Looking for a nice east coast vacation spot where a post-card ready beach is your backyard? How about one where tons of fun activities are not hard to come by? For travelers who might not consider South Carolina at first blush, it's probably they've never heard about one of the state's best-kept secrets, Myrtle Beach, which lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. This lively resort city is the largest and most developed community within the Grand Stand – a 60-mile stretch of picturesque white sandy beaches that joins hordes of vacationers each year. Although today the city has a population closing in on 30,000, the area along which would have become the Grand Stand was seriously uninhabited prior to the American Revolution. Myrtle Beach became a city in 1957, some nineteen years after becoming an official town.
It's no surprise, moreover, that such water sport activities as scuba diving, canoeing, jet skiing, sailing and surfing are among the area's most popular draws. Avid shoppers can revel in the hustle and bustle of Coastal Grand Mall, the largest mall in South Carolina. Park goers flock to Myrtle Beach State Park, which Nature Center includes everything from live reptiles and saltwater aquariums to natural history displays. Set on 350 acres in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Broadway at the Beach is reputed as one of the area's premier shopping and entertainment hot spots, as it is home to 17 restaurants, 3 theaters, several nightclubs and and more than 100 specialty shops. If you're a golf fan, you can practice your swing on a bevy of world-class golf courses found throughout the city; those traveling for business can always hold meetings at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Started in 1951, Myrtle Beach's annual Sun Fun Festival is the longest running event in the city's history and includes two days of free live entertainment, professional sporting events, concerts and kids' activities.
Whether you're planning a family vacation or romantic getaway, the Atlantic Breeze Ocean Resort offers all the comforts of home plus exquisite ocean views. However, one need not leave the property to enjoy a good swim: The resort features a large oceanfront beach, lazy river, glass enclosed indoor beach and kiddie beach.
If you have kids and a pet in tow, the oceanfront Ocean Park Resort should not be missed. One pet is allowed per room, and kids under 18 stay free. Travelers can sunbathe on one of two outdoor decks before cooling off in any of the resort's indoor or outdoor beachs.
Kids under 18 also stay free at the Patricia Grand Resort Hotel, located among such popular attractions as Broadway at the Beach, Nascar Speedpark, and Freestyle Music Park. Grand Central Station, the property's brand new restaurant, offers the perfect place to please the senses. What better way to enjoy your steak or salad than while staring out at the stunning Atlantic Ocean?
Plus, if you're in town for business, you'll want to check out the Bay Watch Resort & Conference Center, where you can take advantage of ample banquet space for meetings and events of all sizes. However, it's not all work and no play here; a fitness center, game room, restaurant and lounge / sports bar are on site to keep you well entertained.