What do a restaurant, bar, gift shop, campground, state park, record holder, and an observation tower have in common? They are all piers along the Grand Strand from North Myrtle Beach to Garden City Beach, South Carolina. These majestic wooden marvels have withstood hurricanes, storms, changing tides, and thousands of visitors each year, stretching out from sandy beaches and salty marshes. They are places to entertain, delight, and occupy a person for a few minutes, hours, or even days.
Some people enjoy the fishing. Some just want to enjoy the beautiful views. Others, like myself, just enjoy walking to the end and back. Whatever the reason, no vacation to the Myrtle Beach area would be complete without a visit to a pier. Most are easy to access and provide entertainment all day long. Whatever your passion on your vacation, a visit to a pier can provide at least a small amount of entertainment. Here is a list running from the northern-most to the southern-most pier along The Grand Strand.
A few notes before reading on. All information here including hours and rates can change at any time, but I will update when I can. Please call ahead or visit the website listed to get the most accurate information. The prices listed for rod rentals does not include the cash deposit often required by different piers. You do not need a South Carolina Fishing License if you fish from a pier; this is included as part of your fishing fee.
Cherry Grove Fishing Pier
The Cherry Grove Fishing Pier is tucked away behind the towering Prince Resort on the northern end of North Myrtle Beach. The pier has a full service bait, tackle and gift shop you must walk through to access the pier. Next door you’ll find the Boardwalk Beach Cafe with a full menu to keep you fed throughout the day, including outdoor seating to enjoy the waves and beach.
The pier’s most unique attraction is the observation tower at the end of the pier. Climb up a flight of stairs and you’ll find yourself with a 360-degree view about 30′ above the ocean. The covered gazebo will keep you shaded if you want to spend a day out here with family or friends, or if you just want to sit back and read a book.
Accessing the pier is easy, but will cost you a few dollars. The parking lot directly beside the pier charges during the peak seasons. But the parking garage underneath the resort across the street is free for those wanting to walk to the pier. Once there, be sure to visit the observation tower and if you wait long enough you’ll probably see someone catch a shark!
3500 N. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach, SC | 843-249-1625 | www.cherrygrovepier.com/
Rates: $2 walking fee, $6 – $16 per day to fish, $20 Rod Rental
Hours: Mo Tu We Sa Su: 6AM-12AM, Th Fr: 6AM-2AM, varies by season
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Apache Family Campground Pier
The Apache Pier at the Apache Family Campground holds the record for longest wooden pier on the East Coast and the Myrtle Beach area, stretching out a whopping 1,206′ (that’s nearly a quarter mile!) This pier is so long you will often find a golf cart offering rides for disabled people or those burdened with loads of fishing equipment.
The Apache Pier is so long they have an entertainment area just halfway to the end, at the typical location of the end of most other piers. The entertainment area features a large covered area in the middle of the pier that offers live music during the summers, plenty of room to sit, and even a small dance floor. By the time you reach the end of the pier you notice the sound of crashing waves on the beach has become a low, distant rumble, truly making you feel as though you’ve walked out into the ocean. A small covered area at the end of the pier offers a place to duck under some shade and cool off during those sunny days.
The pier also features a restaurant, gift shop, and bait & tackle shop, easily providing for all your needs throughout the day. In fact, this is easily one of the best piers to spend an entire day along The Grand Strand, especially if you come during a night of live music and dancing. You have to pay a $5 fee to drive into the campground and park (unless you are a guest staying there overnight) you can park right next to the pier. A $2 walking fee is required but is good for the entire day, even if you leave and come back later. The pier is open 365 days a year with varying hours depending on the season.
9700 Kings Road, Myrtle Beach, SC | 843-497-6486 | www.apachefamilycampground.com/pier.php
Rates: $1 walking fee, $5 admission to the campground, $23 Rod Rental which includes pass, rod, and bait
Hours: 6AM – Midnight, varies by season
Pier 14 Restaurant & Lounge
Pier 14 was one of the places I would visit for lunch when I was a kid vacationing here with my family. We would always stay at an oceanfront hotel somewhere along what is now the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk so it was an easy walk to get here. My favorite memory of this restaurant pier was sitting out on the deck and watching the waves move under my feet white we ate.
The restaurant has a variety of menu options for lunch, dinner, and a special deck menu. The restaurant is open seasonly from 11AM – 4PM for lunch, 4:30PM – 10PM for dinner, and the lounge from 11AM until everybody is done. Happy Hour runs daily from 4PM to 6PM.
Also located on the pier is the gift shop. The gift shop is loaded with knick-knacks, postcards, t-shirts, and beach-themed decor. You can pick up the traditional postcard or souvenir fridge magnet or invest in a Christmas gift that you’ll hide in a closet for the next few months.
You have to walk through the gift shop to access the pier (smart move) and pay a $2 walking fee. You can also invest $7 for a day of fishing on the pier; they offer equipment for rent and bait for purchase just in case you didn’t bring your own. The pier is short but has quite a few picnic tables for a little rest and relaxation if you want to spend some serious time out there. You can’t beat the view from this pier: just a block away is the towering 240′ tall SkyWheel Myrtle Beach. At night the bright LED lights from the SkyWheel reflect in the ocean waters, providing a beautiful place to enjoy the patterns and capture a few landmark photos.
The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk stretches from the nearby Banditos Mexican Cantina to one block south of Second Avenue Pier for a total 1.4 mile trip. Parking for Pier 14 is tricky, but not impossible. An oceanfront parking lot next to the SkyWheel is the closest, easiest, and most expensive. Your best bet is to park along Withers Alley one block back from Ocean Blvd. between Mr. Joe White Avenue and 9th Avenue North, or you could use the former Pavilion Parking Garage at 9th Avenue North and Kings Highway. The small parking lots along Withers Avenue charge about $5-8 a day for parking and the parking garage charges by the hour. From here, it is about a 15-20 minute walk to Pier 14.
1306 North Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC | 843-448-4314 | www.pier14.com
Rates: $2 walking fee, $7 fishing fee, $14 Rod Rental
Hours: 11AM – 10PM, varies by season
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Second Avenue Pier
Second Avenue Pier is truly a one-stop entertainment venue along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Featuring a fishing pier, gift shop, bait & tackle shop, restaurant, and bar, this is one place to spend a full day, or even more than one. Second Avenue Pier is located near the southern end of the Boardwalk at Second Avenue North (hence, the name).
The recently renovated pier (2011) has a small gift shop on the main level with the fishing pier. The shop has a few t-shirts and knick-knacks, a drink machine, and a few snacks. They also have bait & tackle and equipment for rent if you didn’t bring your own. They charge a $1 fee to walk onto the pier, and then $9 to fish for the day. All of these prices include the entire day, so you can leave and return at any time.
Once onto the pier, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained throughout the day. A couple of vendor stalls can offer ice cream or personalized sketches. A covered area at the end of the pier gives you a place to cool off during sunny days. A couple of cleaning stations along the pier gives you a place to prepare your fish after a good day catching. If you visit during the summer months you are likely to see several large, metal tubes near the end of the pier. Second Avenue Pier hosts the Hot Summer Nights fireworks show every Wednesday night during the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and then a few special shows like the Fourth of July and New Year.
The Pier House Restaurant is on the same level as the fishing pier and offers a majestic view of the beach. Towering glass windows along the two outer walls let you watch the ocean waves crash on the beach and hungry little seagulls fly by. The restaurant offers a good selection of seafood and also has a kids menu.
On the third floor of the building (one level above the fishing pier and restaurant) is the Pier View Open Air Bar. This bar is similar to something you’d find on Caribbean islands or perhaps Hawaii: a bar in the middle of the building with open walls on three sides and a wide deck that wraps around the entire bar. The wide deck features plenty of tables, chairs, and comfortable wicker furniture that does its very best to make you feel at home and keep you here for hours at a time. The view from the bar is unparalleled along the Boardwalk with the highest vantage point of any oceanfront business, allowing you to see as far north as the SkyWheel Myrtle Beach and Pier 14, or as far south as Springmaid Beach Pier.
Getting to Second Avenue Pier is easy: they have a large parking lot directly in front of the building. The parking lot can accommodate over 100 vehicles at a time, but sometimes this fills up quickly with people visiting the beach. Note: the parking lot is for Second Avenue Pier visitors only and during the summer months a parking lot attendee will keep an eye out to help visitors. If this parking lot is full, keep driving north along Ocean Blvd. for a dozen more public beach access parking lots, some larger than others. Parking at the Second Avenue Pier lot is free, but the public beach access lots charge $1.50 an hour.
110 North Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC | 843-445-7437 | secondavenuepier.com
Rates: $1 walking fee, $9 fishing fee, $25 Rod Rental Package include fee, rod, and first tray of bait
Hours: Pier House Restaurant is open 8AM – 9PM, Pier View Bar & Lounge 11AM – 9PM, and the pier 7AM – 9PM, varies by season
Springmaid Beach Pier
The Springmaid Beach Pier is located at the southern end of Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach at the sprawling Springmaid Beach Resort. The pier offers a restaurant, gift shop, bait & tackle shop, and a long pier to enjoy your day.
The BARnacles Bar & Grill offers a beautiful view of the beach and plenty of seating for diners throughout the day. The Fish Tales General Store has a large retail section with gift items, fishing equipment purchases, beach accessories, and cold drinks. The Tackle Box is located on the pier and offers fishing equipment for rent during your day on the pier.
Getting to the pier is simple if you are a guest at the resort, but more difficult for daily visitors. A small parking garage offers pier parking but with only a few spaces. Often times people will park along the narrow unmarked street but this area fills up early and can stay full all day as people enjoy the beach.
3200 South Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC | 866-764-8501 | springmaidbeach.com/amenities/springmaidpier
Rates: $1 walking fee, $9 fishing fee, $10 rod rentals, $5 bait
Hours: The pier is open 6AM – Midnight, varies by season
View Photos: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach State Park Pier
The fishing pier at Myrtle Beach State Park is more than just a pier for park guests; it’s also a place to spend a beautiful day the beach. Located inside Myrtle Beach State Park just a few miles south of the end of Ocean Blvd., the park is open daily and allows visitors to use the public beach access or fishing pier without staying the night.
The pier offers a large gift shop with t-shirts, knick-knacks, cold drinks, and even colder ice cream. They also have fishing equipment available for purchase and rent. The pier is cozy: wide, long, with several places to sit and a covered area at the end. From the pier you have one of the best views of Myrtle Beach looking north beyond Springmaid Beach Pier. Looking south you are treated to an untouched section of beach down to the oceanfront campgrounds.
Since you have to pay admission to get into the state park, it would be a great idea to enjoy a full day there. The state park offers a short oceanfront boardwalk from the pier heading north to a few covered picnic shelters, a beautiful expanse of beach to enjoy, a couple of hiking trails, and a full campground. The $5 admission fee per person can get pricey if you have a family of five (prices vary based on age) but it could be worth it considering the price for parking at some of the other piers in Myrtle Beach. During the summer months the park can reach it’s maximum occupancy, which means all the parking spaces are taken, and may shut down access for a few minutes or even a few hours (this only happened to me once during the Fourth of July weekend). Be ready for a long wait to get inside the park: the one lane of traffic entering the park must pay at a guard station and take anywhere from a few minutes to as much as an hour to drive from the front gate at Highway 17 through the guard station. Parking is readily available directly in front of the pier and makes it one of the easiest to access.
4401 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC | 843-238-5325 | www.southcarolinaparks.com/myrtlebeach/introduction.aspx
Rates: Free Pier Admission, $5 admission fee to the park per person
Hours: 6:30AM – 8PM, varies by season
Further down The Grand Strand is the Surfside Pier in Surfside Beach. Surfside Beach is a smaller beach town with more rental homes than hotels, making the pier feel more at home than the busy, bustling piers in Myrtle Beach. This pier offers a full gift shop, a small snack shop, and a restaurant to keep you busy throughout the day.
The snack shop, Licks, offers hotdogs, chips and nachos, blizzards and milk shakes, and ice cream. It’s on par with theater food, but you get a better view than a dark movie theater to enjoy the food. The Pier Outfitters shop next door offers t-shirts, gift items, and fishing equipment for purchase and rent. The Surfside Dinner on the opposite side of the pier offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you’ll always have a place for a meal while visiting the pier.
The view from both on and under the pier is amazing. The beaches are not nearly as crowded here as other places, giving you more breathing room. Accessing the pier is easy with a parking lot in front of the pier, but this lot tends to fill up fast during the summer months. You pay by the hour at this lot as well as the other public beach access lots nearby.
11 North Ocean Blvd., Surfside Beach, SC | 843-238-0121 | www.surfsidepier.com
Rates: $1 walking fee, $9 fishing fee, $9 rod rental
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 6AM – 2AM, Friday & Saturday 6AM – Midnight, Surfside Diner 6AM – 9PM
The Pier at Garden City Beach
The Pier at Garden City Beach offers the best night life opportunity of any pier in the area: two bars with live music, one of them at the end of the pier. With an arcade, cafe, small gift shop, and bars this pier is sure to keep you busy for more than just a single day.
This pier is the only on The Grand Strand to offer an arcade to keep the kids busy (or adults, since I still drop a few quarters to play Rush arcade game each time I visit). The arcade has about 30 games to keep the kids occupied, though for how long I cannot say.
The cafe offers a good selection of food ranging from omelets and biscuits for breakfast to hotdogs for lunch. Trust me when I say the hotdogs are not your ordinary cheap ‘dogs; these things are delicious with all the toppings. The cafe is open 7AM to Midnight seven days a week during the summer months, with varying hours during the off-season. Outside you’ll find the Cafe Deck: an outdoor seating area that offers karaoke from 2PM to 6PM and live music from 8:30PM to 11:30PM during the summer months.
The fishing pier is one of my favorites on The Grand Strand. The pier has large umbrellas every few feet to give you some shade as you fish all day, built-in wooden benches, and built-in tubes for holding your rods. The pier is wide and long enough for dozens of people to fish at the same time, which stays open until at least midnight during the summer months (they often stay open 24 hours a day during the summer months).
At the end of the pier you’ll find The Bar at the End of the Pier (yes, that is actually the name). The Bar has live music nightly from 8PM until Midnight during the summer months. You’ll find plenty of seating but keep in mind you must keep the walkways clear since people can fish as late as the pier is open. You can grab a cold beer from the bar, but you can’t leave the end of the bar area and walk along the pier with alcohol.
110 South Waccamaw Drive, Garden City Beach, SC | 843-651-9700 | www.pieratgardencity.com
Rates: Free to Walk, $9.50 fishing fee, $9 rod rental
Hours: 24 hours a day during the summer months, Cafe and Bars vary by season
Veterans Pier at the Marshwalk
This is not your typical fishing pier, but is still a place for people to enjoy a day of fishing. The Marshwalk is a wooden boardwalk along the waterfront in Murrells Inlet that runs from the Crazy Sister Marina to Bovines. At the southern end next to the marina you’ll find a long pier stretching out across the marshy waters that offers beautiful views, an entertaining walk, and plenty of room for fishing.
This pier is part of the Marshwalk so admission is free, but you will need a South Carolina Fishing License to fish here. You can really only fish during high tide since low tide is quite low in this area. The pier is long enough for a few dozen people to enjoy fishing at once, though I’ve never seen more than a dozen out there at any given time. The Off the Hook bar, a covered area at the beginning of the pier with tables and chairs, offers a place to get a drink and enjoy some live music during the summer months. The best part about this pier is the easy access to loads of restaurants nearby: Wicked Tuna, Dead Dog Saloon, Creek Ratz, Captain Dave’s Dockside, Bubba’s Love Shak, Drunken Jack’s Restaurant, Wahoo’s Fish House, and Bovines.
Accessing this pier is simple: a free gravel parking lot beside Dead Dog Saloon puts you just ten minutes walking distance from the pier. Don’t park in the paved lot at the marina since this is reserved for guests of the marina and restaurant. If this parking lot is full, parking is available along Highway 17 Business (the main access road) and across the street in several grassy lots.
4079 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC (actual address of Dead Dog Saloon)
Rates: Free to Walk, South Carolina Fishing License Required
Hours: 24 hours a day