “Pistelro Roundup” dark ride at Family Kingdom Amusement Park, replacing the slow moving train and kitschy animatronic Wild West characters with fast-paced fun and spooky thrills.