Long Bay Resort has become a holiday home away from home for many Myrtle Beach visitors who have discovered the magic of celebrating the season on the Grand Strand. From Black Friday shopping to New Year's Eve shindigs and all the Christmas festivities in between, Long Bay Resort puts your party in the middle of all the action while also giving you a comfortable place to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Here are the top five ways to get in the holiday spirit on the Strand:
* Intracoastal Christmas Regatta (Nov. 26): Most Christmas parades take place on dry land, but this annual tradition features floats that actually float. The boat parade sails down the Intracoastal Waterway from the small fishing village of Little River to a popular party spot in North Myrtle Beach. Dozens of brightly colored boats make the voyage and blow their horns while adoring fans wave from the banks, bridges and bars along the Waterway. Some of the best viewing spots include the Little River waterfront around 6 p.m., the North Myrtle Beach Swing Bridge at approximately 6:30 p.m., and the finish line at The Marina at Dock Holidays at around 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to pick up an unwrapped Christmas toy for a child and drop it off at Dock Holidays. Learn more at christmasregatta.com/route.html.
* Nights of a Thousand Candles (Dec. 1-3, 8-10 and 15-18): If you have ever seen Brookgreen Gardens during daylight hours, you know it is a beautiful display of art and nature. But few get the chance to see the botanical sculpture garden after hours, and this annual festival is your best opportunity. For 10 nights in December, Brookgreen Gardens opens its gates and gives visitors a rare look at the premises illuminated by thousands of natural lights. This Murrells Inlet attraction offers lovely views of trees and statues casting shadows from the glowing candles and lights, indoor Christmas displays, live music and holiday-themed entertainment spread throughout the 9,100-acre property. The event runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on event days, and advance tickets are strongly suggested. Find out more at www.brookgreen.org/NightsofaThousandCandles.
* The Great Christmas Light Show (Nov. 25-Dec. 30): This new Christmas tradition takes place at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, where visitors can take in the lights and sights by car or on foot. Cruise along the 1.5-mile trail that features more than 400 displays utilizing over 1.7 million lights, then park your vehicle and explore the beautifully decorated grounds of Santa’s Village. See exhibits and watch the kids' faces light up when they take part in all the fun activities. The event runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each night.
* Holiday Shows (November-December): Add a little taste of off-Broadway to your holiday experience at one of the Grand Strand's many theaters, which roll out their best holiday shows for enthusiastic crowds. Among the most popular venues and shows are The Alabama Theatre's The South's Grandest Christmas Show, The Carolina Opry's Christmas Show of the South and Legends in Concert's Christmas Legends — all of which are sure to put your party in the holiday spirit. If your group prefers dinner and a show, Pirates Voyage and Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament offer their holiday shows with a seasonal feast. All shows run in November and December.
* Holiday Shopping: Long Bay guests who choose to do their Christmas shopping on the Grand Strand have a wide selection of retail venues to choose from while beating the big holiday shopping rush. Popular shopping spots like Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, The Market Common and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk have special events and sales during the holidays, and retail centers like Coastal Grand Mall, Myrtle Beach Mall and two Tanger Outlets complexes give bargain hunters plenty of territory to roam.
After you see all the sights and shop ‘til you drop, land in the lap of luxury at Long Bay Resort – your place to stay and play on the Grand Strand this holiday season.