Spring has arrived in Myrtle Beach, America’s most popular beach vacation destination. And as the season comes into full bloom, the Grand Strand has never been more inviting.
At the heart of Myrtle Beach’s appeal is the area’s ability to preserve the best of its charming past while continually evolving and growing.
Myrtle Beach, once home to an Air Force base, has long prided itself on its outreach to America’s service men and women, and all public servants for that matter, working hard to honor the people that help make the country safe both at home and abroad.
So why do people of all walks of life find Myrtle Beach so appealing?
Fun and value are intrinsically linked and the Grand Strand has a well deserved reputation for providing an abundance of both. People that have fun on vacation tend to value in their trip. Conversely, it’s a lot easier to have fun when the cost of a trip doesn’t necessitate taking out a second mortgage.
The Grand Strand caters to families in search of any type of trip. Whether you are looking for a private, beachfront house and 5-star restaurants, or a reasonably priced oceanfront room, Myrtle Beach can accommodate. Throw in military discounts available on rooms, dining and activities, and the value for service men and women is even greater.
The first part of choosing a destination is accessibility. Can you get there without blowing the budget before you arrive?
Myrtle Beach is within a day’s drive of more than half the nation’s population and enjoys nonstop flight access from more than 30 cities, including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, Boston and Chicago. Eight different airlines – Allegiant, United, Delta, Porter, Spirit, America, Via Air and West Jet – offer direct access, including several low-cost carriers.
That ease of access puts Myrtle Beach on nearly everyone’s radar, but what the area offers on the ground is what keeps people coming back.
What can you do on a Myrtle Beach vacation?
The options are seemingly endless, but they begin with the Atlantic Ocean. Sun and surf are a hard combination to beat for land-locked visitors, and the wide, sandy beaches of the Grand Strand are, by consensus, among the best. Yahoo! Travel named Myrtle the “World’s Best Beach,” and who are we to argue?
Whether you want to swim, surf, parasail, go deep sea fishing or soak up the sun’s rays, Myrtle Beach is there for you, and the popularity of activity-oriented vacations are on the rise, which plays into the area’s strengths.
The Radical Ropes Adventure Park, a five-acre park that lets you enjoy extreme zip-lining over a native pine forest while enjoying stunning views of the Atlantic, opened in 2015 and quickly emerged as one of the area’s most popular activities. Whether you are zip-lining, doing the ropes course or navigating the climbing wall, it’s a great team or family bonding activity.
Myrtle Beach and Huntington Beach state parks offer the opportunity to tour undisturbed coastal land, allowing a look at the area’s native beauty and abundant wildlife. Both parks offer campsites that are among the prettiest in America, private beach access, great fishing and kids’ education programs (trust me, you will enjoy them, too!).
Brookgreen Gardens isn’t a state park, but it is a national treasure, having won a Grand Slam of sorts by earning accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as well as being designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the Register of National Historic Places.
Visitors can kayak through Murrells Inlet, Cherry Grove, and the Black River or take private island tours to look for shells or enjoy a romantic sunset.
With the gulf stream just 50 miles offshore, tuna, dolphin and grouper are just a few of the fish you can catch by day and eat by night.
If your family is looking to stay on dry land, Myrtle Beach has earned the distinction of being both the mini golf and golf travel capital of the world. Hawaiian Rumble is home to the Mini-Golf Masters, one of the game’s most prominent events, and Captain Hook’s and Mayday Golf were ranked among America’s top 15 putt-putt courses by Men’s Journal, so there is fun to be had for the entire family.
The Grand Strand is also home to nearly 100 championship golf courses, including 13 that have been ranked among America’s top 100 public layouts in recent years. Just as importantly, the Myrtle Beach golf community welcomes families and newcomers to the game with open arms. More than 50 courses participate in the “Kids Play Free” program, which allows juniors to play for free when accompanied by a paying adult, enhancing the area’s already legendary value.
The one thing everyone has to do on vacation is eat, and Myrtle Beach, which Huffington Post has ranked among the best restaurant cities in America, has plenty of variety. Among the choices is the new Culinary Institute, which has adult and kid cooking classes.
If you don’t want to learn to cook on vacation, there are plenty of chefs who will gladly do the job. Chef Curry Martin has turned Aspen Grille into a go-to spot for special occasions or anyone in search of a great meal. Martin trained in Napa Valley and Paris and has fused the lessons learned in two of world’s great food cities with his own culinary vision to create one of the best restaurants in the South.
Not to be outdone, Sea Captain’s House and 2nd Avenue Pier both overlook the Atlantic Ocean, offering cuisine that matches their stunning views. Both specialize in fresh, locally caught seafood.
Speaking of seafood, the Original Benjamin’s is the regarded by most as the area’s finest buffet, beginning with succulent all you can eat crab legs, which highlight a 170-item smorgasbord.
Croissants Bistro and Bakery uses local ingredients to create a menu that is long on flavor and creativity. Whether you want fresh fish or steak with a French twist, Croissants will deliver an unforgettable meal. For those in search of a birthday cake or even a quick dessert, the bakery is unrivaled.
Myrtle Beach is a premier vacation destination due in large part to the diversity of experience and value the area delivers. There is something for everyone along the Grand Strand. From a relaxing week on the beach to a trip with every waking hour filled, the area guarantees an unforgettable trip.