The Grand Strand, the South Carolina beach towns and barrier islands that stretch from Little River to Georgetown, attracts over 14.6 million visitors each year - mostly families, including a growing number of gay couples and their kids. At the center is Myrtle Beach, full of amusement parks, aquariums, and other child-friendly attractions. For golf fans there are 120 courses within a short drive.
For gays without kids, Myrtle Beach might not be an ideal destination, but there are several bars and clubs with a friendly, laid-back vibe, near the intersection of Main Street and Kings Highway. Myrtle Beach Pride shut down in 2011, but the annual Charleston Pride festivities take place about two hours drive south, the first week of August, with a parade and festival. Columbia SC also has summer events: South Carolina Black Pride is a mid-August annual community expo; and the South Carolina Pride Festival takes place for a week that wraps up on Labor Day. CLAWS has social events for those into Levi/Leather in Augusta, GA. Bear Hunt is an annual Carolina Bears weekend get-together in Myrtle Beach each April.
Myrtle Beach International Airport a former military base, is 5 miles southwest of the city. It’s best known as the former hub for Hooters Air. Taxis are the best way to get downtown.
A car is handycar to get around, but there is public transportation. Coast RTA buses serve the Coastal Carolina towns of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Conway, Loris, and Aynor on 15 routes. The most frequent Myrtle Beach bus, number 15, makes a run along Ocean Blvd every 30 minutes or so.
Media & resources
Gay Myrtle Beach and OutMyrtleBeach are local online sources for gay info. Gay clubs open and close quite frequently here, some lasting just a season or less, so look around and check ahead as the guides aren't always up to date.
For the full scoop on all attractiions around town see Visit Myrtle Beach.
QNotes covers gay news, arts and entertainment for both North and South Carolina.
See our map & listings tab for local business listings, locations and weblinks.
Broadway at the Beach (1325 Celebrity Circle), general public complex of shops, clubs, dining, live music and dance shows; also amusement park.
Pirates Voyage, Fun Feast & Adventure (8907 N Kings Hwy), Grand Strand dinner and theater club, meat or vegetarian options; pirates battle aboard ships in indoor lagoon.
Pulse Ultra Club (2701 S Kings Hwy), mixed gay dance club, nightly shot boys, go-go dancers/ all-male review strippers, karaoke, game nights, drag emcees and shows. Moved from old Main Street location.
St George (503 8th Ave N), gay locals' bar, quieter music, sociable crowd, karaoke, game nights, weekly drag shows, full menu all-hours kitchen.
The Carolina Opry at Calvin Gilmore Theater (8901 N Kings Hwy), Grand Strand concert venue, live country and pop music, dance, comedy, laser light shows.
CLOSED: Rainbow House (815 N Kings Hwy); RuMors at Kono (1901 N Kings Hwy); Sneakers (819 Main St).