Oh, South Carolina! How you offer so many reasons for us Northerners, who must endure winter with minus temperatures and tons of snow dream of coming down south to get away from it all. Well, what are you waiting for? Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers everything you and your family would want in a vacation. Sandy beaches, tons of attractions, shopping, dining and so much more.
Here’s a list of awesome things to get you started:
Getting to Myrtle Beach is easy with flights that run throughout the year, including American Airlines offering a short layover in Charlotte, North Carolina before reaching your final destination.
Staying in Myrtle Beach is even easier and full of fun when staying at The Caravelle Resort. Built in 1960, and located along the Golden Mile stretch, The Caravelle offers nine buildings of accommodations ranging from studios, one-bedroom suites or two- and three-bedroom condos, perfect for large families or family reunions. Make sure to get the ocean view or ocean front room; it makes for such a memorable stay, not to mention sleeping with the doors open offers a pleasant breeze and soothing sounds. Room amenities include a kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, utensils and silverware, free wi-fi and in-room safe.
Some excellent resort features perfect for the little ones are a games room and arcade, lazy river, Kiddie Lazy River and wild water pool. One of the best features when travelling is having a laundry facility on-site, perfect for packing a little lighter and being able to wash your clothing as you go. Savour dining with the award-winning chef at Santa Maria Restaurant where you’ll find daily buffet breakfast, full lunch and dinner options.
Wonderworks is a 50,000 square foot indoor amusement park featuring an interactive and educational way for kids to connect with the world around them. With six floors of wonder to be explored, you’ll find tons of crazy activities like laser tag, indoor ropes challenge, 6D Extreme Motion Ride XD Theatre, Astronauts Training Challenge, Wonders of The World, Natural Disasters, Physical Challenge Zone plus so many more games and learning stations. You might even get a medal for being the best parents in the world after this one.
Ripley’s Aquarium takes kids to a place down under. Featuring all kinds of underwater creatures with fascinating facts to accompany their curiosity, you can take a Glass Bottom Boat Adventure that rides over shark-infested waters, pet sting ray’s in Ray Bay, visit Planet Jellies and take a walk-through Pearl Harbor. You can learn everything that lurks under the sea by catching daily Dive and Mermaid Shows as well as pet jellyfish (yup, you read that correctly). An excellent experience for the whole family.
Broadway at the Beach:
Broadway at The Beach surrounds a 23-acre lake and brings shopping and entertainment together on 350 acres of boardwalk. Walking distance from Ripley’s and WonderWorks this is a wonderful place to take a stroll and visit more than 100 boutiques and themed restaurants like Hard Rock Café or my personal favourite, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
Are you a Simpsons fan? Then make sure to check out the Kwik E Mart where you can buy a real Squishee and Lard Lad Donut! Ending the night here is just what South Carolina is all about: Relaxed atmosphere, good southern food and southern hospitality.
SkyWheel:This 187-foot tall Ferris wheel is a major attraction in Myrtle Beach and a perfect ride for the whole family. Part of the Grand Strand boardwalk, each cabin offers oceanfront views of Myrtle Beach right in the heart of it all. Day or night, the views are spectacular and the ride unforgettable.
Take a Ride out to Murrells Inlet
Approximately forty-five minutes outside of Myrtle Beach you’ll find a secluded and serene place called Murrells Inlet. Spend the day kayaking, dining outdoors and exploring some of the lushest gardens the south has to offer.
Black River Outdoors-Salt Marsh Kayak Tour:
This 2-hour salt marsh kayaking tour is a great experience for kids and adults alike. Learn about the ecology of the salt marsh and different species that live here as you paddle along and learn all about the outdoors. Be educated as to why oysters attach themselves to each other when they are babies and never move again while watching for herons, egrets, wood storks, double-crested cormorants and spoonbills.
Have you ever heard of the term, ‘hook to plate?’ Well, let me assure you that term was coined by The Wicked Tuna, Murrell’s Inlet’s premier waterfront dining. You can watch as their main boat pulls in and drops off your order right below the deck of the restaurant.
Tuna Shak is their newest addition to the property adding a more laid-back sports bar feel, featuring live music Saturday and football Sunday. Chef Patrick and pastry chef Patricia will tantalise your taste buds from start to finish. Offering two different kitchens cooking up that grouper that’s 2 hours old to sushi and decadent desserts while overlooking the MarshWalk, your family will be talking about this unique culinary experience for quite some time. Check out their website link above for a full mouthwatering menu alongside all the charity work they do to give back to the community.
You’re going to need a nice long walk after your dining experience, and I couldn’t think of a better way than to explore Brookgreen Gardens. This 9,100-acre property houses a spectacular sculpture garden, Enchanted Storybook Forest, Lowcountry Zoo, nature trail and The Lowcountry Trail, where you can delve into the history of the rice plantation era. Once the former Brookgreen Plantation, you can visit the archaeological digs revealing the remains of four original structures. An eyeful of wonderous beauty awaits you.
Back in Myrtle Beach, when your stomach says its time to eat again:
Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery: Since opening its doors in 2014, Johnny D’s has been a local and tourist favourite breakfast spot, with a menu more expansive than the size of Myrtle Beach, you’ll have to make this a stop on your must list.
Croissants Bistro & Bakery: “Bonjour Y’all!” Is the famous line by Heidi Vukov, named Restaurateur of the year in South Carolina. Doling up some of the freshest and most decadent baked goods on the planet, you’ll find everything from in-house freshly roasted coffee to soup, sandwiches (I suggest the fried chicken with coleslaw) and breakfast served daily until 4 pm. Before you go, make sure to grab some baked goods for the road; trust me on this one.
Lulu’s at Barefoot Landing: A boutique shopping experience bringing you closer to nature overlooking the intra-coastal Waterway near North Myrtle Beach, this boardwalk features more than 100 retail shops and 15 waterside restaurants. You’ll also find a playground for the kiddies to enjoy and explore right outside. Remember when I told you about Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Broadway at The Beach? Well, at Barefoot Landing you can enjoy little sister Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s. Here you’ll find old-fashioned Southern hospitality along with live music and a menu featuring fried green tomatoes, Po’boys, gumbo, shrimp and grits, The Crazy Sista Burger and a separate kids menu for those 14 and under.