Myrtle Beach: What to See, What to Skip

Leaving the beach will be tough, but wonderful greener options abound. Brookgreen Gardens is the country's first sculpture garden and a National Historic Landmark; also in Murrell's Inlet, it features a zoo, a butterfly house, hiking trails, picnic grounds and a bevy of native fauna. For a taste of Myrtle Beach's agricultural affluence, visit Thompson Farms. Run by fourth generation farmers, it lets you tour myriad orchards and purchase produce like tomatoes, bell peppers and strawberries; visit in fall and try making it out of their eight-acre corn maze.

Savor the Seafood, Skip the Funnel Cake

Put your sweet tooth on hold long enough to enjoy some of the best seafood on the Eastern Seaboard. Bimini's is popular for its laid-back vibe, but it's the half-price oysters, clams and mussels that'll have you paying a visit during daily Happy Hour. Shop for the freshest catch of the day at the Seattle-inspired Flying Fish Public Market, or order it up – basket of hushpuppies, anyone? For an upscale seafood feast, grab a table at Sea Captain's House, where signature shrimp and crab dishes – and an enviable oceanfront location – have been tantalizing taste buds for decades.

Get Cultured, Forget the Sun

Even if for a moment, take a break from the beach by visiting the only art museum in Myrtle Beach. The collections at Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum feature the history and culture of the Carolinas and the works of native artists. There are workshops for kids, and admission is free.

Get Out (of this World)

Ready for a close encounter of the third kind? One of the newest attractions in Myrtle Beach – set to open at Broadway at the Beach next month – is Encounters: UFO Experience. This is where alien theory meets pop culture, with exhibits on Roswell and Area 51, clips from classic extra-terrestrial films (remember E.T.?) and an interactive alien abduction experience. You may never leave.

Gabe Saglie is Senior Editor for Travelzoo and is based in Santa Barbara. Travelzoo features hotel, airfare and a bevy of local deals in Myrtle Beach at www.travelzoo.com.

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