Disabled Beach-Goers Have Options
Have you looked around for somewhere to take your family to the beach, but because of concern concerns, you asked whether to visit a beach at all? Well, the Grand Strand area would like to assure you that vacationers of all capabilities have a fair chance of having a good time here at the beach. Many organizations, public and private, offer resources, such as the City of Myrtle Beach which endeavors to make sure that Grand Strand beaches are accessible.
Additional resources, below, can help you find your "kingdom by the sea" here along the Myrtle Beach coast line:
o Beach-going wheelchairs with soft wheels (free but limited to 1-hour use) at 22 different life guard stations in Myrtle Beach in summer (off season available at the police station). Beach going wheelchairs and handicapped parking are available at the following locations: 77th Ave. N., 72nd Ave. N., 54th Ave. N., 24th Ave. N., 8th Ave. N., 5th Ave. N., 8th Ave. S. In North Myrtle Beach, go to 1st Avenue South. Call North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation Department, 843.280.55784 or 843-626-7645×129 to reserve a beach chair.
o Golf cart rental. If you display your handicap parking sign on your golf cart, you can drive the cart on Grand Strand beaches (not touring but driving it to a spot on the beach). Golf cart rentals are available through Jack's, 843.249.6445. One golf cart access with van parking is at 9th Avenue, and others are available, as well.
o Beach access points: Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach – 27 handicap-accessible sites) enjoymyrtlebeach.com – Some are pathway only (widths vary); others are free parking. ADA-compliant beach access crossover at 15th Avenue North.
o Van-access handicap parking places vary. See 9th Avenue South (crossing Ocean Drive). Wheelchair-accessible van rentals: Wheelchair Getaways of South Carolina, 866-288-8118.
o The Cherry Grove Pier, located at the front door to the Prince Resort, is wheelchair accessible, but bathrooms do not include grab-bars (call 843.249.1625 for further details).
o Mini-Golf: Dragon's Lair Fantasy Golf at Broadway at the Beach has a wheelchair-accessible course (the one through the castle) and features a special putter for users of wheelchairs. If off season, ask for a special seasonal discount. (843) 444-3215.
o Ripley's Aquarium: Exhibits at a go-at-your-own pace, stingrays and crabs to touch, wheelchair accessible. Call 800.734.8888.
o Broadway at the Beach. Miles of boardwalk over and around water for viewing and strolling. Park your wheelchair by the bridge and use the vending machines for food to feed the ducks and large koi. Also, check out the IMAX Theater for a virtual experience into many options. Call 843.444.3200.
o Hard Rock Park. The Park offers wheelchair rentals for the convenience of Park guests with disabilities. Both wheelchairs and Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECV) are available for rent at the Rentals Office located at the front of the All Access Entry Plaza. Wheelchair Rental Fee: $ 10.00 / day; ECV Rental Fee: $ 35.00 / day. You must be at least 18 years of age. Valid photo ID required. Rentals must be returned to the Rental Office.
Another enjoyable activity to consider is fishing. The Cherry Grove Pier features public parking spaces only a few feet from the pier. With ramps you can roll right out to the pier and fish to your heart's content while seeing the beach and rolling surf, meeting new friends and sharing similar interests with other people. Everyone of all capabilities is out there. Although some anglers can be on the serious and intestinal side when they are on the hunt for their catches, most people are quite helpful and friendly. The Cherry Grove web site is cherrygrovepier.com. Also, check out the web site for anglers who need options in fishing gear – adaptiveoutdoorsman.com.
Additionally, because this Grand Strand area has so many activities, people of all capacities come for a wide range of in and out interests. If you have not already looked for information, sometimes our article will help you understand how wide your options are:
o makoa.org/travel.htm Resources for disability travel and recreation
o newdirectionstravel.org For people with developmental disabilities
o usatechguide.org/index.php An information site from the United Spinal Association
So, to answer the question we mentioned at the beginning of the article, it's a resounding "YES" that everyone with every ability can come to the beach.
Winter or summer, there is plenty to see and do! We look forward to seeing you here at the beach!