Let’s face it, heading to a new area is always difficult to navigate until you get a feel for it. Luckily though, Myrtle Beach is fairly easy.
Basically there are three main north-south roads in Myrtle Beach. They are Ocean Boulevard, Kings Highway (aka Business 17) and Highway 17 Bypass. They all run parallel to one another.The numbered ones are avenues. They run east to west and they intersect the three main roads.
Where the action is! Very slow moving traffic especially when pedestrian foot traffic is at it’s highest (check in times), but it is inevitable. We recommend traveling on Business 17 until you find the crossroad near where your condo is on Ocean Blvd.
Kings Highway (aka Business 17)
Looking for a beach store or a restaurant, this is the place to be! Traffic is a bit slower due to more stoplights, but this is definitely the most scenic of views.
Hwy 17 Bypass
Probably the one almost everybody is familiar with. Coastal Grande Mall, Broadway at the Beach, Planet Hollywood, and many more dot this road. Probably the fastest way to get around the area once you are here (aside from Hwy 31).
In addition to these roadways, there are two more that are well-traveled: Highway 501 (the main road heading directly into the heart of Myrtle Beach, always busy) and Hwy 31 (which runs parallel to the roads mentioned above and is the best way to get to and from longer distances on the Strand).
Hwy 501 (the main entrance to MB)
Highway 501 intersects the Highway 17 Bypass as it enters Myrtle Beach from Conway. It has long been the primary entry way to the beach. Travel before 1PM or after 4PM during peak tourist season if you plan on coming into Myrtle Beach on a Saturday! Or else you will be sitting in traffic instead of sitting on the beach. Instead try Route 22 to get to the Northern end of Myrtle Beach or and take Route 31 to Robert Grissom Parkway.
Hwy 31 (quickest way from point A to B)
Highway 31, also referred to as Carolina Bays Parkway, is a new-ish alternate roadway. The main section runs from Highway 9 just west of North Myrtle Beach. Then continues down to Highway 544, which leads to Highway 17 in Surfside Beach and also connects to Highways 544 and 501. Traveling on Highway 31 can avoid a lot of traffic that you would find on 17.
Some more tips to keep in mind while driving in Myrtle Beach
Traffic moving southbound on Hwy. 17 during weekdays between 4-7PM will be very heavy, as those that are unfortunate as to have to work in this beach community make their way home from work. This applies to traveling south on the Route 17 Bypass and between 501 and 544 between the same hours.
Heading north on the Hwy 17 Bypass at dinnertime you can run into heavy traffic.
From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, Ocean Boulevard (the lined with high rise hotels and condos) will often be bumper to bumper in the evenings (especially weekends), as visitors seek out the downtown nightlife. If you wish to avoid all the hub bub, usually concentrated in the area of 25th Ave North to 10th Ave South, you can hop on Kings Highway or the Robert Grissom Parkway.
Check-in times for hotels, motels and short stay condos can be 2 or 3 PM, that will also generate travel in areas populated with that type of accommodations.
With over 14 million visitors annually and a relatively small area with limited roadways, traffic is a major factor in this area. Being aware of the where the hot spots are and how to avoid them can make your stay in Myrtle Beach more enjoyable!