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The Carolinas are a well-reputed vacation spot enough to make every tourist daydream about soft sand, cool waters, and warm breezes. Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach are the two most frequently compared sunny spots on the East Coast. From travelers wanting a week-long vacation to students enjoying a holiday outing, both destinations make visitors fall in love with the incredible entertainment options.

Popular for their outstanding restaurants, warm climate, and pristine beaches with sweeping ocean views, these East Coast locales are any fun lover's favorite. But which destination is the best for a vacationer looking to have the ultimate getaway? Here is a showdown between Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach.


Outer Banks

The impressively long coastline of the Outer Banks presents the quintessential vacation experience. When choosing Outer Banks as a destination, tourists should expect a more laid-back form of entertainment. The ambiance here leans toward a non-commercialized atmosphere, meaning tourists can enjoy natural attractions like taking a wild horse tour along the beach or checking out the sunset or sunrise from a cozy cottage.

Related: Pros Vs. Cons Of Visiting Myrtle Beach During Peak Summer Season

Locals here value cleanliness on the beach, effortlessly making the Outer Banks a picture-perfect spot. Made famous by Billy Summer's TV Series "Outer Banks," the pristine beaches featuring clear waters attract photographers and celebrities alike. For instance, Sandra Bullock has been spotted here.

The best time to visit Outer Banks is during the summer when temperatures soar to over 80˚F. March to May is perfect for people who prefer less crowded visits with lower accommodation rates. Each beach has a varying degree of access by the public, but almost all accommodate water sports like jet skiing for tourists who have a knack for an adrenaline rush. Other water-related activities in the Outer Banks include kite-surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

  • Top Beaches: Rodanthe Beach, Coquina Beach, Kitty Hawk, and Corolla Beach

Related: The Myrtle Beach Travel Park Is Easy To Find & Has Everything You Need For An Easy Vacay

Myrtle Beach

Over the years, Myrtle Beach has amassed a wealth of tourist attractions, thanks to popular spots like Ripley's Aquarium, The Broadway at the Beach, and The Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Around 19 million vacationers come to have a splendid time in this destination, with plenty to do at the beachfront and in the inland spaces. Myrtle Beach, also known as the Hub of the Grand Strand, consists of a 60-mile string of white sand beaches that stretch from Little River to Georgetown.

Popular as a spring break destination for college students, there is no shortage of outdoor entertainment. Myrtle Beach is where all the fun is, boasting a plethora of shopping malls, nightclubs, amusement parks, and about 90 championship golf courses. At one point, Myrtle Beach was home to over 100 golf courses, making it "The Golfing capital of the World."

The highlight of Myrtle Beach is its azure blue Atlantic waters. With a combination of stunning views and intriguing water sports, it's no wonder tourists keep coming back every summer. Fun activities in Myrtle Beach include deep sea fishing, scuba diving, jet skiing, or enjoying the warm sun on the beachfront.

  • Top Beaches: Myrtle Beach State Park, North Myrtle Beach, and Litchfield Beach

Which Is The Better Choice?

When it comes to the water, weather, and ambiance, both east coast beaches have a lot of positives to their names. Of course, deciding between the two comes down to the traveler's personal preferences, but there are distinct appeals that make each East Coast sun spot stand out.


Unlike Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach has plenty of towering hotels lining the beach. However, tall structures often block the sun in the afternoon, depending on the season. This gives Outer Banks an upper hand, as tourists will notice the sun here is always out from morning to evening, giving the beach a warmer touch. The beaches on the Outer Banks are cleaner, but Myrtle Beach boasts warmer weather and ocean waters.

Outer Banks has fewer tourists crowding the area. On the other hand, Myrtle Beach is a popular hot spot for spring break events. In addition, the calmness in the Outer Banks, punctuated by the gentle lapping of the ocean waves, makes it ideal for a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Myrtle Beach is often characterized by action-packed fun due to its urban setting, while Outer Banks is a good spot for romantic getaways. Myrtle Beach is the best choice for tourists looking to have fun till the sun rises, thanks to a wide selection of dance clubs offering live performances. However, Outer Banks still boasts a string of music festivals, with Duck Jazz Festival being the most popular.


The good news for tourists is that both destinations are excellent spots for family vacations. Teeming with family-friendly activities, resorts, beaches, and beachfront hotels, East Coast beaches provide a wholesome experience for families with young kids. In addition, water sports are what both beaches have in common since they share the same string of sandbars.

While Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach are excellent relaxation spots, each offers a unique vibe. Outer Banks is slightly cleaner, but Myrtle Beaches boasts more vacation activities. Based on what supports a tourist's adventurous spirit, going with the best choice guarantees a memorable vacation.