This weekend, I decided to take Thomas to visit Myrtle Beach State Park. We’ve been before, and I knew they had a playground and a pier. The place is gorgeous. As you turn on to enter the park from Business 17, all of the bright colors of Eagles, Wings and Bargain Beachware of Myrtle Beach drift away and you’re surrounded by trees. All of the shelters and even the playground are neutral colors and wood, so the entire park is beautiful and natural. The boardwalk along the beach has unobstructed views of the ocean, and even the beach is calmer. Hotels are far away. The chairs and umbrellas along the beach are bright, solid colors – giving the views a very pretty aesthetic – perfect for photos, of course! Also, there is plenty of parking. Can you tell I love this place?
The playground is large and surrounded by trees, providing plenty of shade. There are plenty of slides, things to climb, and benches for mom.
Tip: if you decide to go, I suggest bringing a change of clothes.
My plan was to visit the playground, then the pier – in that order. Instead, we went to the playground, the beach, and then the pier. Thomas caught site of the ocean and took his socks and shoes off and ran off in the sand. Had I anticipated a brisk walk/jog in the ocean chasing after a 40 inch tall laughing 3 year old, I would have put my camera in the car. Luckily, it was still around my neck when I darted after him into the waves and I was really lucky to snap a few shots before running around with him, finally convincing him to continue our journey to the pier.
Squashing pennies is about the most fun activity EVER.
Usually I’m a quarter hoarder but I did not have very many quarters that morning, so we were only able to squash 3 pennies. I’m sure you remember this – put the change in the machine, choose your design, and crank the handle. After cranking it many times, a flattened penny with your chosen design comes out. WOW IT IS AMAZING. So we did this procedure until my quarters ran out, and are now the proud owners of a turtle, Myrtle Beach, and shark flattened pennies, all stored in his pockets and I really meant to get a photo for the blog (because yes, my brain works that way now) however, I think they are now wedged in his carseat.
Tip: Hold on Tightly when visiting the pier.
The most fun thing to do on the pier is climb to see the water, so I have one arm very tightly around my curious son while he watched the waves and pointed out sea creatures that included jellyfish and a SHARK. I ABOUT DIED. A real shark, swimming in the water and the thing looked huge and even thought I know they loiter around piers I have never seen one. I was able to keep my composure but had the typical neurotic “WHAT IF” mom thoughts about falling off the pier. This did not happen, and the fishermen told us the best viewing spot to find the sharks was the corner and they said 5 or 6 had been swimming around that day. OMG. AND THEN he commented “them sharks are about 3 times the size of that boy.” Thanks, Fisherman. Really. Why don’t we not plant ominous thoughts into a protective mother’s brain and let the child look at the waves to see a deadly sea creature? Then the fear of somehow losing my extremely tight grasp on Thomas (which included an arm around his neck and the other around his waist, with my hand on his shirt just in case) got the better of me, and we left the pier to go home.
Want to visit Myrtle Beach State Park?
- It’s $5/person. Free for kids 5 & under.
- $75 annual pass will get you an entire carload of people into the park. AND GET THIS – it’s not just for Myrtle Beach State Park, it’s for other state parks too. I know Huntington State Park is on the list, but I don’t know the entire list. Doesn’t matter. Just getting into Myrtle Beach State Park for an entire year is worth the fee.