Finding the Perfect Myrtle Beach Souvenir

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Summer vacationers should take home more from Myrtle Beach than fond memories, a nice tan and some stray grains of sand in their shoes. A trip to the Grand Strand also requires picking out that perfect souvenir to remember the moment, or taking gifts to family and friends back home. There are plenty of souvenir stores and gift shops to find what you’re looking for, plus a little bit more:

• Seashells: If you’re lucky enough to find a keeper during a stroll down the beach, your souvenir shopping is done. The best time to beachcomb for free fossils is during a falling tide, especially the first one after a big storm over the ocean, but you would be surprised by the nice ones you will find if you just keep your eyes open while you’re at the beach.

• Knickknacks: From picture frames to refrigerator magnets or any of the other 70,000-plus items on display, the Gay Dolphin is your one-stop shop for everyone on your list. This 26,000-square foot facility features three floors filled with merchandise, most of it with “Myrtle Beach” boldly emblazoned on the side, plus a crow’s nest where guests can get a bird’s-eye view of the ocean and downtown. Opened in 1946, the Gay Dolphin is as much a museum as it is a store.

• T-shirts: If you flew to Myrtle Beach or have limited space to carry home large gifts, T-shirts may be your best bet for gifts for yourself or others back home. Novelty T-shirt shops are located all over the Grand Strand, but specialty stores like Tiki Jim’s at Broadway at the Beach offer a wide range of quality souvenir tees, including popular lines like “Salt Life” and “Life Is Good.” For quantity over quality, many beachwear stores offer cheap shirts by the dozen.

• Novelties: Looking for something different? Check out Klig’s Kites: OK, so a kite might seem like a pie-in-the-sky idea for a souvenir, but this place has a lot more than kites. With locations at Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing, Klig’s also carries toys, gag gifts, sports memorabilia and car stickers. Locally owned and operated, Klig’s offers unique items that the folks on your shopping list won’t find back home.

• Sand: If you’re cheap or broke or both, you can always pull off the grand gesture of scooping up some of our white sand into a film canister. That’s fine, just leave enough behind for the rest of us.

(posted 5/23/14)