23 Awesome Options for Day Trips from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Skyline of Wilmington from USS North Carolina Battleship l

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Escape the bustling beach and boardwalk of Myrtle Beach and embark on exciting day trips to nearby destinations.

Nearby, you can enjoy family-friendly adventures, picturesque gardens, and wildlife refuges — just to name a few!

For longer day trips around Myrtle Beach, you can explore historic towns, experience renowned museums, or even indulge in a wine tasting at an iconic winery.

Nature lovers will find plenty of places to choose from for walking scenic trails or for kayaking or paddleboarding through serene waters.

If you’re looking for something truly unique, head all the way to the end of this guide for an out-of-this-world experience!

With a variety of options, these day trips from Myrtle Beach promise unforgettable memories beyond the sandy shore and neon-lit boardwalk.

Best Day Trips from Myrtle Beach, SC

Our guide starts with the shortest drives from Myrtle Beach (up to an hour), and then we’ll make our way to longer drives of up to 2.5 hours for more ambitious day trip options.

Note that, for most of these day trips, you’ll want your own car to get around; the Coast RTA is the only public transportation in the Myrtle Beach area but — while it can take you to the closer destinations — you’ll want to plan for more travel time.

Don’t have a car or don’t feel like driving?

Check out the many options for day tours from Myrtle Beach instead!

Sit back and let someone else navigate while you learn even more about the places you’re visiting and seeing en route.

Plan ahead and you’ll be able to check out tons of great options.

You might want to check out all of our guides to Myrtle Beach for more fun suggestions while you’re in the area…

A view of the SkyWheel in Myrtle Beach spinning and lit up in the evening along the beachfront

Day Trips Near Myrtle Beach (up to 1 hour)

Sometimes, the best day trip is just down the road with minimal driving but wonderful experiences.

These shorter drives are also ideal for families looking for options away from the beach but not too far to drag the kids (and all the bags).

Spend a few hours for just a half-day getaway or maximize it with a full-day adventure – all of these places to go around Myrtle Beach offer plenty to enjoy!

Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, SC

(15 Miles, 27 Minutes)

Just outside Myrtle Beach in Conway, SC you will find the beautiful Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.

Here, you can fish, hike, or bike within roughly 23,000 acres of wetlands. 

The aim of the refuge is to educate people on the importance of the wetlands as well as to protect the habitat within.

Opt for this boat tour along the Waccamaw River to enjoy a narrated journey to help you spot wildlife along the way.

Or try this paddleboarding tour instead to try a new activity while enjoying the natural beauty all around you.

Huntington Beach State Park, SC

(19 Miles, 28 Minutes)

If you enjoy going to state parks, Huntington Beach State Park should definitely be on your list.

Huntington Beach State Park has camping, fishing, boating, bird, watching, geocaching, and walking trails that are excellent for wildlife viewing.

You can even take this segway tour in the park to cover more ground without breaking a sweat!

Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC

(23 Miles, 40 Minutes)

Maybe you’re looking for a trip a little closer to Myrtle Beach? 

Brookgreen Gardens, voted one of the top 10 gardens in the US by TripAdvisor, offers 9,127 acres to explore, including the largest sculpture garden in the United States.

If you come during the Christmas season, make sure you visit the gardens during the Nights of a Thousand Candles.

During this event, more than 2,700 candles are hand-lit and light the garden with a warm, breathtaking view.

Another option for a special event happens more frequently: every full moon, take a scenic boat cruise in Murrells Inlet to bask in the glow of the moonlit shores.

If you’re missing all the special event dates, this sunset cruise is a wonderful alternative to enjoy the scenery.

Giant Oaks at Brookgreen Gardens in Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Pawley’s Island, SC

(27 Miles, 40 Minutes)

If you’ve ever wanted to explore a castle before, Pawley’s Island has one!

Atalaya Castle, which was built in 1931 has a rich history and famous owners!

The castle is only just one hidden gem on Pawley’s Island!

You can enjoy the historic district, kayaking, fine arts, and food as well.

Better yet, combine several of the above destinations on this 2-hour trolley tour that will take you through Brookgreen Gardens, Pawley’s Island, and the village of Murrells Inlet for an all-in-one experience.

If you’re traveling as a family or two couples, you may want to consider taking this private tour to see all of the best places near Myrtle Beach at your own pace.

View of the marshland and a small dock on Pawleys Island in South Carolina

Georgetown, SC

(39 Miles, 50 Minutes)

Little towns carry big things if you know the right places to look. 

Georgetown, SC is one of those small towns near Myrtle Beach that you won’t want to skip!

Stop in at the Purr & Pour cafe for a coffee or tea and to give some adoptable little kitties pets then head over to any of the 5 amazing museums including The Gullah Museum, the Georgetown County Museum, the Kaminski House Museum, the South Carolina, Maritime Museum, and the Rice Museum. 

Once you’ve completed the museums, go on one of many boat tours, soak up some sun on the Harborwalk, or see all of the wonderful art at the Art Harbor Gallery.

Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach, NC

(40 Miles, 50 Minutes)

Learn about astronomy and space exploration and learn about the natural history of Brunswick County at the Museum of Coastal Carolina.

Ingram Planetarium showcases fun, interactive exhibits, including a space show in its 85-seat Sky Theater. 

1-2 Hour Drive Day Trips from Myrtle Beach

Older kids will especially appreciate these longer day trips to see some cool stuff away from the beach.

Also perfect for adults (hello, day date options!) you don’t need to hit the road super early but you can still get so much out of these fun things to do close to Myrtle Beach SC.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Whiteville, NC

(57 Miles, 1 Hour 8 Minutes)

Nestled in downtown Whiteville, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is a hands-on museum that helps kids discover the scientific process and fun of science.

The site includes a mixture of indoor and outdoor components with an extensive collection of bear claws, seahorses, sand dollars, and other specimens. 

Outdoors, children can play at the Nature Playspace, which includes digging, arts, and exploration.

This is a great museum for young children and families who want to discover some of the more natural wonders of the world. 

Once you’re done at the museum, check out some of the wonderful shops and locally owned restaurants like Whataburger (not associated with the fast food chain) and Ward’s Grill. 

Whiteville and its old-time feel have lots to offer!

Southport, NC

(64 Miles, 1 Hour 15 Minutes) 

Named “America’s Happiest Seaside Town” by Coastal Living Magazine, Southport, NC certainly lives up to its name.

Perfect for a day date, wander through the historic downtown and enjoy the fantastic view of the beach.

Be sure to visit The Christmas House, where it’s Christmas all year round! 

Walk through the Old Brunswick County Jail Museum, Franklin Square Park, the Smithville Cemetary, or Fort Johnston for a brief look at some of the many historical sites in the area.

View from across the lawn of Fort Johnston in Brunswick County, Southport, North Carolina on a sunny day

Florence, SC

(67 Miles, 1 Hour 25 Minutes)

Head to lovely Florence, South Carolina, for a relaxed day trip with something for everyone.

Visit historical sites and memorials like Florence Veterans Park or War Between the States Museum, hike around Timrod Park, or collect strawberries at the Cottle Strawberry Farm.

Lake Waccamaw State Park, NC

(68 Miles, 1 Hour 25 Minutes)

For an unforgettable nature experience, check out Lake Waccamaw State Park (not to be confused with Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge mentioned previously).

The site includes tent camping, 10 miles of hiking trails, fishing, picnicking, and swimming.

Walk into the clear water of Lake Waccamaw and don’t forget to check out the visitor’s center.

In 2008, a whale fossil dating back between 1-3 million years was found in the lake; the skull has been restored and is on display at the park visitors center. 

This is one of our favorite state parks in North Carolina — check out the rest!

Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson, NC

(74 Miles, 1 Hour 25 Minutes)

Founded in 1726, the picturesque Brunswick Town site was once a bustling shipping area. 

The town was raided by British Redcoats in 1776 and then, in 1861, the site became Fort Anderson during the Civil War. 

Once the fort fell in 1865, the location was forgotten until it was rediscovered in the late 1950s.

Today, it is a beautiful site with a rich history that is worth checking out!

Wilmington, NC

(77 Miles, 1 Hour 30 Minutes)

One of the best day trips from Myrtle Beach is to Wilmington, NC.

Take in the view at one of the local beaches, walk the riverwalk in historic downtown Wilmington, look for ghosts on the Battleship North Carolina, or tour the sets at EUE/Screen Gems Studios.

For many more ideas, check out our guide to all the best things to do in Wilmington.

Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington

White Lake, NC

(90 Miles, 1 Hour 45 Minutes)

For a bit of freshwater fun, White Lake is a great place to visit. 

Self-proclaimed as the “Safest Beach in the US” for its lack of currents or tides or any hazardous depressions, this is a great family-friendly option for outdoor fun with little ones. 

White Lake is named as such due to its white sandy bottom with crystal clear water, so much so you can see the bottom!

Fort Fisher, NC

(93 Miles, 1 Hour 50 Minutes)

Located a few minutes outside of Wilmington, Fort Fisher is an excellent place for sightseeing, history, swimming, fishing, and just relaxing.

While you’re there, visit the Fort Fisher Confederate war site and the Confederate monument.

Fort Fisher protected the last remaining Confederate supply line route; when it was taken into Federal control in January 1865, it all but sealed the fate of the Confederate army.

Down by Battery Buchanan, you will find the rock retaining wall, which was built by hand in the 1800s to hold back sand from the channel.

Fort Fisher Historic Site is right at the edge of beautiful Kure Beach, so you can enjoy some history with a side of sand, sea, and sun.

Kure Beach Fishing Pier seen from the dunes in North Carolina

Moores Creek Battlefield in Currie, NC

(93 miles, 1 Hour 40 Minutes)

Believe it or not, the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge is extremely important to the birth of the United States! 

It was the victory at Moores Creek Bridge that helped the Patriot troops to secure control of North Carolina during the Revolutionary War. 

Shortly thereafter, North Carolina became the first colony to vote for independence at the Continental Congress.

Stop by to see where one of the most formative battles in our nation’s history occurred.

Longer Day Trips (2+ Hours)

Plan ahead and get an early start for these longer day trips from Myrtle Beach.

At 2+ hours of driving each way, you’ll want to set the alarm and get out the door to make the most of the day!

Fort Sumter, SC

(95 Miles, 2 Hours)

Located in the middle of Charleston Harbor, at Fort Sumter, you can embark on a 30-minute narrated ferry ride to learn more about the historic fort. 

Once you arrive, park rangers guide and inform you about how important Fort Sumter was during the Civil War. 

Not only is this a great historical experience, but the view of the harbor from the fort is simply spectacular!

Tours can only be booked through Fort Sumter Tours.

View of Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston South Carolina from across the water

Fort Moultrie National Historical Park in Sullivan’s Island, SC

(97 Miles, 2 Hours 5 minutes)

For a more down-to-earth venue, take a trip to Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.

Fort Moultrie, built in 1776, was built to help defend Charleston during the Revolutionary War but also played a significant role in the Civil War.

Today, it’s a beautiful site rich with history that helps illustrate the challenges of the past.

Charleston, SC

(98 miles, 2 Hours 5 Minutes)

Whether you love history, golf, art, the beach, or shopping, a day trip to Charleston from Myrtle Beach offers a little bit of everything for everyone.

Visit the Gibbes Museum of Art and see a huge collection of over 10,000 American works, join one of the many city bus tours to get all the juicy information on the area, or visit the Historic Charleston Museum shop; the attractions and restaurants are truly endless!

The distance from Myrtle Beach to Charleston means you’ll want to get an early start to maximize your time in this historic city.

It’s still an easy day trip, but you should plan ahead and hit the road early!

Better yet, let someone else do the driving so you can relax (and enjoy a few drinks once you’re there).

This Charleston day tour from Myrtle Beach leaves bright and early, so you can fit in a tour of Charleston, shopping time in the historic center, and a tour of Boone Hall Plantation, which includes a large focus on the stories of the enslaved people who lived on the plantation.

Pineapple Fountain Waterfront Park Charleston

The Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, SC

(103 Miles, 2 Hours)

Located in Bishiopville, SC, the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden is a 3-acre garden started in 1984.

This site has more than 150 topiaries of all shapes and sizes!

US Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC

(113 Miles, 2 Hours 10 Minutes)

Located in Fayetteville, NC, the US Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum showcases the heroism of the men and women who have served and given their lives while serving in the army, special operations, and airborne divisions of the military.

Fayetteville is full of interesting history, from its military connections to its historic Market House to its role during the Civil War; learn more on a fun-filled day trip!

Historical Market House architecture inside the Hay Street roundabout in downtown Fayetteville NC

Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, NC

(123 Miles, 2 Hours 10 Minutes)

Known as the South’s oldest and largest winery, Duplin Winery holds a world-class 30-minute journey on the history of native grapes and how Duplin makes its delicious wines. 

As you tour, taste the Muscadine grape juice before, and after it becomes wine, sample the wines available, and even take a bottle home once the tour is over. 

There is a location in North Myrtle Beach, but there’s nothing quite like taking a day trip to the source!

Plan to enjoy lunch at the onsite Bistro while you’re there.

Congaree National Park

(129 Miles, 2 Hours 30 Minutes)

For the nature lover, Congaree National Park really pulls out all the stops. 

Hike in roughly one mile to get to all tent campsites, then wake up and hike your choice of 25 miles of hiking trails, including a 2.4 mile boardwalk.

If you would like to tour the park in a different way, try the kayak/canoe trail or, for the experienced, try to traverse the 50-mile paddling trail. 

This park would be an experience you’ll never forget!

Visit all the best national parks on the East Coast for even more memorable experiences.

Cypress forest and swamp of Congaree National Park in South Carolina

The UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, SC

(136 Miles, 2 Hours 30 Minutes)

The one site on this list that is truly out of this world is the UFO Welcome Center.

This site features a homemade UFO welcome center made of scrap metal and other random metals with all the amenities one might need, such as a toilet, shower, TV, and air conditioning. 

It might seem like a pretty obscure site, but it’s a sight worth seeing.

Final Words

We hope this guide helped you plan your day trips from Myrtle Beach for your next vacation.

Have you checked out all of these recommendations? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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