Myrtle Beach, South Carolina & Environs

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    We just returned from 4 nights in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - brief initial first quote from the web - a weird, wonderful, eclectic, historic area to visit - for young people and families, the area is more like a 'fantasy vacation' w/ theme areas, arcades, and plenty of live entertainment in the many theaters. For golfers, a paradise of possibilities; for seafood lovers, hundreds of restaurants from huge 'cheap' buffets to more elaborate and expensive offerings; for history and nature seekers, numerous activities - really a cornucopia to explore and for each to find their niches of interests and activities; the second quote from the link given simply to outline some of what is available in the area.

    Susan & I have been going to Myrtle Beach since the mid-1970s when I was stationed for 2 years at Ft. Bragg (Fayetteville, NC) as an Army radiologist w/ 3 colleagues. I've written travelogues on the Charleston and Kiawah area (south of Myrtle Beach) and Hilton Head Island/Savannah, GA at the southern end of South Carolina; well, the Myrtle Beach area is in the north Atlantic strip of SC - see the first maps below - about a 4 hr trip for us from Winston-Salem - the second map w/ the blue circle shows the Myrtle Beach (MB) area north of Charleston and near the NC border - basically two sections, i.e. North MB and MB proper - on our previous two visits, we stayed @ the Marriott Resort at 82nd Ave - this time we picked a less expensive place called the Island Vista Resort at 62nd Ave on North Ocean Blvd, both kind of between the two areas. The 4th map shows MB & North MB, but also some of the places to explore in the environs of the north Atlantic coast of South Carolina - so, posts will discuss not only Myrtle Beach, but also Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, and Brookgreen Gardens.

    The last pics are views from our 7th floor condo deck - the weather was not great during our visit, mostly overcast w/ intermittent light rain, so my pics are not the best, but as usual I'll be mixing those I've taken w/ others from the web. NOW - Myrtle Beach is not our favorite place to visit on the Carolina Coast - indeed, this is my first discussion, but if you plan to go, do a LOT of research before to 'match' your interests and needs, e.g. if you have a young family w/ a handful of kids, then much of your time will likely be spent in Myrtle Beach w/ its many attractions (I'll talk about just a few in later posts); if you like the beach, then there are miles and miles to explore, walk, and enjoy; in addition, golf, boating, and many other outdoor activities are available. Myrtle Beach itself has little history - started in the 1920s, then stopped by the Great Depression, the place is kind of a new man-made resort, but surrounding South Carolina is 'bubbling over' in history. And if you are into seafood, then there are SO many options (Susan & I shared 4 dozen oysters on the half shell in our brief stay, plus many other goodies!). Finally, LIVE entertainment is available (we saw one show w/ the Oak Ridge Boys), but depending on your interests, there may be much to see or not regarding live shows? Dave :)


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  2. scifan57

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    It looks like the start of an interesting travelogue.
     
  3. giradman

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    Thanks Scifan.. - trying to decide on how to organize this thread - will start w/ a 'day by day' summary, including restaurants (hoping that some of the readers might be traveling to the area), but will cover ALL previous topics mentioned and could add a few additional ones.

    BUT - for those who might be stimulated to visit Myrtle Beach, the traffic can be HORRIBLE on HW 17 Business, especially in the summer months (I use to run a summer radiology meeting in June at the Kingston Plantation, north Myrtle Beach, in the past) - HW 17 is known as the 'King's Highway' (and was the colonial road centuries ago), and the 'Business' section (vs. the 17 Bypass) is just terrible driving; SO, again my advise is to study the maps, know where you are at, and learn the cross streets between HW 17 Business & its Bypass - the latter heading south will take you to Murrells Inlet, Brookgreen Gardens, and Georgetown - topics of further discussion. Dave :)
     
  4. The OB

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    The weather may not have been the best but your photos are still great!
    Andrew


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  5. giradman

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    Broadway at the Beach - Restaurant Recommendations

    The weather was overcast w/ threats of rain on our first full day, so we choose to do some indoor activities and decided to visit one of the many attraction areas in Myrtle Beach, i.e. Broadway at the Beach, which is a small body of water w/ ducks & fish, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and family attractions - a great place to take kids - below several maps; located just off HW 17 Bypass - click the link if you plan to visit (arrows on the sites attended).

    Our first attraction is describe below, i.e. WonderWorks - a pic of the upside down building - plenty of fun for the whole family; as often is done, photos are taken on entry - two of the usual and then we were asked to make 'funny faces', so below in slight embarrassment, we liked the funny one the best and made a very rare purchase - ;)

    Our next visit after lunch was Ripley's Aquarium - the most spectacular exhibit was a looping tunnel (w/ a slow moving sidewalk) surrounded by water w/ hundreds of different sea animals, including some quite large sharks (see pics below) - I would go back on our trip to Myrtle Beach.

    I'll also be mentioning some restaurants, again for those who may plan a vacation in the area - we lunched at Landry's Seafood near WonderWorks - first shared a dozen oysters, and both had grilled shrimp, mine on a Cesar salad & Susan's w/ 'dirty' rice and some deliciously herbed beans. For our evening meal, we dined at a favorite and traditional eatery called the Sea Captain's House - I had the swordfish steak and Susan a seafood bouillabaisse, both delicious. Again, click the links to see the menus if planning a visit - both places recommended. Dave :)

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    #5 giradman, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  6. scifan57

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    It looks like both of you had a wonderful time, especially at wonderworks. If I ever get to your part of the United States, I'll already know about all the best places to visit, thanks to your excellent travel stories.
     
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  7. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. - yep, a nice place to visit - WonderWorks is more oriented to the younger crowd, especially families w/ kids, but plenty of interesting information for the older folks, like us. However, that 'tunnel' in the aquarium was really the most impressive attraction of the day for me - highly recommended to all heading to Myrtle Beach. Dave :)
     
  8. suenc

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    Our hotel couldn't have been closer to the ocean! No sun and surf weather, but plenty of oysters plus history, kids' science museum, aquarium and fantastic gardens. Also the Oak Ridge Boys. They have aged along with us--the youngest is 67, the oldest 76!
     
  9. giradman

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    Georgetown, Murrells Inlet, & Alabama Theater - Part 1

    On our second full day, we drove down HW 17 south to Georgetown, the third oldest city in the state (brief first quote below from the link); after a tour and visit to the town, we headed back toward Myrtle Beach and stopped in Murrells Inlet for lunch, and for the evening a nice early seafood dinner followed by a live show w/ the Oak Ridge Boys at the Alabama Theater - I've decided to do this day in three posts and will start w/ Georgetown, South Carolina.

    Georgetown was establish in the early 1700s and named after King George II of England - in 1732 (when George Washington was born), the town was designated as an 'International Port' by the King and was one of the most important seaports along the Atlantic Ocean at that time - indigo (for the blue dye) and rice were the important crops of the surrounding county (more on that later); below more historic information from the same link.

    Presently, the town is small but w/ an amazing historic district of old houses, live oak lined streets, and important historic characters - we took a 45-minute tram tour w/ a great guide who thoroughly covered the history of the city, the early economy, and the many important figures of the times - a DEFINITE recommendation if you plan a visit (Fox Swamp Tours is the only choice). On the tour, plenty of beautiful old houses are seen (many restored), some of the oldest churches in the state, and a lot more information given - the guide was excellent. We missed a LOT, including some of the museums, the boat trips available (weather not cooperative), and the nearby plantation houses.

    Now the pics - first a map showing the location of the town relative to Myrtle Beach & Murrells Inlet; second, Front Street w/ the famous Bell Tower (George Washington on his southern tour visited along w/ Lafayette later - Georgetown was still an important port of entry in the early USA); the Haborwalk is a beautiful dockside boardwalk w/ shops & restaurants; following images of some of the houses and just one of the many churches; finally, the Resurrection Fern on the live oaks was abundantly green because of recent rains (normally, brown & shriveled when dry but comes back to life w/ water) - interestingly, the plant is an innocent epiphyte, like the also common Spanish Moss, which for some reason was not apparent on these trees (forgot to ask our guide about that observation). Dave :)

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  10. suenc

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    Fun and food! In the water neat WonderWorks, you can feed ducks and hordes of funny big-mouthed carp.

     

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