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Go For It: Eye in the Sky

Devyn Whitmire Devyn Whitmire
Devyn spends her days creating content to build an online community of travelers. She is a firm believer there’s always something new to Discover in the Palmetto State.
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Growing up in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach was always a special place for my family. Every summer, we would spend a week on the Grand Strand just like my dad had done as a kid. We were the family that would get out on the beach in the morning and stay all day long, even if it rained. My dad always said that as long as it wasn’t a storm with thunder and lightning, we were already wet from the ocean, so a little bit of rain shouldn’t matter.

Growing up in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach was always a special place for my family.

Our weeklong vacations were filled with sun and sand, shopping, days at the water park, inevitable sunburns and great food from all of our favorite restaurants that we looked forward to visiting every year. I have such fond memories of trips to get ice cream and walking on the pier at night after spending cups full of coins at the arcade with my sister and cousins. But my favorite outing of our vacation was the night we would dedicate to the Myrtle Beach Pavilion, where I would ride anything and everything until I was quite literally sick of it.

The old Pavilion was torn down several years ago, and while my nostalgic heart mourns it a little, I can’t help but admire how amazing the transition has been. The new Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a vibrant area full of fantastic restaurants, shopping and events offering all of the things I loved so much as a kid—but even better now that you can walk the entire oceanfront promenade to reach all of the exciting attractions with a view of the ocean always in sight.

The new Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a vibrant area full of fantastic restaurants, shopping and events offering all of the things I loved so much as a kid.

Views were exactly what my mission was for this particular visit to the Grand Strand because another major change to the boardwalk since my childhood days is the addition of the SkyWheel. At 20 stories tall, the SkyWheel has become an iconic fixture in Myrtle Beach with its spectacular bird’s-eye view of the Atlantic. As someone who has so many memories of this beach in particular, I figured it was about time I got to see it from the sky.

As we stepped onto the gondola, I was impressed by how spacious and comfortable it was. Not only is it temperature controlled, the ride is so smooth, even people who are afraid of heights find the SkyWheel to be a great experience. The fully enclosed gondolas feel very safe, and should anyone desire to get off, there’s an emergency call button that will alert the operator to bring you right down.

The ride is approximately 10-15 minutes long, giving each group of passengers time at the top to take in the view.

The ride is approximately 10-15 minutes long, giving each group of passengers time at the top to take in the view. You get three full revolutions, so there’s no need to stress over whether to take photos or just enjoy the panorama—there’s ample time for both! Also of note, the SkyWheel’s gondola glass is reflection-proof, providing an unobstructed view for your camera. They’ve really thought of everything—even accessibility! The SkyWheel is the only fully accessible attraction on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Even my 10-month-old could come along for the ride.

The day couldn’t have been more beautiful for a trip to the beach. The skies were a crystal clear, Carolina blue, and seeing the ocean from the sky was just incredible. It’s not something I will soon forget. My family and I are planning a trip down to the coast this summer with my little ones in tow. While I look forward to sharing some of the vacation traditions I treasured growing up with my kids, I think this latest adventure at the SkyWheel will have to become a family tradition, too.

Devyn Whitmire
Devyn spends her days creating content to build an online community of travelers. She is a firm believer there’s always something new to Discover in the Palmetto State.