There was a time when Myrtle Beach visitors relied on two main thoroughfares to get around the Grand Strand — Highway 501 and Kings Highway. While those routes will still take you to the heart of the Myrtle Beach downtown district and Bay View on the Boardwalk, our guests now have lots of alternatives for navigating the Carolina coast and getting to, from and around the Grand Strand. Although offseason visitors don’t have to worry too much about traffic, here are some of the locals’ favorite roads for avoiding the more popular routes:
* Highway 22: Also known as Veterans Parkway but more commonly referred to as the Conway Bypass, this 35-mile, east-west expressway eliminates the need for taking Highway 501 all the way to and from the beach. The divided, four-lane freeway has a speed limit of 65 mph for faster travel, and it runs from Restaurant Row through rural Horry County before connecting with Highway 501 between Conway and Aynor. There are also exits for Highways 90, 905, 701 and 319.
* Highway 31: Locals call this the Carolina Bays Parkway, and it’s a real time saver for folks traveling north and south on the Strand. Like Highway 22, it’s a divided four-lane expressway with a 65 mph speed limit, and it runs from Highway 9 in Little River on the north end down to Highway 544 on the south side. Highway 31 is currently being extended farther south to Highway 707, and it provides the fastest alternative to Highway 17 Business and Bypass during peak traffic hours. If you are interested in exploring the North Carolina beaches or the South Carolina Lowcountry, this is your road.
* Grissom Parkway: This divided four-lane parkway has a 45 mph speed limit and cuts right through the middle of Myrtle Beach, providing the perfect shortcut for those looking to get around town in a hurry. “The Bob,” as it is popularly known among locals, is named for late Myrtle Beach Mayor Robert Grissom and is as handy for air travelers as commuters. Starting on the south end at the Myrtle Beach International Airport and crossing the Intracoastal Waterway to Highway 31, Grissom Parkway intersects all the major roads in Myrtle Beach for a faster route to Broadway at the Beach, Coastal Grand Mall and more.
* Mr. Joe White Avenue: You guessed it — locals and visitors in the know call this four-lane road “The Joe,” and it’s particularly useful for guests at Bay View on the Boardwalk. Once known as 10th Avenue North before it was expanded and renamed for a popular shoeshine man around town, “The Joe” delivers visitors directly to the heart of the downtown oceanfront and its centerpiece at the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. If you head west, you can get to Highway 17 Business and Bypass, as well as Grissom Parkway. This is the preferred route from Bay View to Myrtle Waves, The Ripken Experience and a lot more hot spots.
* Oak Street: This road isn’t new, but it is one of the best-kept secrets for getting around Myrtle Beach. Paralleling Highway 17 Business from Third Avenue South to 38th Avenue North, Oak Street is one block west of Kings Highway and is often devoid of traffic even when 17 gets backed up. Take a short detour and save time by taking this road less traveled.
Once you make your way through these thoroughfares, pull into Bay View on the Boardwalk, put it in park, and shift from your time on the road into vacation mode. Best of all, our guests rarely need to use their cars since so many of Myrtle Beach’s top attractions, shopping, dining and nightlife options are only a short stroll down the adjoining Boardwalk. Whether you decide to travel on two feet or four wheels, we look forward to your arrival at Bay View on the Boardwalk.