Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach (2022): An Honest & In-Depth Comparison to Help You Choose?

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Myrtle beach vs Virginia beach for a vacation? 🏖 If you are planning a vacation to South Carolina’s ‘Grand Strand’ or Virginia’s ‘Resort City’ for the first time then you are bound to have this question. 

Both Myrtle Beach and Virginia beach are one of the most desired Beach cities on the East Coast boasting plenty of surf, sand and seaside bliss. Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach, although similar, are quite unique in their own way that offer a range of unique experiences.

So, when choosing between these two summer paradises on the East Coast, which is the best for you?

If you’re looking for an action-packed family vacation, whether it’s a wild and boisterous beach party vibe or a calm coastal paradise complete with oceanfront resorts, excellent dining, amusement parks, and world-class golf courses, Myrtle Beach is the destination for you.

If you enjoy a more relaxed beach mood with a fantastic boardwalk and plan to visit Busch Gardens, Virginia Beach is the beach getaway for you.

ParametersMyrtle BeachVirginia Beach
Cost of a7-day Trip💵$1942(For couples)$1463(For couples)
Known for👍60 miles of coastlines with 14 beaches, Mini-Golf capital of the world, oceanfront hotels, excellent seafood, Diverse shopping malls, Theaters, Amusement parks 28 miles of coastlines with brownish-white sand and cool blue waters, oceanfront hotels, spectacular 3-mile boardwalk, VB Oceanfront, First Landing State Park, Maritime History
Beaches🏖Mostly public beaches with wild party vibes and fun activities on the beach, Good for swimming, surfing, and snorkelingPublic & private beaches with relatively fewer crowds, oceanfront hotels, shopping streets, restrooms, and recreational areas
Activities🏄🏼‍♂️Surfing, Snorkeling, Shopping, Fishing, Golfing, Water parks, Entertainment centers, and Private CruisesSurfing, Snorkeling, Shopping, Fishing, Explore maritime history, Visit Military aviation museum, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia Aquarium
Popular Tourist Attractions🏛Myrtle Beach Ferris Wheel, Myrtle beach, Broadway at the beach, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle beach, The Market Common, Barefoot landingVB Oceanfront with 3-mile of spectacular boardwalk, Virginia Aquarium & Science center, First landing State park, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Henry Lighthouse
Best Place to Stay🏨The Market Common, South Myrtle beach (Budget hotels), Central Myrtle beach(Nightlife), North Myrtle beach (For families)VB Oceanfront, Sandbridge Beach, Croatan Beach, Chick’s Beach

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Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach: An Honest Comparison to Help You Decide!

What is Myrtle Beach known for?

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, popularly known as ‘The Grand Strand,’ is famous for its 60 miles of white powdery beaches with azure blue Atlantic waters, breathtaking sunsets, oceanfront hotels and restaurants, bustling nightlife, amusement parks, and a variety of retail centers catering to your every whim.

🏖 Related post: Hilton Head vs Myrtle Beach: Which is the Best Beach Vacation Destination for You!

What is Virginia Beach known for?

Virginia Beach Boardwalk
Image credit: Image by Nicolas Henderson via Flickr

Virginia Beach, also popularly known as the ‘Resort City’ on the East Coast of the Atlantic Ocean, is famous for its pristine brownish-gray sand beaches with cooler waters, the most spectacular 3-mile boardwalk, First Landing State Park, Virginia Aquarium, and the mesmerizing Busch Gardens.

Owing to its family-friendly vibe and plenty of historical sites to explore, Virginia Beach is the go-to destination for families or avid-history enthusiasts for a relaxed beach vacation.

🏖 Suggested read: Tybee Island vs Hilton Head for vacation? An honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

What is the best month to visit Myrtle Beach?

The best time to visit Myrtle Beach is between June and August when the weather is perfect for sunbathing and beach fun. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation in Myrtle Beach with fewer tourists and lower hotel costs, go from September to early November.

What is the best month to visit Virginia Beach?

The months of May to September are perfect for visiting Virginia Beach since the weather is ideal for swimming and enjoying oceanside bliss in full swing. March to early April is the best time to visit VB if you want to avoid crowds and save money on accommodations.

Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach: Beaches🏖

The most obvious reason that draws millions of tourists to these Beach Cities on the Atlantic Ocean’s East Coast is their miles of pristine white coastlines that disappear into the azure blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, combined with fascinating activities on and off the beach that make them the “go-to” summer destinations on the East Coast.

Both Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach have miles of pristine powdery beaches with clear blue-green waters, oceanfront hotels, resorts, bars, pubs, shopping centers, and a variety of activities for both children and adults.

Despite the fact that both are beach cities with more lively vibes, they are both quite unique in their own way.

Myrtle Beach has 60 miles of beautiful white coastline with 14 beaches, each with its own distinct experience. With 60 miles of coastline, Myrtle Beach offers more sun, sand, and seaside bliss, as well as a busier party atmosphere and more commercialized beaches than Virginia Beach.

Simply put, there is a beach for everyone in Myrtle Beach, whether you want a vibrant beach vibe or a laid-back beach with pure natural appeal.

Virginia Beach boasts 38 miles of soft golden shorelines with 28 miles of spectacular public beaches each with its own unique vibe.

The beaches in Virginia have a distinct family-friendly vibe with an old-town charm which makes it an amazing destination for everyone to enjoy seaside bliss at a leisurely pace.

Best beaches in Myrtle beach🏖

Myrtle beach
Myrtle Beach

‘Myrtle Beach,’ named after the city of Myrtle Beach, is the most popular beach, boasting the ‘East Coast’s Biggest Ferris Wheel🎡.

Myrtle Beach has everything a beach city could want, including a party atmosphere, luxurious oceanfront resorts, restaurants, and boutique-style shops, as well as an endless list of beach activities ranging from flying high on North America’s tallest ride at Funplex to exploring the spectacular sea life at Ripley’s Aquarium.

North Myrtle beach
North Myrtle Beach

To escape the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach’s crowds, head to North Myrtle Beach, where you can soak in the sun and cool off in the Atlantic Ocean.

Cherry Grove, Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, and Crescent Beach make up North Myrtle Beach’s four smaller beach villages, all of which have a laid-back beach town vibe.

If you’re tired of the beach and the sun, head to North Myrtle Beach, where you’ll find a diverse selection of world-class attractions, such as movie theatres, local breweries and pubs, and fantastic shopping.

Surfside beach
Surfside beach

Couples and families with children prefer Surfside Beach. Surfside Beach is Myrtle Beach’s most family-friendly beach, with 1.8 miles of lovely shoreline, mild waters, and minimal waves, as well as lifeguards on duty 24 hours a day.

Litchfield beach
Litchfield beach

Litchfield Beach is an excellent place to unwind in a tranquil coastal town atmosphere while also enjoying a superb round of golf at one of the world-class golf courses that surround the beach.

If you become weary of sitting in the sun, there are plenty of fascinating beach activities to try, such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, and fishing.

Pawleys island
Pawleys Beach

South of Myrtle Beach, across the causeway, is a small island that stands in stark contrast to the high-rise skyscraper party atmosphere of Myrtle Beach.

Pawleys Island is a true tropical paradise that embraces solitude and natural beauty, boasting six miles of untouched sugary soft sands and dazzling blue waters.

Pawleys Island is also an excellent location for kayaking, surfing, crab fishing from a crab dock, and sea shelling.

Best beaches in Virginia Beach🏖

Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Virginia Beach Oceanfront- Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach

The VB Oceanfront is the main epicenter of all the beach fun in Virginia Beach boasting of the most spectacular 3-mile boardwalk on the East Coast adorned with nautical themed sculptures, entertainment stages and unique cafes.

Beach Lovers can either bask in the warm Atlantic rays or enjoy swimming and surfing in the cooler waters of VB.

The VB oceanfront also boasts of a fantastic Virginia Beach Pier excellent for fishing, sunset views and spotting dolphins who frolic through the waves.

The excellent 3-mile boardwalk is a big enough reason to visit VB Oceanfront where you can also rent a bike and take a leisurely ride and treat yourself to the natural beauty and mesmerizing art that surround the boardwalk.

Sandbridge Beach
Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach
Image Credit: Image by Ben Hoard via flickr

Just 30 min south of VB Oceanfront along the residential strip sits the modest and serene Sandbridge Beach with an ambience that is in full contrast to its northern sibling Virginia Beach.

Sandbridge Beach provides a welcome respite from the active and boisterous atmosphere of Virginia Beach, allowing visitors to enjoy a laid-back beach experience while basking in the sun or swimming in the calm blue waters of the Atlantic.

Sandbridge beach is particularly popular with younger families since it provides holiday houses right on the strip as well as the option to explore the adjacent marshes and dunes.

First Landing State Park
Beach_access_First_Landing_State_Park_
Image credit: Image by Virginia state park via Wikimedia Commons

If there is one spot that symbolises Virginia’s rich history and endowed natural beauty, it is the beach at First Landing State Park. It is one of the most historically significant sites because it is where the first inhabitants arrived on the beach in 1607.

First Landing State Park is also well-known as the region’s best outdoor activity destination, with 3000 acres of beautiful coastline reserve and protected freshwater Cypress Swamps.

The beach also has a gorgeous boardwalk trail that you can explore on a bike or on foot while taking in the surrounding panoramas.

Croatan Beach
Croatan Beach
Image by Lago Mar via Wikimedia Commons

Croatan Beach, located just south of Virginia Beach’s oceanfront, is a Virginia surfer’s paradise. This 0.75-mile-long stretch of white powdery coastline features modest waves with left and right breaks, making it one of the greatest beaches for beginner surfers.

Day trippers can rent a surfboard from one of the surf camps that operate throughout the summer. The beach also has well-kept amenities such as bathrooms, outdoor showers, lifeguards on duty around the clock, and sufficient of parking space for a fair $5 parking fee.

Little Island Park
Little Island Park, VB
Image credit: Image by Pumpkinsky via Wikimedia Commons

Little Island Park, commonly known as Sandpiper’s Beach, is one of Virginia Beach’s top beaches for a fun-filled family vacation. Little Island Park has the bustling spirit of the VB Oceanfront, but it also has a much calmer ambiance and fewer crowds than the VB Oceanfront.

The beach also has restrooms, outdoor showers, plenty of parking space, and a well-equipped recreational center with basketball and volleyball courts, as well as a playground, making it an ideal area to spend time with your children.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach🎡

Myrtle Beach activities
  1. Hit the beach 
  2. Explore marine life at Ripley’s Aquarium (Great place to learn and enjoy about marine life with interactive marine exhibits)
  3. Satisfy your inner nerd at Wonderworks (Must visit science museum for kids and adults alike to enjoy several science exhibits)
  4. Pirates Voyage Dinner and Show (Enjoy a thrilling Pirate show while munching on mouthwatering seafood)
  5. Enjoy the spectacular views of Myrtle beach skyline from the ‘Biggest Ferris Wheel on the East Coast’.
  6. Stroll through Brookgreen Gardens
  7. Learn about Jet Aircraft at Warbird park
  8. Enjoy thrilling water slides and disco at Myrtle Waves water Park
  9. Go shopping at Barefoot Landing
  10. Visit the Hollywood House of Wax

Things to do in Virginia Beach🏞

Things to do in Virginia Beach
  1. Go hiking at First Landing State Park
  2. Kayak in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Spend a day with your kid exploring the Military Aviation Museum
  4. Visit the spectacular Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
  5. Go on a bike ride on the most beautiful boardwalk on the East Coast at VB Oceanfront
  6. Visit the Virginia Beach of Contemporary Art
  7. Sample local Beer at Back Bay Brewery
  8. Enjoy a thrilling and fun-filled family vacation at Busch Gardens
  9. Go on a Whale watching and Dolphin tours
  10. Visit the False Cape State park

Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach: Nightlife🍺🙌🏼

nightlife

Even after the sun sets over the ocean, these two beach attractions begin to pulsate and sparkle under the streetlights as tourists drink, dance, and eat their way through some of the best seafood in the South.

Both Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach boast some of the best nightlife on the East Coast, including pubs, beach bars, comedy clubs, live music venues, and outdoor music shows to ensure an amazing beach vacation party.

Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach are both fantastic places to enjoy the best nightlife on the East Coast for families hoping to have a fun night, couples searching for a romantic setting, and young people who love to drink and dance till the early hours of the morning.

Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach for Family Vacation?👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

If you want a more fun-filled family vacation with bustling beaches, amusement parks, an outstanding golfing experience, pubs, bars, a vibrant shopping scene, and plenty of activities on and off the beach for you and your children, Myrtle Beach is a better choice than Virginia Beach.

If you want a relatively calmer beach vibe geared more toward young adults and adults, with an excellent boardwalk, pristine beaches, oceanfront hotels, fine dining options, fascinating history, and plans to extend your trip by visiting Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Beach is your cloud nine.

Myrtle Beach vs Virginia Beach: Accommodation options🏨

Both Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach have a wide variety of oceanfront lodging options, ranging from low-cost condos to ultra-luxurious suites.

Because of its popularity as the “Beach City” on the East Coast for summer vacation, Myrtle Beach’s lodging prices are slightly higher than those in Virginia Beach.

However, Myrtle Beach offers more accommodation options and variety than Virginia Beach, which lacks budget-friendly condos away from the Beach Strip.

The below table shows the average cost of accommodation for couples per night in Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach.

Accommodation Type/ Place Myrtle BeachVirginia Beach
Budget $60$52
Mid-range $141$120
Luxury$297$258

Conclusion

If you’re seeking an action-packed family vacation, whether it’s a loud and raucous beach party atmosphere or a tranquil coastal paradise complete with oceanfront resorts, fantastic cuisine, amusement parks, and world-class golf courses, Myrtle Beach is the place for you.

If you want a more laid-back beach atmosphere with a wonderful boardwalk and are planning to visit Busch Gardens, Virginia Beach is the beach destination for you.

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About the author
Aditya Bhosale
Hello there. For the past five years, I have worked as a travel blogger, photographer, and digital marketer. I packed my backpack, pulled up my socks, and have been wandering around the world wherever the roads lead me since quitting my mundane 9 to 5 job.

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