South Carolina is one of those states where everyone seems to be able to rattle off a handful of tourist cities—Beaufort, Hilton Head, and yes, Myrtle Beach, as an example. Myrtle Beach has accepted so many tourists since its beginnings, it’s enough to make your head spin. This gorgeous beachside town is always in the news for fun attractions. But, is it the kind of place where you should try to move to?
South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach is known for having excellent schools, tons of entertainment venues, as well as gorgeous views. A reasonable cost of living is a mild perk, too. However, lower incomes and a somewhat high crime rate can make this place hard to live in from time to time. Tourist traffic can also be a big issue.
If you want to make Myrtle Beach your home, then you need to be aware of what this beach city is like year-round. What you might find out may surprise you…
Table of Contents
- What Are The Perks Of Living In Myrtle Beach, SC?
- What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In Myrtle Beach, SC?
- Related Questions
What Are The Perks Of Living In Myrtle Beach, SC?
Myrtle Beach is one of those places that regularly get people who choose to use it as a summer home location. We can’t blame them, either. When you have perks like these, it’s easy to see why people adore living here.
Both the public and private schools in and around Myrtle Beach are worth staying the whole year for. Students in this area are given amazing opportunities to succeed, especially when it comes to graduation rates. Higher than average test scores, exceptionally safe schools, and loads of after-school activities make this a great place to raise well-educated children.
This is a town that tends to emphasize higher learning, especially as a way of life. As one of the better areas for students who want to get into top universities, it’s easy to see why many parents want to give Myrtle Beach a shot.
When you live in a place like Myrtle Beach, it should go without saying that you will be able to enjoy tons of things to do. Bike riding, hikes, and long walks by the beach are some of the more common ways to kick it. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy all the cool things you can do within the town’s limits.
If you’re a fan of nightlife, you’ll be happy to know that Myrtle Beach is one of the more popular places for young adults to go when they want to tear up a dance floor. Oh, and there’s also shopping, fine dining, and the fact that people here often turn fishing into a way of life. No matter who you are, the folks at Myrtle Beach are going to have something you enjoy.
Reasonable Costs Of Living
One of the things that often happens with tourist towns is a cost of living that spirals out of control. Thankfully, this is not the case when it comes to Myrtle Beach. The cost of living index for Myrtle Beach is 93, which means that it’s 7 percent cheaper than the national average. Everything is a lot cheaper here, especially when it comes to housing. It’s anywhere from 10 to 30 percent cheaper to buy a home here than the national average.
The median home price in Myrtle Beach is $216,000, and rent also happens to be several hundred dollars below the median. What this means for locals is that getting a roof over your head isn’t going to be a problem. Heck, most of your stuff is not going to be as pricey as it would be elsewhere.
Anyone with eyes could see why Myrtle Beach is such a popular place for tourists during the summer. The area has just about every island vibe you could imagine. You can find palm trees here, gorgeous sunsets, and the hushed roar of waves lapping on the beach. If you’re a fan of beautiful sights, then you’ll love this area.
By the way, it’s worth noting that Myrtle Beach is a popular place for professional photoshoots. After all, who doesn’t like a beach setting for a sexy calendar? The best thing you can do as a creative here is to link up with the local arts scene. You’d be surprised at who can help you max out your ability to work those gorgeous sights into your own artwork.
What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In Myrtle Beach, SC?
In a lot of ways, Myrtle Beach could be a textbook example of what a vacationer’s paradise could be. However, it still has a couple of pitfalls that make people avoid it. The reasons below are common examples of why it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
While the cost of living in this beautiful coastal town is low, the same can be said for typical salaries here too. The median household income in Myrtle Beach is approximately $43,200. This is around $20,000 less than the national median, and an even bigger divide can be seen on the national average. So, no matter how you look at it, the wages ain’t good—even if the unemployment rate rests at 5.4 percent.
Part of the reason for this is because Myrtle Beach is primarily a tourist town. This means that the majority of the jobs, especially summer jobs, tend to be in hospitality. Hospitality jobs are not known for being very well paid, especially if you’re talking about something like waitressing or cleaning hotel rooms.
Vacation Season Traffic
When people first move to Myrtle Beach, they often don’t realize how much of a tourist town it is. It’s hard to grasp the difference in population that people experience from summer to winter. During the colder months and off-peak travel seasons, people in Myrtle Beach enjoy fairly easy commutes with little to no traffic. It’s great and it’s what roads are built for around here.
However, when tourist season kicks in, it gets ugly. Traffic jams become the norm and people often have to reserve a couple of minutes more (like 10 to 20) just to ensure that they will be able to get to where they want to be on time. On a similar note, some parts of the ‘Beach tend to look eerily abandoned when tourists aren’t nearby. It can be offputting.
High Crime Rates
So, what do you get when you have a bunch of rowdy teenagers and young adults in one area? Trouble, in many cases. Myrtle Beach is a party town, and that means that you might end up seeing more crime than usual. The majority of people who get into trouble do so because they partied too hard. Even so, violent crime and property crime rates are both above the norm here.
With that said, the crime isn’t a laughing matter. Gang activity and drug deals happen fairly frequently in this city. Due to the high crime rates related to gang activity, Myrtle Beach was recently named the third most dangerous city in the United States. If you choose to move here, just realize that you have a 1 in 9 chance of being a victim of a property crime here. In terms of violent crime, the rate is 1 in 89.
Getting security installed in your home is a smart, if not absolutely necessary, part of life here.
Is Myrtle Beach good for people with allergies?
We wish we could say it was since most beach towns are. However, it’s not. Myrtle Beach is notorious for being a hotbed of allergens. Pollen, in particular, tends to be very bad in Myrtle Beach. As the floral name suggests, this city has a lot of trees and wildflowers that look great, but irritate sensitive systems. If you want to go here, it’s best to bring some allergy medication or Benadryl with you. Your sinuses will thank you.
What food is Myrtle Beach known for?
With all the tourist activity this beach city gets, it’s not surprising to hear that Myrtle Beach has its own food culture. The food that this area is most well known for surrounds seafood. Roasted fish, seafood boils, as well as seafood gumbos are all relatively popular here. If you are a fan of Southern-style seafood, you’ll be particularly pleased. The shrimp and grits here are amazing.
Of course, there are other options that you can enjoy if you’re a land loverer. Pastrami sandwiches and barbecue are also a great pick here. In fact, many top restaurants feature Carolina-style BBQ as the main attraction.
What is considered to be off-season in Myrtle Beach?
Most of the people who go to Myrtle Beach come here during the late spring to summer. This means that off-season months in Myrtle Beach are between November through February. This tends to mean that people will avoid the area around the time that hurricane season tends to be. Once the coldest months of the year are done with, you should expect to see a gradual (but fast) influx of people arriving around town. It’s tourist time!