The 60-mile stretch of Carolina coastline that surrounds Myrtle Beach is more than just a great place for a relaxing vacation. The Grand Strand is also one of America's favorite playgrounds, featuring a wide, white-sand sandbox and a super-sized swimming pool known as the Atlantic Ocean. It's as if nature made the perfect destination for visitors to stay and play.
Vacationers come from far and wide to enjoy all the attractions, shopping, dining, golf and everything else Myrtle Beach has to offer, but the main draw is the beach. To maximize your fun in the sun, surf and sand, pick up a few toys and games for some family fun and friendly competition on the beach. Here are 10 of our favorite beach toys and games to enjoy.
Bocce: This game dates back to ancient Rome and is usually played on a grass lawn. But the packed-down sand below the high tide line also makes great grounds for bocce, which involves rolling large balls as close as possible to a target smaller ball, also called the “pill.” Bocce is a good team competition featuring up to eight players, making it ideal for families and larger groups.
Skimboard: Extreme sports fans can try their hands (or feet) at this leisure activity, which is a lot like skateboarding on water. Skimboarding sees riders get a running start before jumping on and skidding through the surf. Skimboards also come in handy for body surfing in the waves.
Cornhole: If you've ever been to a tailgate party, you've likely seen this wildly popular game in action. It's basically a new version of the bean-bag toss, with teams taking turns aiming at a hole in a cornhole board. This is a good way to make new friends, as lots of folks are always up for a game of cornhole.
Football: There's nothing like tossing around the ol' pigskin on the beach. Whether it's a Nerf ball or the real thing, you only need two participants to get the game started, and you may be surprised by how quickly you can put together a pick-up game. Playing football on the beach brings new meaning to the term “go deep.”
Frisbee: Who knew a plastic disc could become such a staple for sports on the beach. Two people can toss a Frisbee just for kicks, or you can organize a game of Frisbee football, Frisbee golf or even Frisbee water polo. Be careful throwing the Frisbee over the ocean, though — if it turns upside down and fills up with water, it can sink and quickly be out of sight.
Kite: The ocean breeze makes this a popular pastime on the beach, and the new line of sturdy beach kites makes it even more fun to fly the friendly skies. Two-handed trick kites are the latest trend, and it takes little practice time to become a pro. Old-fashioned kites work just as well and can be found at local beachwear stores.
Ladder Ball: This game involves tossing “bolos” (two balls attached by a string) at rungs on a ladder in hopes of racking up the highest score. The beach is perfect for this game since you can bury the base of the ladders in the sand for a sturdier target. The wind is also a variable that adds to the degree of difficulty.
Myrtle Ball: Yes, Myrtle Beach has its own namesake game. Featuring beach buckets that are buried up to the brim in the sand, Myrtle Ball involves players rolling the balls at the targets in hopes of hitting the bottom of the cup. If it sounds a lot like beach golf, that's because it is.
Shovel/Pail: Keep kids entertained for hours with these traditional beach toys. Perfect for building sand castles or digging for buried treasure, the simple shovel and pail can occupy a lot of the little ones’ beach time and spark their imagination.
Surfboard: This might seem a bit ambitious for first-timers, but many aspiring surfers can stand up on the board the first day they try the popular water sport. Even if you can't hang ten on your first day, spending time on the waves with a surfboard is a great way to connect with nature and a wonderful workout.
After a fun day of play, head back to your room at the Paradise Resort to relax and recover. After all, a day at the beach on the Grand Strand is all fun and games.