Waterfront dining doesn't have to be beachside. For all the oceanfront dining along the Grand Strand offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, there are some lesser known but equally beautiful Myrtle Beach restaurants along the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway.
The 3,000-mile Intracoastal Waterway, which runs along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast from New Jersey to Texas, enters the Grand Strand at the Carolina border in the fishing village of Little River. Running parallel to the coast, the Waterway merges with the Waccamaw River and numerous creeks and tributaries as it passes through the Lowcountry en route to its return to the ocean waters in Georgetown's Winyah Bay.
Built primarily to accommodate the shipping industry, the Waterway serves as a center for recreation, watersports and restaurants with beautiful scenery. Its inland location offers better views of sunset than the oceanfront, and the bypassing ships and yachts provide the perfect setting for a romantic meal for two or a festive night out with friends. In fact, those with boats can tie up at the docks for a floating pub and grub crawl down the Waterway. Here are our top 10 stops on the Intracoastal Waterway:
Anchor Cafe: Located at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, this fine dining restaurant offers excellent views of the yachts sailing up and down the Waterway along with award-winning cuisine.
The Boathouse: Although better known for its outdoor concerts where patrons arrive by boat and by land, the Boathouse also serves some outstanding grub, particularly the wings and burgers. Catch a free concert on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.
Captain Poo's: Located on the North Strand near Little River, this restaurant and bar is home to good times for those with and without boats. Fresh seafood and cold beer are the top sellers.
Dynamite's at Dock Holliday's: Boaters dock directly on the outdoor patio deck and live music is usually playing outside to create a festive, tropical atmosphere. Landlubbers can park at Dock Holliday's Marina and stroll to the end of the dock.
Fibber's on the Water: Located on the historic Little River waterfront, this seafood restaurant gets its fresh catch of the day delivered directly from the adjoining docks. The outdoor deck offers excellent views of the fishing boats returning from a day at sea
Filet's: Most Waterway restaurants are known for their seafood, but this place is for those with a taste for some land food. Excellent cuts of beef highlight a diverse menu. Located beneath the Little River Swing Bridge, the views are outstanding.
Greg Norman's Australian Grille: The famous golfer has also developed a reputation for fine dining since opening this international restaurant across the Waterway from his course at Barefoot Landing. An extensive menu and wine list compliment a lovely view.
K-Raes Waterway Bar & Grill: Located at the Wacca Wache Marina in Murrells Inlet, this hot spot is popular among boaters and locals. Daily specials include Corned Beef Reuben Mondays, Burger Thursdays and Fish-and-Chips Fridays. The outdoor deck becomes party central at night with live music and festive crowds.
River City Cafe (Socastee): This local chain serves some of the best burgers on the Strand, and this particular store offers a lovely view to match. Situated by the Socastee Swing Bridge, guests can enjoy the nice view from the outdoor deck.
Waterway House Sports & Spirits: This Restaurant Row newcomer bills itself as a sports bar, but the good food and views also make it a great place for dinner and relaxing. Where else can you catch the big game while also taking in a scenic view of the Waterway?