M Y R T L E
B E A C H
M Y R T L E
B E A C H
Fun and GAMES
yrtle Beach is the destination that your youth and student travelers have been looking for. Sixty miles of sandy shoreline should be enough to excite any group of young travelers. But in the cities of the Grand Strand area, the beach is only the beginning. The popularity of Myrtle Beach and nearby communities has led to the creation of a tourism mecca with amusement, entertainment, shopping and outdoor thrills to keep groups busy for days. Educators, youth leaders and others planning trips for young people will find various ways to make the most of the Myrtle Beach bounty. Nature, history and science abound in attractions throughout the area, giving trip organizers a wide menu of educational opportunities for their groups. And the wealth of coastal areas and marshland habitats make for plenty of ways to enjoy a day exploring the great outdoors. Manmade elements enhance the fun throughout the destination. Marquee attractions and amusement areas around town offer plenty of ways for young travelers to let loose and enjoy some high-energy thrills. And theater and entertainment venues throughout the area provide shows as well as backstage programs and performance opportunities for groups. Peruse the pages of this magazine to get some ideas for your next youth and student group trip to Myrtle Beach. To make plans for your visit, contact Sandy Haines, group tour sales manager at the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, at 800-488-8998 OR
PUBLISHED BY THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER INC 301 East High Street Lexington, Kentucky 40507 888-253-0455 | www.grouptravelleader.com MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
M Y R T L E
B E A C H
Student Guide STUDENT GROUP RESTAURANTS
ANGELO’S STEAK & PASTA
GIANT CRAB SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
THE ORIGINAL BENJAMIN’S CALABASH SEAFOOD
9 5 97 N O R TH K I N G S H I G H WAY
9593 N O R T H K I N G S H I G H WAY
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Giant Crab offers over 170 items with a steam bar, Italian pasta station, fresh seafood, carving station with steaks cooked to order, soup, salad, Lowcountry favorites, Hibachi grill, dessert and kids bars. We offer competitive group rates, motorcoach parking and a meet and greet program.
843- 4 49 - 0821 The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood is the largest restaurant in Myrtle Beach; it features 1,000 seats, 11 dining rooms and the largest collection of nautical antiques in the Southeast. Shrimp and grits, blackened grouper and tomato pie are just a few of the savory Southern-style options available at our famous buffet.
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HARD ROCK CAFÉ MYRTLE BEACH
THORNY’S 60 0 S O U T H K I N G S H I G H WAY
843- 626 -280 0 Welcome to Angelo’s Steak & Pasta, home of “The Greatest Steaks in the Universe” and the Grand Strand’s finest all-you-can-eat Italian buffet. All of our entrees and buffet are authentic family Italian recipes with our own personal touch. Individual dining rooms for large groups available.
843- 946 - 0 0 07 After a day of exploring one of South Carolina’s great seaside gems, step inside the uniquely stylish NEW! Hard Rock Café. Our cuisine is All-American and features a wide variety of burgers, steaks and seafood along with fresh salads and delicious comfort foods such as Twisted Mac & Cheese with Chicken.
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843- 4 48 -2333 Located in downtown Myrtle Beach, Thorny’s is the city’s top restaurant destination for food, sports and fun! With more than 50 televisions and satellite entertainment, mouth-watering appetizers and award-winning entrees, it’s the perfect place for your students to eat during a trip to Myrtle Beach. The menu features burgers, ribs, steaks and seafood, as well as great options for kids and craft beers for adults.
M Y R T L E - B E AC H
W W W.T H O R N YS .C O M
2311 S . K I N G S H I G H WAY
DAVE & BUSTER’S 1322 C E L E B R I T Y C I R C L E
843- 945 -350 0 Dave & Buster’s in the ultimate combination of Food and Fun! The food is always fresh and there’s always something new! From wings to New York strips, we’ve got it all. While dining, your group can also enjoy playing hundreds of state-of-the-art games or watch sports on tons of massive HDTVS. W W W. DAV E A N D B U S T E R S .C O M / L O C AT I O N S / M Y R T L E - B E AC H
1318 C E L E B R I T Y C I R C L E
MEDIEVAL TIMES DINNER & TOURNAMENT 290 4 FA N TA S Y WAY
888 -W E - J O U S T Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament transports guests to 11th-century Spain with a gripping live performance of sword fighting and jousting. Guests feast on garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes, the pastry of the Castle, coffee and two rounds of select beverages.
ULTIMATE CALIFORNIA PIZZA GAME ZONE 959 L A K E A R R O W H E A D R OA D
843- 4 49 -1160 Enjoy our high-energy games, then settle down for some of the best gourmet pizza the beach has to offer. Our menu offers a wide selection of specialty pizzas, build-your-own pizzas, fresh salads and sandwiches. We offer a buffet package for groups of 25 guests or more. W W W.U C P G A M E Z O N E .C O M
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Waves OF fun BY MOLLY PHILLIPS
or students of all ages, Myrtle Beach offers much more than powdery sand and salt-water-drenched memories. The Grand Strand’s 60-mile stretch of beaches is teeming with culture and entertainment. With exciting attractions around every bend in the road, youth and student groups of all ages and sizes will find a trip to Myrtle Beach to be the experience of a lifetime, whether they’re riding waves at a water park or racing at full throttle on a larger-than-life go-kart track.
OCEANFRONT BOARDWALK AND SK Y WHEEL
Students can reach new heights at Myrtle Beach’s Oceanfront Boardwalk and Skywheel, where they can look down on the coastline from 200 feet above sea level. Other unusual attractions on the boardwalk include the Landshark Bar and Grill, the Fun Plaza Family Fun Center and the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, which offers 26,000 square feet of memorable souvenirs. Group organizers will want to schedule their trip during the Boardwalk’s Sun Fun Festival, which features family games, a one-of-a-kind parade and more. With a gorgeous waterfront view, more than 15 restaurants and numerous attractions, the Oceanfront Boardwalk is a must-visit for student groups in Myrtle Beach. S K Y W H E E L M B .C O M
M Y R T L E BE ACH PELICA NS
Home to the 2016 Carolina League champion Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Pelicans Ballpark was listed as a top ballpark by Baseball
America in 2009. At Pelicans Ballpark, visitors can learn about Myrtle Beach’s athletic history and create unforgettable memories by getting players’ autographs, having their birthdays announced and running the bases on the field. The 5,200-square-foot stadium offers free tours so students can see what goes on behind the scenes and on the field. M I L B .C O M / M Y R T L E - B E A C H
BROA DWAY AT THE BE ACH
One of Myrtle Beach’s most popular shopping, dining and entertainment districts, Broadway at the Beach offers students an outing unlike any other. With some 26 attractions, 24 restaurants and 70 stores in one location, Broadway at the Beach offers something for every group member. The Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center features more than just lifelike sculptures. Multiple opportunities for family-appropriate fun include laser tag, mazes and “celebrity” photo-ops around every corner. From the jaw-dropping exterior design to the playful zombie-infested hallways, the museum provides students with fun trivia knowledge and exciting activities. Also at Broadway at the Beach is a first-of-its-kind attraction: The Simpsons in 4D, which gives “fun” a new multidimensional definition. Students will have a blast stepping into the world of the Simpsons, with moving seats, special effects and a real-life Kwik-E-Mart. They will even get the chance to try exclusive treats from the show, like Squishee Slushies and Lard Lad Donuts. Group leaders will enjoy this nostalgic experience just as much as their younger group members as they relive one of America’s favorite TV shows. B R O A D W AYAT T H E B E A C H .C O M
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
Entertainment ABOUNDS IN
THE SUN SETS OVER SKYWHEEL AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS ON THE MYRTLE BEACH BOARDWALK. VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM
5 Courtesy Skywheel Myrtle Beach
B F L A N D I N G .C O M
Courtesy Barefoot Landing
BA R EF OO T L A NDING
Full of Southern charm, Barefoot Landing features more than 50 specialty stores, 10 restaurants, eight attractions and a stunning view of the Intracoastal Waterway. With events year-round, there’s always something new and exciting for student groups to enjoy. At Alligator Adventure, students experience some of the world’s most dangerous and beautiful animals in a fun and educational setting. Visitors see everything from bobcats and ostriches to snakes and various types of alligators. Groups can also take in live shows, where students have the opportunity to touch alligators and snakes, watch feedings and take photos. Another wildlife favorite at Barefoot Landing is the Myrtle Beach T.I.G.E.R.S Nature Preserve. Guests can see rare and beautiful tigers at no cost; students also have the option to pay for an unforgettable photo encounter with the majestic cats.
M Y R T L E WAV ES
Guests can splash the day away at Myrtle Waves, South Carolina’s biggest water park. A great group outing destination, Myrtle Waves features 22 slides, as well as various pools and play areas. Students can zip down exciting waterslides like the Riptide Rockets and the Super Chute, or take a breather floating on the lazy river while enjoying scenic park views. At the Ocean in Motion Wave Pool, students can experience huge waves just like those in an ocean setting and then try to conquer them on their own at the FlowRider surf simulator. M Y R T L E W A V E S .C O M
FUN AT BAREFOOT LANDING
WIL D WAT ER A ND WHEEL S
A sister park to Myrtle Waves, Wild Water and Wheels provides groups with a combination of wet and dry activities. From speed slides and slick go-kart racing to mat slides and mini golf, this park features activities for every age and level of risk-taker. Daredevils can try the Free Fall Cliff Dive, while competitive riders can take on the bumper boats challenge. At Wild Water and Wheels, fun for the whole family is in no short supply. W I L D - W AT E R .C O M
Courtesy Myrtle Beach Pelicans
FA MILY K INGDOM
At Family Kingdom, student groups will discover a whole day’s worth of fun and more. Guests will enjoy classic rides, including the carousel, the tilt-a-whirl and an epic wooden roller coaster — the Swamp Fox — that boasts gorgeous water views. Next door to Family Kingdom, Splashes Oceanfront Water Park offers water rides such as speed slides, water flumes and a lazy river. At both parks, students can enjoy delicious carnival eats, like cotton candy and funnel cake.
F A M I LY K I N G D O M F U N .C O M
M Y R T L E B E A C H F A M I LY G O L F.C O M
Courtesy Duplin Winery
Courtesy Myrtle Waves
M Y R T L E BE ACH FA MILY GOL F
Award-winning miniature golf courses await groups at Myrtle Beach Family Golf. Guests can choose from five different themed golf adventures: Jungle Safari, Jurassic Golf, Dragon’s Lair, Shipwreck Island and Captain Hook’s, all of which feature a one-of-a-kind story experience with special effects and top-of-the-line animatronics characters. Groups receive a special rate on all the courses, some of which include picnic tables that can be reserved.
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
BACKSTAGE ESCAPE GAMES
B A C K S TA G E E S C A P E G A M E S .C O M M Y R T L E B E A C H R O O M E S C A P E .C O M
MYRTLE BEACH FAMILY GOLF
Courtesy Myrtle Beach Family Golf
Want to get in on the escape room trend? Myrtle Beach offers the perfect opportunity to test these exhilarating and team-building activities. Escape rooms give students the opportunity to work together through different puzzles with props, sounds and lighting that transport players into imaginary perilous situations. At Backstage Escape Games, groups can choose from three rooms: The Legend of Atlantis, where obtaining five Atlantean Power Crystals is essential for the existence of humanity; Dark Winter’s Night, where groups are responsible for saving Christmas; and The Haunting of Hyde House, where a little girl needs help finding her most prized possession. More exciting adventures await at Myrtle Beach Room Escape, where there are four different mysteries to solve. Players can travel through time and universes to solve mysteries at The Witch’s Castle, Bomb in the Theater, Walking Dead: Road to Survive and Jailbreak. Students won’t soon forget these brain-teasing experiences, which range from 20 to 60 minutes long.
Courtesy Backstage Escape Games
BACKSTAGE ESCA PE G A MES A ND M Y R T L E BE ACH ROOM ESCA PE
ITEM 170 SEAFOOD BUFFET
EXTENSIVE RAW BAR
Steaks Cooked to Order
DELICIOUS FRESH SEAFOOD
9597 N. Kings Hwy. Restaurant Row • Myrtle Beach
Pasta Station – Hibachi Grill – Kids Buffet
SUCCULENT PRIME RIB
Only 3 miles from Alabama Theater & 7 miles from Broadway At The Beach VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM
Courtesy Family Kingdom
BACKSTAGE MIR ROR M A ZE
Backstage Mirror Maze is another exciting mental adventure. Featuring more than 2,000 square feet, this high-quality, walk-through attraction is full of mind-bending illusions, unexpected twists and tricky turns. With kaleidoscope glasses, guests can enjoy special rainbow light effects, which make the maze all the more exciting and colorful. At the Backstage Mirror Maze, getting lost is something to look forward to. And you can bet that your students’ photos coming out of the experience will be priceless.
B A C K S TA G E M I R R O R M A Z E .C O M
NIGHTM A R E H AUNT ED HOUSE
Founded in the 1980s, Nightmare Haunted House has been the East Coast’s scariest attraction for decades. The newest addition to this Myrtle Beach fixture takes students through the Zombie Zone on an undead adventure. State-of-the-art props, highly believable actors and realistic costuming and makeup make this a must-visit location for all thrill-seekers and the zombie enthusiasts of your group. With over 4,000 square feet of lifelike horror, it’s no wonder tourists and locals alike consider it to be the most authentic haunted house experience in the area. B E A C H S C R E A M .C O M
Courtesy Rockin’ Jump
BROA DWAY GR A ND PRI X
Students can let their competitive and daring spirits soar at the Broadway Grand Prix, the ultimate destination for all things thrilling. With over 12 attractions, this mini amusement park has something suitable for all ages. Students can test their driving skills at any one of the seven go-kart tracks, soar through the air on the Sky Coaster, attempt holes-in-one at the 18-hole mini golf courses, bump their way to the top at the bumper cars and compete in the 20,000-square-foot arcade. At the Broadway Grand Prix, the fun is never-ending. ROCKIN’ JUMP
B R O A D W AY G R A N D P R I X .C O M
THE T R ACK
This is go-karting like you’ve never karted before. At The Track, students can release their inner speed racer. Featuring two tracks designed with dynamic elevations and exhilarating routes, this family park is a local favorite. Groups of various ages can enjoy the tracks thanks to the single- and double-kart options available; the double karts allow younger riders to drive with an adult. Some other fun activities include bumper cars, mini golf and blaster boats. Inside, guests can find more than 50 arcade games.
BROADWAY GRAND PRIX
Courtesy Broadway Grand Prix
F U N AT T H E T R A C K .C O M / PA G E S / M Y R T L E - B E A C H - L O C AT I O N
ROCK IN’ JUMP
At Rockin’ Jump, student groups can burn some energy while having tons of fun. This indoor trampoline park offers activities for all ages, including an open jump arena, x-beam, a slam dunk zone, a ninja course, a stunt bag arena and dodgeball. From challenging obstacle courses to thrilling foam-cube pools, Rockin’ Jump not only energizes students physically, it also stimulates their minds as students conquer challenges that involve balance and problem solving. Rockin’ Jump’s newest expansion features a log roll, a fidget ladder, aerial silks and a warped wall, providing groups with even more opportunities to let their energy and creativity go wild. R O C K I N J U M P.C O M / M Y R T L E B E A C H
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
Ripley’s Attractions Ripley’s 5D Moving Theatre Experience a movie-going adventure like never before at the Ripley’s 5D Moving Theatre. Visitors can choose from two 5D films that use state-ofthe-art technology to stimulate the senses of sight, sound, motion and touch. With digital effects, motion seats and advanced technology, films aren’t just shows at this theater — they’re experiences.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Ripley’s Believe It or Not two-story odditorium will show visitors things they’d never think they’d see in a fun, relaxed and family-friendly setting. The bizarre facts and mind-boggling exhibits, such as shrunken heads and a six-legged cow, make this museum a one-of-a-kind experience for students.
Ripley’s Haunted House Not only is Ripley’s the go-to spot for all things weird and curious, but it’s also leading the way for innovation in the group activities industry. At the Ripley’s Haunted House Adventure, expect much more than just getting spooked. Students and adults can participate in the drama with the addition of laser combat. During this team-building activity, visitors save the day by coming together to fight against flesh-eating monsters in a 10,000-squarefoot arena.
Ripley’s Mirror Maze Getting lost in Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze is a must-do group activity in Myrtle Beach. Students can challenge themselves to find their way out through a tricky labyrinth, specially designed with top-quality LED lights and infinity mirrors. This intricate maze’s unexpected twists make finding the exit all the more enjoyable, especially when exiting with photos that document the hilarious experience. Photos courtesy Ripley’s Myrtle Beach
Playing BY MOLLY PHILLIPS
or today’s generation of smartphone-addicted teens, the word “theater” elicits either visions of the movie theater or a stuffy production attended only by adults. But in Myrtle Beach, students discover that theater as an art form — and a form of entertainment — transcends those preconceptions. There is nothing like watching a young mind discover the magic of the theater. When you are in the same room with the artists who are delivering the show to you, you are no longer just watching a show. You are in it. The following venues, which have become a vital part of the cultural fiber of the Grand Strand, offer scintilating year-round shows that can give any Marvel movie or video game a run for its money.
The Carolina Opry theater opens its doors to as many as 2,000 guests almost every night of the week. Run by the Gilmore Entertainment Group, the venue has become one of the most prolific in the southern United States, for both its sheer size and beauty, and for the quality of entertainment it attracts. Whether groups want to be dazzled by magicians, sing along to old-time musical numbers or take in a breathtaking display of laser lights, the Opry has something for everyone. The newest talent to call the Opry home is none other than Delvin Choice of NBC’s hit TV show “The Voice.” The theater has ample free parking and offers student group-rate ticket pricing. If you have a group of artistically inclined youngsters, they can even rehearse and perform on the stage of the Opry before a production. Insider classes are also offered periodically for students wanting to learn more about the theater industry or hone their acting, dancing and musical skills. The Opry loves working with student groups to create custom experiences that are tailored to specific wants and needs. T H E C A R O L I N A O P R Y.C O M
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
Student groups LOVE THEATERS IN
STUDENT GROUPS ENJOY HIGH-ENERGY MUSIC, DANCE AND COMEDY AT THE CAROLINA OPRY.
11 Courtesy the Carolina Opry
“WICKED” AT ALABAMA THEATRE
Courtesy Alabama Theatre
Courtesy Carolina Opry
A STUDENT EXPERIENCE AT THE CAROLINA OPRY
PIR AT ES VOYAGE
What could be better for a child or teen than stepping into the pirate fantasy world? That’s exactly what they’ll do at Pirates Voyage. This immersive dinner theater experience is the perfect interactive production for even the most distracted of students. They’ll dine on pirate-themed homestyle food such as Buccaneer Bread, Cob O’Buttery, Pirate Herb-Basted Potato and Apple O’ My Eye Pie while enjoying an action-packed live show of pirate impersonators. There will be dancing, there will be acrobatics, there will be singing — and yes, there will be plenty of “arghs” to go around. The stage is set atop a 15-foot-deep indoor lagoon. The talented cast of trained gymnasts, dancers and entertainers performs stunts and songs along the way. Groups of 20 or more are eligible for special pricing. Shows often sell out, so book well in advance to ensure you get your desired showtime and seats. P I R AT E S V O YA G E .C O M / M Y R T L E - B E A C H
A L A BA M A THE AT R E
The Alabama Theatre has been delivering Broadway-quality performances to Myrtle Beach visitors for more than two decades. Although the theater hosts a variety of rotating touring acts throughout the year, it is best known for its two staple productions: “One,” which runs from February to October, and “The South’s Grandest Christmas Show,” which goes live in November and runs through the holiday season. Both are fantastic productions for students to enjoy; they both feature a blend of modern and classic musical numbers punctuated by bits by legendary comedian Grant Turner portraying his onstage alter ego Ricky Mokel. Like the Carolina Opry, the Alabama Theatre has a backstage tour that makes for a great hands-on learning experience for student groups. Students will be able to see up close all of the work that goes into producing just one show. For musical groups, there are also opportunities to perform on stage in advance of either of the theater’s core programs. Group rates are also available for tickets.
Courtesy Pirates Voyage
A L A B A M A -T H E AT R E .C O M
Courtesy Alabama Theatre
YOUTH ACTIVITIES AT ALABAMA THEATRE
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
Courtesy Medieval Times
Courtesy Medieval Times
MEDIE VA L TIMES
For students who are history buffs or “Game of Thrones” enthusiasts, Medieval Times is the closest thing to experiencing a jousting tournament. Stepping into the venue’s arena, guests are invited to dine with Queen Maria Isabella and her royal court. Guests can watch knights compete for the championship and have fun picking their favorite horse-mounted swordsman and cheering them on to victory. Though no animals or people are harmed during the production, the horses are real, and the weaponry used by the stuntmen is designed with archaeological accuracy to duplicate medieval swords, lances and javelins. Every show ticket comes with a four-course meal of garlic bread, tomato soup, roast chicken, buttered corn, potatoes, dessert, coffee and beverages. Regularly scheduled performances occur at night, but for student groups, matinee options are available throughout the year at discounted rates. The student programming is accompanied by free educational materials to enhance students’ history learning before, during and after their day at Medieval Times. M E D I E V A LT I M E S .C O M / P L A N -Y O U R -T R I P/ M Y R T L E - B E A C H - S C
AN ELVIS TRIBUTE ARTIST AT LEGENDS IN CONCERT
Courtesy Legends in Concert
L EGEND S IN CONCER T
Tribute bands are a treat. Performers spend hours perfecting their acts, outfits and voices to sound just like the superstars they portray. Imagine having some of the best tribute artists all in one location, joining forces to bring you a musical montage unlike any other. Welcome to Legends in Concert. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Legends in Concert has a reputation worldwide for attracting some of the top entertaining talent in the tribute category. Sing and dance along to your favorite tunes by the likes of Bruno Mars, Adele, Dolly Parton and more —you may even forget that the legends themselves aren’t the ones serenading you. With a diverse array of acts dedicated to performers of today and yesterday, it’s a perfect opportunity for student groups to enjoy some of their current favorite artists while learning the musical legacy of the past. Children ages 3 to 16 also receive discounted tickets.
A STUDENT PERFORMANCE AT LEGENDS IN CONCERT
GT S THE AT R E
The GTS Theatre is known for its unique performances and intimate setting. If your student group is looking for something different, the GTS Theatre is for you. The theater’s smaller size allows for lots of interaction between the audience and the performers, and students will enjoy the organic banter that ensues. Some of the current acts on rotation include a magic and comedy show that will have students of all ages laughing; the “Motor City Musical,” a tribute to the musical greats of the Motown era; “Elvis Live in Myrtle Beach,” a tribute to “The King”; and a crowd-pleasing, gut-busting favorite, the “Dixie Family Comedy Variety Show — Redneck Style.” All the programming at the GTS is suitable for families and students of all ages. Groups of 11 or more can save when booking together; group leaders and bus drivers get free admission. Matinee options are available to groups, making the GTS a change of pace from summer outings to the beach. G T S T H E AT R E .C O M
ASHER THE AT R E
Courtesy GTS Theatre
Courtesy Legends in Concert
L E G E N D S I N C O N C E R T.C O M / M Y R T L E - B E A C H
Investing in students is core to the mission of the Asher Theatre. Through workshops, regular programming and a semimonthly talent competition for students, the theater invests in the next generation of would-be musical aficionados. This mission stems directly from the theater’s leaders, James and Grace Stephens, who founded it to provide a bridge to the community and a welcoming space of entertainment and education for those visiting the Grand Strand. The Asher Theatre has a diverse lineup of entertainers grace its stage each year. From comedians and dancers to theatrical performances, the managers select each performer to complement its family-friendly calendar and offer unique entertainment within Myrtle Beach’s catalog of theatrical venues.
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
Student groups will have their pick from this array of shows, and thanks to the careful vetting of each act by the theater, there is no wrong choice. The ultimate annual event for students at the Asher is its annual College Night. Also open to high school students, College Night features the famous Man of a Thousand Voices, who imitates everyone from Snoop Dog to One Direction in his routines. If groups are lucky enough to plan a trip coinciding with this once-a-year event, it’s a bonding and learning experience students will remember for the rest of their lives.
LE GRAND CIRQUE
A S H E R T H E AT R E .C O M
Courtesy Le Grand Cirque
Courtesy Le Grand Cirque
BIG T OP T ENT AT M Y R T L E BE ACH
Twice a year, shows of epic proportion and daring feats come to Myrtle Beach under the big-top tent at a place known as Big Top Tent at Myrtle Beach. During the holiday season, the area becomes a frozen winter wonderland that surrounds a skating rink stage for “Christmas on Ice.” During the summer months, the big top plays host to Le Grand Cirque, a renowned production of acrobatics and stunts starring athletes from across the globe. Rooted in the circus traditions of Russia, China and Eastern Europe, the circus features a colorful cast that performs death-defying feats. Le Grand Cirque is in Myrtle Beach June through September.
play outside BY MOLLY PHILLIPS
ong before Myrtle Beach’s theaters and attractions were founded, it had a natural magnetism that drew travelers to its sandy shores. The iconic 60 miles of beaches that make up the Grand Strand coastline are recognizable for their rolling dunes, soaring palmettos, powdery sands and plethora of wildlife. For students, Myrtle Beach provides the perfect setting for a trip that balances indoor amusement with outdoor wonder. For beautiful scenery and unforgettable educational opportunities, plan to take your student groups to some of the area’s outdoor attractions.
MYRTLE BEACH STATE PARK
Flanked by the ocean on one side and lush maritime forests on the other, Myrtle Beach State Park is a playground for sun seekers and nature lovers. Early in the morning, residents and tourists alike line the iconic Myrtle Beach Pier catching local fish. If your students want to give it a go themselves, rods and lines can be rented for as little as $20 per day from the pier gift shop. During the day, spend some time meandering the Sculptured Oak Nature Trail. Here you can find one of the last groves of maritime forest in South Carolina. The sea spray that permeates the air along coastal regions has a major impact on maritime forests, so you will see unique mixes of trees and shrubbery that thrive in this salty environment, such as sea oats, wax myrtle and beach olive. For active student groups, biking, sea kayaking and other activities abound. In addition, the park is also open to equestrian trail riding. Groups can set up rides through the park with Horseback Riding of Myrtle Beach. S O U T H C A R O L I N A PA R K S .C O M / M Y R T L E - B E A C H
HUNTINGT ON BE ACH STAT E PA R K
Just south of Myrtle Beach State Park lies Huntington Beach State Park. This marsh and shoreline is home to abundant wildlife, such as alligators and herons. The park also includes Atalaya, a home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home was originally a Moorish-style vacation haunt of the sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, Archer Huntington. Today, it is used for weddings and special events, but it can also be explored by students when they visit the park. Student groups can incorporate the park’s Coastal Exploration Program into their trips. During this program, they explore the park with a certified naturalist. The programs are themed differently depending on the time of the year, but all include information about the park’s history and instructional teaching on outdoors skills such as kayaking, beachcombing and birding. S O U T H C A R O L I N A PA R K S .C O M / H U N T I N G T O N - B E A C H
CA P T. DICK ’S AT THE CR A Z Y SIST ER M A RIN A SUNSE T A ND SE A LIF E CRUISES
Sunset and Sea Life Cruises is a small tour company operating out of Murrells Inlet, where there is access to both the open ocean and the interior canals of the Myrtle Beach area. Student groups can choose from a wide variety of experiences, including scenic sunset excursions and live
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
THE GRAND STRAND
YOUNG TRAVELERS WILL ENJOY THE UNSPOILED BEAUTY AND ABUNDANT ACTIVITY OPTIONS AT MYRTLE BEACH STATE PARK. VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM
17 Courtesy Myrtle Beach State Park
HUR RICA NE F L EE T M A RIN A
If students want to try deep-sea fishing, there’s no better way than with the Hurricane Fishing Fleet, just north of Myrtle Beach in Calabash. Groups can choose from the Gulf Stream Fishing Cruise — a full day of sea fishing on the fleet’s largest vessel — or select a half-day or privately chartered cruises. In addition to fishing, the company offers some of the area’s best dolphinwatching cruises. A professional naturalist is on board during each dolphin cruise to answer questions about aquatic wildlife.
Courtesy Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Watch
music cruises. Among the most popular is the saltwater marsh tour, which provides hands-on education about one of the area’s more overlooked minibiomes aboard a covered pontoon boat.
BLUE WAVE ADVENTURES DOLPHIN WATCH
H U R R I C A N E F L E E T.C O M
ISL A ND TIME CRUISES
Think of Island Time Cruises as the seaborne version of Myrtle Beach’s many “dinner and a show” attractions. Whether they’re serving lunch, dinner or something in between, cruises feature delicious food and narration by expert local guides. Student groups can book during various times of day to fit their schedules and budgets. I S L A N D T I M E - C R U I S E S .C O M
The Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Watch crew knows its dolphins. From decades on the water, the crew has named and recognizes more than 40 individual dolphins that call the waters of the Grand Strand home. On the only dolphin cruise in Myrtle Beach with 360-degree viewing, students will appreciate that no one gets stuck with a bad view. The experience includes plenty of photo opportunities with the majestic sea creatures leaping and playing in the background. In addition to dolphins, students can see sharks, jellyfish, parrot fish, stingrays, hawks, pelicans and many of the other incredible species that call the waters of South Carolina home.
SEA KAYAKING IN MYRTLE BEACH
Courtesy Myrtle Beach Area CVB
BLUE WAV E A DV ENTUR ES DOLPHIN WAT CH
B L U E W A V E A D V E N T U R E S .C O M
CA P ’N ROD’S L OWCOUNT RY T OURS
Courtesy Crazy Sister Marina
CRAZY SISTER MARINA
Besides the emerald waters of the Atlantic, Myrtle Beach also has beautiful inland marshes, swamps and waterways that all play key roles in its ecosystem. Cap’n Rod and his crew are experts in the local flora, fauna and history, and a tour through the marshes on one of their boats will leave you with twice the knowledge you had when you came aboard. Students will love the engaging and hilarious tour guides, who relay history facts, point out landmarks and wildlife and even tell ghost stories. L O W C O U N T R Y T O U R S .C O M
ISL A ND A DV ENTUR E WAT ER SP OR T S
If your student group includes thrill-seekers, take them to Island Adventure Water Sports. Students can rent a jet ski and race one another across the waves. Also popular with student groups are the company’s boat
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
Courtesy Go Ape
Courtesy Huntington Beach State Park
HUNTINGTON BEACH STATE PARK
THE AERIAL OBSTACLE COURSE AT GO APE
excursions, where guests can work on their wakeboarding, wake-surfing, water-skiing and tubing skills. For a more peaceful and slower pace on the water, there are kayaks and paddleboards available for rent. Smaller groups can also rent a pontoon boat and take the meandering vessel out for a private day on the water — great for youth group retreats.
SOARING ABOVE THE WATER AT GO APE
A ZIP LINE AT RADICAL ROPES
Courtesy Radical Ropes
Though Myrtle Beach will always be iconic for its oceanfront and inlets, the inland areas covered by the Appalachian foothills are just as beautiful in different ways. One of the best ways for students to explore the lush forests and rolling valleys is on a zip line One of the area’s most popular ropes courses is called Go Ape. Much more than a point-A to point-B zip line, Go Ape’s three-hour obstacle course in the trees has a series of challenges that will challenge students’ bodies and minds. Radical Ropes has something for all levels of outdoor atheletes. Even small children can participate. Radical Ropes’ Kidzipz program allows for young students ages 4 to 8 to try zip lining in 30-minute increments. Grownups and teens can test their metal on a 70-foot-high climbing wall. Part of WonderWorks at Boardwalk at the Beach, the Soar + Explore ropes course is one of a kind. Climbers are invited into a 40-foot-high suspended world that overlooks vistas of the boardwalk and lake below. There are 33 different challenges through which students can navigate their way together or on their own. End the day with a thrilling ride on the 1,000-foot zip line, the only one in Myrtle Beach that goes over the water.
Courtesy Go Ape
I S L A N D A D V E N T U R E W AT E R S P O R T S .C O M
Top OF THE class S
BY MOLLY PHILLIPS
tudent groups will have no shortage of fun during a trip to Myrtle Beach. But they’ll also find plenty of opportunities to learn something new. At educational attractions throughout the Grand Strand area, young travelers will be inspired and educated as they discover the history, art and natural environment of coastal South Carolina.
First opened in 1997, Ripley’s Aquarium has been providing guests with unique experiences for more than two decades. With 85,000 square feet of oceanic exhibits, this can’t-miss Myrtle Beach attraction features a marvelous collection of sea creatures that keeps growing each year. At Ripley’s, guests will find numerous animal exhibits, including stingrays, rainforest inhabitants, jellyfish and other extraordinary creatures. Its largest exhibit, the Dangerous Reef, lets visitors get close to snappers, tarpon, sharks, sawfish and more along a 340-foot-long glide path. Within the most recently opened exhibit, “Planet Jellies,” thousands of jellyfish surround guests as they become transported to a magical underwater world. For students, Ripley’s Aquarium provides groups with an exciting educational outing. They can learn about how water gets filtered throughout the entire park in the Systems Control area. Most respond in awe and amazement when they discover how much water, electricity and care go into taking care of the animals. Aquarists are on hand and teach students about a variety of topics, among them conserving water at home and Ripley’s sea turtle rescue program. R I P L E YA Q U A R I U M S .C O M / M Y R T L E B E A C H
According to its origin story, WonderWorks was a result of one of Professor Wonder’s experiments gone wrong on a remote Bermuda island. The building was blasted into the air and landed upside down in Myrtle Beach. The quirky aesthetic, combined with exceptional scientific programming, makes this landmark a popular educational destination for student groups of all sorts. It’s a mix that WonderWorks has dubbed “edu-tainment.” With more than 100 hands-on exhibits and interactive displays, the fun never stops at WonderWorks. Visitors can explore a Mercury capsule model at the Space Discovery Wonder Zone or become human lightning rods and be blown away by hurricane winds in the Natural Disasters Wonder Zone. There’s also Light and Sound, Imagination Lab and Far Out Gallery Zone for guests to let their creativity and curiosity free. In the 6D Extreme Motion Ride theater, up to 12 guests at a time can watch a film as the motion seats and special effects take guests on a one-of-akind adventure. Students can test their physical abilities in the Soar + Explore zip line and ropes course, explore the enchanting glow-in-the-dark ropes course or burn off steam in the laser tag combat arena, which uses innovative technology to let students play in a fast-paced, interactive, black-lit maze setting. W O N D E R W O R K S O N L I N E .C O M / M Y R T L E - B E A C H
BUR ROUGHS A ND CH A PIN A R T MUSEUM
Though the Burroughs and Chapin Art Museum first opened in 1997, its origins go back much further. A small group of dedicated art lovers conceived of the museum and worked for 13 years to establish it. Since then, it has developed and matured into the cultural landmark it is today.
MYRTLE BEACH STUDENT GUIDE
Myrtle Beach VENUES OFFER LEARNING EXPERIENCES
VISITORS ADMIRE THE COLORFUL MARINE LIFE AT RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM. VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM
21 Courtesy Ripley’s Aquarium
Most recently, the museum won the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for Outstanding Arts Organization for the state of South Carolina. This attraction provides student groups with an invaluable opportunity to view modern works and step back in time to a variety of different artistic eras. The museum also hosts community family days, where culture is celebrated through food, music, dance, crafts, performances, lectures, markets and displays. Before planning your trip, be sure to check the museum’s calendar and, if you can, visit during one of these stellar events. The museum’s educational youth programs allow students to creatively work in the museum’s own art studio.
M Y R T L E B E A C H A R T M U S E U M .O R G
BROOKGR EEN G A R DENS
B R O O K G R E E N .O R G
HOP SE W EE PL A NTATION
Courtesy Ripley’s Aquarium
Once home to Thomas Lynch Jr., the 52nd signer of the Declaration of Independence, Hopsewee Plantation is full of historical nuggets of knowledge for students to discover. Not only will they observe and appreciate the decadesold exterior and interior design, but they will also learn about an important figure in Myrtle Beach’s history. All the while, they’ll be surrounded by inspiring greenery and calming woods, including the North Santee River vista. Rice culture and basket weaving are two of the historical topics that groups will learn about during any visit. Basket weaving workshops teach students about the low country tradition brought by the slaves from West Africa in the 1700s, showing them how to coil grass strands to make beautiful, sturdy baskets — something so special that it can only be experienced in the modern day at Hopsewee Plantation. At the River Oak Cottage Tea Room, groups can have English tea service with a Southern twist. If your visit includes the lunch hour, you’re in for a low country-inspired treat. Guests can dine on delicious Southern staples such as crab cakes, pimento cheese and biscuits, chicken fingers and fries, macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, gin-gin soup, caramel cake and honey almond creme brulee. With such an exquisite menu, a fascinating past, and a warm and wel22
coming ambiance, the most difficult thing about visiting Hopsewee Plantation with your student group will be getting them to leave. H O P S E W E E .C O M
SOUTH CA ROLIN A H A L L OF FA ME
The South Carolina Hall of Fame is a nonprofit corporation that provides visitors with an opportunity to recognize extraordinary citizens, contemporary and past, for their contributions to South Carolina. Dedicated February 11, 1973, by Gov. John C. West, this landmark is inspiring to and has an impact on guests of all ages. Eighty portraits and accompanying descriptions fill the halls, allowing groups to browse through South Carolina’s history through the lens of biographies. Inductees include those that were born in South Carolina or those that traveled to the state from elsewhere, making a life there. Inductees are from diverse industries: entertainment, the arts, the sciences, medicine, the military, civil rights, literature, education and more. Among better known inductees are King Hagler, one of the greatest Catawba chiefs; Septima Poinsette Clark, who played an integral role in the procurement of African American voting rights and civil rights; and Carlisle Floyd, an award-winning composer and librettist of opera. The South Carolina Hall of Fame will inspire and motivate students to work hard at chasing their dreams. T H E O F F I C I A L S C H A L L O F F A M E .C O M
HOR RY COUNT Y MUSEUM
Established in 1979, the Horry County Museum was created to collect and preserve the Grand Strand region’s history and culture. Through its efforts, the museum educates and inspires the public with exhibits, programs and more. One of its most popular elements with student groups is the L.W. Paul Living History Farm, which features tours that allow guests to see what it was like in the everyday life of a Horry County farm family between the 1900s and the 1950s. A visit to the farm also makes for an excellent community Courtesy Duplin Winery
At Brookgreen Gardens, students can experience a harmonious blend of art, nature and history. Founded in 1931 by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, this 9,247-acre landmark offers students an enriching outing unlike any other through comprehensive tours, programs and exhibits. Guests will get the opportunity to see the largest and most extensive assemblage of American figurative sculptures in the United States in a lovely garden environment with over 50 different plant species. Students won’t be the only “wild” creatures present at the gardens. Your group can embark on one of the many tours available, such as Mother Nature’s Cafe, a 50-minute informative walk through the zoological portion of the attraction, where guests can observe animals in their natural environments. For an immersive outing, Brookgreen Gardens offers the Zookeeper for a Day program, which allows students 12 years and older to see firsthand what it’s like to work with animals. In the Children’s Discovery Room, interactive stations provide groups with activities such as crafting and historical lectures. At the “Whispering Wings Butterfly Experience” exhibit, students can explore a lush garden where various butterfly species flutter through the air gracefully. Before you leave, wander along the Children’s Nature and Sensory Trail, where there are nature sounds, thought-provoking questions, physical activities and storybook playhouses for kids to enjoy.
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H O R R Y C O U N T Y M U S E U M .O R G
CULTUR A L A R T S CENT ER
Plans are in the works in for a new cultural arts center in the Superblock area of Myrtle Beach. Spanning a piece of land now occupied by three different properties, the parcel would become a hub for performing arts. The project is a partnership between the city of Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina University, with the latter hosting up to 30 live productions at the venue per year, as well as various exhibitions in the on-site art gallery. A construction date has yet to be set for the project, but it could be underway and ready to open by late 2020. Student groups should keep an eye out for the new host of cultural offerings this venue will bring to the Myrtle Beach area.
COLORFUL SCULPTURE AT BROOKGREEN GARDENS
Courtesy Brookgreen Gardens
service opportunity, as volunteers can participate in gardening, work on maintaining the historic site, help with the educational programs and more. Inside the museum, reclaimed building materials, vintage photographs and authentic paintings produce an authentic historical experience. Popular exhibits cover Native Americans, Horry County beaches, local textiles and military history. Once a year, the museum holds the Annual Quilt Gala, which involves displaying hundreds of hand-quilted pieces. If you are able, plan your groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trip around one of the many events regularly scheduled throughout the year, such as the Quilt Gala, Farm Animal Days or Junior Curators, during which students can learn about and participate in farming activities as well as learn about hurricanes and how they affect the area.
Courtesy Borroughs & Chapin Art Museum
BORROUGHS AND CHAPIN ART MUSEUM
A RIVER OTTER ON THE GROUNDS OF BROOKGREEN GARDENS
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