icon of a microphone

About Myrtle Beach

Incorporated March 12, 1938

The City of Myrtle Beach is a residential community and vacation destination at the heart of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of natural beauty on South Carolina's northeastern coast.  Our 35,000-plus permanent residents and millions of visitors enjoy the wide beaches, the warm weather and an incredible range of entertainment, nightlife, golf, shopping, dining and live theatre.

History records that a party of Spaniards from Hispaniola were the earliest tourists here, landing first about 50 miles north of present-day Myrtle Beach.  In 1526, they established the first European settlement in the U.S. about 30 miles to the south.  That settlement, San Miguel de Guadalupe, was abandoned the next year when they returned to Hispaniola, but the area had been discovered.

In the next three centuries, the region's population grew very slowly.  By the late 1800s and early 1900s, people began to "vacation" here, although it was quite rustic.  Houses and camps were sparse, and there were only few permanent residents at the turn of the century.  But, drawn by the ocean, sand and trees, people began to call Myrtle Beach "home" as the 1900s progressed.

Myrtle Beach was incorporated in 1938 and became a city in 1957, when the permanent population first topped 5,000.  By the way, the name "Myrtle Beach" comes from the wax myrtle, an abundant local shrub, and was chosen in a name-the-town contest in 1900.  "Edgewater" finished in second place.  Previously, the area had been known as Long Bay, Withers and New Town.

For nearly 50 years, Myrtle Beach was a military town, first as home to the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 1940s, and then to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base beginning in the 1950s.  The base closed in 1993, and the property has since been redeveloped as the Market Common District, complete with an urban town center known as The Market Common, a Grand Park that features open space, recreation fields, a large lake and several walking and bicycling trails.

Warbird Park features static displays of three types of U.S. planes that were stationed at the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.  The park also is home to the Wall of Service, a memorial wall featuring names of the military personnel and civilian staff who lived and worked at the base during its existence.

In 2018, Myrtle Beach was designated as an "autism-friendly" city and destination by the Champion Autism Network (CAN).  The city received the autism-friendly certification by working to provide more sensory-friendly experiences for children and their families, like Savannah’s Playground.  Beginning in 2022, the City of Myrtle Beach's partnership with CAN also includes autism training for city employees.  The collective efforts of the City of Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach International Airport, attractions, hotels, restaurants and other businesses paved the way for more inclusive experiences for all.  

Today, Myrtle Beach is a well known destination for vacationers from around the country, Canada and abroad.  The city's staff members are dedicated to being "First in Service," and we are ready to provide assistance and answer your questions at any time.   Again, welcome to the City of Myrtle Beach!  We hope you find this site enjoyable and useful.  For more information, please contact the Public Information Department at or 843-918-1014.

Autism Supportive Badge 2022