Many things have changed in Myrtle Beach over the years, but one place remains a favorite fixture in the downtown district – the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove.
Opened in 1946 as the first of many souvenir shops on the Grand Strand, the Gay Dolphin has become an attraction in its own right as generation after generation of vacationers have visited Myrtle Beach’s oldest and largest gift shop to pick up a memento to remember their getaway to the coast.
What began as a small shop with amusement rides for kids has grown into four-story, 35,000 square foot facility that features more than 70,000 unique items, ranging from seashells and sharks teeth to T-shirts and flip-flops. Vacationers can pick up gifts for the folks back home and purchase their beach needs for the week all in one bizarre location, which is made up of more than 50 different “coves” that mark the store’s gradual expansion over the past seven decades.
Visitors have been known to lose their bearings inside the maze-like store (in fact, they even sell a novelty T-shirt that reads “I Got Lost in the Gay Dolphin”), especially while ascending the spiral staircase that leads to a panoramic view from the crow’s nest. Visitors can take photos of the downtown district and the ocean from the perch atop the shop, and their are numerous photo ops spread throughout the facility, such as statues of pirates, mummies and Elvis.
Th Gay Dolphin Gift Cove is conveniently located in the heart of downtown between Ocean Boulevard and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. As a matter of fact, the nearby Plyler Park section of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk was named for Gay Dolphin Gift Cove founding family Justin and Eloise Plyler, and the store continues to be owned and operated by their descendants.
Take home a piece of the beach and some nostalgic memories by visiting the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove during your next Myrtle Beach retreat.
910 N Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Here's what you need to know before you go.