If your summer vacation is already fading into a distant memory and you need a break before feeling the full brunt of winter, make your escape to Myrtle Beach for a much-needed and well-deserved getaway.
Stay at The Strand for recently renovated rooms with ocean views, and take in all the fun things there is to see and do on the Grand Strand in the winter. Here are some of our guests' favorite wintertime activities while they're not resting and relaxing at The Strand:
Attractions: Warmer winter days allow for enjoying Myrtle Beach's main attractions, like the beach, golf and fishing. But on those chilly days, visit some of the indoor attractions, such as Broadway at the Beach's Ripley's Aquarium, Hollywood Wax Museum and WonderWorks. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is another hot spot when weather permits, especially the climate-controlled Myrtle Beach SkyWheel.
Basketball: Late December is a virtual Hoops-a-palooza at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, where the 35th Annual Beach Ball Classic features some of the nation’s top boys high school teams and players to compete for the title and showcase their talents. The girls get into the game for the Dec. 17-21 CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational, while the University of North Carolina women’s team is among four teams playing in the Coastal Challenge.
Dining: The same great restaurants that are open during the summer months are still serving in the offseason, except with smaller crowds. The winter is the perfect opportunity to hit all those restaurants that are too busy in the summer, and many offer offseason specials that make it more affordable to be a foodie. T-Bonz, Liberty and others offers two-for-one dinner nights in the winter, and Rioz has a half-priced early bird special.
Holiday events: Get in the Christmas spirit in Myrtle Beach at such popular events as the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta (Dec. 5) in North Myrtle Beach, the official Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Myrtle Beach (Dec. 6) and the “Nights of a Thousand Candles” festival at Brookgreen Gardens (Dec. 6-19) in Murrells Inlet. Be sure to check out the parades, Christmas caroling, Santa photos and more in Myrtle Beach.
Shagging: The Carolina Shag, the state dance of South Carolina, was born on the shores of the Grand Strand back in the mid-1950s. The shag is still celebrated in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach at dance clubs like Fat Harold's and the OD Pavilion. Upcoming events include the SOS Mid-Winter Migration and the National Shag Dance Championships.
Shopping: Visitors can literally shop till they drop on the Grand Strand. With venues such as Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach and Market Common, Coastal Grand Mall, Inlet Square Mall, Myrtle Beach Mall, and the Tanger Outlet Stores. Throw in a few locally owned boutiques and beachwear stores and you've got a full dose of retail therapy.
Theaters: The Grand Strand is home to several live theaters, such as The Palace Theatre, Alabama Theatre and The Carolina Opry. All three host holiday shows November through December, followed by their regular productions in January and February. For dinner and a show, visit Pirates Voyage and Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.
Wine Tastings: The new Duplin Winery facility at Barefoot Landing offers tours and tasting sessions of their award-winning wines. La Belle Amie Vineyard in Little River 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.
After a full day of sightseeing on the Grand Strand, come back to your comfortable room at The Strand and soak in the hot tub, look out over the ocean from your private balcony and enjoy your winter retreat in luxury. You've earned it.