Friday, June 15, 2012

Parking on the Grand Strand

The car is loaded with boogie boards, coolers, and sunscreen and you’re ready for a fun filled day at the beach! The challenge:  Where do you park for public beach access? Grand Strand parking may seem a bit daunting for those vacationing in an unfamiliar area. We're here to guide you to the best parking on the Grand Strand:

North Myrtle Beach is the home of the famous Cherry Grove Beach (a surfing hot-spot!), and also includes Atlantic and Windy Beaches. Access to parking lots at these locations can be found while driving along Ocean Boulevard. All parking is free in this area!

Myrtle Beach is one the most popular areas on the Grand Strand. Every summer thousands of people flock to its white beaches, warm waters, and new boardwalk. Fortunately, the city has more than enough parking to accommodate such large crowds! Most of the city is managed by street parking meters. From 31st Ave North to 29th Ave South and 69th Ave North to 77 Ave South, meters are in effect from March 1st through September 30th, 7 days a week, from 9:00 am to 12:00 am (so if you want to watch an early morning sunrise, you’re in luck!).
A quick word to the wise: pay attention to the stickers on the meters. Blue stickers are worth a maximum of 2 hours of parking, red stickers - up to 3 hours, and green stickers allocate all day parking for $6. Be careful! The city does a good job monitering the meters.

The Pavilion Parking Garage
If you prefer to keep your car off the busy streets, the Pavilion Parking garage is located in the heart of Myrtle Beach and is just south of the SkyWheel. The prices vary according to the season.  They offer daily, nightly, week-end, weekly, and monthly rates. The pay station at the garage accepts credit and debit cards-- it's a great option if you don’t have change!

Surfside Beach, known as the family beach of the Grand Strand, is located just south of Myrtle Beach. Like its larger neighbor, Surfside manages beach parking by meters at a rate of $1 an hour. No shirt, no shoes, no change? No problem! Surfside’s convenient self-serve pay stations accept coins, credit cards, and debit cards. Be sure to display your printed receipt on the dashboard of your vehicle.
The parking lot located at Surfside Pier also accepts cash, but bring small bills because the meters do not make change. However, a change machine is located at Eagles Beachwear across the street. In addition to the pier, metered parking is available on 3rd and 6th Ave North, Yaupon Drive, and 3rd to 5th Ave South.  As with Myrtle Beach, beware of expired meters.
One of the lesser known beaches in the area, Garden City is conveniently located just south of Surfside Beach. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of busier areas, this is the ideal place. You’ll find several public beach access points off of South Waccamaw Drive, the road running nearest the ocean. The best part? Garden City offers free parking!
Huntington and Myrtle Beach State Park
The meticulously preserved beaches of Huntington and Myrtle Beach State Parks are local favorites. Here you can enjoy sand and surf, hiking, picnic areas, and beautiful scenery. Because entry into the park is monitored, parking is not only quick and easy but also safe. Huntington Beach State Park, located 15 minutes south of Surfside, charges an entry fee of $5 for adults (13+) and $3 for children (6-12). Myrtle Beach State Park costs $3 for adults (16+) and admits seniors (65+) and children at no charge. Hours of operation for both parks run from 6:00am to 10:00pm in the summertime.
Now that you know where to park, come enjoy a stress-free vacation along our famous coastline. On your way to the Grand Strand, don't forget to stop by The Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center to receive additional information, maps and all things Myrtle Beach!

The Famous Grand Strand Beaches

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