When on vacation, many people tend to keep to the indoors. They might explore interesting boutiques for souvenirs, sample local cuisine at a top-rated restaurant, or absorb educational stories at a museum. Yet, travel also grants you the opportunity to reconnect with the outdoors. Otherwise, you’re missing out on your destination’s unique natural environment. In Myrtle Beach, the outdoors are home to a wide variety of marine wildlife, beautiful cypress and oak trees, and gentle rivers leading into the Atlantic Ocean. Through these Myrtle Beach attractions, you’ll experience remarkable up-close encounters with the diverse flora and fauna of the Atlantic coastline.
Sea Screamer & Sea Thunder Dolphin Cruises
The Myrtle Beach coastline is perhaps best beloved for its large dolphin population. It’s easy to find pods of dolphins near any group of shrimp boats, where they like to share in the fresh catch. A cruise on the Sea Screamer or Sea Thunder will bring you to the frontlines of the action, where you’re bound to catch sight of the dolphins playing at the choppy surface and happily hunting. The dolphin cruises run for an hour and a half, starting with a narrated voyage up the Intracoastal Waterway, then passing some uninhabited islands before taking to the open ocean. Plus, you’re guaranteed to see dolphins when you choose to cruise with Sea Screamer and Sea Thunder Dolphin Cruises. If you don’t, they will give you a free pass to ride again later.
Waccamaw River Tours
Waccamaw River Tours is another excellent way to get some time outside on the water from the comfort of a large motorboat. Their Nature & Wildlife River Boat Tour sails for an hour and a half between the cypress-lined banks of the Waccamaw River. As the pontoon boat floats through the still swamplands and hanging moss of the National Wildlife Refuge, you can sit back and relax to the educational narration on the local ecology. Not only do you get to experience the natural aquatic landscape in person, but you’ll also catch glimpses of plenty of wildlife. Make sure to bring your camera and take photos of the alligators, osprey, herons, egrets, turtles, and more!
Black River Outdoors
For a much more hands-on nature encounter, kayaking the South Carolina Lowcountry is a must. At Black River Outdoors, the 2-hour and 4-hour eco-friendly kayaking tours explore the salt marshes of Murrells Inlet, the cypress swamps of the Waccamaw River, or the longleaf pine hills of Sandy Island. Your knowledgeable tour guide will share a wealth of insight into South Carolina’s local history and ecosystem. The unique wildlife you’ll see throughout the salt marshes includes oysters, crabs, mink, sea turtles, dolphins, and a wide range of bird species.
Though it may be visible from the sunny surface, a lot is going on under the ocean waves, too. The Atlantic coastline is not just a paradise for dolphins, but it’s also teeming with aquatic species of all kinds, such as grouper, spadefish, barracuda, stingrays, sand tiger sharks, lionfish, sea turtles and others. Embark on a scuba diving charter with Coastal Scuba to see this whole new world on the ocean floor. Their scuba diving charters trek out to otherworldly sites, such as Civil War-era and 19th-century shipwrecks, a sunken military landing craft, an early 20th-century Dutch merchant vessel, Barracuda Alley, and several artificial reefs. If you don’t have any diving experience, don’t worry! You can get your feet wet with the beginner- and kid-friendly diving classes at their indoor pool, led by PADI-certified professionals.
Become a Nature Traveler
When most people think of travel, they think of an urban jungle of impressive skyscrapers and historical monuments. Unfamiliar cultural experiences and the sensual pleasures of nightlife are often the first things to come to mind. Traveling is indeed meant to expose you to foreign sights, sounds and sensations — including the rarities of the local natural environment, too. Only in Myrtle Beach will you find a comprehensive selection of outdoor activities to show you the natural wonders of the South Carolina coast!