Myrtle Beach Has Many Museums To Explore

By:Libby Wiersema

Date:12/2/2015

There’s far more to Myrtle Beach than surf and sand. It is an area rich with culture, history and unique natural wonders, too. These treasured regional aspects are documented and displayed – sometimes for preservation and learning, sometimes just for fun – at the many museums along the Grand Strand. Revelations await you, so don’t wait for a rainy day to go. Visit one or more exhibits to see, touch and experience this region of South Carolina in new and surprising ways.

Historical Museums

Learn about the Native Americans who initially inhabited the area, the first settlers, the establishment of rice plantations, the effects of the Civil War and more at the North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum. A long-term gallery features a timeline history of the region while a second gallery spotlights short-term regional exhibits. You’ll even learn the history of the Shag – the state’s official dance and a popular pastime in coastal South Carolina.

A trio of museums in historic Georgetown paint an in-depth picture of life along the South Carolina coast. Get a taste of 18th-century living at Georgetown’s Kaminski House Museum and Stewart Parker House. Take a guided tour and you'll be charmed by the architecture of these antebellum homes, both appointed with period furnishings and antiques. Listen to stories of former residents who helped shape the quaint, historic town and fought to preserve their way of life through wars and other catastrophes.

As the state’s second largest port, Georgetown is an appropriate home for the South Carolina Maritime Museum. Learn about the seafaring way of life through this museum’s collection of photographs, documents and artifacts, which include the Fresnel lens from the North Island lighthouse.

Once you’ve got your sea legs, head to the Rice Museum to explore the agricultural lifestyle of landlubbers who operated the area’s first rice plantations in the 17th and 18th centuries. Their story is told through maps, exhibits, artifacts and dioramas that document the importance of the rice crop to the people of Georgetown – once the source of nearly half the nation’s rice supply.

Three fascinating collections comprise the South Carolina Civil War Museum in Myrtle Beach. Artifacts on display were retrieved from state archeological sites. See artillery, firearms, cannons and more, and learn how they were used by soldiers during the war.

Accounts of segregation, education and the perseverance of the human spirit inform and inspire visitors to the Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum. Take a tour for a thought-provoking look at a tumultuous period in South Carolina history. The restored 20th-century building, which first opened its doors to “persons of color” in 1932, is a re-creation of the original school environment where “separate but equal” educational opportunities were policy for more than 20 years.

South Carolina has a lot to be proud of, and that includes a host of notable persons who hail from this great state. Get the low-down at the [b]Official South Carolina Hall of Fame[/b] in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, where homage is paid to South Carolinians from the distant and recent past as well as the present. Learn about their remarkable lives and contributions, and how they helped make South Carolina a wonderful place to call home.

Art Museums

Experience art appreciation by the sea with a visit to the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach. With 10 galleries, an art studio and resource library, this facility serves as the Grand Strand’s hub for fine art. The museum, housed in a 1920s cabana-style villa with an ocean view, has featured exhibits from the likes of such masters as Jonathan Green and Ansel Adams. Workshops and programs for children, adults and families are offered regularly and make for a great beach break.

Boat rides, holiday lights, animals, butterflies – people come to Brookgreen Gardens for a myriad of reasons. Its origins as a sculpture garden, however, form the foundation of this National Historic Landmark with an internationally recognized art collection. Brookgreen’s late founder, Anna Hyatt Huntington, envisioned and created an outdoor gallery for her own sculptures as well as those of other artists. Today, visitors can view more than 1,400 works of art from more than 350 sculptors and enroll in sculpture workshops, too.

Interactive Museums and Attractions

Exercising the mind doesn’t seem like work when you visit one of the area’s interactive museums. Kids will only register the element of fun as they play their way through exhibits designed to be touched and explored.

Myrtle Beach is home to the Children’s Museum of South Carolina, where kids can try on a variety of hats through role playing and hands-on activities. Banker, builder, archeologist, pirate, farmer, even a pizza delivery truck driver – all children need to learn about the world around them is imagination. The museum takes care of the rest. Themed activities and programs, such as Indoor Adventure Day and Tales for Tots, offer more in-depth learning experiences.

Broadway at the Beach’s WonderWorks, another interactive museum disguised as a playground, will pique your child’s natural sense of curiosity and creativity. A lot of laughter and learning happens at this 50,000-square-foot upside-down “laboratory” filled with more than 100 hands-on exhibits. Experience what it’s like to don an astronaut suit, lie on a bed of nails, create gigantic bubbles, play a floor piano with your feet or be nearly blown away by hurricane-force winds. In addition to these “learning labs,” there is laser tag, a ropes course and other amusements for even more adventure.

Experience the wonders of a living museum at Ripley’s Aquarium, where adults and children can learn about sea life through observation and interactive displays. The Discovery Center is a magical place where visitors can hold a live horseshoe crab. There’s also an interactive, multimedia playground for kids. Treat your eyes to stunning exhibits, including a massive coral reef structure teeming with rainbows of fish. For the ultimate aquarium adventure, schedule a behind-the-scenes tour where you’ll learn what it’s like to care for these amazing creatures.

Just for Fun

You might not snag an autograph, but you can get up close and personal with your favorite stars at Hollywood Wax Museum in Myrtle Beach. Check out the life-like visages of celebrities, such as Dolly Parton, Clint Eastwood, Beyonce and Johnny Depp, and get the scoop on their personal and professional lives. You can also learn about the intricate process of creating these models, a three-month process that requires expert artistic skill.

Automobile lovers will drool over the classic collection at the Wheels of Yesteryear museum in Myrtle Beach. With more than 50 vintage American-made cars, this exhibit is considered one of the finest in the Southeast and draws crowds of “motor heads” annually. The museum owners have 100 classic cars, so some of the inventory rotates each year. Depending on your age, a visit here might be a trip down memory lane or a history lesson. Either way, it’s hard to resist running a hand over the glossy hood of a muscle car and even more fun to imagine yourself behind the wheel.

Related Content

WonderWorks: A Great Upside-Down Adventure at Broadway at the Beach
You can’t miss WonderWorks. It’s big, it’s bright, and it’s upside down. The roof juts into the ground at the Broadway at the Beach, as if this “amusement park for the mind” was ripped from its foundation, lifted up and dropped back to earth.
Discover the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
Located steps from the beach, The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum’s excellent rotating exhibits lead you to the museum’s tearoom. Pour yourself a cup of tea, take a seat and enjoy the sea grass and ocean view.
Fun for the Whole Family Awaits at Grand Strand Attractions
The Myrtle Beach area is packed with attractions and activities to entertain tots, tweens, teens and parents.
Itinerary: Three Days of Fun With the Kids in Myrtle Beach
It’s obvious how you’ll spend most of your time with your family in Myrtle Beach: on the beach. There’s plenty to do off the beach, too.
Enjoy The Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum
Explore Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - an outrageous “odditorium” filled with unbelievable oddities.
5 Magical Places for Children (and Their Parents) at Brookgreen Gardens
You can spend all day (or longer) exploring Brookgreen Gardens, the wondrous sculpture garden and grounds along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. And if your kids are with you, make sure to find these special places.

Featured Products

Brookgreen Gardens
Coast

Murrells Inlet

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Set on a 300-acre parcel in the heart of a 9,100-acre preserve along the South Carolina coast, Brookgreen Gardens is a beautiful sculpture garden with a wildlife sanctuar ...
Wheels of Yesteryear
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Myrtle Beach is home to one of the Southeast’s most impressive collections of vintage American-made automobiles and trucks comes together under one roof. Wheels of Yes ...
Hollywood Wax Museum
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
At the Hollywood Wax Museum, you can get into the action and take pictures with your favorite stars while getting to know all about them as an A-list pal. Along your jour ...
Ripley's Aquarium
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Winner of the 1999 SC Governor's Cup, Ripley's continues to entertain guests with some of the world's most beautiful, fascinating and dangerous aquatic life. The 87,000-s ...
Children's Museum Of South Carolina
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
From uncovering fossils at the Dinosaur Dig to sailing a Pirate Ship or experiencing a Book Nook, all of the exhibits at the museum are designed with one thing in mind - ...
South Carolina Maritime Museum
Coast

Georgetown

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
The South Carolina Maritime Museum opened its doors in 2011. It is located, appropriately, on the waterfront in the center of Georgetown's historic business district. ...
Kaminski House Museum
Coast

Georgetown

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
The Kaminski House was built in 1769 and contains an outstanding collection of 18th- and 19th-century American and English antiques and decorative arts. Interesting examp ...
Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Housed in a 1924 converted beach cottage, the Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is dedicated to being one of the finest visual arts museums in the Carol ...
North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum
Coast

North Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum shares the history of the northeast corner of South Carolina. Exhibits chronicle events from the community's past and open windo ...

Featured products and attractions in "Myrtle Beach Has Many Museums To Explore"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Lunney House Museum
Mountains

Seneca

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this California style bungalow was built in 1909 by Dr. & Mrs. W.J. Lunney and occupied continuously by the Lunney fam ...
Old Town Hall Museum
Coast

Andrews

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Housed in the original Town Hall, the museum (c. 1900) depicts a turn-of-the-century Andrews home. Items in the museum are circa 1909, the year Andrews was founded. ...
I.P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium
Midlands

Orangeburg

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
The planetarium is located on the campus of South Carolina State University and features Sky-Skan Automation and the NASA Educator Resource Center. An art museum offers A ...
Hagood-Mauldin House/Irma Morris Museum Of Fine Art
Mountains

Pickens

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Built c. 1856 in the original Pickens County seat west of the Keowee River, this classical Greek Revival house was dismantled and moved here when the town was moved in 18 ...
Cheraw Lyceum
Midlands

Cheraw

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
The Lyceum (c. 1820) began as a chancery court, became the Lyceum Meeting Room and private library, served as Cheraw's first telegraph office, and was both the Confedera ...
Berkeley Museum
Coast

Moncks Corner

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Located in Old Santee Canal Park, the museum houses exhibits and interpretive displays covering 12,000 years of cultural and natural history. ...