The BEST Beaches in North Myrtle Beach (Insider Tips)

Aerial photo of Ocean Drive Beach

South Carolina is home to many beautiful beaches, but one of our personal favorites is North Myrtle Beach. Visitors who aren't familiar with the area think it's just one singular beach, but it's actually a collective of 4 different beaches: Cherry Grove Beach, Ocean Drive Beach, Crescent Beach and Windy Hill Beach.

Having lived in North Myrtle Beach for five years and continuing to vacation here annually, I can tell you from my own first-hand experience that each beach has its own personality.

In this guide, I'll give you an overview of each beach, explaining what its known for and who it's best suited for. Additionally, I'll give recommendations on where to stay, plus things to do & places to eat while you're here.

Best Beaches Roundup

Best Family-Friendly Beach: Cherry Grove Beach

Best Beach For Nightlife: Ocean Drive Beach

Beach With The Best Resorts: Crescent Beach

Best Beach For Minimal Crowds: Windy Hill Beach

Cherry Grove Beach: Best Family-Friendly Beach

Drone photo overlooking Cherry Grove Beach, South Carolina

Aerial drone photo of Cherry Grove Beach that I took during one of my recent vacations. This photo highlights an area of the beach called Cherry Grove Point.

Cherry Grove Beach is known for being the most family friendy of all the beaches in North Myrtle Beach. Because of this, it was an easy choice for the #1 spot on our list.

We love it here it here because it's a little off of the beaten path from the rest of the city.

However, seclusion does come with a cost. You'll have to make a short drive to find places to eat and nearby attractions.

Fun fact: Cherry Grove Beach was named after the cherry trees that flurished here during the 18th century.


Map of Cherry Grove Beach

Cherry Grove Beach spans from 63rd Ave N to 20th Ave N in North Myrtle Beach.

Nearby Hotels and Vacation Rentals

  • Inlet Point Villas: Gated community offering 1 and 2 bedroom condo rentals. Even though the condos are on the smaller side, they're in high demand because they're located at the enterance to Cherry Grove Point.
  • Laguna Keyes: One of the rare high-rise buildings in Cherry Grove. Not to be confused with a traditional hotel, Laguna Keyes is actually a "condotel", made up of privately owned condos that are used primarily as short term vacation rentals.
  • Prince Resort: One of the only hotels in the area, Prince Resort is located directly on the Cherry Grove Pier. This is a really great option to for families looking for easy access to the beach, pier and food.
Insider Tip: If you're considering renting a beach house, we'd recommend booking it 9 to 12 months in advance. The best houses (especially ones with a pool) are in high demand and book up quickly.

Popular Activities & Attractions

Aside from the beach, here's a few things to do nearby that we recommend:

  • Cherry Grove Pier: must-see while you're here. If you're with your family and kids, they'll love watching people fish off of the pier! We've seen people catch everything from baby sharks to crabs.
  • Cherry Grove Point: Known as one of North Myrtle Beach's best kept secrets, Cherry Grove Point is one of our favorite things to do when visiting the area. The Point is a secluded beach section located at the Northernmost end of Cherry Grove Beach.
  • Heritage Shores Nature Preserve: This 7-acre nature reserve has walking trails that make for the perfect location for your morning walk.
Insider Tip: If you're lucky enough to visit Cherry Grove during the 4th of July, the Cherry Grove Pier has one of the area's best fireworks displays. Make sure you arrive early and claim your spot, it gets really crowded!

Nearby Restaurants & Food Options

Unfotunately, there aren't many dining options located at the North end of Cherry Grove. In order to find something, you'll have to take a short drive (5 minutes) to Sea Mountain Highway where there's multiple places to eat.

Here's a few food and drink options we recommend:

  • Duck Dive Bar and Grill: Casual eatery and bar with American food and live entertainment.
  • 3500 Ocean Grill: Casual eatery and bar with American food and live entertainment.
  • The Shack: Old school cafe with Southern food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ocean Drive Beach: Best Beach For Nightlife

Aerial drone photo of Ocean Drive Beach

Aerial drone photo of Ocean Drive Beach that I took during one of my recent vacations. The most prominent resort pictured is called Ocean Bay Club.

If you're looking to be close to bars and nightlife, then Ocean Drive Beach is going to be the best beach for you.

Main Street runs through the center of Ocean Drive and is home to multiple bars and night clubs, such as Fat Harold's Beach Club and Duck's Night Life.

Personally, we love Ocean Drive Beach because of its walkability. Whether you're staying at a nearby resort or just visiting the beach for the day, there's so many places within a short walking distance.

Fun fact: Ocean Drive Beach is the birthplace of the "Shag", the official South Carolina state dance.


Map of Ocean Drive Beach

Ocean Drive Beach spans from 20th Ave N to 13th Ave S in North Myrtle Beach.

Nearby Hotels and Vacation Rentals

  • Ashworth: 1 block away from Main Street. Has an outdoor pool, lazy river and indoor pool. Choose from 2, 3 and 4-bedroom condo rentals. The condos here have spacious floorplans.
  • Ocean Bay Club: 2 blocks away from Main Street. An older building, but most of the condos have been rennovated. Has an outdoor pool and lazy river. Also has an indoor pool if you're visiting during the Winter or just need a break from the outdoors.
  • Avista Resort: 3 blocks away from Main Street. Multiple outdoor pools, hot tubs, plus a lazy river and kiddie pool. The condos are on the smaller side compared to the other resorts.
Insider Tip: Out of all of the resorts near Main Street, Avista Resort has the most on-site amenities. In addition to everything listed above, the resort also has a pool-side bar, fitness room, on-site bar (called the Treetop Lounge) and restaurant (called Just Off Main).

Popular Activities & Attractions

Aside from the beach, here's a few things to do nearby that we recommend:

  • Main Street: You can't mention Ocean Drive Beach without also mentioning Main Street. This is the central hub of the area, where you can find places to eat, drink and live entertainment.
  • Fat Harold's Beach Club: Beach-music dance club that's known for being the go-to hub for shag dancers.
  • Duck's Night Life: Popular dance club. Live entertainment every week, including top bands, shag events, and DJ Throwdown. There's also an on-site cafe.

Nearby Restaurants & Food Options

There's a huge selection of places to eat and drink within a short walking distance.

Here's a few options we recommend:

  • Hoskin's: Longtime family-owned diner-style spot serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • The Main Slice: Brick-lined staple with a long bar for gourmet pizza, classic slices & large salads, plus draft beer.
  • Melt: Small, informal dessert shop featuring ice cream & waffle cones, plus smoothies & sundaes.
Insider Tip: Hoskin's is one of the most popular breakfast spots in the area. People literally line up outside waiting to get in! So, if you're thinking about going here during your stay, make sure to get there as soon as they open (7 AM).

Crescent Beach: Beach With The Best Resorts

View of Crescent Beach from the balcony of a condo rental

View of Crescent Beach from the balcony of a condo I stayed in at Blue Water Keyes.

Crescent Beach is located in the middle of North Myrtle Beach and sits between Windy Hill and Ocean Drive.

Along with the rest of the North Myrtle Beach beaches, this beach is known for being extremely wide, especially during low tide -- making it a great place to let your kids run free and enjoy the open space.

In my opinion, this is the best beach if high-end accommodations are your primary focus.

Another great thing about Crescent Beach is that over the years, like Ocean Drive, it has become very "walkable". Just off of the beach you can walk to a bar, beachwear store, conveinant store and ice cream shop.

Insider Tip: The public beach access at 17th Ave S and Ocean Blvd is my favorite. It has an outdoor shower and bathrooms. Also, you can walk directly from the beach onto the back porch at Molly Darcy's to grab drinks and food.


Map of Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach spans from 13th Ave S to 28th Ave S in North Myrtle Beach.

Nearby Hotels and Vacation Rentals

  • Blue Water Keyes: Oceanfront resort with outdoor pool, lazy river and more. 1-4 bedroom condo rentals. Has glass balconies!
  • Crescent Keyes: The "sister" resort to Blue Water Keyes, built by the same developer. Also has spacious 1-4 bedroom condos you can rent.
  • Crescent Shores: Located directly next to Molly Darcy's. Has a large outdoor pool, hot tub and lazy river. Choose from 2-4 bedroom condos.

Popular Activities & Attractions

Aside from the beach, here's a few things to do in Crescent Beach that we recommend:

  • Lost Treasure Golf: An ellaborate putt-putt course with waterfalls, a train & more. This place makes mini-golf fun for the whole family.
  • Beachwood Golf Club: Beginner-friendly 18-hole golf course. If you're bad at golf (like me), just starting out or want to take the kids along, Beachwood is a great option because it's not too difficult.

Nearby Restaurants & Food Options

  • Molly Darcy's: An ellaborate putt-putt course with waterfalls, a train & more.
  • Mr. G's Ice Cream & Grill: Mr. G's is a local's favorite spot for ice cream, but it's also a great place to grab a quick hamburger.
  • Krave Bagel: Krave is my go-to breakfast spot in North Myrtle Beach! Locally-owned and managed by a husband and wife team (Kim & Andy). The bagels are the best on the beach and they also have deli-style sandwhiches.
  • Benito's Brick Oven: The best local spot for pizza. They'll even deliver directly to your condo or beach house.
Insider Tip: Krave Bagel is very popular with both locals and visitors. Try and get there shortly after they open, not only so you get the freshest bagels, but they tend to sell out quickly. My favorite is the French Toast bagel, heated up and dipped in maple syrup!

Windy Hill Beach: Best Beach For Minimal Crowds

Aerial view of Windy Hill Beach

Photo credit: (c) Explore North Myrtle Beach.

Located at the Southernmost end, Windy Hill Beach is the least crowded beach out of all of the beaches in North Myrtle Beach.

It's the least crowded because it's smaller than all of the other beaches and has fewer resorts.

One of the biggest pros about Windy Hill is how close it is to Barefoot Landing. When staying here, depending on which resort you choose, you'll be within a 3 minute drive away.


Map of Crescent Beach

Windy Hill Beach spans from 33rd Ave S to 48th Ave S in North Myrtle Beach.

Nearby Hotels and Vacation Rentals

  • Windy Hill Dunes: One of our favorite resorts in Windy Hill. The condos have great views from the balcony and are really spacious. Pick from 3, 4 and 5 bedroom floorplans. Has an outdoor pool, hot tub and lazy river.
  • Beach Cove Resort: Oceanfront resort with outdoor pool, lazy river and hot tub. 1 and 2 bedroom condos for rent. Popular choice.
  • Summit: Smaller laid-back condotel with an outdoor pool. Choose from 2, 3 and 4 bedroom condos. This is a good budget-friendly option.
  • North Beach Resort & Villas: Formerly known as North Beach Plantation, this is hands-down one of the most popular resorts in the area. Has poolside cabanas (paid), multiple outdoor pools and a swim-up bar. The most expensive option of the group.

Popular Activities & Attractions

  • Barefoot Landing: Retail & entertainment village around a lake with restaurants, a theater, visitor center & carousel.
  • House of Blues: Rock and blues-themed chain with Southern dishes such as po' boys & jambalaya, plus live music.

Nearby Restaurants & Food Options

There's a huge selection of places to eat and drink within a short walking distance.

  • LuLu's: Seafood-heavy restaurant, but they also have allergy-friendly choices. The restaurant provides live music, various attractions, and hosts events. Reservations are limited and mostly first-come, first-serve.
  • Crooked Hammock Brewery: Offers a relaxed, backyard cookout experience with a variety of in-house brewed beers. Their menu includes the original lineup for casual enjoyment and the Seeker Series for adventurous drinkers. They celebrate the American cookout with fresh, flavorful food.
  • Greg Norman Australian Grille: High-end waterfront restaurant, offering steak, seafood and wine.

Key Takeaways & Final Wrap-up

The "best" beach for you is going to depend on what your personal preferences are. Here's a few to consider:

  • Which resort do you want to stay at?
  • What type of accommodations do you want? (condo or beach house)
  • What do you want to do while you're here?
  • Will you have transporation while you're here?
  • Who will you be traveling with? (solo, with friends, small children or as a couple)
  • Do you want to be within walking distance to places to eat and drink?

Honestly, there is no wrong choice when choosing a beach in North Myrtle Beach. All of them are clean and beautiful.

We hope you found our guide helpful and feel free to reach out to us if you need a recommendation!

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