Wandering the Waterways
In addition to its land-based attractions, Myrtle Beach offers groups a number of opportunities to get out on the water and experience the natural environment. The diverse geography of the Grand Strand includes beaches, islands, salt marshes and rivers, which make for a wide variety of exploration options.
Pawleys Island is a strip of land off the Myrtle Beach coast, where plantation owners built vacation shacks as far back as the 1700s. Today the island is home to a company called Surf the Earth, which offers surfing and paddleboarding excursions for groups.
“One of the more unique experiences they offer is called Paddleboard Yoga,” Miles said. “Basically, it’s a paddleboard tour to a small barrier island off of Pawleys. You get off and do a yoga session on the island. It’s a pretty physical tour, because you have to be pretty fit to paddleboard and do an hour of yoga. It’s great as an optional activity for groups.”
During the outing, Surf the Earth guides lead participants through the ocean water to the barrier island, teaching them about the area’s history and ecosystem as they go. Once on the island, they lead the group in an hour of yoga exercises and take them on a short exploration of the surroundings to scope out seashells and marine life before paddling back to Pawleys Island.
Another company, Black River Outdoors Center, can take groups on guided kayak and canoe tours of various places around Myrtle Beach. Groups can take a paddle at Huntington Beach State Park, a traditional sandy beach, or choose to explore some of the backwater of the area. A tour of Tupelo Swamp, near the Waccamaw River, highlights some of the freshwater wetlands found at the places where the river empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
“The owner’s name is Paul, and he’s like a real-life Huck Finn,” Miles said. “He’s not afraid of anything. He’ll jump out in the water and grab a snake out of a tree to let you pet it. He says he can wrestle small alligators. He also has a degree in history, so he talks a lot about the history of the area.”
For a more refined experience, Black River can arrange evening kayak trips to Georgetown, where guests can enjoy the sunset of the beautiful historic harbor town.
If your group would rather stay dry, “Captain Dick” at Crazy Sister Marina offers boat tours of Murrells Inlet, a historic fishing village and salt marsh nature preserve. The Saltwater Marsh Explorer program covers the history of Murrells Inlet and the distinctive ecosystem found within the salt marsh.
The company also does fishing charters and dolphin-watching cruises, as well as pirate adventure programs for children and families.
Myrtle Beach Area CVB