Editor’s Note: Many of you have asked me to write more about Myrtle Beach… so here you go!
Do you like to shop on vacation? Because even though Myrtle Beach looks like this, it’s okay not to want to go to the beach EVERY day:
Doesn’t it stand to reason that most people are drawn to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for one thing? And that this one thing isn’t to go shopping?
Ah yes, there’s that little thing called the Atlantic Ocean. Throw in some fine weather, fabulous places to stay and lots of things to do, and you have yourself what is most definitely a favorite family beach destination.
What if you don’t want to spend every day of your beach week actually on the beach? Yes, there are lots of golf courses, both miniature and major, as well as amusement parks, and tourist centers with plenty of places to eat pizza and ice cream, and get henna tattoos and hair braided. Good, clean family fun is the name of the game in these parts, and there is nothing the matter with that.
But, how about if you don’t want to do just that? Where are the best places to go shopping in Myrtle Beach? Where are the best places to go to get some retail action that doesn’t involve going anywhere near one of those beachwear shops located on every corner?
Well here are some of my personal favorite shopping destinations. And a word of advice? All tourists go shopping on rainy days, and it can get a little crazy out there on the streets. I advise not to wait for a rainy day to get your toes out of the sand and into some real shoes. (Fortunately, flip-flops pretty much always constitute real shoes around here, but there are some nice places to buy a pair to take home with you.)
1. Market Common: Located on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base this lifestyle live/work/play center features favorite large upscale retailers such as William Sonoma and Anthropologie, in addition to many small specialty boutiques. Nice and compact with lovely outdoor spaces, diverse dining choices and a movie theater at its center, Market Common is the perfect shopping destination for anyone looking to make a day of it. Frankly, on hot days it’s nice to be able to wander in and out between sun and airconditioning. (I’m still a little miffed that Barnes and Noble moved there, but I’m getting over it.)
2. Studio 77, 5001 N. Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach. Eclectic, fun and convenient for anyone staying in Myrtle Beach, Studio 77 is the gift shop to beat all gift shops. I can always find something for everyone on my list, including too many things for myself, which is why I don’t go as often as I would like! What’s a Travel Belle not to love about a place where you can find elegant wedding gifts, super soft pajamas, and quirky travel accessories all in one lovely shop of wonderfulness?
3. Tanger Outlet Centers: Route 501 or Highway 17. Yes, the Myrtle Beach area is blessed with plural outlet malls. Tons of great stores, but highlights include Kate Spade (Highway 17), BCBGMAXAZRIA (both locations) and Converse (Highway 17.)
4. Pawleys Island, SC: Pawleys Island is always worth a trip, even if you don’t plan on laying eyes upon the Atlantic. First up is The Hammock Shops located on the east side of Highway 17. Nestled among the live oaks is the home of Pawleys Island Original Hammock Shop, as well as lots of specialty boutiques. Not to be missed is Island Shoes, which alone can make my 40-minute drive from Myrtle Beach worth it. Pawleys Island is also home to many delightful very un-stripmallish, strip malls with dozens of specialty boutiques, which seem to come and go over the years. A longtime local favorite is Taz, a women’s clothing boutique, located at 11270-A Ocean Highway.
5. La Plage Swimwear, 2304 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach: La Plage Swimwear is quite simply the best place to buy a bathing suit in Myrtle Beach, perhaps even anywhere. The store is owned by local swimsuit designer, Tarra Grinna. Besides featuring her entire line of swimwear, the store is packed to the brim with swimsuits and accessories from other major swimsuit lines. Besides the huge selection, the most unbelievable aspect of visiting this store is the lighting in the dressing rooms is actually flattering!
6. Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing: These two major tourist-centric shopping centers in the area are hard to miss. Broadway at the Beach is located in Myrtle Beach and Barefoot Landing is located in North Myrtle Beach. More than likely you will already find yourself at one of these locations as part of the throng of frolicking, sunburnt masses.
A disproportionately high number of fudge and ice cream shops compared to the shopping landscape at large in the United States is to be found at both shopping spots, but isn’t that what makes a beach vacation? Just be sure not to miss any of the sweet tooth action at River Street Sweets of Savannah, located at both locations.
In addition, if you keep your eyes open at Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing, you will find some shopping gems that are well worth leaving your family left on their own to wander around for a bit. Two of my favorites are Tango Bay Clothing (both locations) and The Birkenstock Store which for a small shop has a remarkable array of brands and styles of comfort and walking shoes (Broadway location.)
My last piece of advice: Keep your eye out for Sasee Magazine, which is distributed for free at many businesses along the Grand Strand. Serious shoppers who are visiting the area will not want to miss this beautiful publication that features all the latest hot spots on the Myrtle Beach shopping scene along with some great writing!
* In case you are wondering, the writer was not compensated for this article in any way.