by Alex Palmer | January 09, 2018
A hot spot for great food, sandy beaches, and, especially, golf, Myrtle Beach, SC, has long been a major draw for meetings and corporate groups. The Myrtle Beach Convention Center offers a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 18,000-square-foot grand ballroom, and it boasts dozens of hotels with tens of thousands of square feet of meeting space. 
To learn more about what makes this such an attractive destination for event planners, Successful Meetings spoke with Cassidy Moore, the general manager of MyrtleBeach.com, the largest privately owned tourism network for the destination, which provides information on accommodations, dining, and more across the Grand Strand. 

What's new in the city for groups?

Myrtle Beach is steadily growing, and while there are many new resorts and attractions that will be built in the near future, there are quite a few places that have opened within the past few years that are great meeting spots for groups. 

Within the past couple of years, Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach was updated and transformed into DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront. This newly renovated property is home to 35,000 square feet of event space that includes beachfront options and three ballrooms, providing options for groups. 

Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations opened in 2015, and this luxury all-suite hotel boasts modern accommodations, beautiful oceanfront views, a business center, on-site pool, fitness room, and more. Plus, Ocean 22 offers services to help large groups plan their accommodations right in the heart of Myrtle Beach.

Between 2016 and 2017, Broadway at the Beach completely renovated what used to be called "Celebrity Square." The popular section of the attraction, now called "The Avenue," includes a brand-new Hard Rock Café, Wahlburgers, Dave & Buster's, American Tap House, and more. Have fun with your group trying out different foods, stopping by dance clubs, singing karaoke, seeing a comedian, and even watching dueling pianos. 


What's a venue or activity that's a "hidden gem" for visiting groups?

If you and your group are looking for fun activities between or after meetings, there are tons to choose from in the Myrtle Beach area. For those who are adventurous, Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure in North Myrtle Beach is the place to be. Conquer five treetop ropes courses, all of which include zip lines. Practice teambuilding and work on your bravery at this cool outdoor attraction.

Rockin' Jump in Myrtle Beach is wonderful for those who would like to have a blast indoors. This new trampoline park is home to a variety of activities including a Ninja Challenge Course, rock climbing, dodge ball trampolines, an open jump area, and more.

Another great idea for group outings is visiting escape rooms. There are several in the area, including Breakout Myrtle Beach, Riddles Escape Room, and Backstage Escape Games. Each of these attractions feature scenario rooms in which groups have to solve riddles and find clues to break out within a certain amount of time. 


What's a good outing for a group looking to get a sense of the city's culture or history?

The Grand Strand is rich in history and lore revolving around pirates, Lowcountry ghosts, plantation life, and more. Groups who want to get more in touch with the historical side of the Myrtle Beach area should visit the area's plantations, museums, and parks.

Brookgreen Gardens is one of the most popular places to visit in the Myrtle Beach area.  Located in Murrells Inlet, this gorgeous property features a Lowcountry zoo as well as sprawling sculpture gardens situated on once-working rice plantation. Visitors can make their way through the attraction on their own and learn about the area through signs posted around the gardens, or there are tours available during certain days and times. 

In addition to Brookgreen Gardens, groups can visit other preserved plantations such as Hobcaw Barony and Hopesewee Plantation.

Of course, there are also great museums to visit, as well. If your group likes art, you can check out the Myrtle Beach Art Museum, which has free admission and displays art from local and national artists. Or, if you don't mind a short drive to Conway, your group can learn about southern culture, heritage, and the ecosystem of the Lowcountry. This attraction is popular, not only for the education it provides, but also because it is home to a beautiful aquarium that was featured on the television show Tanked.

Where should a group go to get a truly local culinary experience?

Myrtle Beach is home to a myriad of restaurants that provide a variety of cuisine types. However, if you're looking to dine at a Myrtle Beach staple, check out Peaches Corner in downtown Myrtle Beach. This casual eatery has been serving up delicious eats since 1937, and guests here can munch on breakfast food, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, fries, onion rings, nachos, and other great boardwalk-style treats. 

Sea Captain's House is another culinary gem in Myrtle Beach, and this family-owned restaurant has been serving locals and visitors to the Grand Strand for over 50 years. This award-winning establishment boasts amazing oceanfront views, live music, and delectable fresh seafood.

If you're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere with unbeatable ocean views, visit the restaurant at Second Avenue Pier. Grab a cold brew, a burger, or seafood basket, and relax while listening to the waves crash against the shore. It doesn't get any better.
 
Another Myrtle Beach gem is Croissants Bistro & Bakery, which recently opened its second Grand Strand location. Owned and operated by chef and author Heidi Vukov, it is the place to go for a gourmet meal and mouthwatering baked goods. Guests who enjoy the food here will love Vukov's cookbook "Bonjour, Ya'll," which marries the flavors from the South Carolina coast with French cuisine.
 
For casual Myrtle Beach dining, be sure to check out Simply Southern Smokehouse. This family-owned buffet restaurant often has a long line, but it's worth the wait as the food here is finger-lickin' good! From fried chicken to barbecue pulled pork and other Lowcountry favorites, Simply Southern Smokehouse has it all. Visitors will always tell you about the delicious food, but also speak lovingly about the local man, Isaac Collington, who has been working and singing at the restaurant for decades. 
 
What else makes your city a great destination for groups?
 
Myrtle Beach is wonderful for groups of all sizes because our city is home to tons of top-rated hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals that can accommodate groups of all sizes, as well as a large number of fun things to do.  
 
Groups can enjoy over 100 golf courses, miniature golf, waterparks, shopping, and much more.  Visit our 102 Things to Do page for more inspiration of what you and your group can do while visiting Myrtle Beach.
 
Myrtle Beach is always growing, too, so there are new things popping up around town constantly. One thing to be on the lookout for in the near future is Topgolf, which will be the perfect attraction for groups looking for something cool to do in the evenings after meetings.