There’s nothing like getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city to treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation elsewhere. Nestled just under half an hour south of Myrtle Beach is Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. This town is the perfect coastal getaway for someone who prefers a quieter vibe with still plenty to do. Loaded with delicious Southern restaurants, local shops, beaches, nature destinations, and waterfront restaurants with live bands and dancing, this destination is a fun, laid-back getaway any time of the year. Read on to learn more about Murrells Inlet and to plan your weekend there.
About the city
Murrells Inlet is one of the oldest coastal communities in the state. It is located on the southern part of the “Great Stranda 60-mile stretch of the Carolina coast from Brunswick County to Georgetown County. Murrells Inlet is known as the seafood capital of South Carolina, and the seafood and fishing-centric lifestyle here dates back to 1731 when it was founded by English settler John Morrall, who, according to historians, is the namesake of the city. At the time, this convenient coastal location made it an essential port for transporting various commodities to the northern colonies and Britain.
The place was also known to be a hangout for pirates, where Blackbeard, Drunken Jack and others would stop from time to time. As the years passed and the land became more developed, this area grew from a small village to the fun destination it is today. Besides being a historic fishing village, Murrells Inlet is known for its ghost stories, delicious silent puppies served at every meal, coastal vibes, numerous golf courses, Carolina Palmetto trees and friendly neighbors.
There is always something to do here and the winter months are mild. Visiting during the shoulder seasons means guests can enjoy all there is to do without the southern humidity. Murrells Inlet is about a half hour drive from the Myrtle Beach airport. A direct flight to Myrtle Beach from Newark takes approximately 90 minutes. The drive from North Jersey to Murrells Inlet takes approximately 10 hours.
What to do
Brookgreen Gardens | 1931 Brookgreen Garden Drive
Brookgreen Gardens has a lot to offer: botanical gardens, sculptures, a small zoo, and it’s listed as a National Historic Landmark in addition to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is known as a cultural hub for the community, with new events and exhibits for each season. The vibes are amazing here and the variety of Southern flowers are stunning.
Garden City Pier + Beach | South Waccamaw Parkway
Garden City is the closest beach to Murrells Inlet, with five miles of white sand beaches. The waterfront is lined with colorful coastal homes and the beaches are teeming with seashells. Animal lovers can bring their dogs for walks on the beach. Besides the beach itself, the area surrounding the pier has several local spots for coffee, boardwalk-style food, souvenirs, and more. Upstairs on the pier, visitors will find a large archway to shield themselves from the sun for a bit, and there is the option to walk to the end and enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean outside.
Huntington Beach State Park | 16148 ocean highway
Another beach option is Huntington Beach State Park, which is also a campground and a National Historic Landmark. There are three miles of beach and over 2,500 acres of land to explore in this state park, with tons of wildlife to see. Many species of birds frequent the beach here, as well as alligators, turtles, and other species native to the area. The views of South Carolina nature here will not disappoint.
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Mini golf | Various locations
(Photo credit: @gilligansminigolf)
If there’s one thing Murrells Inlet doesn’t lack, it’s golf courses, and that includes mini-golf. AT Gilligan’s Island, located at 3215 US-17 Business, golfers can choose from two different 18-hole courses and are surrounded by bright blue water and palm trees. Inlet Adventure, located at 3009 South US-17 Business, is another tropical paradise and features an on-site ice cream shop for the ultimate beach fun.
Murrells Inlet Swamp Walk | 4025 Highway 17 Business
The Marshwalk is Murrells Inlet’s highest point, for good reason. There are nine waterfront dining options to choose from, all with views of the marsh that leads down to the bay. Fun fact: in spring and summer there is an island right next to the swamp which is home to goats, the locals call it “goat island”.
There’s always something to do here, with a promenade to connect it all. During the day, choose between brunch on the water and shop for designer clothes from local restaurants during the day. At night, visitors can dance to local bands, dine al fresco, and more.
The Marshwalk is also the starting point for several excursions, including a beer boat, jet skis, fishing charters, and more.
what to eat
Costa Coast Kitchen + Bar | (Attached to Inlet Sports Lodge) 4606 US-17 Business
(Photo credit: @costamurrells)
Costa is an Italian restaurant with a coastal flair (hence the name). The place has a laid-back vibe that can also be romantic, making it a good spot for any occasion. The menu consists of coastal Italian fusion, with plates like crab cakes, calamari and clams for starters. Main courses have options like chicken or veal saltimbocca on the land side and pan seared dive scallops on the sea side from the menu.
dead dog show | 4079 US-17 Business
(Photo credit: @deaddogsaloon)
Dead Dog is a typical Southern food spot known for its bar and live music. The outdoor patio offers stunning views of the marsh, in addition to ample indoor seating. On the menu, patrons will find pub specialties such as mac and cheese bites, wings and mini cheesesteaks, as well as rotating draft beers and signature cocktails.
hot fish club | 4911 US-17 Business
Almost every bar and restaurant in Murrells Inlet hosts live music, and the Hot Fish Club is no exception. Formerly called the Hot and Hot Fish Club, this restaurant dates back to the 1700s, making it the oldest in the area. The menu here is huge and full of seafood – blue crab dip, lobster pie, a hot fish platter and seafood steamers to name a few.
J. Peters Grill | 4037 US-17 Business
Peters has a good full menu. The meal begins with honey-butter croissants delivered to the table. The salads that come with the entrees are delicious, topped with eggs, bacon bits, etc. Consider trying the Blackened Chicken Alfredo with broccoli, tomatoes and grated Parmesan for a non-seafood option, or seafood dishes like fried flounder or fresh Atlantic salmon.
Luna Mexican Bar + Grill | 4450 Highway 17 North Bypass
(Photo credit: @mexdelcorazon)
Luna is a casual restaurant that sits away from the busier Marshwalk area. The eclectic decor matches the vibe and the menu includes typical Mexican dishes. Fries with various salsas are a good starter, and entrees include fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, carne asada, and more. The guacamole is prepared at the table, and the bartenders have perfected the margarita, which is handmade with freshly squeezed lime juice.
The Champions Pub at TPC Myrtle Beach | 1199 TPC Blvd.
This casual restaurant is part of the TPC Myrtle Beach Golf Course, and it’s a great spot for breakfast, lunch, and happy hour. Guests can enjoy Margarita Mondays, Wine Wednesdays, and a sports game on multiple TVs. The pub overlooks the 18th hole of the golf course making it a pub with a view. The Pub is open to customers with or without departure on the course.
Wahoo’s Fish House | 3993 US-17 Business
(Photo credit: @wahoosmurrellsinlet)
Wahoo’s menu highlights fresh South Carolina seafood, which guests can enjoy during a sit-down dinner while watching local bands play. In addition to the featured fresh catch selections, there are also Fried Shrimp, Bourbon BBQ Mahi, Shrimp and Grits, and more. The drink menu is endless, from specialty cocktails like Wahoo’s Lemonade and Strawberry Lemon Drop to do-it-yourself mules, daiquiris, beer, and wine.
Entrance square mall | 12125 US Highway 17 South Bypass
Inlet Square Mall is made up of many local stores. It’s good for a day of shopping if the weather is uncertain or you forgot your bathing suit. Choose from stores like Captain Murrells Antiques and Uniques, Moon Beach Studio, Ally’s Art House, and more.
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Jaws Resort Apparel | 3055 US-17 Business
(Photo credit: @jawsresortwear)
The Jaws name does not come from just anywhere. Shoppers can see live baby sharks here while browsing memorabilia, and the selection is endless. Shop for clothes, glasses, keychains and literally anything you can think of here.
Lazy Alligator Gifts | 3986 US-17 Business
(Photo credit: @lazygatorgifts)
Lazy Gator is a popular local spot, and it’s the only place that exclusively carries Murrells Inlet branded products. It has an upscale vibe, with an entire section of coastal decor, gifts, art, and garden accessories. The store offers jewelry, mugs and mugs, clothing, Christmas decorations, stickers, seashells, fudge and more.
Southern Splendor | 4640 US Highway 17 South Bypass
(Photo credit: @southernsplendor1)
Southern Splendor is a quaint local store with a coastal vibe. The store offers charming Southern merchandise, including home decor. Here, shoppers can find gifts with various South Carolina town names, including Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, as well as candles, cookware, pillows, and more.
The bookworm | 10799 SC-707, Unit 17
(Photo credit: @thebookworm.mb)
The Bookworm is a local second-hand bookstore that’s a favorite in the Myrtle Beach area. Books are offered at 50% – 75% off the original cover price. The store carries over 25,000 books and offers store credit for bringing in your used books. Some of the fun aspects of this place include a $1 book section, a shelf of recommendations for customers and staff, a “blind date with a book” section, and book-themed giveaways. .