Myrtle Beach is much more than beautiful beaches, championship golf courses, thrilling attractions and world-famous seafood. The Sun Fun Capital also has a sophisticated side and a thriving arts scene.
The center of it all is located only than a half mile south of Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort at the Franklin G. Burroughs & Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum – one of the finest of its kind in South Carolina.
Located just inland of Springmaid Pier, the charming three-story beach home reflects the rich cultural heritage of the resort town. The nearly century-old building was saved from demolition and relocated to its current spot to serve as an arts center and a tribute to the Grand Strand’s unique history.
Among the 11 revolving exhibits on display are early photographs and paintings of Myrtle Beach’s formative years, including scenes from the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Ocean Forest Hotel, Myrtle Beach Air Force Base and other iconic landmarks that are now only memories.
Galleries also feature the works of local artists, many of them awe-inspiring seascapes such as sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean and picturesque paintings of the scenic South Carolina Lowcountry. The collections also include sculptures, ceramics, textiles and audio-visual presentations.
In fact, the Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum (the only art museum in Myrtle Beach) is known for its impressive visual arts displays and other programs, including art classes, lecture series, guided tours and workshops. There are programs designed for all age and skill levels, from beginner to aspiring artists.
Opened in 1997, the Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum has been upgraded for its expanded programs and is constantly updating to keep up with the latest trends in the arts. Interactive exhibits, popular symposiums and a modern pottery studio have made the art museum one of the hippest hangouts in Myrtle Beach.
Best of all, admission is free (although donations are appreciated) so its an affordable place to take the whole family. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, and closed on Mondays. If you can’t fit a visit into your hectic vacation schedule, check out these alternate arts venues:
Art Burger Sushi Bar
In addition to serving a bizarre mix of classic American and Japanese favorites, Art Burger Sushi Bar also serves as a creative outlet for local artists. The walls are lined with paintings, sculptures and video screens that display the one-of-a-kind works from the area’s arts community.
This fine-dining restaurant on the north side of town is part eatery, part art gallery, and all good. The dining areas are separated by private rooms and open lounge areas while the walls display the works of some of the region’s top artists. Perfect for drinks or a romantic dinner, the artwork creates an upscale ambiance and plenty of conversation pieces.
Seacoast Artists Guild & Gallery
Located in The Market Common, only a couple of miles from Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort, the Seacoast Artists Guild & Gallery gives local artists the opportunity to both practice their craft and to sell their works. Workshops, lecture series and special sales make this place a must-see for artsy types.
Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, this local arts group has a full slate of events at various venues along the Grand Strand. The most popular program is the biannual Art in the Park event, which features artists from all over the East Coast shopping their works at The Market Common’s Valor Park. The fall dates are Oct. 12-13 and Nov. 9-10.
After a day of soaking up some local culture, it’s time to soak up some more sun and fun at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort – the best place to make your vacation a true masterpiece.