Friday, April 6, 2012

Grand Strand Beaches 101

The perfect beach is as essential to a good vacation as a reliable GPS is to a road trip. Since many of our guests do both, hit the GPS navigated roads and play in our sand and surf, we thought we'd offer a navigation service of our own: Grand Strand Beaches 101. Starting in Myrtle Beach and heading south, we'll tell you what each beach is known for (good surfing, great seafood, local's favorite, etc.) and why they're worth visiting.

Myrtle Beach:
For great people watching material and access to numerous beach-side attractions consider walking the boardwalk which parallels Ocean Boulevard beginning at 14th Avenue and ends at the 2nd Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach. 
To catch a wave, head over to Springmaid Pier on the southern end of Ocean Boulevard, or head over to 64 avenue north for another great surfing spot.

Myrtle Beach State Park:
Quiet and nestled among a sea-side forest, Myrtle Beach State Park is a great alternative to the otherwise bustling Grand Strand beaches. Located only minutes north of Plantation Resort, the state park offers educational opportunities, a nature trail, pier and fantastic fishing. Be sure to ask the Front Desk for a free park pass -- the passes are first come, first serve and definitely worth the effort!

Surfside Beach Pier
Surfside Beach: 
A quaint, family-friendly beach with the famous River City Cafe: known for beachy-time atmosphere and fantastic burgers. Surfside is the quintessential laid-back beach where locals and visitors mix easily with coolers in hand and toes in the sand. The best part? The complimentary Plantation Resort shuttle bus takes guests safely to Surfside Beach pier within minutes.       

Garden City Beach:
The locals hang-out! Because it's further south than most tourist dare venture, you'll find fewer advertisements, hotels and beach rentals. Still, parking is free all summer long and if you brought all your beach-gear with you it may be worth the drive. The Garden City pier is a fishermen's hot spot!

Boats docked at Murrells Inlet
Murrells Inlet:
Known for incredible seafood and  gorgeous scenery, Murrells Inlet is less beach and more off-the-beaten-path adventure. The Marshwalk, a boardwalk that follows the waterway, offers great views of the saltwater marsh with its wildlife, birds and spectacular scenery. Be sure to rent a kayak and paddle out to the numerous islands that dot the waterway, or bring a fishing pole and take advantage of the excellent fishing.

Huntington Beach State Park:
The park's fresh water lagoon, salt marsh, forest and beach are the best examples of the state's natural coastal environment. Take a tour of the Spanish-styled Atalya castle, former winter home and studio of Brookgreen Gardens co-founder Anna Hyatt Huntington, or journey down the beautiful coastline on the 26 mile bike trail. The park offers educational opportunities and beautifully preserved beaches. Again, make sure to ask the Front Desk for a free pass before they're all gone!    

Pawleys Island Pier at Sunrise
Pawleys Island:  An adventurous beach with plenty of sand dunes, beach grass and jetties to discover. More untouched landscape than a man-made beach, this is a great place to enjoy the beauties of ocean and inlet. Further south than the typical tourist's thoroughfare, you're sure to see more locals and fewer advertisements along this glittering surf.   Another great place to kayak because of the inlet's fantastic views, remote location and calm surf. This is also another great place to try out your fishing skills while on vacation.

We'd love to hear why you enjoy the beautiful sand and surf of the Grand Strand too!Leave a comment and let us know what your favorite beach is and why you love it.

To reserve your vacation at Plantation Resort, please call 1-800-845-5039.   

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