Outer Banks vs Myrtle Beach: Honest Comparison

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Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks are popular vacation destinations on the United States East Coast. Both destinations offer beautiful beaches, plenty of activities, and various accommodation options.

However, there are some key differences between the two that travelers should consider when deciding which one to visit.

Kayaking in Nags Head, NC

One key difference is the location. For example, Myrtle Beach is in South Carolina, while Outer Banks is in North Carolina. This can be a significant factor for travelers looking to visit one or the other, as it may affect the distance they need to travel and the type of climate they can expect.

Another key difference is the size and layout of the destinations. Myrtle Beach is a larger, more developed area with a bustling boardwalk, numerous hotels and resorts, and various restaurants and shops. On the other hand, the Outer Banks comprises a series of thin barrier islands with a more laid-back atmosphere. 

Some other key differences between the Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach include:

Climate: Myrtle Beach has a subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. The Outer Banks have a more temperate climate, with warm summers and cooler winters.

Beaches: Both destinations have beautiful beaches, but the beach experience can differ. Myrtle Beach has a wide, sandy beach that stretches for miles and is well-suited for sunbathing and playing in the waves. The Outer Banks have a more rugged coastline, with narrow, sandy beaches that are great for activities like shelling and birdwatching.

Attractions: Myrtle Beach is home to many popular attractions, including Family Kingdom Amusement Park and the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel. The Outer Banks are known for their historic lighthouses, including the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and their wildlife, including the wild horses of CorollaMyrtle Beach is known for its golf courses, water sports, amusement parks, and arcades. The Outer Banks are also known for their water sports, including surfing and kiteboarding, and offer a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and birdwatching.

Accommodations: As mentioned earlier, accommodations in Myrtle Beach tend to be more centralized, with a range of hotels and resorts to choose from. The Outer Banks have a mix of hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals, often more spread out and located in smaller communities.

Dining: Both destinations have various dining options, from casual beachfront seafood shacks to more upscale restaurants. However, Myrtle Beach has a more diverse culinary scene, with various cuisines available.

Natural scenery: The Outer Banks is home to some natural landscapes, including the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a protected area that spans over 70 miles of beaches and dunes. The scenery in Myrtle Beach is more urban, with a mix of beaches and developed areas.

History: The Outer Banks have a rich history, with many historic sites and landmarks to explore, such as the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the Roanoke Island Festival Park. Myrtle Beach also has some historical attractions, but they are fewer.

Accessibility: Myrtle Beach is more easily accessible, with a major airport and several major highways leading to the area. The Outer Banks can be more challenging to get to, as the only way to reach them is by driving over bridges and causeways. Myrtle Beach has a public bus system, making it easier for travelers to get around without a car. However, the Outer Banks do not have a public transportation system, so travelers will need to either have a car or rely on taxis or other private transportation options.

Crowds: Both destinations can get crowded during peak tourist season, but Myrtle Beach tends to be more crowded overall due to its larger size and more progressive nature. The Outer Banks have a more laid-back atmosphere and are less crowded.

Overall, both Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks are great vacation destinations with plenty to offer travelers.

The key differences between the two are their location, size and layout, and transportation options, which can be important considerations for travelers when deciding which destination to visit.

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