The term “old school” gets tossed around so much that it has lost its original meaning. It doesn't just mean old; it means classic. Cars are old; 1965 Mustangs are old school.
Now that we've cleared that up, Myrtle Beach is packed with all kinds of attractions. Many of them are brand new, and that's fine. You can have a good time trying out the newest, latest and hottest trends. But to get a true Myrtle Beach experience, you need to go old school. Here are 10 of our favorite old school attractions on the Grand Strand:
Cherry Grove Fishing Pier: There are nine fishing piers on the Grand Strand, but this wooden-piling platform between Little River and North Myrtle Beach has a solid track record. Built in the 1940s, this Pier has weathered hurricanes and seen world record catches, including a tiger shark (1,780 pounds) and amberjack (98 pounds).
Family Kingdom: This downtown amusement park is the last of its kind after the Pavilion closed in 2008. Although it has been updated with new rides and an oceanfront waterpark, Family Kingdom still has the vintage Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster and go-kart tracks. Carnival-style games and food and kiddie rides make this a classic family outing.
Mount Atlanticus Miniature Golf: Yes, there are more modern putt-putt palaces in Myrtle Beach. But in terms of a classic mini-golf atmosphere, this is the place. Towering over the Five Points skyline are tiki huts, torches, and statues of bizarre creatures from the underwater city. Get a great view of the beach and downtown from atop the “mountain.”
Myrtle Beach SkyWheel: This neon-lit, modern-day Ferris wheel is new to the downtown district, but it is an instant classic. Standing 190 feet above the oceanfront and downtown district, the SkyWheel features air-conditioned gondolas that are encased in a special reflection-proof glass that allows passengers to snap some incredible photos.
Myrtle Beach State Park: If you want to see the real “old school” Myrtle Beach, as in before the area was developed in the 1900s, this is your place. The oldest state park in the state features hiking trails through the maritime forest that lead to an undeveloped stretch of beach. A fishing pier, picnic shelters, and state park programs make this a great family getaway.
Myrtle Beach Speedway: Start your engines and head down Highway 501 for an action-packed Saturday night of racing under the lights. Opened in 1954, Myrtle Beach Speedway has seen some big names grace the racetrack over the years, including four generations of Petty and three generations of Earnhardts.
Pavilion Nostalgia Park: When the Myrtle Beach Pavilion closed in 2008, Myrtle Beach lost a true treasure from its golden era. However, many of the rides and fixtures from the old park are preserved at this Broadway at the Beach attraction, including the old Herschell-Speilman carousel and pipe organ. The kids enjoy the rides while their elders take a stroll down memory lane.
Pine Lakes International Country Club: This is the course that launched Myrtle Beach as a golf destination. Opened in 1927, “The Granddaddy” features a historic clubhouse where “Sports Illustrated” was founded and other vacationers played golf, enjoyed the Southern hospitality and spread the word among their friends. Nearly 90 years later, there are more than 90 courses on the Grand Strand.
Second Avenue Pier: This fishing pier has stood for more than 75 years, and recent renovations have made it more enjoyable while maintaining its vintage charm. The new tackle shop, restaurant, and rooftop bar have helped it keep up with the changing times.
Wild Water & Wheels: You may drive past a couple of water parks to get to this Garden City Beach classic, but it's worth the 15-mile drive. Featuring towering waterslides, go-karts, bumper boats, putt-putt golf and an arcade, WWW is a one-stop spot for family fun.