North Myrtle Beach

For a taste of the old school, head to this sunny coastal city where you can hit the beach, dive into nature, or learn South Carolina’s state dance, The Shag.

North Myrtle Beach is a place that oozes old-time swagger, and where a 1940s dance is still the “in” thing. Follow the Atlantic coast past quirky neighborhoods, each emanating its own distinct character, to discover pumping entertainment, a rich African-American heritage, the natural beauty of the Intracoastal Waterway, and a host of family-friendly beaches. OK, we’re going to call it; there really is something for everyone.

Fancy adventure on the high seas? You got it. Looking for a game of golf? There are tons of courses to choose from. Want to bathe in natural beauty and spot some wildlife while you’re at it? You can do that too with a horseback ride or kayaking trip. Don’t forget that it’s also possible to dine in the same small-town restaurants as George Washington once did or even hop on a gambling boat.

Ocean Drive beats the drum for the region, the rhythm of its old-school music wafting out of the scores of dance clubs. This section of the beach, where Main Street meets the waterfront, is the home of The Shag, South Carolina’s jitterbug-like state dance. Even if you have two left feet, give it a go. Some of the iconic dance clubs in downtown offer free lessons; you just need to bring energy and enthusiasm.

Venture away from the booming entertainment hub for a totally different vibe. In Cherry Grove, you can wander down the 985-foot-long fishing pier, cast a line, and see what you haul in. Kayak along the Intracoastal Waterway or try a horseback ride to the lovely Waites Island.

Make your way to the nearby festival city of Atlantic Beach, which hosts events like the Atlantic Beach Jazz Festival and the Gullah Geechee Festival each summer. At the far end of the coastal region, Little River has a delightfully small-town vibe. Dine on fresh seafood in the waterfront restaurants, see what Lady Luck has in store on a gambling boat, or set off on a deep-sea fishing adventure.