By Sandra Chambers
Myrtle Beach’s 60 miles of lovely coastline, aptly called the “Grand Strand,” is famous for its bustling beach atmosphere, great family entertainment and fresh seafood.
The Carolina coast has a history of real-life pirates, and visitors can experience some pirate adventures of their own. Known as the “Mini Golf Capital of the World,” Myrtle Beach boasts a plethora of pirate-themed courses. Mutiny Bay Miniature Golf, with its enormous pirate ship and battles every 30 minutes, is sure to be a family favorite. Head to Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show with swashbuckling pirate battles, aerial acrobats, sea lions, mermaids and a hearty meal. At Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, you can learn about ocean habitats, walk through a glass-enclosed 750,000-gallon shark tank and watch African penguins play at the “Penguin Playhouse” exhibit.
Reserve a spot for Crooked Hammock Brewery’s Tour where guests will sample five brewery exclusive beers, two half-pints of their signature beer, play some games and earn souvenir swag. Afterwards, stick around for some great food. For a quiet, romantic day, visit Brookgreen Gardens, the first public sculpture garden in America with more than 2,000 works set on 50 acres of beautiful gardens. Head to the MarshWalk, a one-half mile wooden boardwalk along a natural salt water estuary where you can stroll hand-in-hand and enjoy the sunset. History buffs will enjoy a tour of Kaminski House Museum. Located in Georgetown, the 18th-century home is open for tours Monday-Saturday.
Whether it’s raw, steamed, deep-fried, broiled or Calabash style, seafood options here are plentiful. The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood is an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring more than 170 items. It’s also a nautical museum displaying one of the largest ship model collections in the world. Barefoot Landing is home to several restaurants, including LandShark Bar & Grill and LuLu’s, which offer family-friendly grub with waterfront settings, playgrounds and games to keep the entire family fed and entertained.
There’s a variety of overnight options here, including two AAA Four Diamond-rated resorts. The Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes is an oceanfront, tropical getaway. With its massive outdoor pool, hammocks and handcrafted cocktails, you’ll be tempted to hang out there all day. The resort features three restaurants, a spa and meeting rooms. Marina Inn at Grande Dunes provides a quiet getaway on the Intracoastal Waterway with a marina, a private beach club, indoor and outdoor pools and enticing dining options. Golf enthusiasts will also enjoy the nearby Resort Course at Grande Dunes.