When it comes to living like a local in Myrtle Beach, there are a few things you should know. Even if you are a regular vacationer here, you may hear the locals speaking a jargon all their own, so here’s a few little cheat tips to help you around town and not have all the other locals blowing their horns at you because you’re a tourist who might not know how to get around town!
First of all, we locals here in Myrtle Beach love to help out when we can. Tourists make up our main source of economic drive and we love our tourists! Here, I’m breaking down some very important things to know about how to get around in Myrtle Beach. Here we go!
What You Need To Know About The Roads And Highways
Myrtle Beach really is not hard to get around in at all, but it can be confusing for the tourist who isn’t familiar with our system of main roads. Think of Myrtle Beach kind of like a crossword puzzle. There are three main roads that go north and south and just a couple more that go east and west. All the avenues and side streets leading to the beaches are usually numbered and can be found easily from the main roads.
East and West
If you drove into town, then you most likely came in on the main highway that takes you straight to the beach—Hwy. 501. Although it’s technically a north and south highway, it is actually more of an east and west road as you get closer to the city of Myrtle Beach. So, having said that, Hwy 501 is one of the east and west roads that take you straight into the heart of Myrtle Beach. Just a few miles south is another route that is east and west. It’s called Hwy 544. You can pick it up in Conway and it would take you all the way to Ocean Lakes Campground in Surfside Beach if you drove it in its entirety.
North and South
The main north and south highway is Hwy 17. Hwy 17 Business runs north and south more parallel to the ocean. Directly along the ocean is Ocean Blvd. and it runs the length of the city of Myrtle Beach. Then a little more inland is Hwy 17 Bypass. This runs parallel to 17 Business, but allows you to get around without being in all the beach traffic. The main numbered avenues in town run between 17 Bus. and 17 Bypass and most will take you all the way to the ocean. One other important tip: Hwy 17 Business is also called King’s Hwy. They are one and the same; so don’t let it confuse you!
If you want to “bypass the bypass,” then Hwy 31 is for you. It’s a little more inland and runs from the Socastee area on the south end of Myrtle Beach, all the way to Little River at the very northern end of town. There isn’t much along this hwy, so you can get from one end of town to the other much faster since there are no red lights and no reasons to stop. It is more like an interstate highway in that respect.
The main avenues in the middle of town that go between 17 Bypass and 17 Business are as follows, from south to north, starting at Bypass 17:
10th Ave. North (Right across from Myrtle Waves)
21st Ave. North (The south entrance of Broadway at the Beach)
29th Ave. North (The north entrance of Broadway at the Beach)
38th Ave. North (Located directly in the middle of town)
48th Ave. North (Lots of residential areas and business parks)
62nd. Ave. North (This is mostly residential)
72nd Ave. North (Mostly residential)
79th Ave. North (Mostly residential)
82nd Ave. North (Grand Strand Hospital and medical parks)
There really isn’t anywhere you can’t get to from one of these main thoroughfares and connecting avenues. So just to recap, you have four main roads that run north and south, parallel to each other:
Hwy 31 (Inland)
Hwy 17 Bypass (Myrtle Beach all the way to Murrells Inlet)
Hwy 17 Business (Runs the length of Myrtle Beach)
Ocean Blvd. (Runs along the ocean in Myrtle Beach)
For east and west routes, you have:
Hwy 544 (From Conway all the way to Surfside Beach)
Hwy 501 (The main highway into Myrtle Beach)
That’s it folks! When in doubt, ask a local–we are a friendly bunch who love to help out! Oh, one more thing…if you hear the locals referring to “the back gate” as a point of reference, they are talking about the Bypass entrance to Market Common, which used to be the Air Force Base. The “back gate” was the back entrance. The name stuck and is still used today!
Remember to give yourself plenty of space when driving in Myrtle Beach, as many people don’t know where they are going. Fender benders are all too common among tourists. Drive safely and welcome to Myrtle Beach!