When someone thinks of Myrtle Beach they usually think of a tourist trap. Between the flashy attractions and hundreds of hotels and resorts, that may be a fair assessment. However, there is another side to Myrtle Beach that most who visit don’t get to experience. From original cuisine to beautiful natural landscapes, the entire Grand Strand is full of great attractions that don’t need to dominate billboards to attract visitors.
While there are dozens of generic, chain restaurants in Myrtle Beach, there are also countless originals that host locals year-round. One of these is Mexico Lindo Restaurant. Mexico Lindo offers authentic Mexican cuisine at significantly less than average Myrtle Beach prices. From homemade tortillas to complimentary chips and salsa, this place does it right. Hot favorites such as Alambre and Chimichangas are just a few of the dozens of great choices on the menu. Compared to Señor Frogs (what some tourists may call authentic Mexican), Mexico Lindo dominates. Fresh, homemade Mexican cuisine and reasonable prices make Mexico Lindo a true gem among the flashing lights of Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach.
Another local favorite are the brother and sister restaurants of Mr. Fish and Mrs. Fish. These two are unlike anything else in the area. Other seafood restaurants in Myrtle Beach offer endless buffets of Alaskan snow crabs and other imported seafood at next to outrageous prices. The Fish family, on the other hand, offers fresh, local seafood cooked to perfection. From grilled fish to fried shrimp, their modest yet perfectly sized menu keeps locals coming back year-round. With homemade French fries, Cole slaw, and green beans served with each entre, it’s easy to see why. Honestly priced and a true original inside, Mr. and Mrs. Fish are definitely worth checking out while in town.
At nighttime, most tourists venture to Broadway at the Beach to partake in overpriced drinks and 5 dance clubs almost identical in nature. For locals, there are many more options. A great place to grab a drink is located right on the corner of Kings Highway and Mr. Joe White Avenue: Bumsteads Pub. Attached to Dagwoods Deli (yes the names were intentional), Bumsteads offers a European meets America pub atmosphere, something that is truly an original in Myrtle Beach. A short walk away from here is the Myrtle Beach boardwalk. At night, the tourists clear out and what’s left is a small section of bars located oceanfront for anyone left to enjoy. Reasonably priced and true Myrtle Beach originals, Peaches Corner, The Bowery, and Oceanfront Bar and Grill offer a simpler yet somehow much better alternative than dancing to techno music and paying for overpriced drinks.
Heading South, the Myrtle Beach area also has countless beautiful landscapes that are often overlooked by tourists. One place that comes to mind is Brookgreen Gardens. The Gardens are a massive 9100-acre property containing a small river, fields, and countless well manicured gardens that have been preserved for years. Vacationers often overlook the quiet simplicity of the Gardens but it is this simplicity that makes the Gardens what they are. Across Highway 17 from the Gardens is Huntington Beach State Park. Offering one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the Grand Strand, Huntington Beach makes the beach in front of your hotel look like an abandoned sand lot. To truly experience the beautiful views of the Atlantic while in Myrtle Beach, Huntington Beach is a must see.
So if you’re planning a Myrtle Beach vacation, remember that behind all of the flashing lights and timeshare salesmen, there is a truly unique town just waiting to be discovered. By venturing out, away from typical tourist destinations, you can find out what the real Myrtle Beach looks like. From beautiful natural landscapes to original restaurants and bars, the true Myrtle Beach really is a great place to plan a trip and have an adventure.
*Featured image by Susan Vanorden