While the Grand Strand’s summers may get most of the attention from tourists and travel writers, savvy travelers (and the area’s locals) know that the fall is also a great time to get out and about in the Myrtle Beach area. After all, once peak season has passed, area visitors can enjoy all of the same wide-ranging attractions and activities, but with milder temperatures and thinner crowds.
Further, the fall schedule on the Grand Strand is filled with fun festivals and events, and their focuses are broad enough to appeal to guests of nearly all ages and interests. Consider these five festive reasons to plan your Myrtle Beach getaway during the autumn months:
- Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival — Held on the grounds of the historic, Spanish architecture-inspired Atalaya Castle that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean at Huntington Beach State Park near Murrells Inlet, this annual arts and crafts fair is set for September 27-29 this year. The festival’s 44th running will spotlight the works of 100-plus artists and vendors, along with providing enough food and music to keep its attendees well-fed and entertained. Bonus: Visitors can explore the park and castle at no additional charge with their festival admission fee. Check out atalayacastle.com to learn more.
- Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art — Spanning nearly three weeks in October, this annual festival is proof positive that the “arrogantly shabby” South Strand resort town of Pawleys Island knows how to have a good time. Celebrating its 28th season in 2019, the festival features a range of events spotlighting the works of regional artists, offering some of the area’s best food and drink, and bringing nationally renowned musicians to local stages. (This year’s highlights include Blood, Sweat & Tears; Pablo Cruise; and Soultown.) To top things off, the festival’s venues include some of the Lowcountry’s most scenic settings. Learn more at pawleysmusic.com.
- Little River ShrimpFest — Scheduled for October 12-13 this year, this 15th annual event puts the spotlight on the quaint fishing village of Little River, which sits just south of the North Carolina-South Carolina line on the banks of the waterway that gives the town its name. As the festival’s name implies, a long list of tasty shrimp dishes (and other favorites from the sea) will be up for grabs here, along with a full schedule of live music presented on two different stages, and plenty of dancing in the streets. Other attractions include approximately 150 vendors selling arts, crafts and more; a children’s area offering activities like face painting and balloon artists; stilt walkers … and have we mentioned fresh seafood yet? Explore all of the 2019 festival’s offerings at littlerivershrimpfest.org.
- St. John’s Greek Festival — Set for October 17-20 this year, this annual celebration of Greek culture and cuisine consistently brings the crowds out to Myrtle Beach’s St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. While the event also boasts authentic Greek music, dancing, and arts & crafts items for sale, the top attraction for many visitors is the food — which regularly includes Greek delights the likes of spanakopita, gyros, baklava, Greek cookies, breads and pastries, and more. For more info, visit stjohn-mb.org.
- Coastal Carolina University Football — Playing at Brooks Stadium on the CCU campus in Conway, the Chanticleers bring a taste of Division I college football to the Grand Strand each year, and it’s accessible without having to fight the much heavier game-day crowds found on fall Saturdays in Clemson and Columbia. This year’s home schedule runs from late August through late November, and the visiting teams primarily include a range of Sun Belt Conference foes like Troy University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Texas State University. Check out the full 2019 schedule at goccusports.com.
These are just a few highlights of the great events on tap this fall on the Grand Strand — other opportunities for family fun in the Myrtle Beach area abound. When you’re ready to soak up some coastal sun, fun and events Grand Strand-style, book your getaway at Long Bay Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront. With our wide range of comfortable accommodations and luxurious on-site amenities, we’ve got everything you’ll need to get away from the grind and make some lasting memories during your Myrtle Beach area vacation.