Myrtle Beach Gay Travel
Myrtle Beach gay travel advice for hotels and where to stay, restaurants, gay bars, gay life and travel tips.
The Gay Travel Experience: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
While Myrtle Beach is not in the deep South, you’ll undoubtedly encountered quite a bit of southern charm. Here in South Carolina, everyone is friendly, loves to talk and moves at a easy pace. Restaurant waiters and waitresses specifically always made me feel so comfortable as a tourist.
Myrtle Beach gay life is on the smaller side, but definitely grows during the summer season. The local gay population is on the smaller end, but it’s still big enough to support a few local gay bars!
As a gay traveler in Myrtle Beach, I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. However, personal views are on the conservative side, as is typical in the southern United States.
I had no problem personally expressing myself or mentioning that I’m a gay guy. But in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations, I refrained from talking about it during encounters like Uber rides.
The Myrtle Beach experience is truly about lounging on the beach and eating delicious southern food. So grab your best swimsuits and get ready for a good old southern good time.
Gay Myrtle Beach: Hotels & Where to Stay
Myrtle Beach consists of a pretty expansive stretch of coastline. There are numerous hotels and resorts to choose from along Highway 17, known as the “Grand Strand.”
The true heart of Myrtle Beach is at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and 10th Avenue north. Hotels here provide the easiest access to restaurants and things to do on foot. But don’t let this deter you from exploring the wonderful Myrtle Beach hotels to the north.
You can easily find something comfortable yet conveniently located anywhere between downtown Myrtle Beach and the Pine Lakes Country Club, an eight-minute drive to the north.
Gay Friendly Myrtle Beach Hotels
Carolinian Beach Resort is one of the few gay friendly Myrtle Beach hotels. They’re quite highly rated, too.
The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes is a slightly pricier option, but very highly rated hotel option. While they’re not along the shore, the property is among the few Myrtle Beach LGBT friendly hotels.
Consider Vacation Rentals in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach condo rentals are an easy way to save a ton of money on your trip. Especially if booked farther in advance, a vacation rental can cost only 50% of what nearby hotels are charging. Plenty of condo owners put their units on VRBO. This is how I found my place to stay over in The Dunes area of town.
If you’ve already searched through some hotels, you might realize that Myrtle Beach isn’t exactly a luxury American destination. Properties tend to be quite old. But that’s probably what makes Myrtle so inexpensive!
Finding a newer or recently renovated property is one more reason to use VRBO when booking a place to stay in Myrtle.
Myrtle Beach Gay Travel Experiences
Myrtle Beach is most popular with gay travelers in the summer season, but there are still plenty of things to do, no matter what month you visit.
The shoreline is beautiful and stretches on forever. Surely you’ll spend some time in the sand. While you’re at it, show off your sexiest gay swimsuit!
A wine tasting or a drink out on the terrace at Duplin Winery is one of the most popular things to do in Myrtle Beach. Year-round, Duplin winery offers 30-minute tastings of their locally produced wines.
Wine tastings here are inexpensive and include an additional glass of your favorite wine out on Duplin’s spacious patio. If you don’t want to do the tasting experience, it’s just as popular to stop by for a drink.
In fact, Duplin is so popular that locals purchase membership passes so they can come back all the time.
The Gay Dolphin Gift Shop Arcade
Gay travelers with kids especially should check out the famous Myrtle Beach gay dolphin arcade. Officially known as the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, they’re located right in the center of town along the boardwalk.
While I didn’t stop by this place myself, locals recommended that it’s definitely worth stopping into the greater Broadway at The Beach shopping center.
Myrtle Beach Outlet Stores
Heading to an outlet store might not sound like the most fun thing to do while you’re on a beach vacation. But after having found so many good deals on quality clothing, I have to recommend a visit to the Myrtle Beach Tanger Outlets.
The selection was great and none of the stores appeared to be picked over. As a traveler who doesn’t like to spend too much on clothing, stopping at Tanger was a total win.
Restaurants in Myrtle Beach
It’s impossible to miss the flashy restaurant building fronts, like a giant crab or shark, while driving toward Myrtle Beach from the airport. There are tons of restaurants to choose from in Myrtle, and with these ostentatious entrances, they’re all luring in tourists.
I say go give some of these hilarious spots a try! But make sure to seek out some of the lesser-known restaurants too. Here are some of my recommended spots to get you started.
RipTydes Rooftop Bar
RipTydes Oceanfront Grille is a must visit for anyone traveling to Myrtle Beach during the warmer months. Conveniently located in downtown area, they are known for their relaxing open-air seating views of the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the most popular spots for travelers to hang out in Myrtle Beach, it might be best to make a reservation. Especially during peak season, tables overlooking the water can get snapped up quickly.
Fiesta Mexicana it’s also great for their happy hour specials. I enjoyed a couple of large and delicious margaritas along with some tacos al pastor.
Café de Paris
Grab a fantastic cup of coffee of midday snack at Café de Paris. The interior is gorgeous, the staff are so kind. This quaint little café is part of Barefoot Landing, a large development of shops and restaurants around a local pond.
My friend Taylor and I enjoyed a few sweet snacks at Café de Paris and grabbed a window side table to take a break from exploring nearby.
More Myrtle Beach Restaurants
Carolina Seafood & Steak was filling, tasty and an awesome deal. You can get a hearty meal and delicious cocktails here for an affordable price. The waitstaff was fun and friendly, too.
Hook & Barrel is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in the city. I didn’t get to try it myself, but an Uber driver of mine mentioned she loves it.
She also recommended New York Prime, a higher-end steakhouse along the Myrtle Beach shore, as well as Hurricane Maggie’s Bar & Grille. Hurricane Maggie’s is toward the north of Myrtle, a convenient restaurant option if you’re staying up that way.
Myrtle Beach Gay Bars
There are two main gay bars in Myrtle Beach to check out. Keep in mind that bars in general will be much busier in the summer when there are more tourists in town. You can always find a small local crowd though.
St. George Gay Bar
St. George is the official Myrtle Beach gay bar. It’s a hangout in the center of town popular with both locals and LGBT travelers, especially for their friendly staff.
During the week, the St. George gay bar hosts karaoke and trivia nights. They also have some unbeatable drink specials on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Pulse Ultra Gay Club
Pulse Ultra Club is a Myrtle beach gay club well-known to gay travelers. They’re tucked away a bit farther south from central Myrtle Beach, but I definitely recommend stopping by.
I didn’t get a chance to visit, but travelers should check it out, especially if visiting during the summer. Next time I’m in Myrtle, you’ll find me here!
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Myrtle Beach Gay Travel Tips
While Uber and Lyft are widely available, getting around Myrtle Beach is much easier with a car. You can book a rental car ahead of your trip and pick it up at the airport, which is a decent drive away from the main part of town.
I highly recommend using Uber instead of Lyft in Myrtle Beach. While lift may be a little cheaper, I find that the drivers for Uber are much more professional and have cleaner vehicles.
Travelers used to be in big cities might find it useful to know that taxi drivers love to have a little conversation during the ride. Here in the south, it’s common to make small talk while in a taxi.
Don’t be nervous if people start asking where you’re staying, where you’re from or stuff like that. They’re just being friendly!
Spotting liquor stores in South Carolina is super easy, even if you have bad eyesight like me! You’ll see a big set of three red dots, typically as the actual liquor store sign. These are actually required by law, which is a relic of alcohol control legislation from back in the Prohibition era.
For those staying in an Airbnb or condo unit, it’s worth noting that tap water is not the tastiest. The water in the condo building I stayed and had a bit of a chlorine-like taste. Stock up on some bottled water if you’re picky with water like me.
South Carolina Gay Rights
South Carolina is one of the many U.S. states that does not have laws protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ travelers should remain keenly aware of this.
As a Myrtle Beach gay traveler, don’t worry about doing your typical tourist activities. People in general are very polite in Myrtle Beach. But always be cognizant of what you say and how you present yourself, especially in intimate situations.
For example, it’s best to avoid discussing LGBT-related topics like sexuality and gender while in taxi rides or places without many people around. South Carolina does not have any laws to protect against hate crimes based on sexual orientation.
I offer these thoughts to educate gay travelers visiting South Carolina, rather than to scare you. And don’t forget that Myrtle Beach gay life does exist! It’s just important to be aware of state laws so that you can conduct yourself accordingly in any adverse situations.
But all in all, Myrtle Beach is an enormous tourist destination that’s been popular for decades. Keep these South Carolina LGBT facts in mind, but make sure to get out there and enjoy the sun-drenched shores!