North Myrtle Beach offers nine miles of beaches and includes the communities of Cherry Grove Beach, Ocean Drive Beach, Crescent Beach and Windy Hill. North Myrtle Beach may seem to hibernate during the winter months like a sleepy summer tourist town, but don’t count it out this time of year—take a trip to North Myrtle Beach and you’ll find yourself wanting to come back year-round.
North Myrtle Beach is the birthplace of the first dance of the rock ‘n’ roll revolution: the Shag. This dance resembles a six-count swing-step and is the official dance of South Carolina. The North Myrtle Beach Historical Museum features Shag history with a wooden dance floor, a juke box that spins 45s (that’s records, y’all!), and showcases Weejuns, the shagging shoe. Celebrate 72 years of shagging by visiting the “Shag & Vinyl Celebration” hosted by the museum and featuring author Bo Bryan of Shag: The Legendary Dance of the South in January. The museum is also home to historical maps and artifacts, cultural and iconic pieces such as a crescent moon cut-out replica, personal items belonging to Vanna White and showcases of marine life in the area. 799 Second Ave. N., North Myrtle Beach
Learn to shag. Fat Harold’s Beach Club offers free shag lessons on Tuesday nights from 7–8:30 p.m. This group lesson begins with a narrated history of the dance and how it evolved in the North Myrtle Beach area. Don’t have a partner? Don’t worry! Fat Harold’s is a dance club full of men and women willing to join any skill level of shagger on the dance floor. Fat Harold’s also offers lessons on Monday nights for $10 per person per week. 212 Main St., North Myrtle Beach
Take a seat at the Hot Diggity Diner, an establishment that takes you back in time. The walls host paintings and artwork featuring North Myrtle Beach and shagging throughout the years, with collages of historical photographs embedded in each table. They offer signature menu items like the “Outside In Burger,” a hamburger stuffed with Cheddar and Jack cheeses and bacon. Take on their Hot Diggity Challenge of hamburgers nestled between two grilled cheese sandwiches and surrounded by fries for a total of five pounds of food. Complete this meal in one hour and receive bragging rights, a T-shirt, a $10 gift certificate and your photograph on Facebook. 93 S. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach
If you’re interested in a casual fine dining atmosphere, make reservations at Joe’s Bar & Grill located in the Windy Hill section of North Myrtle Beach. Don’t let the name fool you, this establishment features continental cuisine including fresh, local seafood, escargot, veal, and lamb chops with fresh mint jelly. They also offer an extensive wine list with Happy Hour specials running 5–7 p.m. Enjoy a relaxing view of the nearby saltwater marsh while sipping an adult beverage on their Raccoon Cove Deck Bar, and catch a glimpse of raccoons enjoying a snack of their own along the marsh! Fireplaces with comfortable seating warm the outdoor area as well as the indoor bar. This will easily become one of your favorite palate pleasing places in the area. 810 Conway Street, North Myrtle Beach
Things to Do
Shop Main Street. Unique boutiques include Emmi Lu’s, which offers items perfect for any gift-giving occasion and boasts Southern charm, signs, jewelry and fun, monogrammed pens, cups and more. 214 Main St., North Myrtle Beach; Open in December and select days in January. Also check out Hope Taylor & Company, which offers fine furnishings, gifts, jewelry and home décor. Brand names include Brighton, Vera Bradley and Waterford. 312 Main St., North Myrtle Beach
If you’ve been avoiding Barefoot Landing because of crowds, the off-season is the perfect time to visit. Discover unique shopping such as Out of Africa (featuring distinctive African jewelry, masks and home décor) or Trickmaster Magic Shop to excite your inner child! 4898 Hwy 17 S., North Myrtle Beach
The average water and air temperatures peak around 55 degrees Fahrenheit this time of year. Grab a sweatshirt and enjoy the ocean views while combing the seashore for shells and shark’s teeth. Remember, dogs can accompany you to the beach too. There are plenty of beach accesses with free parking, and many offer public restrooms.
Visit Cherry Grove Pier. Built in the early 1950s and extending 985 feet into the ocean, Cherry Grove Pier offers a view spanning Little River to Myrtle Beach from a raised gazebo or through a 25 cent telescope viewer. Fish the pier for $2 a day, rent or bring your own equipment. 3500 N. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach
Inlet Point Plantation Stables offers trail rides through area fields, forests, salt water marshes and on the beach. All ages and skill levels can be accommodated. One hour rides $100; one and one half hour rides $125. http://www.inletpointplantation.com/
Visit North Myrtle Beach and you’ll discover there are no tourists, just visitors.
Did you know?
•North Myrtle Beach is home to television personality Vanna White (see more on page 88).
•Shagger’s S.C. Hall of Fame pavers line Main Street. See how many you can find.
•A world record tiger shark, weighing 1780 pounds and measuring approximately 20 feet in length, was caught on Cherry Grove Pier in 1964 by Walter Maxwell of Charlotte. It is the only all-tackle world record ever caught in South Carolina.
•North Myrtle Beach is home to a small-scale wind turbine beside the Towers on the Grove at 2108 N. Ocean Blvd. It is part of the Palmetto Wind Research Project led by Santee Cooper and Coastal Carolina University.
•The Shagger’s Hall of Fame Museum is located at Ocean Drive Beach & Golf Resort. 98 N. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach
•Parts of Shag: The Movie (1989) were filmed in North Myrtle Beach