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Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

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Cedar Park, Texas
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Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

What is the best route to go from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach? Mapquest and Freetrip.com give me different routes of 240 miles on the highways (I-77 toI-20 to I-95, etc.) or 175 miles cutting across S.C. on Highway 151 through the Hartsville/Florence area.

Has anyone driven from Charlotte to MB and can give advice on the best route. I'm partial to the Highway 151 route, but I can't tell on a map if it's 2 or 4-lane road and we don't want to be out in the middle of nowhere with no gas stations/fast food place to stop. Thanks!

NC
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1. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Either route works. Even though the first one of all highways is longer in miles, BOTH routes are 4 hours give or take a few minutes from Charlotte. Believe me, we've tried both routes pulling a camper. You have to decide if you like 70 mph nonstop, or a stop/start scenic route through small towns.

Honestly, I think locating food and bathrooms will not be a problem. If you go the scenic route of 74 to 601 to 151 to 52 then jump on 1-95 a few exits to find 327 to 76 and on into 501 then be sure to stop for gas/bathrooms around Darlington. It's a perfect middle of the trip stop right around the 2 hour mark travel time.

Two words of caution. 1. 601 just outside of Monroe is a very dangerous two lane road for a little while. Turn your lights on, obey the speed limit, and be watchful, BUT it's not that long before it turns into 4 lanes again. 2. Be sure to fill up with gas/or take bathroom break BEFORE you leave the Darlington/ 1-95/327 exit area. Once you turn left off 327 onto 76 it will be a LONG road till you hit around Aynor before any breaks are available again.

If you are traveling into NORTH Myrtle, then be sure to take the new Hwy 22 just past Aynor area. VERY NICE road.

Watch speed limit in small towns like McBee. The road signs saying Myrtle Beach are easy to follow too on this route. The easiest place to mess up is missing the exit ramp just past the Darlington speedway and the car aution. Be in the right hand lane and you won't miss that quick turn down the ramp BEFORE YOU CROSS OVER A BRIDGE.

I hope this helps. Safe travels to you. Enjoy your trip. BTW, I've made this trip from CLT several times even with a baby in tow, you'll be fine. As you can tell, I personally like the scenic route better, but pulling the camper, the hubby likes the straight shots of highways route.

Cedar Park, Texas
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2. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Thank you NCCozdreamer. That's exactly the sort of info I was hoping someone would post -- all the little things that you wouldn't know if you haven't driven it before. I, too, prefer the scenic route, but I'll have to pass all this along to hubby since he will actually do the driving. Thanks again!

NC
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3. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Glad to be of help to your request. Feel free to PM me if you need to....or feel free to ask whatever you need here again before you make this trip. Safe travels......and ENJOY.

NC
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4. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Your question is the eternal 64,000 dollar question! LOL. Ask 20 people and you'll get 20 routes! The answer - there is no best way! LOL.

I've been driving to Myrtle for half a century. If I was leaving today and going to the northern part of the Grand Strand, I'd take 77 ( or 521) down to highway 9 and take 9 all the way.

If going to central or south Grand Strand I'd TAKE THE 151 route to Florence and pick up 501.

There are some stretches of farm land but plenty of little towns for stops on just about any route.

Best wishes.

Raleigh, North...
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5. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

My route. 74 to 52 (Wadesboro) to 9 (Cheraw) to 38 (Bennetsville) to 501 (just past I-95). For a real scenic route, I take 218 off of I-485 to 74 in Polkton.

NC
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6. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Our winners are Bud's route to the north and Bz3rk's route to the central or south.

If going to the north you could us Bz3rk's route and take the Conway by-pass.

NC
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7. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Caveat - the Monroe bottleneck!

Lacey, Washington
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for Charlotte
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8. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Can I comment on how much I hate that drive? Either way you go, just seems like it is never-ending! I took the 77-20 route once and the 521-9 route as well, just feel like there is never a good way to get down there.

Definitely plenty of places to stop along the way, don't worry about that. There are some stretches of 9 (I think it was 9) that were a bit remote that I didn't love too much, but wasn't but a few miles of that.

Take care and safe travels!

Huntersville, North...
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9. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

I have found a route that I actually look forward to driving from Charlotte to MB. I will admit it is a little more rural that the others suggested, but its FAST! 3.5 hours is an average. Laurinburg is your best bet to stop for food on the way down. Plenty of gas / restrooms all the way though. Try this one.

Once you get to Charlotte on I-77 S take I-85 N to I-485 Inner Loop. (You can only exit to your right to get onto I-485 from I-85 N.)

Go to exit 44. Hwy 218.

Hwy 218 out of Charlotte to Polkton, NC.(only 1 stop sign and 1 stop light for approx 40 miles.)

Left on Hwy 74 through Wadesboro, NC, bypass around Rockingham, NC. (all highway except for Wadesboro)

Right on Hwy 501 in Laurinburg, NC to Rowland, NC.

Hwy 130 out of Rowland, NC to Hwy 904 in the small community of Fairmont, NC.

Hwy 904 to Fairbluff, NC, Left through town and then right on 904 again into Tabor City, NC.

Hwy 701 out of Tabor City, NC into SC and left on Hwy 9.

Hwy 9 all the way in to Hwy 17 for NMB or the 31 bypass to MB.

Monroe, NC USA
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10. Re: Best route driving from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach

Believe me I live in Monroe and I do not go to Myrtle Beach preferring the Charleston area with its history. Driving to Myrtle Beach has been a quest all my life and I'm retired. Most people fear speed traps like McBee (Hugh McColl's hometown) instead of no bathrooms. It v. much depends which part of the Grand Strand you're accessing.

A cousin has had a beach house in NMB for 50 years, she'd be the one to ask for directions to NMB maybe. It's a gimme for the locals. SC works on the roads and highways but can't seem to surpass the cowpath concept. The most travelled 601 south from Monroe is under construction with it's own website www.601widening.com because it became a death alley for some strange reason. Juxtaposes slow moving locals against drivers/truckers lettin' 'er rip.