On the Right Trail

December 2022
Written By: 
Pete Banko
Photographs by: 
courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

A new way to embrace the local art scene

Broadway at the Beach partnered with The Hangout Restaurant to create Illumination Park: An Art Experience at The Hangout, at Broadway at the Beach.

From the outside, the Grand Strand might be a region best known for its beaches, seafood, and golf resorts, but there is also a vibrant arts scene. Visit Myrtle Beach recently launched its Arts & Gallery Trail to ensure those local treasures get the appreciation they deserve.

The digital trail offers guests a new way to explore the destination’s 14 communities and 60 miles of coastline. In collaboration with the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum and The Arts Grand Strand, the Myrtle Beach Arts & Gallery Trail features more than 100 attractions, studios, murals, sculptures, and more.

“We launched this trail to showcase the overwhelming amount of art that we have here at the beach. We’ve found that many people aren’t fully aware of just how much great artwork and artistic talent exists here, and we wanted to find a way to begin to change that,” says Chris Mowder, associate creative director for Visit Myrtle Beach. “The trail was born out of a desire, both within our organization and for me, personally, to become more involved in the local arts community. I figured, what better way to get more involved than to simply set out, as a visitor would, to explore everything the arts scene had to offer.”

The trail allows participants to get a look at the destination’s cultural scene, from hidden gems and secret underground passages filled with art, to popular staples, like the award-winning Brookgreen Gardens, which features the largest collection of figurative sculpture in the U.S. The trail also features awe-inspiring oceanfront sculptures, enormous alleyway murals, and micro galleries–all of which dot the region.

(Left) This mural in Conway is part of the Arts & Gallery Trail; (Right) Goddess of the Sea is a sculpture by Kristen Visbal at Plyler Park in Myrtle Beach.

“We are so proud to work with local artists and arts organizations throughout our community to help bring the Myrtle Beach Arts & Gallery Trail to life,” says Karen Riordan, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The Myrtle Beach Arts & Gallery Trail will inspire people to explore our ever-evolving destination and dynamic community at the Beach and beyond.”

The trail stretches from Little River and North Myrtle Beach to Georgetown–stopping in many of the Grand Strand's lesser-known areas, such as historic downtown Conway, the quaint “Little Golden Town” of Aynor, and the newly minted Arts & Innovation District–along the way. To participate in the trail, guests can sign up for a free digital pass and check in to stops to earn points. Points can be redeemed for a variety of prizes for children and adults, such as a commemorative print from the inaugural Myrtle Beach Arts & Gallery Trail featured artist Asher Robinson, T-shirts, and even a free arts trip for visitors to return and visit the best the local arts scene has to offer.

“There are so many passionate artists in the Myrtle Beach area, and it’s an honor to help share their stories and promote their work through the Arts & Gallery Trail,” explains Patricia Goodwin, executive director of the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. “I hope visitors and residents take time to explore the trail, learn more about the stories of our local artists, and experience the diverse arts community Myrtle Beach has to offer.”  

For more information on the Myrtle Beach Arts & Gallery Trail, visit www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/artstrail.