Friday, November 30, 2012

November Owner Guest Getaway

Have you ever stayed at Plantation Resort in November?  Our owners and their guests loved getting to tour the town VIP-style when they came for the couples only Owner Guest Weekend Getaway.  Our VIPs came to Plantation Resort to enjoy a little rest and relaxation as well as experience what Myrtle Beach has to offer in the Fall!

During this Getaway, our participants made new friends and enjoyed the company of our staff.  The first night they were able to taste some of Myrtle Beach's finest dining at Damon's.  The second night our guests spent a romantic evening getting cozy by the fire at Joe's Bar and Grill and experienced a heart-felt performance at the Alabama Theatre.  The impressive singers, talented dancers and hilarious comedian brought Christmas to life and left everyone full of the Holiday Spirit.

Top left and Center: Enjoying an evening out at Joe's Bar and Grill followed by a fabulous Christmas show!
Top Right and Bottom: VIPs having a great time at Damon's! 

At the end of the weekend, a couple from North Carolina said, "The Alabama Theatre was exceptional!" They loved the whole event and would recommend it to everyone.

We all had a great weekend!  We would like to thank all our owners and guests who joined us for this amazing weekend!    If you’d like to join us for our next Getaway, please call us at 1-888-210-1241.  We hope to see you at our next event!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Celebrate the Holiday Season in Myrtle Beach!

Despite the milder temperatures and no snow, Myrtle Beach is a city brimming with Holiday spirit! The Grand Strand offers a number of incredible shows that will warm your heart and spread Christmas cheer.

The Carolina Opry Christmas Special
November 1 - January 5

Known as "The Holiday Show of the South" and continually voted as the Best Holiday Show in Myrtle Beach, Carolina Opry's famous Christmas Special mixes new updates with your traditional holiday favorites for the 2012 season. The show's line up of talented performers include the All That clog group of America's Got Talent fame, world class pianist Rocky Fretz and Nathan Herron, a Top 40 contestant on season 4 of American Idol. With fantastic costuming, amazing scenery and the best talent the Grand Strand has to offer, you'll see why The Carolina Opry Christmas Special has become an annual tradition for locals and vacationers alike!

The South's Grandest Christmas Show at Alabama Theatre
November 2 - December 31

The Alabama Theatre's award-winning show features both Christmas classics and contemporary holiday favorites with Alabama's signature Southern flare. Laugh with comedian Ricky Mokel and celebrate with an all-star cast of singers and dancers as they spread the joy and love of the holidays! The special effects, gorgeous stage and incredible talent will leave you in awe and over-flowing with the spirit of the season.

Christmas on Ice at the Palace Theatre
November 2 - December 29

The Palace Theatre is bringing you one of the best family holiday shows on the Grand Strand! This 2 hour extravaganza takes place on a Winter Wonderland stage that includes a 40 ft ice rink. The stunts of championship ice skaters, professional dancers and the vocal talents of increbible performers are sure to dazzle you. You'll leave truly feeling that "it's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Pirates Voyage Christmas Show
November 9 - December 31

Sail with Captain Scrooge and his crews of Crimson and Emerald pirates through the past, present and future of Buccaneer Bay as they search for the ultimate Christmas treasure! Your jaw will drop as colorful toys come to life and perform incredible acrobatic feats and watch in awe as a live nativity (including live animals!) drifts aross the lagoon. To top it all off, you'll enjoy a four-course holiday feast!

The Legends in Concert Holiday Show
November 2 - December 20

Celebrate the holidays with your all-time favorite performers at Legends in Concert! This world famous celebrity live tribute show is sending holiday spirit your way with Elvis, Alan Jackson, Celine Dion, the Blues Brothers and Johnny Mathis. The artists will serenade you with their signature Christmas classics and the Blues Brothers will split your sides with their hilarious, over-the-top antics. It's the perfect mix of Christmas music and chart-topping hits!

Celebrate the holidays with one (or more!) of Myrtle Beach's famous Christmas Specials. Be sure to stop by our Front Desk; we'd love to provide you with discounted tickets and additional information! Happy Holidays Everyone!

Magical Events for December 2012

The holidays are finally upon us and the Grand Strand is transforming into a beach-side winter wonderland!  The weather outside may not be frightful, but our exciting line up of events is beyond delightful, and we're excited to spread the joy of the season.

Festival of Trees at Ripley's Aquarium
November 1st - December 31st, See hours

During the holiday season, Ripley's decks their halls with 50 beautifully decorated Christmas trees!  Each tree is themed after one of the 50 states and contains ornaments representing the specific characteristics and themes of the state.  For added fun, be sure to ask the Guest Services Desk about participating in the Holiday Tree Scavenger  Hunt!

Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland at the Myrtle Beach Pelican's Ball Park
November 2nd - January 6th, Dusk - 10pm

Experience one of the most impressive holiday light displays you'll ever see!  As you drive through the wonderland created by Shadrack's, you'll be blown away by hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights that dance to your favorite Christmas tunes.  At the end of your drive, you can stop in Santa's Village where you'll find concessions, pony and camel rides, a petting zoo and carnival games.

Springmaid Beach Arts & Crafts Festival at Ocean Front Conference Center
November 30th, 9am - 6pm, December 1st, 9am - 5pm, December 2nd, 9am - 3pm

The Springmaid Beach Arts & Crafts Festival is returning for its 26th year.  Over 200 vendors display and sell an unbelievable variety of crafts including jewelry, candles, gourmet food, woodwork, apparel and seasonal decorations.  It's just the place to find that perfect holiday gift! See the full list of vendors here.

Christmas on the Boardwalk at the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
December 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, 12pm - 10pm

Every Saturday until New Years, head over to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk for a Christmas celebration!  The whole family will enjoy a stroll down the boardwalk decked with thousands of lights, Holiday movies featured on big screens, visits with Santa Claus and live music.  Then, on December 15th, the boardwalk will debut it's brand new Polar Express train ride for the kids!

Rocky and a Piano  at the Carolina Opry
Every Wednesday through January 2nd, 2 - 3:30pm

Original Carolina Opry cast member, Rocky Fretz, returns for the holiday season to delight guests with his famed piano performances.  Accompanied by bass player Patrick O'Leary, you'll enjoy a series of classics and Holiday favorites.  The show provides a more intimate setting than the Opry's seasonal Christmas show and you'll get lost in the beautiful music!

3rd Annual Atalaya Holiday Celebration at Huntington Beach State Park
December 1st, 11am - 4pm

Each year, designers flock to the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington of local fame.  Each designer decorates a room with their own Holiday motif in hopes of taking home the coveted "People's Choice Award."  Stroll through the house and admire the Holiday decor, vote for your favorite, take pictures with the roaming actors portraying the Huntingtons and indulge in hot spiced cider and homemade treats while enjoying live holiday music.  The Lionel Train Club will also have their collection on display, holiday crafts will be available for sale and you'll even enjoy an oyster roast!

Family Snow Ball at Ripley's Aquarium
December 2nd, 5 - 8pm

Take a night out with the fishes!  Ripley's Aquarium invites the whole family to participate in this semi-formal event where you'll enjoy music, dancing, refreshments and beautiful decor surrounded by Ripley's aquatic residents.

Christmas Parade in Surfside Beach
December 8th, 2 - 5pm

Take the little ones to enjoy a fantastic Christmas parade!  Line up at 2pm to watch and applaud as a parade (including over 100 entries!) floats down Surfside Drive spreading Christmas cheer. Be sure to keep an eye out for Santa!

Christmas Towne at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center
December 9th, 2 - 6:30pm

Celebrate Christmas with the city of Myrtle Beach!  Head over to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, where the whole family will be entertained with balloon art, face painting, Thomas the Train rides, letters to Santa and pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  Finally, you'll enjoy the city's official Christmas tree lighting. The best part- it's free!

Christmas in the Inlet Holiday Home Tour at Wachesaw Plantation
December 10, 10am - 4pm

Each year, 8 beautiful homes in the historic Wachesaw Plantation open their doors for tours.  The houses, overlooking the Wachesaw River, are elaborately decorated and lighted to celebrate the Christmas season.  At the conclusion of the tour, be sure to stop and enjoy lunch from any of Murrells Inlet's famous waterfront restaurants!

Brunch with Santa and Frosty at the Children's Museum of SC
December 23rd, 11am - 1pm

The kids will thrill with delight as they walk in to enjoy a brunch at the Children's Museum and find the 2 very special guests who will be joining them: Santa and Frosty!  Spend the afternoon indulging in delicious food, fun activities and getting pictures taken with Santa and Frosty.

32nd Annual Beach Ball Classic at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center
December 26th - 31st, See schedule

Come watch one of the premier high school basketball tournaments in the United States!  16 of the top teams from around the country will compete with the goal of being crowned tournament champions.  Don't miss the opportunity to watch future superstars before they were famous!  Past players include Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter and Jason Kidd.

While staying at Plantation Resort, you'll be just a short drive away from all of these amazing holiday events! We look forward to sharing this special time of year with you!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cyber Monday 2012

With all the technology we have today, it's no wonder that in 2005 retail stores introduced Cyber Monday.  Internet shopping has made it extremely convenient to buy online while the family is spending time together without having to go out in bad weather or waste gas and time fighting traffic and waiting in lines.  It has also made it possible for more stores to close during the Holidays, allowing employees to have time to spend with their families.  To make your Holiday shopping as easy as possible, Plantation Resort is happy to guide you to the three best stores for online deals this Cyber Monday!


*Samsung 55" 1080p Class LED Smart 3D HDTV for $1498
*Samsung 40" 1080p Class LED HDTV for $598
*Xbox 360 Skylanders Family Fun Bundle for $159
*Double Power T-711 with WiFi 7" Tablet, featuring Android 4.0 for $59
*Little Tikes Kitchen for $50
*Samsung 60" LED HDTV for $1098
*Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii games- $29.99
* 40-60% off iPad Sale
*LG Smart 3D Wi-Fi Built-in Blu-Ray Player for $69.99
*Free Shipping on all purchases! No minimum purchase amount to qualify!
Sign up for daily deal emails so you won't miss the best Cyber Monday deals.
* Samsung 32- inch 720 p HDTV for $247.99
*Canon PowerShot A1300 16 mega pixel digital camera for $120.96
*Samsung 11.6-inch Chromebook for $249
*LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet for $59.99
*Crayola Light Designer for $39.95
Check out more Cyber Monday deals here!

These deals are available for holiday shoppers on Cyber Monday, 2012. This is the biggest shopping day online, but the nice part about it is there are no lines!

We also want to to stay safe while shopping online! The Better Business Bureau has put together some tips that we feel should be shared with all of our readers.
  1. Shop trustworthy websites. If a store sounds shady, it is worth the extra time and effort to check them out. Search for their name at the Better Business Bureau ( or on Amazon and see if they have a seller rating. Is their website clean and efficient or thrown together and hard to maneuver? Another red flag is if the site looks deceptive - reliable sites usually LOOK reliable. Keep this in mind before making the decision to purchase.
  2. Protect your personal information. Again, if the site is not secure, or just looks suspicious- don’t give them your personal information.
  3. Beware of deals that sound TOO good. A Black Friday travel deal that boasts a Bahamas Vacation for $200 is probably too good to be true. Some of these sites will lead with promises of huge deals, but when you get to the fine print, you end up spending thousands. Always, ALWAYS read the fine print if a deal sounds too good to be true, it's worth the extra effort to avoid finding out later the hard way.
  4. Confirm that your purchase is secure. When you start the checkout process, look at the web address (URL.) Most trusted sites start with "https" versus "http." A web address that begins with https: indicates that the connection has an additional encryption layer and that the transaction will be more secure. While this is not a foolproof method, it is a great way to quickly check how securely the website treats your personal information.
  5. Pay with a credit card. Credit card fees can be disputed. If the company you purchased from turns out to be fraudulent, you have the right to dispute the charges.
  6. Keep all records and confirmations. This should go without saying. Always print your confirmation numbers and receipts. Some take screen shots of the confirmations and save them to their computers. The best way to dispute issues is with evidence. If you have the paperwork to prove your purchase, you're more likely to win a dispute.

    To read more click here!
While you're doing your Holiday shopping, remember that a getaway to Plantation Resort in beautiful Myrtle Beach is the perfect gift!  Call 1-800-845-5039  or visit today to plan a stay for you and the ones you love. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

October Owner and Guest Weekend Getaway!

Our October Owner and Guest Weekend Getaway was a huge success! We wanted to share a few of our favorite memories.  So here's a glimpse of our scrapbook from the weekend:

To begin, we enjoyed a delicious dinner and games at Damon's followed by a trip to the SkyWheel for a spectacular nighttime view of the boardwalk, the Myrtle Beach skyline and the ocean.

Saturday night was a night to remember at Medieval Times where we were enjoyed special VIP seating and had an exclusive meeting with the cast and crew!

The weekend was one to treasure for all who participated.  We would like to extend a big "thank you" to the wonderful group who joined us for this spectacular weekend!    If you’d like to join us for our next Getaway, please call us at 1-888-210-1241.  We hope to see you at our next event!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Black Friday in Myrtle Beach!

After a day of giving thanks and indulging in the most delicious dinner of the year, it's time to burn those calories by hitting your favorite stores for the biggest annual shopping event - Black Friday! Fortunately for vacationers, Myrtle Beach is a shopper's paradise and Plantation Resort is close to all the action! So, without further ado, here's your guide for planning a successful Black Friday (complete with directions from Plantation Resort):

2751 Beaver Run Blvd, Surfside Beach
545 Garden City Connector, Murrells Inlet

Door busters include the Apple Ipad 2 for $399 and a $75 gift card with a 1 hour in-stock guarantee.

Open: 8pm, Thursday, November 22nd

8646 Hwy 17 Bypass, Myrtle Beach

Kohl's is offering early bird specials on items including toys, jewelry, android tablets and cameras. For every $50 you spend, you'll receive $15 in Kohl's cash!

Open: 12am - 1pm, Friday, November 23rd

Best Buy
1145 Oak Forest Lane, Myrtle Beach

Door busters include TVs, laptops, movies, Blu-Ray players, cameras and more!  They will hand out tickets up to 2 hours before the sale starts. 

Opens: 12am - 10pm, Friday, November 23rd

Office Depot
8678 Hwy 17 Bypass S, Myrtle Beach

Fantastic deals on electronics, including laptops and tablets!

Opens: 5am, Friday, November 23rd

1150 Seaboard Street, Myrtle Beach
140 Sayebrook Parkway, Myrtle Beach

Door buster deals include the Xbox Kinect for $199! You'll also find the Kindle for $50 and sales on TVs, laptops and more.

Open: 9pm, Thursday, November 22nd - 11pm, Friday, November 23rd

8672 Frontage Road, Myrtle Beach
1160 Seaboard Street, Myrtle Beach

Amazing deals on all of your necessary housewares! Check-out their online ad to see hundreds of discounts available to you.

Open: 5:30am - 9pm, Friday, November 23rd

Home Depot
951 Oak Forest Lane, Myrtle Beach

Your one-stop shop for great deals on housewares! To see their extensive list of available discounts, click here.

Open: 5am - 9pm, Friday, November 23rd

Tanger Outlets
10835 Kings Road, Myrtle Beach
4635 Factory Stores Boulevard, Myrtle Beach

Discounts vary from store to store. Shops at the King's Road location include Old Navy, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and more. Shops at the Factory Stores Boulevard location include Banana Republic, Chicos, Coach, Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, American Eagle, Gap, Nike and more.

Opens 12am - 9pm, Friday, November 23rd

Coastal Grand Mall
2000 Coastal Grand Circle, Myrtle Beach

Discounts vary from store to store. Shops include Belk, American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Dillard's, JC Penney, Kay Jewelers, New York & Company, Old Navy, Sears and more.

Most Stores Open: 12am - 10pm, Friday, November 23rd
Sears Open: 8pm, Thursday, November 22nd - 10pm, Friday, November 23rd

The Market Common
4017 Deville Street, Myrtle Beach

Discounts vary from store to store. Shops include Anthropologie, Bath & Body Works, Fossil, CityMac Apple Specialist Store, Victoria's Secret, Pottery Barn, Tommy Bahama, Williams-Sonoma and more!

Open: Click here for individual store schedules.

Be sure to stop by the Front Desk for additional information and brochures.

Make Plantation Resort your Black Friday HQ!  Just a few minutes away from the best shopping deals on the Grand Strand!  And after your shopping workout, there's no better place to relax and rejuvenate than your "home away from home" at Plantation Resort.  Include a soak in one of the many hot tubs, steam away stress in the steam room or sauna or take a leisurely swim in the indoor pool.  A spa treatment is just what you need to soothe those tired muscles. Plantation Resort can help you recover from your shopping experience.

 Happy shopping everyone and hope to see you soon at Plantation Resort!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tour Beautiful La Belle Amie Vineyards!

When vacationing at Plantation Resort, we're always seeking to provide dozens of activities and amenities to fill your vacation with lasting memories! This fall, we are pleased to announce the addition of our newest event: a delightful tour at beautiful La Belle Amie Vineyards.

La Belle Amie, which is French for "the beautiful friend", is owned and operated by the Bellamy family. The Bellamy's tradition of wine making has been passed down from their ancestors who resided in the south of France. The property, originally a farm settled by the Bellamy family in the 1800s, was developed into La Belle Amie Vineyards in the 1990s and features vines that are more that 1oo years old!

Beginning at 10am, you'll board our Plantation Resort shuttle buses and enjoy a relaxing ride to Little River, where La Belle Amie Vineyards is located. Upon arrival, you'll be taken on a tour of the property by the owner, Vicki, who will share with you the history of the vineyard, the farm's operations and the incredible flowers and plant life found at La Belle Amie. Following the tour, you'll enjoy a sack lunch provided by the Resort.

In the afternoon, you'll be able to experience the tasting room, where the vineyard's experts teach you the five steps of sampling wine. There's a wide variety of wines to choose from, including reds, whites and rosés. At the conclusion of the tour, you can peruse the vineyard's fabulous gift shop for souvenirs, which include wineglasses, racks, corkscrews, sauces, salsas, flavored cooking oils, relishes and, of course, your favorite wine from the vineyard's private label!

To reserve your spot for the exceptional La Belle Amie Vineyard tour, stop by the Indoor Pool today! For additional information, call 1-800-845-5039 or visit La Belle Amie's website here. While staying at Plantation Resort, we look forward to spending a wonderful afternoon with you at La Belle Amie!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Celebrate Thanksgiving with our Local Restaurants

Thanksgiving is a great time to vacation in Myrtle Beach! In order to help you finalize your Thanksgiving plans, we have put together a list of restaurants excited to provide you with your perfect holiday feast.

2657 Beaver Run Boulevard
Surfside Beach, 29575 
843-215-5255 (3.3 miles away)

California Dreaming is a locals' favorite.  Just a few minutes away from Plantation Resort, makes this restaurant ideal for the perfect Thanksgiving feast! 

Oven-roasted turkey breast, sugar cured ham, sweet potato casserole, green beans, honey-butter glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, southern cornbread stuffing, homemade giblet gravy, cranberry relish, cornbread muffins, pecan or pumpkin pie, coffee, tea or soft drink. 

Hours: 12-8 pm
Adults: $18.95
Children Under 10: $9.95

Reservations Recommended.

Salt Water Creek Cafe 
4660 US 17
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
843-357-2433 (6.9 miles away)

Salt Water Creek Cafe gives you an up-scale casual dining experience. Have Thanksgiving in style with slow roasted turkey breast, honey baked spiral ham, sweet potato with pecan topping, house-made stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese casserole, honey glazed carrots, house-made gravy, pumpkin or pecan pie. Limited menu also available.

Hours: 12-7 p.m.
Adults: $19.00
Children: $11.00

1322 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843-946-0007 (10.4 miles away)

Specially made for Thanksgiving, this three course meal includes a side caesar salad, turkey covered in gravy sauce served with garlic smashed potatoes, Pepperidge Farm stuffing, vegetables and cranberry sauce, and last but not least pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream!

Hours: 12-6 pm
Adults: $12.95
Children 10 and under: $7.95
Children 3 and under: Free

Reservations Recommended.  
Prices are subject to change.

4617 North Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843-497-9911 (10.6 miles away)

Thanksgiving dinner just like mom used to make!  It includes oven roasted turkey breast, sugar cured ham, sweet potato casserole, green beans, honey-butter glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, southern cornbread stuffing, homemade giblet gravy, cranberry relish, cornbread muffins, pecan or pumpkin pie and coffee, tea or a soft drink.

Hours: Special Thanksgiving dinner served from 11 a.m. until last seating at 6:30 p.m. and regular menu served from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Adults: $18.95
Children under 10: $9.95

Reservations Recommended.

8211 Marina Parkway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
843-839-9500 (15.1 miles away)

For those with discriminating tastes!  Your choices include Louisiana seafood gumbo, Caesar salad or steak house salad; 
roasted turkey entree with homemade gravy, cornbread, cranberry relish; a choice of garlic mashed potatoes, grean beans with roasted garlic, creamed spinach or sweet potato casserole; finishing with a pumpkin cheesecake and vanilla ice cream. 

Hours: 1-9 pm
Adults: $34.95
Children 12 and under: $14.95

Reservations Recommended.

9922 North Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
843-449-3984 (16.5 miles away)

A feast fit for a king! A dinner buffet will be served featuring deep fried turkey, rack of lamb, prime rib, ham, shrimp, salmon and oysters.

Hours: 11 am - 7 pm
Adults: $29.95
Children 11 and under: $13.95
Children 3 and under: Free 

Reservations are recommended but are not required.

4640 Highway 17 S
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
843-913-3746 (19.3 miles away)

Enjoy a Thanksgiving buffet accompanied by live jazz music! The buffet includes hand-carved turkey, roast beef with a jus and horseradish cream sauce, salads, boiled shrimp, macaroni and cheese, cornbread stuffing, red beans and rice, herb roasted potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables, pumpkin and pecan pie, and white chocolate banana bread pudding.

Hours: 11 am- 7 pm
Adults: $22.95
Children: $9.50

$1.00 of each meal will be donated to Sea Haven Youth Shelter.

For the full Myrtle Beach entertainment experience, enjoy dinner and a show! Call or visit the front desk for your discounted prices!
*Discounted prices shown below

2904 Fantasy Way
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
888-935-6878 (9.1 miles away) 

Go back to the 11th Century and feast with the King in the Castle while cheering for one of six Knights as he competes in various tournaments. Medieval noble guests feast on garlic bread, tomato-bisque soup, roasted chicken, spare rib, herb-based potatoes, pastry of the Castle, coffee and two rounds of select beverages. A full-service bar is open for the Adults. Vegetarian meals are also available. 
Showtime: 6 pm
Children 3-12: $26.00

Children under 3: Free   

8901 North Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
843-497-9700 (14.5 miles away)

Set sail with Captian Scrooge and the mystical spirit of
Christmas as he discovers the true meaning of Christmas. The delicious pirate feast is filled with creamy vegetable soup, bread, roasted chicken, BBQ pork, buttery corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, and apple pie.  

Showtimes: 6 pm and 8:30 pm
Adults: $44.50
Children  4-11: $23.00
Children under 3: Free                                                       

Other restaurants options include:

From your friends at Plantation Resort, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sample a Taste of Italy at Plantation Resort

Last year we introduced A Taste of Italy at Plantation Resort.  This night was such a success, it has turned into a seasonal event starting in the Fall and ending in the Spring.  For only $10 a person, you are able to enjoy delicious Italian cuisine Thursday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This event has become so popular, we strongly encourage you to make reservations by 12 noon on the evening you are wanting to attend.  If you've not attended A Taste of Italy before, this is a must-do event to add to your Plantation Resort experience!

On this special night, the Activity Center transforms into a candlelit bistro and invites you to enjoy a quiet night out without worrying about traffic, waiting in lines or slaving over a stove.  Couples are also invited to sit with other couples and have made wonderful friendships from conversations they have savored.

Last Thursday night, I was able to enjoy an all-you-can-eat pasta bar with a variety of delicious tomato and alfredo sauces. Served with my meal were hot-out-of-the-oven bread sticks and a fresh garden salad. At the end of the evening I was also given a delightful sponge cake topped with vanilla ice cream! The chef is always creating new items to introduce; keeping the menu fresh and unique making it great to come back again and again.

Whether you are two or ninety-two, you will love this event! Stop by the Indoor Pool to make your reservation today!

No matter what age you are you'll leave this happy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lowcountry History: Brookgreen Gardens

South Carolina's rich heritage of history and culture dates back centuries to the days of colonial America.  Beautiful Brookgreen Gardens, situated just a few miles south of Myrtle Beach on the site of former rice plantations, offers the largest outdoor exhibition of American figurative sculpture in the world.  It's the perfect place to satisfy your interest in art, local culture, history and botanical beauty.

At the turn of the 18th century, the region south of Myrtle Beach to Georgetown was the site of many prosperous rice plantations.  These plantations and the fabled Carolina Gold rice that they harvested produced an aristocracy of incredible wealth and power.  At this time, what is now known as Brookgreen Gardens was four separate rice plantations: The Oaks, Springfield, Brookgreen and Laurel Hill.

Theodosia Burr Alston
The history of Brookgreen and The Oaks are interlaced in the lives of prominent American figures. The Oaks Plantation was once owned by Joseph Alston, a wealthy planter who served several terms as Governor of South Carolina. While enjoying great success as a politician and gentleman farmer, Alston suffered great tragedy in his personal life. In 1801, he married Theodosia Burr, daughter of the famous Aaron Burr who fought in the Revolutionary War, was elected as a US Senator, served as Vice President to Thomas Jefferson and infamously killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Theodosia gave birth to a much beloved son in 1802 but tragically lost him to malaria in 1812. After his death, Theodosia chose to go visit her father in New York; the Governor was unable to accompany her as the nation was in the midst of the War of 1812.  Theodosia's ship was lost at sea, and she was never seen again. Lowcountry legends says that her tragic ghost can still be seen haunting the shores looking for her father.

John Joshua Ward
Brookgreen Plantation was owned by Joshua John Ward, one of the largest American slaveholders of his time and known as "King of the Rice Planters." Continually expanding his empire, Ward at one time owned as many as six plantations producing nearly 4 million pounds of rice. He even developed his own version of the long-grain rice called "Carolina Gold." After 1860, his slave population was said to have reached over 1,100.

The histories of Laurel Hill and Springfield Plantation are not quite as well documented. Laurel Hill was once owned by Gabriel Marion, nephew of Revolutionary war hero, Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion. Springfield Plantation is believed to have been owned by the Alston family at one time.

Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington
Brookgreen Gardens as we know it today was conceived by philanthropists Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. He was the heir to a railroad fortune, and she was a famous sculptor raised by parents who instilled in her a love for art and nature. They married in 1923, when she was already an established sculptor.  In the late 1920s, Anna was taken ill by tuberculosis and they traveled to South Carolina in search of a warmer climate to aid her recovery. Here, they fell deeply in love with the beauty of the lowcountry; they purchased the nearly 10,000 acres from the Waccamaw River to the Atlantic Ocean that once made up the four plantations to create their winter retreat.

Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park
The Huntingtons built a Moorish-style castle right at the ocean's edge.  Named "Atalaya", Spanish for "The Watchtower," the home was built by local laborers, in an effort to bring work to this isolated area during the Great Depression. The home included a studio for Anna to sculpt, as well as habitats for several wild animals that she used for her models.  Today "Atalaya" is managed as part of Huntington Beach State Park and is open for tours.

They soon developed the idea of using a large portion of their land to showcase Anna's work and Brookgreen Gardens was born.  Anna personally designed many of the gardens you see today, with the first garden designed with walkways in the shape of a butterfly. The Huntingtons decided to turn Brookgreen into a public garden that preserved the natural beauty of the lowcountry and displayed Anna's sculptures and eventually works from many other acclaimed American artists. Huntington stated that their ultimate goal was to make the gardens "a quiet joining of hands between science and art." 

Today, Brookgreen Gardens continues to honor their legacy; 500 acres of beautifully cultivated gardens are home to over 1,400 sculptures and 2,000 species of plants. It is the country's first public sculpture garden and has the largest collection of figurative sculpture by American artists in an outdoor setting in the world. 

The gardens also pay homage to the land's early history.  Visitors can visit the Alston family cemetery, the famous allée of oak trees planted in the 1700s, the remains of The Oaks' slave village, and enjoy interpretive tours that examine what 18th-century plantation life might have been like for the many different peoples who experienced it.

Brookgreen offers a boat ride along the Waccamaw river to see the former sites of the rice fields and learn about the lives of the slaves who worked them. Additionally, the Brookgreen zoo features native wildlife as well as heritage breeds of farm animals similar to those that would have existed during plantation times.  The newest addition is a a gorgeous butterfly pavilion featuring more than 100 species of butterflies!

When you're vacationing in Myrtle Beach, don't miss your opportunity to experience the rich history and natural beauty of the lowcountry. Plantation Resort is conveniently located just a few miles north of Brookgreen Gardens. Be sure to stop by our Front Desk to purchase discounted tickets! Free daily park passes are available at the Front Desk to visit to Huntington Beach State Park, home of Atalaya castle and the beautiful beaches and scenery.  Come see why the Huntingtons loved the area so much. But be warned...  You just may fall under the lowcountry's spell too!