Getaway Guide: Myrtle Beach in 36 Hours

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A weekend getaway at Myrtle Beach is a must for anyone looking for a vacation on the coast without ever stepping foot on the beach itself. This is great news for families traveling in rainy weather with kids, or a girls’ weekend in the off season. Visitors come in throngs from all over the country to experience the sights, sounds, and smells that are uniquely Myrtle Beach.

Dining: Myrtle Beach does seafood, particularly the fried variety, in a big way. There are dozens of all-you-can-eat seafood buffets dotting the Grand Strand. You’ll know them by the giant orange crabs waving their claws at you from the roof and the bustling parking lots. If buffets aren’t your jam, try one of the well-known restaurants often seen at tourist destinations like Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood, Margaritaville, Carlos & Charlie’s Dick’s, and the like, or dining experiences such as Medieval Times, Pirate’s Voyage,  Alabama Theater, or the mother of all vacation shows, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Make sure to check with your concierge or one of the multiple discount outlets in person or online for promotional offerings for those shows. For breakfast, try one of the ubiquitous pancake houses that cater to the late night and early morning crowds.

Things to Do: The Pavilion Amusement Park is no longer the heartbeat of the Grand Strand, but the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel stands nearby and is a newer way to see the area from a higher vantage point. The Boardwalk that runs along the beach and in front of the SkyWheel also leads to various bungee options if you are a thrill-seeker. Mini Golf and true golf courses abound in Myrtle for those who want to hit the links, and hotel/greens fees deals for golfers are available year round. For a little nostalgia, visit during one of the Shag Festivals thrown throughout the year, and watch the dancers cut a smooth rug doing South Carolina’s state dance. Coming soon is the Hollywood Wax Museum, which you’ll know by the giant ape climbing up the side of it.

Shopping: Though you could spend your whole weekend stopping by every Wings, Eagles, and Ron Jon on Highway 17 to get your souvenir bottle opener quota on, there is also shopping at the area malls, The Market Common, Tanger Outlets, Barefoot Landing, and Broadway At The Beach. Go ahead and grab a hermit crab or two at one of the surf shops on your way out of town, though. Everyone needs a pet.

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