Myrtle Beach is a coastal city on the East Coast of the United States in Horry County, South Carolina. It is in the center of a large and continuous 60-mile (97 km) stretch of beach known as "The Grand Strand" in northeastern South Carolina.
Ranked as the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country (per 2018 census estimates), Myrtle Beach is one of the major centers of tourism in South Carolina and the United States because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches, attracting an estimated 14 million visitors each year. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 27,109, and in 2019 the estimated population was 34,695. The Myrtle Beach metropolitan area had an estimated population in 2019 of 480,891.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Long Bay area was inhabited by the native Waccamaw tribe. The Waccamaw used the river for travel and fished along the shore around Little River. Waties Island, the primary barrier island along Long Bay, has evidence of burial and shell mounds, remains of the visiting Waccamaw.
The first European settlers along Long Bay arrived in the late 18th century, attempting to extend the plantation system outward towards the ocean. Records are sparse from this period, with most of the recorded history pieced together from old land grant documents. These settlers were met with mixed results, producing unremarkable quantities of indigo and tobacco, as the coast's soil was sandy and most of the crop yields were of an inferior quality.