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The sound of the waves crashing on the beach and the sight of sunlight dancing off the ocean are not the only ways to find great song and dance in Myrtle Beach. In fact, the Grand Strand has a proud history of music and dancing that are still alive and kicking.
South Carolina's state dance, the shag, was born on the shores of North Myrtle Beach back in the 1950s and '60s, and large crowds still make regular visits to dance on the same saw-dust covered floors from a half century before. And country music super group Alabama used to be the house band at The Bowery in downtown Myrtle Beach back in the 1970s. Those scenes are still going strong, along with new venues for song and dance.
Whether you are into country, pop, rock, blues or good ol' Carolina beach music, you are sure to find a place where they are playing your tune and doing your dance. Here's a list of the top five places for great live music and cut a rug in Myrtle Beach:
* Boathouse: One of the best waterfront bars in Myrtle Beach isn't on the Atlantic Ocean, but rather on the Intracoastal Waterway a couple of miles inland. Located beneath the Highway 501 Bridge, this marina-style bar and grill features an outdoor stage and a boat dock where guests can arrive via boat, kayak and jet ski. The Sunday Summer Concert brings big-name acts to the stage while bikini-clad patrons dance on the docks. The indoor stage also hosts local and regional acts throughout the week.
* Fat Harold's: One of the founding venues of the shag keeps the spirit of the dance going strong by hosting beach music bands and SOS (Society of Stranders) Migrations for all-night parties on the stage and dance floor. Not only are the shag dancers talented and fun to watch, but they also are among the friendliest folks on the planet and don't mind teaching a few moves to strangers. You might even get a lesson from the bar's namesake, Harold Bessinger, a local legend who still frequents the establishment.
* Froggy Bottoms: Broadway at the Beach visitors have several clubs to choose from in the Celebrity Square district, but Froggy Bottoms is known as the best place for live music. While other clubs feature DJs, comedy acts and disco balls, but Froggy's has a live music nightly, including a blues house band with a broad musical vocabulary. There's also a large dance floor where guests can dance along to the beat.
* House of Blues: Standing-room only crowds in the concert hall can make it hard to dance, but no other music venue on the Grand Strand can hold a candle to the HOB when it comes to attracting nationally touring musical acts to the stage. Hosting all the mid-major musical tours that make an East Coast swing, the House of Blues boasts a beautiful concert hall constructed of recycled lumber collected from local barns and churches and a tin roof to give it that folk-artsy look, feel and sound, especially when the heavy hitters take the stage before a packed house.
* Ocean Annie's Beach Bar: The biggest beach party on the Grand Strand is located at Sands Beach Club on Shore Drive. Featuring an outdoor stage on the patio pool deck, Ocean Annie's allows guests to kick back in the sun and soak up the rays and music, or join in the poolside dance party as the fun last even after sun goes down.