Top 5 Adrenaline-Pumping Rides in Myrtle Beach


Myrtle Beach is filled with thrill rides and waterslides, but only a handful are considered hardcore enough for even the toughest adrenaline junkies.

Let the kids ride the roller coasters and the grownups get on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel. This top-five list is only for the brave at heart:

* The Dark Hole: Wild Water & Wheels has lots of hair-raising rides and slides, but this adventure was named the “best scary ride” in Myrtle Beach by Southern Living magazine. The enclosed tube provides zero visibility, adding to the fear as you twist and turn your way down the track. But there's light (and a big splash) at the end of the tunnel before you climb back up to take another spin.

* Parasailing: For those who prefer to get their thrills in the ocean instead of the waterpark, try the heart-pumping watersport of parasailing. Take a deep breath while you stand on a platform on the back of a boat with a parachute strapped on your torso and prepare for liftoff as you float high into the sky over the Atlantic Ocean and the boat propels you to the clouds. The view of the ocean and coastline are great from 50 feet in the air, and your heart rate is sky-high too. There are dozens of outfitters that offer parasailing and other watersports.

* The Skyscraper: Located downtown beside Family Kingdom, this stand-alone ride towers over Ocean Boulevard and the surrounding high-rise hotels. The 160-foot propeller features twin arms that spin riders in a full circle. The open-air cars leave patrons suspended in air before spinning at speeds in excess of 55 mph and to heights of 16 stories. Those with queasy stomachs may want to bring a change of underwear.

* The Slingshot: After you conquer your fear of heights at the SkyWheel, cross Ocean Boulevard and experience the thrill of freefall on this bungee-style thriller. After you are safely harnessed in, the twin towers lift you 300 feet in the air for a beautiful view before dropping you like a rock at speeds in excess of 100 mph. This contraption will make you scream like a school girl at a One Direction concert.

* Swamp Fox Roller Coaster: Family Kingdom has added several new, high-tech thrill rides in recent years, but none can hold an air0sickness bag to the old-school Swamp Fox. Built in 1966, the classic wooden construction gives guests a throwback experience and a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean and downtown Myrtle Beach. The Swamp Fox reaches a height of 75 feet and features a top speed of 50 mph, more than enough to give you that empty feeling in your stomach. Fill it up afterward with cotton candy.

(posted 7/23/14)
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