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Go Shopping Along the Grand Strand and Bring Home a Treasure

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema

The Grand Strand is a shopaholic's paradise, and that's a good thing. There's nothing like a little retail therapy to complement a well-rounded beach itinerary or liven up a cloudy day. Home to more than 300 outlet stores, as well as prime retail complexes, malls and flea markets, the Myrtle Beach area is the perfect place to indulge your shopping passion. Put on your comfy shoes, grab your wallet and a friend, then have fun searching for that perfect souvenir, bauble, wardrobe addition or whatever it is you fancy.

Bargain Shopping

With two locations in the Myrtle Beach area - U.S. 501 in Myrtle Beach and U.S. 17 at S.C. 22 - Tanger Outlets is a hot spot for snagging designer and name-brand goodies at off-store prices. If you have a favorite brand, you'll likely find it here. Enjoy additional discounts by purchasing a coupon booklet directly from Tanger's onsite shopper services.

If you're on the hunt for hidden treasures, hit one of the area's bustling flea markets. Lose yourself in 70,000 square feet of doodads, antiques, golf gear, tools, clothing and more at Hudson's Surfside Flea Market. This family-owned-and-operated mega-market has been a shopper's magnet since 1975. Cool off while you shop in one of five air-conditioned buildings at Grand Stand Flea Market on South Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. You can even get custom services like engraving, wedding planning and jewelry repair. Everything Under the Sun Flea Market, located on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach, offers just that, with more than 100 indoor vendors. Don't miss the consignment shop in the back for vintage items, antiques and special bargains.

No Myrtle Beach treasure hunt is complete without a stop at the Gay Dolphin Gift Cover, the oceanfront institution with 30,000 square feet of kitsch spread over seven floors. The store, which calls itself the "nation's largest gift shop," is arranged in about 50 different "coves," including one dedicated to Elvis Presley and others filled with superheroes, statues of sea life, T-shirts and really just about anything you can imagine. It was the first tourist-oriented business to stay open year-round and is, without question, a destination.

Indoor Malls

Looking to do some mall shopping? Take your pick of three. Myrtle Beach Mall, located on North Kings Highway, is home of the state's only Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World as well as department stores and specialty shops. Take a break and enjoy a meal at Islamorada Fish Co., or take in a show at the Carmike 12 Theater. Feel free to let the nonshoppers in your party tag along with you to Inlet Square Mall in Murrells Inlet. While you take care of business, they can play at Frank Theatres, a cinema and family fun zone with a state-of-the-art bowling alley, restaurant and arcade. Myrtle Beach boasts the second-largest shopping mall in the state - Coastal Grand Mall located on U.S. 17. Plan to spend a few hours navigating the more than 1 million square feet of shopping space. Everything you're looking for is at your fingertips, including apparel and accessories, optical services, jewelry retailers, bath and beauty, books and cards, electronics, toys, pet supplies, specialty products, entertainment and, on the outside, several restaurants for your dining pleasure.

Outdoor Complexes

Broadway at the Beach is the No. 1 shopping and entertainment destination in the Myrtle Beach area. This exciting mix of themed "villages" features boutiques, specialty shops, hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and amusements set on 350 sprawling acres with a glimmering lake at its center. Kick up your cool factor with a pair of designer shades from Sunglass Hut. Try on Caribbean-themed apparel at Tango Bay Clothing Company. Taste and purchase locally produced wines at Boardwalk Winery, or let the kids design a stuffed animal friend at Build-a-Bear or a custom classic remote-controlled car at Ridemakerz. There's plenty here to please all ages. Shopping doesn't get more fun than this.

North Myrtle Beach's Barefoot Landing is another outdoor shopping venue with plenty of appeal. Set amidst the Intracoastal Waterway, this complex features several boardwalks that allow you to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty and wildlife. If you're looking for a shopping experience that's "outside the box," this is your place. Get your bling on with accessories in every color from House of Style. Be wowed by the bamboo-made clothing, bedding and bath products at Cariloha. Sample the vinegars and oils at The Olive Shoppe, and create a unique wedding keepsake at Best Gift Idea Ever (there's a location at Broadway at the Beach, too.) Of course, there are plenty of attractions and dining options, too, so make a day of it.

Market Common

This urban village community, located off Farrow Parkway in Myrtle Beach, combines fine living with upscale shopping. The shopping district is set amidst custom-built homes and condos, with a sparkling lake and greenways for outdoor enjoyment. But you don't have to live here to shop here. Take a leisurely walk through this landscaped community, where you can browse the wares of upscale national retailers and one-of-a-kind specialty shops and boutiques. Compare the standup paddleboards at Coastal Urge, make a fashion statement with the bold styles at Francesa' or adopt a bit of coastal sophistication with casual wear from Tommy Bahama. Relax with a facial and massage at Dolce Lusso Salon & Spa. Bring home a treasured vacation souvenir by selecting an eclectic piece of art from Breathe Pieces of the Soul. A cinema, restaurants and an upscale version of local grocery store Piggly Wiggly make this a one-stop shopping destination.

Hammock Shops at Pawleys Island

When riverboat captain Joshua John Ward crafted his first hammock in 1889, he had no clue his beautiful cotton-rope creation would be the catalyst for the establishment of one of the area's most beloved shopping destinations. The Original Hammock Shop, opened in 1938 by Ward's family, has grown into a quaint complex rich with Lowcountry flavor and natural charm. Among the 22 well-shaded shops, you'll find colorful flip flops and beach totes at The Accessory Cottage, birdhouses and prints at The Audubon Shop and Gallery,holiday collectibles at The Christmas Mouse, gold and silver trinkets and gemstones at Whitmire Fine Jewelry, Southern gift baskets at Carolina Gourmet and coastal treasures for your home at The Beach House. Marvel at the on-site demonstrations of hammock weaving, then become the proud owner of your very own Pawleys Island hammock. It's a wonderful way to take a bit of coastal relaxation home with you.

Libby Wiersema
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