Many Myrtle Beach visitors see the Atlantic Ocean as a thing of beauty, the perfect place to relax and listen to the crashing waves, or maybe even take a quick dip to cool off. But for the more adventurous guest, the ocean and the waterways that flow into it provide an opportunity to get wet and wild by taking advantage of all the water-sports options on the Grand Strand.
Guests at Bay View Resort on the downtown oceanfront have a front-row seat to the water-sports action. With the beach in your backyard and the adjoining Myrtle Beach Boardwalk leading to many of the outfitters' offices, you can get in on all the water-sports action the Grand Strand area has to offer. Here are seven ways to have aquatic fun on your Myrtle Beach vacation:
* Banana Boats: These inflatable, elongated boats are easy to spot because of their bright yellow color and unique design, but they also offer a great way to escape for a thrilling ride on the high seas. Banana boats allow large parties to take an ocean tour together in a single-file row, and the high horsepower of the powerboats that pull them sends the waves splashing in your face and the wind blowing through your hair.
* Charter Boats: Outfitters in Little River and Murrells Inlet offer boats of all sizes for charter to the local ocean waters and inland waterways. Whether you prefer a deep-sea fishing trip, a dolphin-watching tour or a scuba-diving excursion, you can find an outfitter to fit your needs.
* Fishing: You don't have to board a boat to catch a big one. The nearby Second Avenue Pier is one of nine wooden structures on the Grand Strand oceanfront that allow anglers to get close to the fish from the security and convenience of a pier. Apache Pier, Pier 14, Springmaid Pier and the Myrtle Beach State Park are all short distances from Bay View, and all offer the bait, gear and licenses you need to go fishing. Surf fishing is also allowed from the beach, but steer clear of swimmers.
* Jet Skis: Feel the horsepower of these aquatic motorcycles as you zip through the water and over the waves. Jet ski rentals are available at various points along the Grand Strand, including Myrtle Beach Watersports on the Boardwalk. You can also go for a spin on the Intracoastal Waterway.
* Kayaking/Paddleboarding: If you prefer paddle power over horsepower and peace and tranquility over the roar of engines, then a day of kayaking or paddleboarding is right up your alley. Several outfitters offer paddling expeditions to Waites Island, Sandy Island and other scenic spots on the Strand.
* Parasailing: Grab some serious air and get a seagull's-eye view of the Atlantic Ocean with a parasailing adventure. Strap yourself into a parachute-powered harness and hold on to your tandem partner as you get lifted high into the sky. Check out the ocean and the shore while you experience feeling of free flight.
* Surfing: Learning to surf is great way to fall in love with the ocean. The sensation the first time you catch a wave is an addictive one that keeps surfers coming back for more. There are several surf schools and private instructors that can help you discover a new lifelong passion.
For those less adventurous souls who prefer games on turf to those on surf, you can find plenty of other ways to stay entertained on your Myrtle Beach vacation. Guests at Bay View Resort can enjoy the best of both worlds — the beach, indoor pools, and other water attractions, as well as the comfort of your oceanfront accommodations and convenience to the downtown district. Make Bay View your place to stay and play!