Take a Last-Minute Trip to Myrtle Beach for the Fourth of July

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The Fourth of July is all about celebrating your independence — like your freedom to take a last-minute trip to Myrtle Beach. What better way to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than an unscheduled beach vacation to the Grand Strand?

In addition to all the usual draws — the beach, the golf, the dining and the shopping — you can catch fireworks, parades and a whole lot more on the Fourth. Here are some great ways for Ocean Reef Resort guests to spend Independence Day weekend on the Grand Strand:

* Broadway at the Beach: The skies over Myrtle Beach's most popular entertainment complex light up in an array of colors for the Fourth of July with a free fireworks show over Lake Broadway. Located about five miles from Ocean Reef, Broadway offers plenty of free parking and lots of activities to enjoy while you wait for the 10 p.m. pyrotechnics display. Dine at one of the many award-winning restaurants, shop at the national chains and locally owned shops, or party the night away at Celebrity Square before finding a good viewing spot along the lakefront boardwalk.

* Myrtle Beach Boardwalk: The downtown district is the place to be for the Fourth, especially if you have children in tow. The weekly Kidz Carnival gets underway 6 p.m. and offers a wide variety of activities for the little ones, including inflatable play equipment, games, and live kids-oriented music and entertainers such as stilt-walkers and face-painters. But the main event begins with a bang at 10 p.m., when the waves of thundering fireworks and colorful displays kick off. The fireworks are launched from the Second Avenue Pier if you want to be close to the action, but they can be viewed along the coast from miles away if you prefer a quieter spot on the beach.

* Myrtle Beach Pelicans: Who says you can only shoot off fireworks on the Fourth of July? The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the local minor-league baseball affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, is celebrating the holiday all weekend with postgame pyrotechnics following Saturday and Sunday nights’ contests. Enjoy America's pastime and the family-oriented entertainment until the last pitch, and keep your seat as the team turns down the Pelicans Ballpark lights and lights up the sky with an amazing fireworks display. Located next to Broadway at the Beach, the ballpark is close enough to see the show from other area attractions.

* North Strand: Ocean Reef is located on the north end of Myrtle Beach, so it's a short trip to see some fireworks in the neighboring towns. Barefoot Landing, a popular entertainment, dining and shopping complex located about 8 miles north of the resort, hosts a fireworks show at 10:15 p.m. over Barefoot Lake. For those who prefer to see their pyrotechnics exploding over the ocean, Cherry Grove Fishing Pier serves as the launching pad for the earliest fireworks show on the Strand at 9 p.m.

* South Strand: Celebrate the Fourth in Lowcountry style with a trip to Murrells Inlet. In addition to its famous Independence Day parade — which features red, white and blue-decorated boats sailing in a procession through the inlet on Saturday at 5 p.m. — the Murrells Inlet fireworks show is scheduled for Monday night at 10 p.m. The pyrotechnics will be launched from Veterans Pier and visible from the nearby Murrells Inlet MarshWalk or other spots along the waterfront. Also on Saturday, nearby Surfside Beach hosts live music and entertainment at Surfside Pier beginning at 6 p.m., followed by fireworks at 10 p.m.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang by coming to Myrtle Beach and staying at the oceanfront Ocean Reef Resort. With excellent accommodations and amenities, like our indoor/outdoor pool areas and the Banana Boat Lounge, you and your crew can celebrate your independence in true Grand Strand fashion with a wonderful Myrtle Beach getaway.