Getting There -- Myrtle Beach International Airport, on Harrelson Boulevard, 3 miles southwest of downtown (tel. 843/448-1589; www.flymyrtlebeach.com), is a major hub for Spirit Airlines (tel. 800/772-7117; www.spiritair.com), with direct flights from Boston, New York, Fort Lauderdale, and numerous seasonal destinations. There is also scheduled air service via Delta/Delta Connection (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com), American Eagle (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com), Allegiant Air (tel. 702/505-8888; www.allegiantair.com), United Express (tel. 800/864-8331; www.united.com), and seasonally from Toronto via WestJet (tel. 888/937-8538; www.westjet.com) and Porter Airlines (tel. 888/619-8622; www.flyporter.com). For cities farther west than Chicago you’ll need to change planes at least once.
Many hotels operate free shuttles to and from the airport, but taxis are always available (fares by meter). Coast RTA (tel. 843/438-3747) runs bus #747N and #747S between the airport, Ocean Blvd. and the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center and Hotel. The fare is $7 one-way or $10 round-trip.
All the major car rental companies have desks at the airport. The U.S. 17 Bypass runs north and south, about 2 miles inland from the Grand Strand’s coastline. U.S. 17 Business (also known as the North or South King’s Hwy.) runs about a half-mile inland from the coastline, through the most congested neighborhoods of Myrtle Beach. Direct access to most of the highway networks of inland South Carolina is via U.S. Highway 501, which runs eastward to Myrtle Beach from I-95. The city is around 95 miles and 2 hours by car from Charleston.
Buses from Greyhound (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com) and Southeastern Stages (tel. 404/591-2780; www.southeasternstages.com) arrive and depart from J & D Travel, 511 7th Ave. N (tel. 843/448-2472), just 4 blocks from the seafront. Buses from Charleston run just once a day, departing at 9:15am, travelling via Georgetown, and arriving in Myrtle Beach at 11:35am. The bus makes the return journey at 12:05pm.
Warning: Although their borders blend almost imperceptibly, the communities of Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach maintain distinctly different systems of numerating their roads and streets. Hundred-dollar cab fares have been racked up by passengers who weren’t clear about which of the two communities they were going to.
Visitor Information -- The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center is at 1200 N. Oak St. (tel. 800/356-3016 or 843/626-7444; www.visitmyrtlebeach.com), open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm, and Sunday 10am to 2pm (from Labor Day to Apr, the center closes at 2pm on Saturday and all day Sunday). The Airport Welcome Center (same contacts) is open daily 8am to 7pm. The online “Official Myrtle Beach Area Vacation Guide” is jam-packed with specific area information (visit the website).