Myrtle Beach is the center of the area known as the Grand Strand, which stretches from Georgetown, South Carolina to Calabash, North Carolina. Myrtle Beach is the largest community with an estimated population of 22,759 (2000), and the Grand Strand area at 337,137; and is widely known for its wide beaches, world-class golf courses, excellent seafood restaurants, and outlet shopping. The beach season every year is kicked off with the Sun Fun Festival at the beginning of June.
Known as the "Redneck Riviera", Myrtle Beach has a great deal more than just a beautiful beach to offer residents and visitors, beginning with numerous malls and shopping centers like the Coastal Grand Mall, Tanger Outlet Center, Inlet Square Mall, and The Market Common. Myrtle Beach has one of the most diverse collections of musical venues on the Grand Strand including the House of Blues and many small venues for local bands along Ocean Boulevard.
World-renowned seafood and diverse ethnic dining can be found in almost every nook and cranny of the area. Some of these include the Sea Captain's House, Aspen Grill, Chestnut Hill Restaurant, the Original Benjamin's Seafood Buffet, Pacinos Italian Restaurant, Porky's Pig Food, Damon's Grill, and the T Bonz Gill and Grill. Another area where dining and entertainment can be found is Broadway on the Beach featuring Ripley's Aquarium and the NASCAR Speedpark. Other attractions worth experiencing include Huntington State Park, The Carolina Opry, Myrtle Waves, Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Alligator Adventure, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and The Medieval Time Restaurant and Tournament.