Close your eyes and think of Myrtle Beach. You're probably picturing summer days at the beach, looking out over the ocean from your private balcony, relaxing by the pool or enjoying all the attractions, restaurants and shops the Grand Strand has to offer. But did you know you can enjoy all the above in the wintertime, without the hot weather and big crowds.
It's summertime year-round at Ocean Reef Resort and Myrtle Beach. Guests can enjoy the modern accommodations and amenities, such as the indoor waterpark with heated pools, hot tubs, lazy river and a kiddie aquatic playground on the property, and they can venture out to take in some of the great winter festivals, events and other entertainment venues. Here are some of the fun things you can do this winter on the Grand Strand while staying with us at the Ocean Reef:
Arts & Crafts Festivals: The top artists and craftsmen on the East Coast come to the Grand Strand for popular shows like Art in the Park, The Dickens Christmas Show, and the Springmaid Beach Arts & Crafts Show. Visitors can shop for those one-of-a-kind items in a festive atmosphere.
Attractions: Most indoor and some outdoor attractions are open year-round, especially at Broadway at the Beach's Ripley's Aquarium, Hollywood Wax Museum and WonderWorks venues. On the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, guests can stroll along the 1.3-mile walkway for the “Holidays on the Boardwalk” festival, shop at local stores, dine at popular restaurants, and ride the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel.
Basketball: Myrtle Beach hosts two weeks of high school hoops and college basketball action in late December. Held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the 35th Annual Beach Ball Classic features the nation’s top-ranked high school teams and talent on Dec. 26-31. The girls teams play in the Dec. 17-21 CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational.
Dancing: The Carolina Shag is the state dance of South Carolina and visitors still come down to shag a leg like they did in the dance's 1960s heyday. The Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach is lined with beach clubs and dance halls like Fat Harold's and the OD Pavilion, where the shag is still the main draw. Upcoming events include the SOS Mid-Winter Migration and the National Shag Dance Championships.
Holiday events: The Grand Strand is home to several exciting events during the holidays, including the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta (Dec. 5) in North Myrtle Beach and the “Nights of a Thousand Candles” festival at Brookgreen Gardens (Dec. 6-19) in Murrells Inlet. There are also several parades, tree lighting ceremonies and more to get you and your crew in the holiday spirit.
Shopping: Myrtle Beach is the perfect place for shoppers to experience some retail therapy. Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach and Market Common are popular shopping districts, while Coastal Grand Mall, the Myrtle Beach Mall, and the Tanger Outlet Stores offer a more traditional shopping experience. Ocean Reef is located near a stretch of numerous local boutiques where you can find unique items.
Theaters: The Palace Theatre, Alabama Theatre and The Carolina Opry host holiday shows November through December, followed by their award-winning productions in January and February. For dinner and a show, check out Pirates Voyage and Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament for action-packed performances and a good meal.
Wine Tastings: The new Duplin Winery facility at Barefoot Landing offers tours and tasting sessions daily, as does La Belle Amie Vineyard in Little River. La Belle Amie also holds a series of winter bonfires, beginning with the annual Christmas Caroling Bonfire (Dec. 26), and continuing every Saturday in January with music, food, tours and wine tastings.
With so many things to see and do in Myrtle Beach in the wintertime, give yourself a well-deserved break and book your plans to stay and play at the Ocean Reef Resort for the most summer-like winter vacation of your life.