I know you love a vacation by the sea, everybody does. The problem is, you may not enjoy crowds and the standard haunts of most. Well, there is just a perfect vacation spot for you. Let me share with you some great hidden treasures of the Myrtle Beach, SC area.
You could take part in a handful of adventures in and around Myrtle Beach. These range from hidden hiking, biking and horseback riding trails and largely unknown parks, pristine beaches, out of the way restaurants and little-known accommodations.
Take one or two of several tours that specialize in showing sites off the beaten path. For example, Plantation Island Tours utilize UTV's (utility task vehicles) to give a tour of Civil War sites, undisturbed, pristine beaches and quiet waterways. These tours culminate in relatively unknown sites such as the secluded beaches of Waites Island or historical Inlet Point Plantation.
Horseback ride to beautiful seclusion
You may prefer a more sedate means of transportation such as horseback riding. If so, there are several equestrian centers, such as the one at Inlet Point Plantation or Horseback Riding of Myrtle Beach. You can follow the trail to Grand Strand Beach and enjoy the ultimate beach experience on horseback. Be warned. However, that availability is seasonal, so call beforehand for reservations.
Then there is Heritage Shores Nature Reserve. This wonder of nature, which lies just four blocks from 53rd Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach, feature seven miles of fascinating and unusual trails. Because it is an island that juts out into Cherry Grove Marsh, it features elevated walkways and decks which offer unsurpassed views of the local flora and fauna.
Take walks as you observe wildlife
Feel for some relaxing exercise? Walk or bike from Murrells Inlet to Pawleys Island on Waccamaw Neck Trail. This feature approximately six miles of trails through the level terrain. You'll enjoy watching the wildlife and flora all around you as you travel through parts of Huntington Beach State Park. If you're already there, be sure to take a walk through Atalaya, the beautiful Spanish castle, once home to sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington.
Take a tour of the history
If you are interested in the history, ecology or any other aspect of the Low country, then a day in the Hobcaw Barony Plantation is a must for you. This 16,000-acre research reserve in Georgetown County is absolutely chocked full of exhibits that explore every aspect of the Low country. Take a two-hour bus tour or explore on foot. You will be amazed by tours which bring South Carolina's past to life and relate it to the present. Marvel at Bellefield Plantation, with its 19th-century village. Learn about those who called this Grand Strand treasure “home”.
Savor the wine
Need a break from the beach and the pool? Here are some other great ways to cool off. If microbrews are your thing, or if you just want a nice cool brew, check out New South Brewing in Myrtle Beach. Take the free tour, complete with sample tasting. Then you can buy your favorite beer to take with you or consume right on the spot.
Head north to Little River. Here you will find the home of La Belle Amie Vineyard. You can sip your wine in the cool comfort of the tasting room or while enjoying the comfort of the Porch in one of their luxurious rocking chairs. La Belle Amie Vineyard frequently hosts themed festivals and live music for your added enjoyment.
Visit the Rice Museum
In the 1800's around half the nation's rice was produced in South Carolina. The story of this heritage is constantly retold at the Rice Museum in historic Georgetown. Tours of the Rice Museum always include a viewing of "Garden of Gold" and tours of Kaminski Hardware and the Town Clock. In some seasons, you may also get to view an Indie film at the restored 1940's box office theater, Strand Cinema.
Go mini golfing and play
Take your kids to Molten Mountain Miniature Golf and shoot your balls in a safe, secure zone. This is in North Myrtle Beach. Under the dome of its 50 foot "active" volcano, you will find 18 holes of miniature golf in air conditioned comfort.
Here is possibly the best-kept secret of all. A reality game called Break Out Myrtle Beach invites you and your friends and family to solve various scenarios by solving clues as a group exercise. Scenarios include a maximum-security prison, a hostage situation, a bank robbery and a murder case.
Visit the flea market
Some people can't resist a flea market. A visit to Hudson's Surfside Flea Market will have you believe you have died and gone to Heaven. Do not schedule less than a half a day here; 70,000 square feet of covered, open-air shopping space will enthrall you for at least 4-5 hours. Here you will find everything from a pin to an anchor at flea market prices. Some people may never leave!
Shop! Shop! Shop!
You will be able to make of your trip unusual shopping experiences. The Little River Mini Mall has 250,000 square feet of antiques, collectibles, and homemade crafts. These are new items (except, of course, the antiques) but are sold at flea market prices.
Since 1946 The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove on Ocean Boulevard has served as Myrtle Beach's premier gift shop for visitors and locals alike. Present are souvenirs and gifts for everyone on your list, including yourself. Whether you are looking for shark's teeth, shell craft, toys, or fine jewelry and artwork and a lot more, you will find it at the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove.
Experience shopping at the Hammock Shops Village at Pawleys Island. This settlement of 22 clapboard cottage-style shops, connected by red brick walkways (my favorite) and liberally interspersed with flowers will delight you. Here you can (surprise) pick up a Pawleys Island hammock, a classic toy for the kid in your life or treat yourself or your special loved one to exquisite jewelry. You can, also, treat yourself to a leisurely lunch. Quite the treat for the non-shopper!
All you can eat
While good food is never hard to find in Myrtle Beach and its surroundings, foodies should take note of the following local culinary treasures. Pastry lovers should not miss a visit to Benjamin's Bakery and Cafe in Surfside Beach. Their specialty is made from scratch bagels. If your desire is an old-fashioned soda fountain, Lee's Inlet Apothecary has your prescription. If on the other hand, you are health conscious, Bay Naturals is the place for you. So, go out and enjoy your choice of special culinary delight!Want to settle down in this great region? No problem, Coldwell Banker Advantage; a competent real estate is standing by, you can make every day a vacation from then on.