When you’re in South Carolina, there are few destinations as scenic and memorable as North Myrtle Beach. This city is part of the 60-mile Grand Strand of Atlantic beaches, where you don’t have to go far to find fun and exciting things to do. Settle into your North Myrtle Beach vacation rental, then head out to enjoy some of the best attractions in the area. Consider adding these attractions to your South Carolina itinerary.

1. Alligator Adventure

Alligator Adventure is one of the largest reptile facilities in the world. In addition to many alligators, you’ll see crocodiles, frogs, hyenas, turtles, and unique birds such as the Eurasian eagle owl. Be sure to stop and say hello to Bob, a female alligator born without a tail, then slither your way into the amphitheater for an informative snake Q&A session.

2. Cherry Grove Fishing Pier

This rebuilt 1950s pier is a great place for some saltwater fishing and sightseeing from the two-story observation deck. After a full day on the pier, enjoy a shrimp taco or a burger and a cold drink in the nearby restaurant.

3. T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station

Prepare to fall in love with the animals at T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station. Connect with wildlife as you experience hands-on encounters with big cats, apes, elephants, and birds as well as sweet llamas, mysterious wolves, and the sweet-smelling binturong, a bearcat.

4. Broadway Amusement Park

Broadway Amusement Park is three parks in one and an exciting place for your entire family to spend the day. Younger kids love to ride the train around West Park, take a spin on the turtle coaster, or hop on a frog. Adventurous members of your family will enjoy being flipped, spun, twisted, tossed and dropped on the roller coaster and classic thrill rides such as The Rocket. On Tuesdays and Fridays, stay into the evening for a spectacular fireworks display.

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5. Glass Bottom Kayak Tours

Sign up for the Glass Bottom Waties Island Shelling Tour. On this exciting tour, your kayak glides through the marshes of Cherry Grove before arriving at a private island where you can search for shells and relax on the open beach. The relaxing Waccamaw River Tour meanders through a peaceful nature preserve and the Cherry Grove Salt Marsh expedition.

6. Barefoot Landing

Shop till you drop at Barefoot Landing, a quaint Southern shopping village where you can find treasures at local boutiques such as Candy Mike’s and the Coastal Wine Boutique. Enjoy the bounty of delicious foods, such as homemade fudge, big, fat, hot-from-the-oven pretzels, pizza, and barbecue. Enjoy more sophisticated offerings from Dick’s Last Resort and TBonz Gill and Grill. Catch a live musical performance at the House of Blues or the Alabama Theater, or cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway aboard the Barefoot Princess Riverboat. From June through November, enjoy the spectacular firework show in the evening.

7. NASCAR Racing Experience

Hang on to your hat as you lap three times around the NASCAR racetrack in an official pace car that’s fast enough to give you a thrill but safe for all ages. You can ride along with an experienced driver at top speeds or drive a real NASCAR racing machine for a five-minute timed session all by yourself. The adventurous members of your family will love this fabulous racing experience.

8. Nightmare Haunted House

Take the ultimate terrifying tour through the Zombie Zone, where you are what they eat. You can run, but you can’t hide, as the raspy grunts and twisted moans clutch at your heart. This attraction is popular with visitors and locals who love passing in and out of the darkness, shivering with horror as they anticipate what awaits them above or below.

9. Hipster XL Waterslide

Combine the best of a North Myrtle beach experience and an exhilarating water park adventure at the Hipster XL. The huge Hipster sits directly on the white-sand beach and offers a breathtaking 175-foot long chute that is fun and safe for all ages.

10. Heritage Shores Nature Preserve

This beautiful nature preserve sits on an island in Cherry Grove Marsh and is home to shore birds, wildlife, fish, and native plants. Along the 7-miles of walking paths, stop for lunch at one of the picturesque picnic spots and keep your eyes open for osprey, blue heron, great egrets, and pelicans. Fishing enthusiasts enjoy the pier at Hog Inlet, where Atlantic croaker, striped mullet, and winter flounder wait to flirt with your bait. Don’t be surprised if the resident bottlenose dolphin gives you a nod as he swims by in this pool.

11. Radical Ropes Adventure Park

Challenge yourself and family members on the obstacle course in Radical Ropes Adventure Park. Three levels that climb 55 feet skyward accommodate climbers of all skill levels. Soar above the treetops and experience fantastic views of the ocean on an adrenaline-pumping zipline adventure.

12. Mirror Maze USA

Have some fun as you attempt to find your way out of the amazing mirror and LED-lighted labyrinth at Mirror Maze USA. Add some 3D glasses into the mix to increase the difficulty. Your ticket includes unlimited visits for the day, so you can leave for lunch and return to solve the puzzle again.

13. Interactive Shrimp Adventure Cruise

Jump on the Hurricane Fleet, and take a cruise right to the middle of Calabash, the ‘Seafood Capital of the World.’ Your 90-foot boat pulls up alongside a working shrimp boat while you observe the harvest. Watch the live catch, including shrimp, crabs, sand dollars, sea urchins, and starfish, scuttle across the deck before returning to their watery home. Curious porpoises and hungry sharks jump near your boat hoping for the occasional snack, so keep an eye out for them.

14. Bird Island

Accessible across the Intracoastal Waterway on foot or by pontoon, the beautiful Bird Island preserve has 1,500 acres of undeveloped habitat for native wildlife and rare species. While you are there, stop at the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, an incredible space that was spared from development thanks to letters written by locals to developers.

15. Museum of Coastal Carolina

Have some fun in the touch tank exhibits as you interact with sea stars, whelks, sea anemones, and hermit crabs. Walk through an amazing life-size seascape diorama as models of shark, dolphins, and sea turtles move alongside, and learn about the diverse plants and animals that live in the Green Swamp, barrier islands, and coastal plain.

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