What's it like to live in Myrtle Beach, SC?


JoAnna Brown

Profile written by local expert:

JoAnna Brown

Although it's better known to outsiders as a vacation hot spot for beachgoers and golfers, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is also an attractive place to live for a number of reasons. Young professionals, growing families and empty nesters who are drawn to the area's mild weather and beaches set down roots thanks to its relatively low cost of living.

As a popular vacation destination, Myrtle Beach offers a high number of job opportunities for those in the tourism and hospitality industry. Even if their professions don't revolve around the region's visitors or transplants, Myrtle Beach residents benefit from living in a tourist haven. Those who live here have access to hundreds of quality restaurants, a variety of leisure activities and a jam-packed events calendar.

Residents also profit from the area's pro-business atmosphere, propagated by low income taxes and numerous incentives for growing companies. These perks make Myrtle Beach a great place to start a small business.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is ranked:

#74 in Best Places to Live

6.4

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    7.4
  • Value
    5.4
  • Job Market
    5.0
  • Quality of Life
    6.3
  • Net Migration
    10.0

Read how we rank places

Myrtle Beach, SC Quick Stats

  • 419,585

    Metro Population

  • $35,650

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 45.8

    Median Age

  • N/A

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 5.0%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $860

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 22.3 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Myrtle Beach, SC?

The cost of living in Myrtle Beach is lower than what the average American pays, largely due to the region's affordable housing. The median sale price of a home in Myrtle Beach is several thousand dollars lower than the national median. However, the metro area's growing population – not to mention its growing popularity among those in the market for vacation homes – has caused prices to climb in recent years. Additionally, Myrtle Beach residents tend to pay higher utility prices than the average American.

Value Index

Index Score: 5.4 /10

How we calculate this.


Myrtle Beach offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Myrtle Beach, SC.

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What's the weather like in Myrtle Beach, SC?

Mild weather year-round is what draws many newcomers to the Myrtle Beach area. Average high temperatures in the winter hover well above freezing, and snow is rare. Still, given its coastal location, the Myrtle Beach region can experience heavy rains or worse if there’s an active tropical season. Summers are hot, but ocean breezes make the season bearable. Fall and spring days in Myrtle Beach may be some of the most enjoyable, as the temperatures sit in the mid-70s. Rain is pretty frequent through the spring months, but the fall season is the perfect mixture of sunny days and cool evenings.

What's the best way to get around Myrtle Beach, SC?

You will need a car to get around Myrtle Beach. The region is crisscrossed by several major thoroughfares. Route 17 runs north to south, connecting the downtown area to communities like North Myrtle Beach, Litchfield and Pawleys Island, and Highway 31 parallels 17 a few miles further inland. Route 501 runs east to west to the heart of town from points further inland, like Conway. The area's growing population has made traffic an issue; however, regional authorities have taken steps to alleviate congestion, such as providing signs for alternative routes.

Making central Myrtle Beach more pedestrian- and bike-friendly is a priority for area leaders, who are working to add and extend sidewalks in communities like Carolina Forest, Socastee and along Kings Highway. Additionally, several bus routes operated by Coast RTA serve Myrtle Beach and provide limited coverage in the nearby communities of Conway and Georgetown.

Travelers coming into and out of Myrtle Beach usually fly into Myrtle Beach International Airport, which is serviced by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines and other carriers. The region is also accessible by bus via Greyhound.

Commuting in Myrtle Beach, SC

Means of Transportation
Driving
93%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
0%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

22.3 minutes

3.8 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Myrtle Beach, SC?

Thanks to its pleasant weather, abundant activities, affordable housing and plentiful health care options, Myrtle Beach is a popular retirement spot. As a result, the population is generally older. However, the region's many job opportunities have attracted plenty of younger residents, too. 

The majority of residents are religiously unaffiliated, although the majority of those who are religious tend to identify as Protestant. Meanwhile, there has been a growth in nondenominational places of worship. Churches like NewSpring and Wellspring offer nontraditional, modern services within a casual environment and focus on community involvement through volunteer work.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


Fewer single people in Myrtle Beach than
national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Myrtle Beach, SC?

If there’s a benefit to living in a tourist town, it’s that you can always find an attraction to visit, a new restaurant to try or a festival to attend.

Myrtle Beach caters to its outdoorsy residents with two state parks – Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park – that feature hiking and biking trails, but the main draw here, without a doubt, is the sprawling beaches. Residents can take advantage of the nearly 60 miles of shoreline that run along the Grand Strand, spending the warm days swimming, fishing, boating or sunbathing. In addition to its coveted coastline, the Myrtle Beach area is peppered with golf courses, many of which were designed by golf greats like Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Arnold Palmer.  

Residents also have access to hundreds of restaurants, many of which are locally owned.

Families with kids will find many ways to fill school breaks and weekends, from miniature golf to amusement parks to the zoo at Brookgreen Gardens. Meanwhile, live music and cultural events are never hard to find, with the boardwalk and The Market Common hosting many free shows.