My family vacationed in Myrtle Beach during the summers when I was growing up. We'd pack up the minivans and cars and drive seven to eight hours from Baltimore to Myrtle Beach, being sure to stop at South of the Border along the way. I always associated Myrtle Beach with my family vacations, so it never crossed my mind as a place for me to escape to...until recently.
I flew an hour (yes, one hour) from BWI to Myrtle Beach International on Spirit (which actually wasn't as bad as people make it seem) and embarked on a nostalgic weekend to reclaim my childhood, or so I thought.
It didn't appear that much has changed in the beachfront town when I arrived. Miniature golfing, pancake houses, and swimwear stores lined the main highway. Motorcycles abounded since I went during the infamous 'Bike Week,' when people come from all over the country to meet up with fellow motorcycle lovers. However, as I began to do more exploring, it became clear that Myrtle Beach had more to offer than what I remembered.
1. The food and drinks are to die for.
From the time I landed, to the time I headed to the airport to go home, I was stuffed with delicious food and drinks. Seriously, every meal I ate was better than the last. And this was hard to do since every meal was full of southern delight and deliciousness.
2. There are plenty of activities for singles or families.
For children and teenagers (and children at heart), there are several places for miniature golfing, golf karting, and zip lining, along with arcades, haunted houses and a plethora of other activities along the main beachfront 'strip.' But vacation isn't fun if parents can't get in on the action. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs and even wine bars for adults to have a little...adult time.
Of course they have water activities like parasailing and jet skiing (check out Ocean Watersports), but there aren't many places where you can take a helicopter ride along the coast. Flying along the coastline with Helicopter Adventures and seeing Myrtle Beach from a different perspective was definitely a new and fun experience. And I loved their fleet of red helicopters. So chic.
3. It's a short drive or plane ride away.
As I mentioned earlier, my family used to make the drive from Baltimore each summer. However, with inexpensive fares from Spirit and other airlines, Myrtle Beach is just an hour plane ride from the Washington, D.C. area. That's perfect for a quick weekend trip.
4. It's low-key and charming.
Have you ever traveled to a city and you can tell the people are pretentious, unwelcoming, and you can't relax because you're too busy worried how people are looking at you? Well, Myrtle Beach is the exact opposite. The city has a relaxing feel and everyone was there to just have a good time. Each person I spoke with was super friendly and accommodating. It was a great reminder how much friendlier people can be in the south.
5. The beach is clean and family-friendly.
I have been to several beaches around the world and I must say, Myrtle Beach is impressive. There was hardly any discarded trash and the sand was soft to the touch. This is a serious matter for me, as I have standards that a beach must meet. Seriously. But Myrtle Beach met them all with its relatively clear water along the shore and soft sand. I suggest heading to the north end of the beach; it may be less crowded. (Inquire within for the rest of my requirements.)
While I have amazing memories of Myrtle Beach as a child, it was a great experience looking at the city from an adult's point of view. If you're looking for a weekend or week-long getaway, Myrtle Beach has tons of options for everyone.
And I'm not just saying that because this post was sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce/CVB. All opinions are absolutely my own.