Myrtle Beach, with its sprawling sands and vibrant community, is a testament to transformation. Once a tranquil beach town, it has morphed into one of the East Coast’s most frequented tourist havens. This article explores the journey from its humble beginnings to its present-day glory, unveiling the pivotal moments that shaped its evolution.

The Early Days of Myrtle Beach

The story of Myrtle Beach begins in the early 1900s when it was little more than a stretch of coastline known for its abundance of wax myrtle trees, lending the area its name. The serene beaches and the Atlantic’s lulling waves initially attracted a modest number of visitors, setting the stage for its future growth.

Development Milestones

As word of its beauty spread, the early 20th century saw Myrtle Beach begin to transform. The completion of the Intracoastal Waterway in the 1930s and the establishment of a railroad connection provided much-needed access, drawing more visitors and facilitating the transport of goods. The area’s first real tourism boom came with the construction of the Pavilion and the opening of the first hotels, which provided accommodations and entertainment to guests, planting the seeds for a burgeoning tourist industry.

The Post-War Boom

The post-World War II era marked a significant turning point for Myrtle Beach. Returning veterans and burgeoning families, eager to enjoy the freedoms of peacetime, flocked to the coast. This influx led to rapid population growth and a burgeoning economy centered around tourism. Attractions, shops, and eateries sprouted up, catering to an ever-increasing number of visitors and establishing tourism as the linchpin of the local economy.

Myrtle Beach Today

Today, Myrtle Beach is a kaleidoscope of attractions, from high-end golf courses and luxury resorts to family-oriented amusement parks and an aquarium. The city hosts millions of tourists annually, drawn not only to its beaches but to its rich array of cultural and recreational activities. Festivals like the Carolina Country Music Fest and events such as the Myrtle Beach Marathon showcase the city’s diverse appeal.

Impact of Tourism

Tourism has undeniably sculpted the economic landscape of Myrtle Beach. It has created countless jobs, from hospitality to retail, and has been a crucial factor in the area’s economic development. However, this growth has not come without challenges. The local community has had to adapt to the seasonal swings in population and the environmental impacts of widespread development.

Challenges and Future Outlook

As Myrtle Beach looks to the future, it faces the dual challenge of sustaining its tourist economy while mitigating environmental impacts. Issues such as coastal erosion, traffic congestion, and sustainable development are at the forefront of policy discussions. The city is actively exploring ways to balance growth with ecological and social sustainability, ensuring that Myrtle Beach remains a beloved destination for future generations.

Engaging the Community and Visitors

Myrtle Beach’s story is one of community and change. Local residents play a vital role in preserving the city’s rich history and natural beauty, participating in beach clean-ups and heritage preservation projects. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the city in a way that respects its past and contributes positively to its future, exploring beyond the beach to understand the true spirit of Myrtle Beach.


From its origins as a sleepy beach town to its status as a bustling tourist hub, Myrtle Beach has undergone a remarkable transformation. It stands as a beacon of how a small community can evolve into a thriving tourist destination without losing sight of its roots. As Myrtle Beach continues to grow and adapt, it remains a testament to the enduring allure of the coast and the spirit of its people, inviting everyone to partake in its ongoing story.

As you explore the vibrant history and attractions of Myrtle Beach, we invite you to experience the best of what this beautiful coastal city has to offer at Sharkey’s. From our signature seafood dishes to our breathtaking oceanfront views, Sharkey’s embodies the spirit and culture of Myrtle Beach. Visit our main site to discover more about our menu, make reservations, or plan your next visit. Whether you’re a longtime local or a first-time visitor, Sharkey’s looks forward to being a memorable part of your Myrtle Beach experience.