For countless Americans, the allure of living by the beach has always been a shared dream. However, the practicalities of work and affordability often put a damper on this desire.
Nevertheless, in recent times, this dream has become a reality for the thousands who have made the move to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Surprisingly, the city has rapidly evolved into one of the nation’s most sought-after coastal communities, attracting young professionals, families, and retirees alike.
Living in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach is home to approximately 37,100 residents, according to 2021 estimates. However, the broader Grand Strand area, encompassing 60 miles of stunning shoreline, boasts around 325,000 inhabitants. The bustling state capital, Columbia, is a three-hour drive away, making it the largest nearby city. Florence, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, are each roughly an hour and a half’s drive from Myrtle Beach.
The city thrives on tourism and hospitality, hosting around 425 hotels and nearly 100,000 vacation rentals, generating $145 million in state and local tax revenue in 2019. Apartment complexes and high-rise communities are home to over half of the city’s 14,000+ households, with a strong retirement community thanks to accessible healthcare and favorable tax policies.
Myrtle Beach’s reputation as a fantastic place to live is underscored by various rankings, including its recognition as the fastest-growing place in the United States, the best place to live in South Carolina, and one of the top choices for retirees. The city’s neighborhoods offer something for everyone, with northeast regions often viewed as the best places to live in Myrtle Beach, while western areas tend to be more budget-friendly. Myrtle Beach’s real estate landscape mainly consists of master-planned communities and dense apartment complexes, reflecting the city’s architectural style.
Notable neighborhoods include The Market Common, a converted Air Force base with charming dining and shopping districts; Carolina Forest, a sought-after community offering various amenities and housing options; and Grand Dunes and Dunes Club, known for luxury living. When it comes to the cost of living, Myrtle Beach offers affordability compared to similar beachside locales.
Cost of Living
The city’s cost of living is relatively lower than average for coastal areas, but the demand for beach living has increased prices, resulting in a 36.8% year-over-year increase. The typical home value is around $321,909, and Myrtle Beach’s daily expenses reflect its status as a tourist hotspot. High prices affect everything from gasoline to dining out, and the job market, graded as C+, boasts a median household income of about $43,000, slightly lower than the national average. With a booming tourist industry, residents can enjoy a wealth of dining, entertainment, and natural beauty throughout the year.
Weather in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach’s pleasant climate is a significant draw. With ample sunshine, mild temperatures, and rare snowfall, residents experience average highs in the mid-70s during spring and fall. Summers bring hotter days and occasional afternoon thunderstorms, but ocean breezes keep things relatively comfortable. While tropical storms and hurricanes are potential threats, residents have well-established procedures for preparation and evacuation.
“The Beach” Culture
Myrtle Beach has cultivated a unique culture, affectionately known as “The Beach.” It’s a place renowned for its delectable Calabash-style seafood, pristine beaches, thrilling amusement parks, extensive shopping opportunities, and world-class golf courses. Furthermore, it’s the birthplace of the Shag dance, a beloved, Jitterbug-like dance that has been passed down through generations. This dance is celebrated annually in Shag contests that bring residents and tourists together to enjoy this iconic tradition.
Navigating Beach Traffic
One of the downsides of the new found Myrtle Beach reputation is the phenomenon of beach traffic. During the peak tourist season, visitors from all along the East Coast converge on the city, typically utilizing routes like I-95 and I-20 to access major highways such as US 501, US 378, SC 22, and SC 544. The resulting congestion can impact local transportation, with heavy traffic common, particularly at the convergence of I-95 and I-20 with central Myrtle Beach arteries. To navigate this challenge, local residents have become adept at timing their journeys, making use of shortcuts, and strategically utilizing connectors to avoid the heaviest tourist traffic.
Myrtle Beach has lots of family-friendly activities. Families can bask in the sun, snorkel, paddleboard, wakeboard, boat, parasail, and even try deep-sea fishing. For those who enjoy camping, the nearby Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park offer excellent options. Additionally, there’s a wealth of nearby attractions, including the iconic SkyWheel Myrtle Beach SC US, the intriguing Wonderworks Museum, the thrilling Broadway Grand Prix Family Race Park, the mesmerizing Ripley’s Aquarium, the energetic Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park, and the fun-filled Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center.
Moreover, families can explore the unique Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf. For a convenient and inclusive family experience, the walkable Broadway at the Beach offers dining, shopping, and entertainment, with seasonal firework displays to top off your visit.
While Myrtle Beach offers a bustling atmosphere, it also provides countless opportunities for couples to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Start with a romantic sunset cruise, where you can savor cocktails and dinner under the multi-colored evening sky off the South Carolina coast. You can then indulge in a couples’ massage at Adam & Eve Day Spa, relive the past with Legends in Concert, take a leisurely stroll, dine and then catch a movie at The Market Common. You can also explore the vast flora and fauna in the scenic Brookgreen Gardens and if you’re up for a short drive, you can enjoy dinner and a show at the Theatre of the Republic in Conway Downtown Alive.
Day Trips and Events
Myrtle Beach’s strategic location enables residents to take day trips to neighboring coastal destinations. A two-and-a-half-hour drive takes you to Charleston, a city steeped in history and southern charm. There are also other fantastic options, such as Little River, SC, Murrells Inlet, SC, Calabash, NC, Carolina Beach, NC, Pawleys Island, SC, Georgetown, SC, and Wilmington, NC. These destinations are well within reach, allowing you to explore the surrounding coastal beauty.
Additionally, Myrtle Beach hosts a variety of annual events that draw crowds from near and far. Notable events include the Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ spring training, Mustang Week, the Sun Fun Festival, the Carolina Country Music Fest, and memorable beachside fireworks displays.
Pros and Cons of Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach offers an array of advantages as a place to call home. It boasts affordability compared to many East Coast beach towns, enjoys beautiful weather throughout the year, provides a wide range of activities, and combines a small-town ambiance with big-city amenities.
However, there are some considerations to keep in mind, including the continuous influx of tourists, limited job opportunities primarily in tourism, hospitality, and healthcare sectors, the rising cost of housing due to remote workers and vacation home buyers, and the necessity of flood insurance and preparedness during hurricane season, particularly if you own a beachfront property.
Be that as it may, the appeal of Myrtle Beach’s way of life is undeniable. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly beach adventures, a peaceful retreat for couples, or convenient trips to nearby coastal towns, Myrtle Beach offers it all.
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Q : What is the best place to live in Myrtle Beach?
A : The best place to living in Myrtle Beach year-round can vary depending on your preferences and needs, but some desirable areas include The Market Common, Carolina Forest, and Grand Dunes/Dunes Club.
Q : Is Myrtle Beach a good place to retire?
A : Yes, life in Myrtle Beach is a popular choice for retirement, offering a pleasant climate, healthcare access, and tax benefits for retirees.
Q : Is Myrtle Beach a good place to live?
A : Yes, Myrtle Beach SC living is considered desirable due its beautiful coastline, a range of amenities, and a lower cost of living compared to many other beach towns.
Q : What are best places to live near Myrtle Beach?
A : Some of the best places to live near Myrtle Beach include Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, Conway, and Pawleys Island.
Q: What are some common themes in Myrtle Beach living reviews?
A: Living in Myrtle Beach reviews often highlight the appeal of the coastal lifestyle, family-friendly activities, and the sense of community. Beautiful weather and the lower cost of living are frequently praised.
Q : What’s it like to live in Myrtle Beach?
A : What is myrtle beach like? It’s akin to enjoying a coastal paradise with fantastic activities and a laid-back beach-town vibe. It’s a lifestyle many dream of.
Q : What is the Myrtle Beach ranking in terms of livability?
A : Myrtle Beach boasts high rankings, including being among the top places to live in South Carolina. It offers an attractive lifestyle with its coastal charm and vibrant community.
Q : Is Myrtle Beach a good place to raise a family?
A : Yes, Myrtle Beach can be a good place to raise a family. The city offers a family-friendly environment with beautiful beaches, numerous outdoor activities, and a sense of community. There are family-oriented attractions, amusement parks, and excellent educational options, including schools and libraries.