Courtesy Hopsewee Plantation
Location: Myrtle Beach and smaller communities, including North Myrtle Beach, Murrell’s Inlet and Pawley’s Island, make up the Grand Strand of destinations in the northern reaches of the South Carolina coast.
Claim to fame: A buzzing beachfront. The Myrtle Beach area has 60 miles of coastline that make it incredibly popular with vacationers. In addition to enjoying the ocean, those visitors also take advantage of a 1.2-mile boardwalk, beachfront amusement parks, and large retail and dining developments such as Barefoot Landing and Broadway at the Beach. Numerous theaters offer musical revues and other shows for visiting groups.
The secret side: The Myrtle Beach area has plenty of history to interest the curious travelers in your group. At Myrtle Beach State Park, groups can discover the quiet side of the coast and participate in free living-history classes that illustrate how the early residents of the area lived and worked.
Not Far Outside of town, Hobcaw Barony is a 17,500-acre site comprising property that was once part of 11 plantations. Groups can take a tour of the plantation homes and other buildings and see the area’s only intact African slave village. Another historic estate nearby, Hopsewee Plantation, offers opportunities for tours and group meals or classical Southern teas, complete with entertainment.
Explore Myrtle Beach: There are plenty of great activities beyond the beach areas of the Grand Strand. Brookgreen Gardens is America’s largest outdoor sculpture garden, and groups can take a guided art tour, meander the gardens on their own or have a picnic lunch catered in.
Ripley’s Aquarium has become a popular attraction for groups traveling to Myrtle Beach. The aquarium features animals from faraway places such as the Amazon River and Pacific coral reefs. In addition to seeing sharks, jellies and other exotic sea creatures, visitors can touch a stingray in an interactive display.
Among the newest attractions in town is SkyWheel, a giant Ferris wheel at the center of the Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade. Visitors ride in enclosed gondolas, and groups can set up a VIP-experience in a special glass-bottom car.
Free time: Turn your travelers loose at Broadway at the Beach, where they can shop, eat, see a show or visit numerous attractions such as a historic carousel, a science museum and NASCAR Speed Park.