There's a reason that Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular places for family vacations: It's just so ridiculously fun. The beautiful beach and warm ocean may have been what first brought visitors to the Grand Strand, but the huge assortment of adventurous, fun, funny and downright kooky attractions is what has given Myrtle Beach a special place in the hearts of children (and their parents). In fact, I think you could argue that Myrtle Beach is the "King of Kooky Places" in all of South Carolina.
And since we love kookiness, we love Myrtle Beach. In a place that is full of over-the-top, unexpected fun, these are 4 of our favorite kooky Myrtle Beach things to see.
1. Mermaids at Ripley's Aquarium
Ripley's Aquarium is a top-notch aquarium, with a slew of educational programs, innovative and kid-friendly exhibits on slime and jellyfish, multiple touch tanks, and an astonishing ocean tank full of sharks, sea turtles, and massive schools of fish that you can (literally) walk through and under.
That's right. The aquarium features a live mermaid show on the weekends, where beautiful, sparkly mermaids swim, splash, and dance to music with the rays of sharks of Ray Bay.
2. Paintings at Mt. Atlanticus
Mt. Atlanticus Minotaur Goff (that's mini golf, to you and me) is one of the best mini golf courses out of the hundreds along the Grand Strand. With its towering round green four stories high and a giant flaming torch stretching above the Myrtle Beach boardwalk, it's arguably the most eye-catching, too. But what earns Mt. Atlanticus its place on our kookiest list is a little more subtle, a little easier to overlook.
The practice holes at Mt. Atlanticus are inside, and you might be tempted to just rush through this area on your way to the outdoor towering platforms. In fact, that's just what our family did at least the first half dozen times we've played mini golf there.
You'd be missing some of the strangest, funniest, kookiest things you've ever seen. On the walls of the indoor practice range are paintings, photos, poems, and little labels and plaques that tell the strange story of Minotaur Goff. We don't want to give too much away, but believe us when we tell you that spending a few minutes reading and really looking at the art on the walls will be one of the kookier experiences in Myrtle Beach.
3. The fish at Broadway at the Beach
Broadway at the Beach is the biggest tourist attraction at Myrtle Beach, stuffed with shops, theaters, restaurants and all manner of attractions. But on your way to the mermaids at the aquarium and past the floating human hamster balls, don't forget to feed the fish.
When the artificial lake was built some twenty years ago, it was stocked with fish. Those fish have been very happy at Broadway at the Beach, and there must be tens of thousands of them now in that lake. There are little machines that sell fish food along the boardwalks, and those fish LOVE that fish food.
Again, we don't want to give away too much about what happens when you throw that food into the water full of enthusiastic fish. We'll just say it will be some of the funniest 50 cents you ever spend.
4. The best Elvis (and Dolly Parton, and Blues Brothers and Steven Tyler and Rod Stewart) impersonator you've ever seen
Don't think you love celebrity impersonators? Well, that's probably because you haven't spent a night at Legends in Concert. A plush theater is home to the most convincing tribute concert, maybe in the world. Sounds like an exaggeration, I know. But that's because you've never felt your heart skip a beat when Elvis stared into your eyes and gave you one his many sweaty scarves while his band played C.C. Rider. You'll felt transported right back to the '68 Comeback Special.
Oh, it's so kooky, I know. And so completely awesome.