myrtle beach kids

Myrtle Beach: Ultimate Family Vacation Itinerary

Are you heading to Myrtle Beach this year and looking for the best of the best family-friendly resorts, restaurants, and activities? If so, look no further! This ultimate Myrtle Beach Itinerary covers all of those bases, and more!

Every year since birth, my parents and I would escape the harsh Maine winters to enjoy Spring Break in a tropical location.

And it’s during this annual week-long vacation that I hold some of my fondest childhood memories. It is also here where my deep love for travel and adventure really began.

Lazy River

This was always a special week for my family, and even after my departure for college and beyond, it has been a tradition we have continued.

And this year, we were beach bound! In this Myrtle Beach family travel guide, I’m going to share with you the best moments from our family vacation, as well as our favorite activities, restaurants, the best kid-friendly resorts in Myrtle Beach, and a suggested three-day Myrtle Beach itinerary. If you’re ready to create your own incredible family memories at Myrtle Beach, read on!

children building sandcastles
Building sandcastles at North Myrtle Beach

Sunday afternoon-Westgate Resorts check-in

At 1 PM and after a surprisingly delightful 4-hour drive with three kids, we pulled up to the hotel. Although this was my first visit to Myrtle Beach, I knew that the dazzling strip of beachfront was famous for its plethora of family-friendly resorts. With a lazy river, splash pad, 2 pools, and just steps from the ocean, I think it’s safe to say that the Westgate Myrtle Beach Resort, had a lot of offer!

Room at Westgate Myrtle Beach

Splash Pad + Lazy River

Upon check-in, our room was not quite ready, so we bee-lined it to the Owner’s Lounge and changed into our bathing suits. First stop, the splash pad! I always appreciate when resorts have amenities for the tiniest of travelers. And although he was a bit uneasy at first, Rory eventually partook in the fun! From there, it was time to float around in the relaxing lazy river. Again, something for the whole fam to enjoy!

splash pad
Lazy River

The Beach!

After we were well-warmed up, we were ready to dominate the beach! Past the splash pad and adjacent to the poolside bar, Coconut Willy’s, is a private entrance to the beach. The girls ran for the water while Rory was deeply enchanted by the sand. I’m not joking when I say that he touched every grain of sand on the beach…twice! (He also ate about 1 cup of it as well!) We spent the rest of the afternoon building sandcastles, chasing birds, searching for unique seashells, and we even found a (dead) jellyfish!

Sunday Evening-Drafts Sports Bar

Draft Sports Bar

Monday morning-Brookgreen Gardens

Prior to our trip, I spent some time researching ‘Things to Do in Myrtle Beach,’ and one of the attractions that kept popping up was Brookgreen Gardens. Named one of the seven wonders of the Carolinas, it was definitely on our must-see list! It was quite cool in the mornings (the weather at Myrtle Beach in April is still rather inconsistent) so it was the perfect opportunity to explore more of what the area had to offer.

Child in Brookgreen Gardens

‘Brookgreen Gardens is a unique melding of art, nature, and history.’ We all enjoyed a serene morning strolling around the 9,127-acre property, swooning over the the spectacular array of flowers, shrubs, trees, and tiny wildlife. One of our favorite areas was the Dorothy P. Peace Children’s Garden. The kids loved running through the garden and admiring the (naked!) sculptures of children. Live Oak Alley was a close second. Planted in the 1700’s, these majestic structures stood with grace, seeming to serve as the protector of the delicate gardens below.

Children in Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens is not free (or cheap!), but if you have a few hours to spare and are seeking a breathtaking experience combining art and nature – look no further!


Hours: Open daily 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM

Admission: Adults $18, Children 4-12 $10, Under 3 FREE (*Pro tip – tix are valid for 7-days after purchase!)

Dining: Azalea’s Cafe

Monday evening

We spent the rest of the afternoon back at the beach, and by now the girls were far more confident in the water. Rory followed suit and had a blast letting my Dad dunk his toes in the crashing waves!

child in ocean
family myrtle beach vacation

Crave Italian Oven & Bar

As for our meal that evening, I’m a self-proclaimed foodie and am very selective of our dinner destinations during vacation. And Crave Italian Oven & Bar was on point. Our server was energetic, charming, and was actively engaged in genuine conversations with the kids. Later, she would even go as far to bring the girls into the kitchen to meet the chefs and snap a pic in front of the oven!


The food was delicious, fresh, and full of authentic Italian flavorings. When I asked Adalyn how she enjoyed her meal she proclaimed, ‘That girl was the best cook ever. I wish I could have her make me that pasta everyday!’ I think that sums it up! We got lucky with walk-in seating, but I would definitely encourage calling ahead because this is a spot you don’t want to miss!

The Skywheel

Carbed up and ready to roll, we set off to explore the Boardwalk. We had our sights set on one thing, and one thing only: the Skywheel. I didn’t know much about it, but it was recommended by a friend, and once I mentioned this massive ferris wheel in the sky to Avi, we were committed. Towering over 200-feet above the oceanfront boardwalk, we enjoyed the relaxing ride and a bird’s eye view of the brightly lit, star-filled sky. Day or night, I highly recommend you and your family take a trip on this thrilling ride too – unforgettable memories in the sky await!

skywheel at myrtle beach boardwalk
Avi and the skywheel!-she survived

If you enjoyed this post, check out Part Two, featuring Days 3 & 4 of our Myrtle Beach adventure! You won’t want to miss the fun!




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