Myrtle Beach visitors used to buy postcards to send to friends and show off the beauty of the Grand Strand. These days, armed only with a smartphone and a sense of adventure, vacationers can shoot their own photos from some of the most scenic spots on the Carolina coast. Fill your vacation photo gallery and your need for exploration by taking in these six must-see views in the Myrtle Beach area:
Brookgreen Gardens: One of the prettiest places on the planet is located about 15 miles south of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet, and it offers guests a wide selection of scenic views. Built on a former rice plantation, the East Coast's oldest and largest botanical sculpture garden encompasses 9,000 acres of harmony between art and nature. Admire the amazing sculptures and blooming flowers in the spacious gardens, or check out the natural beauty with a boat ride through the swamps and tidal creeks of the Lowcountry.
Helicopter Ride: There's no better way to see the Grand Strand and all its glory than from the window seat of a whirlybird. Two local helicopter tour operators, Helicopter Adventures at Broadway at the Beach and OceanFront Helicopters near Market Common, offer tours over the Atlantic Ocean and other scenic spots along the Grand Strand’s 60-mile stretch of Carolina coastline. Both offer $20 introductory rides, which are short hops to give you a small taste, but longer tours are available.
Murrells Inlet MarshWalk/Veterans Pier: Most visitors come for the seafood, but they stay for the view. Located along the shores of Murrells Inlet, this wooden walkway leads to some of the best seafood restaurants and waterfront watering holes on the Strand. Enjoy a hot meal and cold drinks while looking out over the inlet as fishing boats return from a long day at sea to deliver their fresh catches to the surrounding restaurants. The setting sun serves as a lovely backdrop for a fun night out for dinner, drinks and live music. For a more peaceful view, stroll out to the end of Veterans Pier and soak up the scenery.
Myrtle Beach SkyWheel: The focal point of the Myrtle Beach skyline also happens to offer the best view in the downtown district. The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel is a modern-day Ferris wheel that carries passengers 190 feet above the ground for spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city. These air-conditioned, glass-enclosed gondolas allow visitors to see the Strand like never before, and the special anti-reflective glass lets patrons take great photos through the windows.
Offshore: Most guests only see the Atlantic Ocean from the beach, but the opposite view is a nice one too if you have access to a boat. From just a few miles offshore, the Myrtle Beach oceanfront looks like a tiny speck of high-rise hotels and barely visible neon lights. Boat tours, parasailing, ocean kayaking and jet skiing also offer similar views, giving guests a unique perspective by escaping the mainland.
State Parks: The Grand Strand is blessed with two oceanfront state parks that have preserved the maritime forests and pristine wetlands of the coast. Myrtle Beach State Park on the south side of town features the Sculptured Oak Nature Trail that leads through the woods to the sea, and the view off the fishing pier provides a perfect vista of the crescent-shaped coastline. Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet offers views of Lowcountry swamps and salt marshes, and the park’s Atalaya Castle gives visitors a fairy-tale vision on the shoreline.
If you can’t make it to these beautiful vantage points, the top floor of The Breakers’ towers offers another breathtaking spot to take a memorable vacation photo. It’s just one more reason to make The Breakers Myrtle Beach Resort your place to stay and see the beauty of the Grand Strand.