For decades northerners have been flocking to the sandy ocean shores of the Atlantic coast to escape the chill of early spring. Over the years one of the most popular destinations has been Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Getting to Myrtle Beach is rather easy these days. Flights from Central NY get vacationers there in about 3 hours for around $250, while others may choose to endure the 15-hour drive, sometimes stopping in Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, or Washington DC to break up the trip. 

When finally at Myrtle Beach, the stretch of beachfront hotels seems endless, the restaurants infinite, and golf courses plentiful. Never can anyone claim that there’s nothing to do while visiting the Myrtle Beach area. The “Grand Strand”, as it is called, runs from North Myrtle, south to Surfside Beach. The strip along the coast is known as Ocean Boulevard, with the main drag being Kings Highway. Both roads contain restaurants, stores, and family entertainment galore.

 Miniature golf courses are seemingly around each corner, and touristy attractions overflow block after block. Just a few blocks from the ocean sits two real neat attractions. One is Barefoot Landing, containing unique shops, attractions and dining experiences. When I last visited the Myrtle Beach area I enjoyed a great afternoon dining experience at T-Bonz Gill & Grill. The House of Blues, Dick’s Last Resort, and Joe’s Crab Shack are just a few of the other great places to eat. The second neat tourist ‘must visit’ is found at Broadway at the Beach. With over 100 shops, 20 restaurants, 10 nightclubs, and 3 on-site hotels, Broadway at the Beach is the place to be when staying in Myrtle Beach. With a half-dozen themed neighborhoods meandering around the Broadway Cove, even window-shopping can become a fun experience. Ripley’s Aquarium, the IMAX Theater, and the NASCAR Speedpark can all be found scattered throughout Broadway at the Beach. I was especially impressed with the Ripley’s Aquarium. The ability to become emerged in what seems to be an underwater world is amazing. The glass viewing tunnel is spectacular! To your left, right, and even above you, there are sharks of all sizes within inches of you. For food, Broadway at the Beach has it all. During my day long visit there I had lunch at Bill Murray’s Caddyshack, dinner at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and cooled off at the Hard Rock Café. 

When not at the ocean, Barefoot Landing, or Broadway at the Beach, try visiting one of Myrtle Beach’s most popular tourist stops. Studebaker’s has long been a favorite destination of many tourists. Great food, atmosphere, and music has always been the draw to this local landmark. Other great attractions not to miss in the area are the Carolina Opry, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, and the Carolina Prime Outlets. 

Finding a place to stay at Myrtle Beach is never a problem. Ocean Blvd. has miles of beachfront hotels; many with beach access and elaborate pool areas. During a recent stay I was quite pleased with my accommodations at the Sandcastle at South Beach Hotel. The room was clean, it had an exterior entrance, and waking every morning to the roar of the Atlantic Ocean was something close to paradise. 

With warm temperatures being felt from March through November, Myrtle Beach, SC is a perfect vacation spot for those that are looking for something a little different than the typical Florida vacation. From dozens of golf courses to hundreds of attractions, there’s always something to do at Myrtle Beach. For more information about vacationing in Myrtle Beach, visit http://www.discovermyrtlebeach.com.

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