For Nightlife and Entertainment, the Grand Strand Covers all the Bases

By:Libby Wiersema

Date:1/6/2016

Lively, alluring and always pulsing – that pretty much sums up the nightlife and entertainment scene along the Grand Strand. Whether you want to take to the mic for karaoke, bust a gut at a comedy club, show off your moves on the dance floor, be dazzled by a musical show or simply listen to some head-thumping live music while drinking a cold beverage; you’re invited to the party! Every section of the Strand has a bevy of bars, clubs and theaters to feed your need for grown-up fun.

For Music and Dance

DJs and local musicians provide the soundtrack for hundreds of Grand Strand bars and nightclubs. You can also catch more famous acts at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, a funky venue that offers live entertainment in an intimate concert hall setting. If you want to experience a piece of Myrtle Beach history, stake out a spot at The Bowery, where the country music group Alabama served as the house band for nearly a decade. Alabama has long left the building, but the beer is still icy cold and the music still performed live by a house band seven days a week.

Beach bars abound in these parts thanks to the shag, named the official state dance in 1984. Grab a partner, then step and glide to the nostalgic sounds of beach music at any of the area’s many shag dance halls. Among the most popular are Duck’s Nightclub, Spanish Galleon, OD Pavilion Social and Shag Club and Fat Harold’s; all in North Myrtle Beach. Some beach clubs will even throw in a lesson, so be sure to inquire.

If your tastes are a bit more urban, there’s Heat Complex, a hip-hop super club with Miami influences, a red carpet entrance and 30 VIP sections. Several nightclubs draw crowds to Broadway at the Beach’s Celebrity Square including; Crocodile Rocks, home of the dueling pianos and Club Boca, an upscale Latin-inspired venue with two DJs for nonstop dance indulgence. Another Myrtle Beach nightlife tradition is 2001 Nightclub, where the entertainment is live seven days a week and the music runs the gamut from beach to oldies to old school rock to top 40s. You get it all at this musical buffet.

For Theatrical Entertainment

The finest in live productions grace the stages of Grand Strand theaters. The Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing is home of the wildly popular musical production “One – The Show,” an extravaganza of song, dance and stunning visuals that send the spirit soaring. Spectacular productions featuring tribute bands, magical acts, Broadway plays and more take center stage at The Palace Theatre; a grand venue known for its golden dome, winged staircase and crystal chandeliers.

Country crooning? American pop? A classic rock-n-roll laser light show? The Calvin Gilmore Theater has a show that will get your blood pumping. Home of the long-running Carolina Opry, this venue raises the bar with its compelling, high-energy menu of shows.

Be wowed by the likes of Michael Jackson, Cher, Tina Turner and Elvis – some of the famous personas starring in the Legends in Concert live tribute show. Elaborate visuals, costumes and special effects combine with outstanding talent to deliver a show that will have you leaping from your seat and shouting “encore”!

For Belly Laughs

Treat your funny bone to a night of hilarity at one of the Grand Strand’s comedy clubs. Giggles are a given at Comedy Cabana in Myrtle Beach. This club has been delivering laughs for nearly two decades with a trio of top-notch, professional comedians appearing each week. Carolina Comedy Club at Broadway at the Beach has quickly become a hot spot for those who want to “lighten up”. Here, you’ll witness the craft of master jokesters, many of them veterans of cable and late-night television.

Leave your expectations at the door and prepare to be surprised at Uptown Theater. Specializing in off-the-cuff performances, this venue is home to the Carolina Improv Company, a professional troupe that works hard to ensure you’ll never see the same show twice. If you’re inspired to test your own improv skills, sign up for one of the classes they offer throughout the year.

Though not technically a comedy club, a visit to Dick’s Last Resort is bound to keep you in stitches. But put on your thick skin before heading to “The Shame of Barefoot Landing”. The staff expertly dishes out miles of verbal abuse along with platters of yummy ribs, crab legs, shrimp and adult beverages. Live entertainment each night and “Crappy Hour” specials make the insults easier to swallow.

For Biker Fun

Bikers love Myrtle Beach, and that ardor is reciprocated at the many bars catering to the biker crowd. Whether you’re participating in a biker rally or just heading to the beach to feel the wind in your hair, you’ll find rousing camaraderie, music and cold beverages waiting to welcome you.

Live music on two stages and seven bars sweeping six-acres in Garden City – if you’ve ever dreamed of a biker utopia, Spokes & Bones Saloon is it. Hijinks and hilarity reign supreme at this "king" of biker bars. Considered one of the hottest biker destinations in the region, this venue draws the crowds and keeps them coming with its party atmosphere.

Other stops on your biker’s route should include the iconic Suck, Bang, Blow in Murrells Inlet, a high-energy watering hole and eatery that kicks it into high gear during the fall and spring bike rallies and the eyebrow-raising Big Beaver Bar, a legendary biker hang-out that began as nothing more than an ice and beer filled roadside garbage can from which an entrepreneurial woman named Leslye Beaver served up brewskies to thirsty cyclers. While you can belly up to the bar now at several locations nationwide, the congenial biker spirit of Ms. Beaver is still going strong.

For High Stakes Games

Las Vegas meets the high seas on Myrtle Beach casino boats. Play all your favorite high-stakes games like roulette, blackjack, poker, Texas hold ‘em, slots and more for hand-paid jackpots. Two luxury cruise boats – the Big M Casino I and II – sail daily from the Little River waterfront and feature fabulous buffets. Reserve a space and place your bets! Even if you’re down on your luck, you’ll have so much fun it will feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.

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