The Most Dangerous Beach in South Carolina Attracts a Staggering 19 Million Annual Visitors

Written by Luke Stevens
Updated: July 11, 2023
© Kevin Ruck/
Share this post on:



The beach is a place to relax, unwind, and enjoy nature. Millions of people visit the beach each year and consider it the perfect getaway. However, the beach is part of the ocean, which can be unpredictable and dangerous. While most beach vacations are looked on with fond memories, everyone should be aware of the dangers of certain beaches. Factors such as strong tides, low supervision, and dangerous marine life can make beaches much less peaceful than expected. Keep reading to learn more about the most dangerous beach in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach.

Overview: The Most Dangerous Beach in South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA city skyline.
Around 19 million people visit Myrtle Beach annually.

©Sean Pavone/

Located on the coast of South Carolina bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Myrtle Beach is an extremely popular spot. Around 19 million people visit Myrtle Beach annually, which is much larger than its year-round population of 325,000. Its accessible location and a never-ending list of things to do make it an amazing choice for visitors far and wide.

Things to do in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach has no shortage of fun offerings for everyone. Golf lovers will be right at home exploring the 90 championship golf courses located around the area. In addition to professional courses, Myrtle Beach is home to 35 miniature golf courses. This makes it the Miniature Golf Capital of the World. Around 3,200,000 rounds of golf are played each year in Myrtle Beach.

Besides golf, Myrtle Beach has many more amazing options for visitors and residents. The area is often also called the Grand Strand due to its 60 miles of coastline with ceaseless developments and attractions. Along the strand, activities such as water sports, theme parks, and educational expeditions are everywhere. Seven live theatres are located within Myrtle Beach, collectively boasting more than 7,300 seats in total. Guests can see a wide variety of shows including concerts, musicals, and interactive theatre.

Dining and Lodging in Myrtle Beach

Whole Maine Lobster Dinner at the Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA restaurant. Steamed seafood dinner
Myrtle Beach is the “seafood capital of South Carolina.”

©Mila Vega/

There is no shortage of dining options after a long day of fun either. Often called the “seafood capital of South Carolina,” Myrtle Beach offers amazing freshly caught fish. The area’s 2,000 restaurants don’t just offer seafood, however. Visitors and residents can try authentic Southern food, international cuisine, and much more.

One amazing aspect of Myrtle Beach is its affordability. The 425 hotels and 180,000 other units of accommodation in the area can fit any budget. In addition to paid accommodation, there are several camping grounds and RV parks in proximity to the beach. The range of lodging options in Myrtle Beach ensures that anyone can visit and experience all it has to offer!

What Makes Myrtle Beach so Dangerous?

Travel Lens ranked recently ranked Myrtle Beach as the most dangerous beach in South Carolina. The beach received a “danger score” of 6.61 out of 10, which was based on a variety of factors including hurricanes, surf zone fatalities, and shark attacks. Out of the 10 most dangerous beaches listed, Myrtle Beach ranked fifth overall, and first for the state of South Carolina. Here is a more in-depth look and what informed this ranking.

Surf Zone Fatalities

Myrtle Beach ranked third for the most surf zone fatalities out of all of the United States beaches. A surf zone fatality refers to a death caused by the force of the surf near a beach. There have been 15 reported surf zone fatalities in Myrtle Beach since 2010. For reference, the beach with the most surf zone fatalities was Panama City Beach in Florida, with an astonishing 24 reported. A number of factors cause the unpredictable surf in Myrtle Beach. While the waters are usually welcoming and docile, they can occasionally be dangerous. This volatility is due to offshore winds blowing in from the northwest. These winds cause both groundswells and wind swells that cause waves to break from all directions. The multidirectional nature of these waves can disorient swimmers and surfers, creating unsafe conditions that lead to fatalities.

Shark Attacks

Great white shark silhouette
Myrtle Beach ranks second for the most shark attacks out of all the beaches in the United States.

©Elias Levy / CC BY 2.0 – License

While rough surf is avoidable, shark attacks are often much more random. Myrtle Beach ranks second for the most shark attacks out of all the beaches in the United States. There have been nine reported shark attacks in the area since 2010, with two occurring in the same hour during August 2022. This is a significant dropoff from the beach with the most shark attacks, New Smyrna Beach in Florida. Since 2010, a shocking 32 shark attacks have occurred at the beach, which is nearly three per year. Some helpful tips to avoid shark attacks are to stay in groups, remain close to the shore, and avoid the water after sunset.

Where is Myrtle Beach Located on a Map?

Myrtle Beach is a city and vacation resort on South Carolina’s coastline. It is the central hub of the Grand Strand which is a 6-mile string of beaches in South Carolina. There are a ton of golf courses, boardwalks, and arcades.

Here is Myrtle Beach on a map:

Share this post on:
About the Author

My name is Luke, and I currently a student at the University of Southern California. I love the outdoors, learning, and writing. I am also involved in several groups focusing on the entertainment industry and business administration. My favorite animals are dogs, koala bears, and dolphins.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.