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 here and enjoy the area's 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. But 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 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.

See all the best places to live in South Carolina.


U.S. News analyzed 150 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:

#26 in Best Places to Live

#11 in Best Places to Retire

#1 in Fastest-Growing Places

#1 in Best Places to Live in South Carolina




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Myrtle Beach, SC Quick Stats

  • 447,775

    Metro Population

  • $36,950

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 47.2

    Median Age

  • $184,675

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.0%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $913

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 22.8 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

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 an array 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 Lowcountry Zoo at Brookgreen Gardens.

Live music and cultural events are never hard to find, with the boardwalk and The Market Common often hosting shows.

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 in other metro areas, largely due to the region's housing costs. 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. 

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Value Index

Index Score: 5.7 /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.

Housing Costs 2019

Myrtle Beach


Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

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

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.

Given its coastal location though, 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 with 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.

Bus routes operated by Coast RTA serve Myrtle Beach and provide limited coverage in nearby communities including Conway and Georgetown.

Travelers coming into and out of Myrtle Beach often fly into Myrtle Beach International Airport. The region is also accessible by bus via Greyhound.

Commuting in Myrtle Beach, SC

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

22.8 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, health care options and housing costs, Myrtle Beach is a popular retirement spot. But the region's many job opportunities have attracted plenty of younger residents, too. 

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.