As part of the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach’s 60 miles of sandy white beaches offers a variety of fun in the sun activities, ideal for families, couples and friends looking for relaxation.
If sand and surf are not for you, take a swing at golf! Spend a few hours carting across the fairways in a relaxing, natural environment of rolling greens, towering pines and majestic oaks. With over 100 courses in the Grand Stand area, the hardest choice to make is deciding where tee off first.
Gear it up a notch by visiting a Myrtle Beach attraction. Listen to sweet serenades at The Carolina Opry, have a roaring time at the Family Kingdom Amusement Park or take in a show at the Palace Theater; Myrtle Beach is packed with activities and amusement for all ages.
(Source: Visit Myrtle Beach )
South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach is a something-for-everyone holiday haven gently rocked by the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
It was Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens, a sprawling 50-acre sculpture park and botanical garden barely 30 minutes’ drive from Myrtle Beach at the edge of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. As the dusk descended on this seasonal light display, nearly 4,000 candles flickered amid gleaming bronze deities and contemplative reflecting pools. With massive Spanish-moss-covered oaks and towering thickets of tropical palms, Brookgreen Gardens is a refresh- ing oasis in an area more commonly known as the Golf Capital of America.
For the truly golf-mad, fairways such as Barefoot and Pine Lakes may be reason enough to visit Myrtle Beach. For everyone else, the action off the links is just as enticing. On the grand scale – par- ticularly in warmer months – open-air dining and retail venues such as Broadway at the Beach and the Market Common offer shopping that is both high-end and a whole lot of fun. As does Barefoot Landing, an al fresco mall where a 27-acre lake serves as a backdrop to the 100-plus shops, bars and restaurants – all connected via a labyrinth of open-air bridges, boardwalks and floating docks. Or make time to enjoy 90 minutes of sybaritic bliss at Cinzia, the new 17,000sq ft luxury spa at the recently opened North Beach Plantation. Cinzia’s seven treatment rooms are where sore muscles are kneaded into relaxation during its signature Golfers Massage and pan-Asian rituals.
South of its traditional seaside core, Myrtle Beach shines just as brightly – particularly off the typical tourist path. The colonial town of Conway, for instance, is a slice of traditional Americana just 20 minutes from the airport. It’s here that fourth-generation farmer Greg Hyman runs Hyman Vineyards, begun four years back on former tobacco fields and now reaching its third vintage. Hyman is the only “estate” winery in the region, meaning it both grows and bottles its myriad reds and whites – all based on the indigenous muscadine grape, a hearty and robust thick-skinned fruit ideal for South Carolina’s steamy summers. Pop by either Hyman’s Conway sales shop or the vine- yard tasting house to sample its bestsellers and purchase grape-based goodies such as jams, soaps, candles and gift baskets. During warmer months and on weekends, the winery itself is open for informative tours.
While in Conway, be sure to visit its historic centre. Nestling alongside the Waccamaw River – now lined with a wooden waterfront promenade – the town was founded back in 1734 and includes a clutch of colourful, picturesque colonial homes and build- ings. Don’t miss The Trestle Bakery for a slice of its caramel-rich Shadow Cake, and stop by Encore Florals and Fine Gifts for an endless selection of quality crafts and flowers. Further on – where the energy of Myrtle Beach gives way to Lowcountry languor – be sure to take the detour along Murrells Inlet, a seafront slice of land famous for its seafood eateries and bric-à-brac shops. The owner of Our Old Junk, Marlaina Abbott, scours local flea markets for one-of-a-kind finds ranging from unusual pottery to historic magazine covers and girly costume jewel- lery. Hungry? You’d better be for the feast waiting at Prosser’s BBQ, a family-run Lowcountry diner serving heaping platters of barbecue pork, fried fish and shrimp, crisp hush puppies, fresh biscuits with gravy and fruity cobblers. The daily buffets are all-you-can-eat affairs that will last you literally all day.
Pawleys Island, a stunning barrier island linked to the mainland by a set of slim causeways, is a beach lover’s delight. Fronting its precipitous, sandy dunes are pale wooden shacks and homes perched cinematically between the sea and a marshy lagoon. Some of the historic houses date back centuries, including a dozen clapboard beauties originally built in the late 1700s.
Back onshore, the Pawleys Island Hammock Shops are an assemblage of wooden homes – many more than a century old – transformed into boutiques and restaurants shrouded by towering pines. Look for those namesake hammocks, local crafts and snacks along with Isle of Candles, whose handmade wares contain a soy-based wax that transforms into a fragrant hand lotion as it burns.
Finally, make time for a drink – if not dinner – at the stunning Litchfield Plantation, a sprawling 600-acre former rice plantation dating back to 1750. Now a four-bedroom B&B, the Plantation is a relic of antebellum Southern life complete with its original neoclassical plantation house and red-brick car- riage house. The former contains massive rooms and suites, while the latter is where Executive Chef Robert Beuth serves up haute Lowcountry cooking. All around are hulking, almost haunting Spanish-moss-covered oaks looming over rice paddies and tiny streams. This is life as Scarlett O’Hara might have lived it – only with internet access and 24-hour room service.
Back at Brookgreen – whose 1,200 sculptures date from the 1880s – dozens of eager volunteers light wicks, guide guests and explain the history of this national historic landmark to folks who’ve travelled from all over the East Coast for this annual festival of light. Judging by the conversation, many have clearly spent the day golfing in Myrtle Beach – mixing and matching the region’s native culture with its most famous sport. The air may be cool, but the local Lowcountry warmth keeps the crowd going – just as it keeps golfers, beachcombers and family-fun seekers returning to Myrtle Beach year after year.
J. R. Ewing meets Jack Nicklaus at this swell-egant spread about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach.
Handsomely appointed villas, many boasting whirlpools, wet bars and fireplaces, open onto views of the links; outdoor pools, tennis courts and beautiful beaches are just a towelling-slippered stroll away. Or you can recline beneath the moss-draped oaks and catch up on some reading; Gone with the Wind, say, or 501 Excuses for a Bad Golf Shot.
70 Tanglewood Drive, Pawleys Island
(843) 237-6000, www.pawleysplantation.com
The oldest family-owned restaurant on the Grand Strand, Lee’s opened in 1948 in what had originally been a gas station; it’s been fuelling patrons with fresh seafood from the inlet ever since, and the majority of menu items are still prepared in the same time-honoured manner as they were six decades ago.
But not all verities are eternal; in 1948, a large seafood platter would have set you back $1.50. Today, it’s just a teeny bit more.
4460 Business Highway 17
(843) 651-2881, www.leesinletkitchen.com
As in so good they named it twice, and as in rib. Yes, this steak house, in the heart of Myrtle Beach, is as authentic a Big Apple experience as Holland Tunnel gridlock, serving USDA prime beef for every cut including filets, plus – for the brave/foolhardy – giant (and they mean GIANT) chocolate cake desserts, and complete with squint-hard-and-itcould-just-about-be-the-East-Village façade.
It’ll put you in an empire state of mind: if you can eat it there, you can eat it anywhere.
405 28th Avenue North
Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is located 5km/3 miles from the resort area.
Location of Porter check-in desk: departures.
Taxi fares are approximately US $15 to the resort area.
Many hotels offer a complimentary shuttle service from the airport.
Hertz is conveniently located adjacent to the baggage claim area on the Ground Floor of the Myrtle Beach International Airport passenger terminal building.
The information and ﬁgures above are for reference only, and may not be current. Please visit each airport's website for up-to-date details.