Friday, July 6, 2012

Avoiding Myrtle Beach Traffic

Each year, nearly 15 million visitors from across the country flock to the beautiful beaches of the Grand Strand. With such a high volume of tourists coming in, traffic gets heavy.  We know it’s frustrating to be stuck in a jam. You’ve been driving for hours, anxious to start your vacation! Although traffic coming into Myrtle Beach is difficult to avoid, we have a few tips to make your trip a little easier.

1.) If you're coming from the north on I-95, downtown Florence is a high congestion area that we recommend bypassing. As an alternative, get on 38 at exit 181B, just a few miles past South of the Border. 38 will eventually become 501. Click here for a map.

2.) For those traveling from the south on I-95, go beyond Florence to exit 170. This will put you on North Willston Road (Hwy 327). Follow this road to East Palmetto Street (note: this stretch of road is also highways 301 and 76), which turns into 501 after Marion. To see a map, click here.

3.) If you're heading to south Myrtle Beach or Surfside, avoid taking 501 all the way into Myrtle Beach (it’s the best known route and therefore subject to traffic jams). Instead, take 501 to Hwy 544 and you’ll be cruising to the coast! Click here for a map.

4.) Carolina Bays Parkway (Hwy 31), running from North Myrtle Beach to Surfside, offers another way to avoid 501 congestion. Just after Aynor, take the Conway Bypass (also known as 22 or Veterans Hwy) to Carolina Bays Parkway. You can then ride Carolina Bays all the way to Grissom Parkway or to 544 depending on your final destination. To see a map, click here.

5.) If you're traveling on 501, elude some heavy traffic by taking El Bethel Road in Conway. Next, make a left on 378, which leads you back around to 501 South. Using this route, you will completely bypass busy downtown Conway. Click here for a map.

6.) For those of you traveling from or through Charlotte, be sure to avoid the Monroe area. Take I-485 to Hwy 218 East to save some time. (For full directions from Charlotte, click here. For a map, click here.)

7.) A brand new road,  Harrelson Blvd, was recently built in Myrtle Beach to assist with airport traffic. Harrelson acts as a fast connection between Bypass 17 and Business 17- a great alternative to 501 or 544. Be sure to take advantage of this quick route! Click here to view a map.

8.) The two main roads in Myrtle Beach include Business 17 and Bypass 17, both of which have heavy traffic in the summertime. When driving through central Myrtle Beach we reccommend taking Grissom Parkway instead. Grissom runs from 62nd Avenue North to Harrelson Boulevard (near the airport). You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration. Click here for a map.

These simple tips will help you have a smooth trip, avoiding the worst of the beach traffic. We do, however, have one final piece of advice. When you reach Aynor, remember to take a break and stretch your legs at The Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center. After providing you with additional driving tips, area information and discounted tickets we’ll send you back on the road ready for your perfect beach vacation!


  1. How do I avoid the heavy traffic leaving Myrtle Beach on Saturday or Sunday morning? I am trying to get to I74 or US 220.

  2. I always bitch about how cars all look the same anymore. Never realized how much they did in the 40s as well.... Jeff Johnson Traffic Academy.