Golf News for Monday, September 21, 2009 | Daily Golf Blogs

Brandon Tucker: Myrtle Beach is finally getting a proper, beachside boardwalk

This week, Myrtle Beach will celebrate the ground breaking of a new $6 million beachfront boardwalk that will extend from 14th Ave North to 2nd Ave North.

Click here for info and artists renditions of the project. Apparently this boardwalk has been a long time in the making, though I'd assume any project that takes place on the coast has a good deal of hoops to jump through:

The $6 million boardwalk project was conceived in 1999 as a development that would enhance the Myrtle Beach visitor experience and revitalize Myrtle Beach's downtown sector. Traversing through the sand from the 14th Avenue to Second Avenue Piers, the boardwalk will provide oceanfront views of the pristine beachline and will be divided into three different sections. The northernmost portion will wind down from the 14th Avenue North Pier to Plyler Park. The mid-section will be located from Plyler Park to the former Pavilion Amusement Park site at 8th Avenue North and will encompass more of a carnival-like atmosphere with oceanfront dining and businesses. The southernmost end of the boardwalk leading up to the 2nd Avenue pier will have a meandering oceanfront park.

During my time living in Myrtle Beach, it bugged me how few hot spots there were right on the beach, as opposed to other beach towns where there's loads of restaurants and bars facing the water. Head inland, where a lot of these places are, and you can lose the beach vibe. In fact, Broadway at the Beach, the massive entertainment and shopping complex home to Hard Rock Cafe, Fat Tuesdays, Margaritaville, etc., is a good mile off the beach. I understand by attracting people away from the beach, you're benefitting other zones of the city economically, but you're not maxing out the enjoyment of the tourists by pulling them away from the beach, which is why they came here in the first place.

Along the Grand Strand there are already a few pockets of waterfront restaurants and bars, like the marshwalk down in Murrells Inlet, or up at Molly Darcy's Irish Pub in North Myrtle Beach where you can walk out onto the beach from bar's back patio. But in Myrtle Beach itself, other than Bummz Beach Bar and some other hotel bars, there isn't a ton of waterfront action after the Pavilion amusement park closed - at least not the kind of action where it's a lot of fun walking up and down the beach aimlessly for a few hours. That's been reserved for Broadway at the Beach.

And the many businesses off Highway 17 Bypass that have opened in recent years seem to have caused the downtown Myrtle Beach area, within a sniff of the beach, to lose its charm. It sounds like downtown is on the verge of a rebirth, beginning with this boardwalk, slated to open by next summer.

So, get ready for a proper boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, it's long overdue.

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