Family Fun in Myrtle Beach From Two Perspectives

We recently vacationed in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with our close friends, Jeff and Terry. Between us we have four kids ranging in age from 8-10 years old. This was our third visit together to Kingston Plantation and, once again, a great time was had by all.

Those of you with young children know that life is much easier when you take them to eat at places where they want to go. However, that doesn’t always result in the adults getting decent food. Luckily, I have a couple of recommendations that kids of all ages should like, from two perspectives.

Kid Perspective

Ultimate California Pizza Sports Zone  (959 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29572) was right up the road from our condo and where we went our first night. I have to admit I was not expecting much from this place, and anticipated cardboard-tasting pizza in a loud place (it has an arcade, which is the main attraction) that was sure to bring on a headache before I left. But they do serve alcohol and since it’s all about the kids anyway, off we went. And I was pleasantly surprised, enough to go back a second time later that week.

I thought the food was good – especially the pizza, and was happy that a number of vegetarian specialty pies were on the menu. I tried the personal size Santa Cruz  pizza and it was quite tasty, with artichokes, black olives, red onions, feta, roma tomatoes, and mozzarella. The crust was nice and chewy. While it’s not on my top-5 favorite pizza list, I’d certainly eat it again. The rest of our group, including the kids, ordered various pizzas and said they were all good.

The restaurant has full ABC permits and the beer selection is pretty decent. A number of flat screen TVs are in the restaurant/bar area, showing various sports.

What makes this place great for the kids is the arcade, of course. Lexi hit it big our second visit and won 1,000 tickets on a machine – she was just too happy for words. I decided to try my luck as well, and had a great time. Gabe was happy since he was on the receiving end of the majority of my tickets (and I won quite a lot!) and to no surprise “Mr. I’m the funniest boy in the world” redeemed some of them for a mega whoopie cushion.

Overall, Ultimate California Pizza Sports Zone is a great place for the kids, and not bad for the adults!

Adult Perspective

Now, to switch gears a bit. The kids always want to go to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (1114 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29577 ) whenever we’re in Myrtle Beach for a number of reasons, including the hurricane blender  –

the balloon-making guy on stilts –

and the proximity of the carnival rides less than two minutes away.

BTW – the adults do not mind to oblige, because it’s always five o’clock somewhere.

Kudos to Margaritaville’s brilliant marketing and management teams for making this place appear to be suitable for kids. Think about it – is a restaurant named after an alcoholic beverage and a song by a crazy musician known for some of the most drunken concerts I’ve ever been to really appropriate for children? Well, of course it is – at least that’s what we can tell ourselves as we suck down our margaritas and beers while the kids are entertained with balloon animals and hurricane shows. As long as the kids can score something at the gift shop and go on the rides when we leave then they are happy, which in turn makes us happy.

I’ve eaten at other Margaritaville locations  and the food is consistently good – the nachos are superb and I’ve been saved by many a cheeseburger in Key West and Las Vegas (before kids, of course.) On this trip I had the Jumbo Lump Crab and Shrimp Salad, which was a blend of shellfish tossed with rotini pasta, olives, tomatoes, carrots and lemon-herb vinaigrette served atop a bed of mixed greens. It was tasty and fresh and I would definitely get it again, but to be perfectly honest I would have ordered a cheeseburger had I not been in vegetarian world. Just because. For some reason I forgot to take pictures of the food, so I’ll show you a picture of my 5 o’clock Somewhere drink 😉

The next time you visit Myrtle Beach with kids in tow, keep both of these places in mind – they are fun for young and old alike!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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