The family goes to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
09.07.2006 29 °C
July 5-9, 2006: We took a brief trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We (Dear Hubby, 2 kids 12 and 18) had a wonderful time! Myrtle Beach is on the "Grand Strand" part of a 60-mile-long swath of sandy Atlantic Ocean beach.
The first two nights we stayed in Myrtle Beach proper, in an older but nicely renovated hotel the Patricia Grand. We had a terrific deal on an ocean-front room with 2 double beds and a galley-style kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, oven, and microwave. Lovely view of the Atlantic from our hotel. The water there is a perfect temperature, not too hot and not too cold. We had lots of fun at the beach. This older section of Myrtle Beach has wall-to-wall hotels, and LOTS of people, but the beach is big enough for everyone.
Second day there was a bad storm and older kid got video on the digital camera of a waterspout. That is basically a tornado over water that sucks the water up into itself - like a whirling tunnel of water going up into the clouds. Really amazing to watch!
Myrtle Beach is well-known for its many golf courses. None of us play golf, but we stayed the last 2 nights at the Barefoot Resort "Golf Villas". These are new, large, very nice and immaculate condos clustered 12 to 15 in each 3-story building. Beautifully landscaped, pools for each section, a short drive or long walk(2 miles) to the main shopping center and restaurant row, convenient to all attractions, but secluded and quiet.
On Saturday we drove down Route 17 south about 20 miles to Huntington Beach State Park. This is a lovely unspoiled area that has camping and RV facilities, miles of isolated and undeveloped beach, and a great variety of wildlife including eagles, terns, alligators, turtles, and more. It is also home to Atalaya, a Moorish-inspired brick home built in the 1930s by Archer and Anna Huntington. We had great fun walking on the beach for miles, then bird- and alligator-watching from the observation areas in the marshes.
Across the road from Huntington Beach State Park is Brookgreen Gardens, also part of the property the Huntington's owned. Anna Huntington was a sculptor and much of her work is displayed in lovely garden settings. The Gardens also have nature programs about native wildlife, and in the summer have evening muscial programs. It is a lovely place and a nice break from the noisy and commercial beach strip area in Myrtle Beach proper.
Another obligatory tourist site for Myrtle Beach is the Ripley's Aquarium. We spent more than 3 hours there viewing all the exhibits and watching the Coral Reef feeding show and discussion, and then the Ray feeding. Everyone has a chance to pet a ray and pick up a horseshoe crab while you are there!
A Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum is near the ocean front and is worth a visit - it takes about one hour or a bit more to go through and view all the exhibits. It was a fun end to our trip.