Myrtle Beach vs. Wilmington

Two of the Carolinas’ best, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington are quite the stark contrast from each other. These destinations offer the best experiences you can ever have right along the US Atlantic Coast. From jam-packed highs to historical places, you can be sure to be on your toes at every marvel you’ll find.
Myrtle Beach vs. Wilmington

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Myrtle Beach, a party-loving crowd’s favorite, is perfect for energetic travelers who love to get rowdy and have fun.

Wilmington is for the more mellow vagabond. It has historical complexes to chilled and relaxed beaches. Wilmington offers true rest and relaxation.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach brilliantly creates a holiday jam-packed with fun activities and thrills for the whole family. Here you have more than a hundred golf courses, a wide choice of restaurants, and its iconic long golden beach that is all yours to enjoy.

On the US Atlantic Coast, Myrtle Beach is unquestionably a star. This is the perfect destination for all kinds of tourists.

What Makes Myrtle Beach Unique?

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

One of South Carolina’s most spectacular boardwalks is Myrtle Beach’s jam-packed boardwalk. It extends 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) along the magnificent blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and was finished in 2010. The mile-long boardwalk is located between 15th Avenue North and First Avenue North.

As you stroll and take in the breathtaking beach views, its appeal invites you to stop for a quick meal on a café patio with a view of the water

Most of the town’s wide range of accommodation choices are located here as well. Along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, you can also explore quite an array of family-friendly attractions. It also has restaurants and gift shops. Along the mile-long seaside charm, there are various stages where shows, arcades, and other entertainment are held.

There are many places to see along the three-sectioned Boardwalk and Promenade, which allows access to a plethora of sites to visit. Plyler Park to 14th Avenue North Pier is accessible via the North Walkway. It boasts a charming rustic elevated wooden deck and is complemented by a gorgeous landscape.

The busiest part of the boardwalk is the center. It is home to a variety of shops, arcades, cafes, and other coastal entertainment. The area extends from 8th Avenue North to Plyler Park. The remaining portion is known as the South Promenade and extends from First to Eighth Avenue North.

The boardwalk also features a lovely beachside park, a regular fireworks display, and various open spaces with benches. Various festivals will occasionally take place along the Promenade and Boardwalk. They’re usually held throughout the year.

Plus, there are notable festivals that take place every year. The Myrtle Beach Seafood Festival and the Carolina Country Music Fest are just a couple of examples.

Broadway at the Beach

Broadway at the Beach is a popular Myrtle Beach attraction, it is yet another dynamic part of Myrtle Beach. It spans 350 acres (142 ha) and is situated on Celebrity Circle in the heart of the city. The attraction has consistently ranked high on many coveted lists.

It is among the top 10 places to go for both locals and tourists since it originally opened in 1995. Visitors will surely love the amazing range of choices offered at this charming outdoor location. It serves as a place for dining, shopping, and entertainment.

The center’s main draws include the breathtaking 23-acre (9.3 hectares) Lake Broadway and three theaters, 100 shops, and more than 20 eateries. You can also find hotels, nightclubs, and other attractions in the area. But some of these features of their own spots are on the list of Myrtle Beach hotspots. A day spent at Broadway at the Beach is a day you just might need to block out entirely.

The waterfront entertainment and shopping complex also offers several well-known attractions. You can check out the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center and Ripley’s Aquarium here. There are even restaurants that draw large crowds around the area. You can visit the Hard Rock Cafe, Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett, and Wahlburgers.

There is so much to do here that past visitors advise setting off an entire day. You can also enjoy quite an array of thrilling features here, such as rides and many other activities. While the entrance to Broadway at the Beach is free, certain activities charge a fee.

The price of all those rides and extracurricular activities, though, will add up rapidly if you’re having quite a good time. At Broadway, there is always something for everyone, regardless of age.

The Grand Strand

One of the longest stretches of white-sand coastline in the US may be seen in Myrtle Beach, or rather, stretch out from Myrtle Beach. Due to its extraordinarily long beach, the city serves as the entrance to the rest of South Carolina’s northern coast. Thanks to its encompassing length, you can easily go to nearby towns and cities only by traversing the beach.

Because of its dramatic length, the large stretch also goes by another moniker; it is frequently referred to as “The Beach.” The beach is a gorgeous coastline and is home to several communities and is the gateway to a slew of other cities.

The beach is perfect for nature-loving beach bums. You can have a vast, sandy beach and breathtaking natural attractions to enjoy. And if you’re big on adventure, you can take advantage of Myrtle Beach’s many adventures and the beautiful broad vista that the horizon provides.

Traversing from north to south along the Grand Strand you can easily visit key places. Along the northern stretch, you can visit Cherry Grove, North Myrtle Beach, and Atlantic Beach. You can go to Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach, Litchfield Beach, and Pawleys Island southside. You can expect to find countless options for fun and adventure with such a long length and variety of villages. If you want to conquer the famed golden beach itself, schedule a whole day.

On the beaches of the Grand Strand, there is a wide range of activities to choose from. If you’re one of the brave few, deep-sea fishing and water-based parasailing are the most popular to try out. Exploring the depths of the Atlantic and getting a great catch are worthwhile experiences. This is mostly thanks to the waters’ wealth of marine life.

The shopping scene on the beaches just beyond the sand is excellent for the urban cosmopolitan. There are luxury stores, independently owned boutiques, and a variety of restaurants to choose from.

A Golfing Capital

Myrtle Beach is a self-proclaimed “golf capital of the world,”. The city is ideal for golfing thanks to the availability of lush, verdant fields that blanket the entire state. You may play on some of the top golf courses in the South in the afternoon.

South Carolina’s climate plays a big part as well. Its numerous cities are covered with the greatest flora, with all its great green grass expanses. Plus, it experiences less rain and more regular sunshine. Myrtle Beach is now on the long list of the best golfing cities in the state.

In the city, there are about a hundred excellent golf courses, some are so top-notch that they have been awarded. Many of these well-known golf courses have even been used as locations for big national competitions.

Myrtle Beach essentially gave itself this title, unlike many of the other golfing cities in the south. You may readily get why if you play on one of the best courses in the city. Because of the variety of excellent locations it offers, it has created its own unique golfing paradise.

Here are some of the best courses:

TPC Myrtle Beach

The renowned Tom Fazio created this picturesque course. It is characterized by untamed marshes and rough pine forests. This is the only course in the region to receive a five-star rating from Golf Digest’s “Places to Play”. The course is situated on the southern end of South Carolina’s Grand Strand.

The TPC Myrtle Beach is a must-play course. Every shot is a challenge for golfers, yet it still rewards solid swings with several scoring possibilities. TPC will have you on your toes the entire way because it measures 6,950 yards (6.4 km) from the Tournament tees.

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

The Caledonia course sets itself apart from other courses in the region. It has a strikingly unique beauty and is evidently more challenging than most. The course is renowned for its complex topography, which was too difficult. It has a particular appeal because of the pine and hardwood trees that line the edges of the field. Even the best professional players are challenged by the course’s idiosyncrasies.

Just like TPC was once a rice plantation before. Now the vast expanse is a world-class golf facility. Architect Mike Strantz also designed the course. Caledonia is renowned for its gameplay and visual appeal and has an award-winning design. It has been on a lot of national ranking lists.

True Blue Golf Club

True Blue is frequently cited as one of the Strand’s and even South Carolina’s greatest golf courses. It has expansive, beautiful fairways, rolling topography, and exceptional integration with the surroundings. The Mike Strantz course is listed as the 77th best course you can play by Golf Magazine.

What makes True Blue unique is a design that is aesthetically appealing and endlessly inventive, regardless of a golfer’s ability level.

This course was constructed on a former rice and indigo plantation. It measures 7,062 yards (6.5 km) from the back tees and travels through a variety of landscapes, including saline marshes and thick woodlands. Golfers may stroll to the tee box for their round thanks to the on-site golf villas that provide luxury and convenience


Wilmington is a fantastic city to visit. It is home to a variety of fascinating historical tourist attractions, and amazing museums. Plus, it has beautiful gardens, and there are several lovely beaches close by. Wilmington is less well-known to tourists than its southern sister cities of Charleston and Savannah. But it has a beautiful antebellum neighborhood with mercantile buildings.

What Makes Wilmington Unique?

Historic District

The historic downtown district of Wilmington is one of the city’s most well-known attractions. It is made up of many streets that border the Cape Fear Riverfront and hasn’t changed much since they were first laid out in the 18th century.

The largest National Register Historic District in the state is located in downtown Wilmington. It is made up of numerous structures. They range from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors can really enjoy exploring by setting out on a trolley trip, a horse-drawn carriage tour, or a walking tour. Or even a Segway tour, as the “Historic District”, spans around 230 city blocks.

This includes a variety of structures, including mansions, museums, old houses, and quaint churches. Along with historic mansions, there are ancient mercantile buildings where stores sell everything. You can buy antiques to current fashions, and local eateries serve delectable seafood.

Around the district, Wilmington Downtown has numerous activities throughout the summer months. There are gallery walks, live music, and festivals. Along with the district’s historic facades and structures, you may also just enjoy authentic Southern charm.

You can visit several attractions as well. Check out the Cape Fear Museum, the Children’s Museum of Wilmington, and Battleship North Carolina across the river.

Battleship North Carolina

This is perhaps one of the most unique attractions in North Carolina, if not the entire country. The massive Battleship North Carolina is berthed directly across the river. You can see it from Wilmington’s Historic District and Riverwalk. Due to its incredible size and scale, the beautiful mega-ship, which was built in the 1940s, is the fastest and first battleship of its kind.

Battleship North Carolina was considered “the world’s finest sea weapon” when it was commissioned in 1941. It took part in more than a dozen offensives in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.

The North Carolina carried 144 commissioned Navy officers, 2,195 enlisted men, and perhaps 100 marines during her time at sea. North Carolinians had petitioned for the ship to be preserved as a museum, and in 1962, it was officially opened.

The ship had been decommissioned in 1947 and was set to be taken for scrap metal, but they stopped that in their efforts. Visitors can now take a tour of the ship while learning about the past of its soldiers.

As you visit the nine levels of the ship, you will encounter displays that are mostly focused on people. They feature tales about their experiences on board the ship. These exhibitions include oral histories that have been recorded, photographs, and artifacts.

Wilmington Riverwalk

Without taking a stroll down Wilmington’s mile-long Riverwalk, no Wilmington trip is complete. The charming Wilmington Riverwalk meanders along the picturesque beaches of the Cape Fear River. After years of construction, it was finally finished in 2017. Both locals and visitors find it to be one of the city’s most pleasant and scenic sites to visit.

Without ever leaving the downtown area, visitors can take in the most breathtaking views of the city. You can stroll down the Riverwalk, which is right in the middle of everything. It’s also totally free.

The nearly three-kilometer (1.9 mi) boardwalk has excellent vistas everywhere you go. It is surrounded by fantastic bars and restaurants. It leads you to several lovely parks in addition to its many terraces and outdoor dining spaces. Along its path are the Cotton Exchange shops, docks for river cruises, and public art installations.

You can also check out cafes, shops, and restaurants with riverside terraces as well as benches for relaxing and taking in the view. The Riverwalk is constantly alive with activities. You can check out the summertime Saturday Farmers Market and the yearly Riverfest. There are also appearances by regional musicians and performers.

The Beaches

While the city isn’t technically a coastal stretch, the mouth of the Cape Fear River is blessed with an expansive white-sand coast. Only a few miles from Wilmington, along the coast and islands at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, there are ten beaches in all.

Here are some of the closest and most popular options:

Carolina Beach

Beautiful natural settings, vistas, and sceneries may be found in Carolina Beach State Park. It is located close to the identical little seaside community. It is about 20 minutes south of Wilmington and is certain to excite both nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

It is situated on the picturesque banks of the gorgeous Cape Fear River. It features a lovely beach, rich woods, and several sorts of coastal habitats. Ponds and swamps are to be expected, and great trails crisscross incredible wilderness.

Kure Beach

The sleepy town of Kure Beach is only 20 minutes drive south of Wilmington. Due to its lovely white-sand beach and laid-back lifestyle, it is very popular to come during the summer. It is located on a barrier island not far from the mouth of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.

The picturesque seaside resort town’s golden sands and watersports are what draw the majority of visitors. But you should also check out some of its entertaining and family-friendly attractions.

Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach, which is only 10 miles (16 km) east of the Historic District, is well-known for its long stretch of easily accessible beach. It is dotted with hotels, vacation rentals, dining establishments, pubs, and retail establishments.

Spend the day lounging on the beach and enjoying the waves, or arrive early to see the dawn over the Atlantic. Wrightsville Beach should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for the greatest free activities in the neighborhood. Or, even just a fun family activity.

Which Is Better – Wilmington or Myrtle Beach?

These destinations are some of the best on the US Atlantic front and they offer quite a distinct flavor. Ultimately, whatever decides which is best depends on what kind of experience you want to have.

Wilmington is more chilled and laid-back in general. It is best for those looking for a true R&R, and respite from crowded tourist destinations.

Myrtle Beach, on the other hand, is dynamic like Miami. It is noisy, crowded, and bursting with fun and energy. The stretch is perfect for the party-going, thrill-loving crowd. Myrtle Beach is famous for Spring Breakers, and the energetic younger crowd. It is family-friendly as well, but it is not particularly safe for smaller kids.


Is Wilmington Beach Better Than Myrtle Beach?

Both beaches have their appeals that are well worth the travel, but it ultimately depends on what type of experience you want to have. Myrtle Beach is the more popular option thanks to its more dynamic and rowdy reputation. A lot of previous visitors said that it’s more of a Spring Break type of destination. It is known for its jam-packed highs and parties.

Wilmington Beach on the other hand is more laid-back, quieter, and relaxed. It is best for the slow and chill type of travelers, even families who prefer downtime rather than having a constant high.

Is Myrtle Beach Near Wilmington?

Myrtle Beach is a bit far from Wilmington with a direct distance of 66 miles or 105 kilometers.

Wilmington to Myrtle Beach

You can get to Myrtle Beach from Wilmington in one of two ways. You can brave the distance by driving, or taking a bus.

Wilmington to Myrtle Beach by Boat

Right now, there are no boats or ferry routes that will take you from Wilmington to Myrtle Beach.