Myrtle Beach vs Daytona Beach
So you’re in need of a getaway and the sandy shores of the Atlantic are calling your name, but how do you decide between Myrtle Beach and Daytona? If you start comparing these two locales, you’ll quickly discover that aside from the famous NASCAR race, there aren’t many reasons for choosing Daytona Beach over Myrtle Beach. Less than seven hours separate these two beaches, but in terms of things to do, resorts, beach etiquette, and family friendliness, Myrtle Beach and Daytona Beach couldn’t be further apart.
Daytona Beach has fewer attractions, restaurants, golf courses, and even resorts, while the Grand Strand’s breadth of options solidify its place as a top beach destination. Read on to see all the ways Myrtle Beach distinguishes itself from Daytona Beach, from its sandy shores to its unforgettable shows, to continually impress millions of vacationers year after year.
Which Beach Is Better, Myrtle Or Daytona?
If you’re planning a beach vacation, the surf, sand, and convenience should be major factors in deciding on Myrtle Beach versus Daytona. The Grand Strand offers 60 miles of beaches so you can find an oceanfront resort in Myrtle Beach near all the other things you want to do, and you won’t break a sweat when it’s time to head to the beach. Daytona has fewer oceanfront accommodations and only 23 miles of beachfront, so it’s harder to avoid the party crowd and enjoy the same level of accommodations you’ll find in Myrtle Beach. Besides this major strike against Daytona Beach, there are two other compelling reasons it isn’t the relaxing vacation destination you’re looking for:
Cars on the Beaches in Daytona
Daytona is known for its motor speedway and unfortunately that trend continues on its beaches. Volusia County is home to Daytona Beach and allows visitors to drive and park cars and trucks on the sandy shores. Not only is this practice disruptive for visitors looking to lounge in the sun, but it also means the sand is packed hard enough to drive on, so you won’t find the same powdery, soft beaches there as in Myrtle Beach. So, if listening to the roar of the waves crash on a soft, sandy shore is your idea of respite versus sitting on a rock-hard beach in Daytona and listening to the roar of a car engine barrelling toward you, then Myrtle Beach is the vacation destination for you.
More Shark Encounters in Florida vs Myrtle Beach
One of the most likely places in the world to encounter sharks is Florida, and, more specifically, Volusia County, home of Daytona Beach. While we don’t want to scare anyone out of the beautiful Atlantic (seriously, shark attacks are incredibly rare), this is just one more reason Myrtle Beach is a better option for your vacation. If hopping on a Jet Ski, Banana Boat, or enjoying other watersports is on your itinerary, think twice about Florida versus Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach Is More Family-Friendly Than Daytona Beach
Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation destination for families, and according to U.S. News & World Report, it ranks in the top 10 for Best Family Beach Vacations. The list factored in safe waters, kid-friendly attractions, dining options, spacious accommodations, multi-generational appeal, and overall accessibility. Daytona, on the other hand, is nowhere to be found on any family-friendly lists.
Anyone who has been to the Grand Strand knows its bounty of kid-friendly hotels have water parks and pools for on-site entertainment, but they’re also conveniently located near the area’s attractions. You won’t need to venture far to find zoos like Alligator Adventure, the Ripley’s Aquarium, and other attractions for all ages. Daytona Beach doesn’t offer as wide a selection of entertainment, so couples with young children, tweens, or teens may have a hard time finding fun activities everyone can enjoy.
Myrtle Beach Has Better Entertainment Than Daytona
South Carolina’s favorite travel destination is Broadway at the Beach, which outshines Daytona’s Ocean Walk Shoppes in every way. Broadway at the Beach is a 350-acre complex in the heart of Myrtle Beach that welcomes visitors to a wealth of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Daytona Beach’s Ocean Walk Shoppes offers little to do. The event calendar is often blank and the only entertainment is a local movie theater. Versus the live shows at Broadway Theater, seasonal activities, parades, fireworks, and tons of things to do for kids in Myrtle Beach, Daytona scarcely earns an honorable mention.
Golf Courses in Daytona Can’t Compare to Myrtle Beach
Like most other places, Daytona pales in comparison to Myrtle Beach, the “Golf Capital of the World.” We could talk about magazine ratings and rankings until the seagulls come home (Myrtle Beach is no stranger to the USA Today’s Best Golf Destination 10Best List), but the simple truth is that the area has exponentially more 4-Star courses than Daytona even has in total. There are hotels in Myrtle Beach that arrange golf tee times and cater to golfers in grand ways. For those with less desire for competition, mini golf courses like Molten Mountain Mini Golf, or Hawaiian Rumble feature some adventurous challenges for the entire family.
Vacations Are Safer in Myrtle Beach Than in Florida
When comparing the Myrtle Beach crime rate to crime in Daytona Beach, Florida, this South Carolina city comes out a winner. Like anywhere, Myrtle Beach does have its share of crime, but if you take precautions to avoid dangerous situations, you can enjoy your time exploring the Grand Strand, going to shows, and experiencing the area’s nightlife. In Daytona Beach, which has one of the highest crime rates in Florida, simply staying away from trouble may be easier said than done. Movoto.com ranked Daytona Beach as one of the most dangerous small cities in the country, so those looking for a safer vacation destination should consider Myrtle Beach.
Entertainment Venues in Myrtle Beach Outshine Daytona Beach Venues
This may sound boastful, but the Grand Strand is home to so many award-winning live entertainment theaters and venues that you could spend every night of the week at a show and not catch them all. Whether you’re into the tribute artists at Legends in Concert or the GTS Theatre, the national and regional touring acts at House of Blues, or the song, dance, and laughs in the shows at Alabama Theatre or the The Carolina Opry, the options for live entertainment in Myrtle Beach outnumber anything going in Daytona Beach.
Signature Myrtle Beach Dining Offers More Than Basic Floridian Fare
All restaurants along the Atlantic excel in fresh seafood, including those in the Grand Strand and Daytona Beach, but one area where this Florida city falls short versus Myrtle Beach is in its culinary point of view. North Carolina has its BBQ, New Orleans has the Po’Boy, Philly has the Cheesesteak, and Myrtle Beach is known for its Lowcountry cuisine. Daytona, unfortunately, relies on basic seafood and American classics which you’ll find carbon-copied anywhere along the coast. Myrtle Beach restaurants satisfy any craving not only with all-American eats, but also tapas-style eateries, fast casual concepts, plus its farm-to-table Lowcountry fare, along with many other trendy, new southern concepts that set it apart from towns like Daytona Beach.
Why is Myrtle Beach so popular?
The shopping, events, dining, golfing, and fabulous resorts make Myrtle Beach one of the most popular beach destinations along the Atlantic. The Grand Strand attracts nearly 10 million more visitors per year than Daytona Beach, and with all of these offerings, it’s no surprise.
Come see why vacationers choose Myrtle Beach year after year. It’s hard to narrow down all the reasons the Grand Strand is everyone’s favorite place for golf getaways, couples retreats, and family vacations, but once you’re here, you won’t want to leave.