Once regarded as the little-sister city to the Grand Strand’s better-known Myrtle Beach, this sibling city of 14,000 is all grown up now with its own distinct identity. Also famous for its beaches, golf, shopping and restaurants, North Myrtle Beach has developed to offer residents and visitors the same things they can find in Myrtle Beach while maintaining its small-town charm. That’s because North Myrtle Beach consist of four coastal communities – Cherry Grove, Crescent Beach, Ocean Drive and Windy Hill – that retain their unique character.
Cherry Grove is the northernmost neighborhood and is famous for fishing. Rows of channel homes with private boat docks surround Cherry Grove Inlet, and the fishing pier is home to many record catches. Ocean Drive adjoins to the south and is home to the state dance, the shag, and what is regarded as North Myrtle Beach’s historic downtown district. The beach music and shag craze began in these oceanfront clubs back in the 1950s and 60s and is still alive and thriving here today, along with the older establishments on Main Street.
Farther south, Crescent Beach features oceanfront homes and condos sprinkled with hotels and resorts, as well as popular attractions, dining, shopping and entertainment at Barefoot Landing. And Windy Hill, which is closest to Myrtle Beach, boasts the famed Restaurant Row for its abundance of dining establishments. All four sections feature unique real estate opportunities, from single-family home neighborhoods to oceanfront condos. New roads have also opened up the inland areas to further development along and across the Intracoastal Waterway.
North Myrtle Beach dances to its own beat, and it’s set to the rhythm of beach music. The downtown section of Ocean Drive continues to preserve the shag dancing days with lots of live music festivals and dance clubs where shaggers can dance the night away. Groups like the S.O.S. (Society of Stranders) hold regular gatherings along Ocean Drive to take a stroll down memory lane and help preserve the state dance.
North Myrtle Beach will use almost any excuse to throw a party, from the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and MayFest Music Festival in the spring to the Irish-Italian Festival and Endless Summer Festival in the fall. The Music on Main free concert series and Movies at McLean outdoor movie series run all summer long, but North Myrtle Beach residents and visitors really don’t need a reason or an organized event to have a good time.
The nine miles of oceanfront provide plenty of recreational opportunities for surfing, swimming, fishing and other watersports, and the Intracoastal Waterway gives anglers, boaters, jet-ski riders and parasailing enthusiasts lots of room to launch. The new North Myrtle Beach Sports and Recreation Complex features hiking and biking trails, a zipline and ropes course, a dog park, an outdoor amphitheater and ball fields on which to play. North Myrtle Beach is all about fun in the sun and dancing under the stars.
The Grand Strand golf boom may have began in Myrtle Beach, but resident to the north like to say it was perfected in North Myrtle Beach. The Surf Club was the third golf course to open on the Strand and it sparked the birth of seven more courses in the town over the ensuing years.
Foremost among North Myrtle Beach’s golf lineup is Barefoot Golf Resort, where four championship golf courses developed by famed architects/players Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Davis Love III and Greg Norman make Barefoot Resort a golfing paradise for players who prefer a high degree of difficulty in their courses. The Dye Course hosts the annual Hootie & The Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am that brings big-name golfers, actors, musicians and athletes to town and raises big bucks for local charities.
Other North Myrtle Beach courses include Arcadian Shores Azalea Sands, Beachwood, and Possum Trot, giving visitors and golfers plenty of places to chase the little white ball. North Myrtle Beach is also known as a haven for putt-putt golf with several creatively designed layouts around town. Hawaiian Rumble plays host to the US Open of Prominigolf and the Masters of Minigolf.
From Restaurant Row on the south end to the seafood restaurants of Ocean Drive and Cherry Grove on the north end, North Myrtle Beach is famous for its food and hospitality. Duffy Street Seafood Shack, Flynn’s Irish Tavern and Hoskins Family Diner are among the long-running eateries in downtown, while Restaurant Row boasts Bennett’s Calabash Buffet, Bimini’s Oyster Bar and Chestnut Hill.
Perhaps the best restaurant line up lies between the two far ends at Barefoot Landing, where Umberto’s Italian, the House of Blues, Flying Fish Market, Wild Wing Café and many more give guests lots of options for taking a break from the local shopping and entertainment scenes. Waterfront dining at 21 Main, Filet’s and Captain Poo’s make North Myrtle Beach a one-stop destination for all things dining.