A Guide to Getting Around Myrtle Beach’s New Roads
Getting around Myrtle Beach used to be simple; Highway 501 took you to and from the beach, while Highways 17 Business and Bypass allowed you to go up and down the beach.
That was well and good when there weren’t many other places to go, but today’s Grand Strand is filled with more accommodations, attractions, dining and shopping – and new roads to help you find them. Beginning in the north and working our way south, here are five new roads to help you get around the Grand Strand with less traffic and new adventures:
• Highway 22: Known by locals as the Conway Bypass, this 30-mile route through the swamps gives visitors a four-lane, non-stop connection to the beach and a break from the oft-congested Highway 501. Beginning between Aynor and Conway off 501, this highway loops to Highway 17 between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, along with exits for Highways 905, 90 and the new 22.
• Highway 31: Some call this godsend the Carolina Bays Parkway, but locals know it as the best thing to happen to the Strand’s road system in decades. The 30-mile drive from Little River on the Carolina border to Murrells Inlet used to take over an hour because of all the lights and traffic on 17 Business and Bypass. Now 31 runs parallel to both and offers a high-speed route between north and south, with exits at Highway 9 in Little River, Main Street in North Myrtle Beach, 31, Water Tower Road, Robert Grissom Parkway, 501 and 544 in Myrtle Beach, with future expansion under way to Highway 707 in Murrells Inlet.
• Robert Grissom Parkway/International Drive: This new and still expanding route runs through the heart of Myrtle Beach from the airport on the south end to Carolina Forest on the north, where it becomes known as International Drive. This road, named for the late and longtime mayor of Myrtle Beach, allows for easy access to Coastal Grand Mall, Broadway at the Beach and Carolina Forest.
• Edge Parkway/Main Street: This North Myrtle Beach connector takes traffic from Highway 31 to downtown in a matter of minutes, finally connecting the beach and the inlet for easier access. The road has also sparked new development along this previously vacant stretch.
• Farrow Parkway: The nightmare that was the junction of Highway 17 Bypass and Farrow Parkway is almost over. Crews have installed a new overpass to allow traffic to flow freely in both directions, opening the door for easier access to Market Common and Socastee.
Photo Courtesy: www.gribblenation.com