plan autism-friendly vacations in Myrtle Beach

If you’re traveling with someone on the autism spectrum, it’s important to plan ahead and choose the right activities. Myrtle Beach offers a variety of attractions that cater to special needs. For those who struggle with large crowds, booking a private tour is a great option. Packing comfort items and other familiar items may help ease any anxiety that may arise while away from home. It also always pays to have a backup plan in the event things don’t work out as expected. With that, here are some tips for autism-friendly vacations in Myrtle Beach:

Myrtle Beach autism resources

Take Advantage of Local Resources

Overall, Myrtle Beach has plenty of options to accommodate special needs. Local organizations like the Champion Autism Network are committed to autism awareness and provide resources, events, and support for families with members on the autism spectrum. In addition, several of Myrtle Beach’s top attractions offer programs tailored specifically to individuals with sensory sensitivities. WonderWorks sensory days and Ripley’s Aquarium both offer a sensory-friendly program that includes adjusted lighting, sound levels, and touchable exhibits.

Champion Autism Network

Champion Autism Network

The Champion Autism Network (CAN) is a nonprofit autism awareness organization in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. For those traveling to Myrtle Beach, the CAN Autism Travel Card™ is an innovative way to identify families or individuals with special sensory needs. Participating restaurants, hotels, and venues are trained to provide services for individuals carrying the CAN Autism Travel Card™. Participating restaurants also provide a discount and special seating arrangements for your comfort.

Project Lifesaver & Horry County PD

Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver is teaming up with the Horry County Police Department to ensure the safety of individuals with autism. This innovative program provides custom-made wristbands with an advanced tracking signal to locate those who are at risk of getting lost. By utilizing these tracker bracelets, law enforcement officials can easily locate missing individuals, increasing the success rate of searches. With this partnership, individuals and families can rest easy knowing that there is a rapid response program in place to assist them if needed. Project Lifesaver’s hope is that more people will take advantage of this life-changing rapid response program to keep their loved ones safe from harm in case they become lost.

sensory-friendly things to do in Myrtle Beach

Sensory-Friendly Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach has a ton of sensory-friendly activities for visitors of all ages. Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, for instance, offers visitors the chance to take calming, self-guided tours of its exhibits. Below are some attractions dedicated to offering enjoyable and accommodating sensory-friendly experiences. 

Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

Located at the iconic Broadway at the Beach entertainment complex, Ripley’s Aquarium offers an autism-friendly experience all year round. Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has recently achieved certification from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) as a Certified Autism Center. This designation recognizes their ability to serve people with sensory needs. 

The Aquarium hosts several exclusive sensory-friendly events each year. They also work closely with CAN to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and comfortable. The sensory-friendly events offer visitors a chance to enjoy lower sound levels across all galleries with house lights turned on. Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is dedicated to providing an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Grand 14 Cinema at The Market Common

Grand 14 at The Market Common

Sensory-Friendly Screenings at the Grand 14 cinema offer the perfect environment for individuals with autism and other sensory sensitivities. During Sensory-Friendly Screenings, the auditorium lights are slightly brighter, and the sound is reduced to a lower level. To make it even more inviting, admission tickets are just $5.50 per person and there is a special drink and popcorn combo for $1.50 each! There’s no need to reserve seats in advance – simply show up at the designated movie time with your family and enjoy.

WonderWorks

WonderWorks

WonderWorks is an exciting 41,000-square-foot science museum. Offering more than 100 interactive displays to engage people of all ages, WonderWorks is proud to host Sensory Days for children and adults with special needs. During these events, music is lowered and loud exhibits are turned off to create a safe environment where kids can enjoy themselves without feeling overwhelmed. The admission fee during Sensory Days is only $15 per person. That way, parents, caretakers, and family members can accompany their loved ones without worrying about high admission costs.

Rockin' Jump

Sky Zone

Sky Zone is the perfect place for a fun-filled day of family entertainment! Sensory friendly jump at Sky Zone provides a toned-down jumping experience for those with special needs. For just $10 per hour, jumpers can experience the entire park including the trampoline area, foam pit, ninja course and more! Please note that this offer does not include the Rock Wall.  One parent/therapist jumps for free and this offer is exclusive to those with a CAN Autism Travel Card™.


Myrtle Beach is a perfect destination for autism-friendly vacations. There are plenty of resources available to make your trip comfortable and enjoyable. CAN offers a travel card for those with Autism. In addition, Horry County PD has partnered with Project Lifesaver to help locate individuals on the autism spectrum if they wander off.

Myrtle Beach also offers a variety of sensory-friendly activities, including sensory-friendly screenings at the Grand 14 cinema, Sensory Days at WonderWorks, and sensory hours at Rockin’ Jump. Lastly, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is a certified autism center and offers sensory-friendly events throughout the year. With so many resources and options, you are sure to have a fun and an enjoyable vacation at Myrtle Beach.

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Andy Rowe

Andy Rowe is an experienced Writer and Content Designer with a passion for storytelling. He earned his Masters of Business Administration while living abroad in Taiwan and has spent the past 6 years honing his skills in copy writing, social media content, and thought leadership. Andy has a talent for research and the ability to adapt this writing style to different audiences. When he’s not writing, Andy enjoys traveling, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and reading.

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