South Carolina’s Grand Strand has crafted itself into a dual golfing identity – one where adults have their fun and another where parents can bring the kids and still enjoy every minute of the vacation. This will help those who want to achieve the latter. It starts with the links, where while most courses will offer free rounds for children, a few select options won’t break their spirit. From there, we’ll move on to entertainment options that will help you their normally boring folks, give them story after story to tell upon returning home. You’ll be the cool mom and dad. Thank us later.
GOLF IT UP
Some courses are better than others when it comes inexperienced players. Others only cater to the tried and true. When blending both skill sets, take a look at Myrtle Beach National’s SouthCreek, Aberdeen Country Club, World Tour Golf Links and Myrtlewood’s Palmetto tracks. These are solid mid-range options with tee ranges that will allow for all ages to do their thing without getting beat up or find it boring. (Kids 16 and under play free on these courses with a paying adult on a one to one basis!)
DON’T ARGUE WITH NATURE
The Atlantic Ocean put Myrtle Beach on the map. The sand provided a natural spot to enjoy it. With that in mind, the best trip to the beach is one that is perfectly timed. And seeing as your round is more than likely going to start before 11 a.m. or after 2 p.m. (when double tees are used), use whichever window you’re not slated to tee off in to don the swim trunks and take the family out for the cheapest entertainment there is. The lower temperatures tend away from the noon-3 p.m. window and will serve you well, both in the sun burn department and the ability to keep going strong for the rest of the day.
The name might make you think of freaks, but the aquarium, located at Broadway at the Beach, is a straightforward opportunity to show your kids, and the spouse, some really cool stuff. That may sound cheesy, but this is easily a top-10 attraction in the area. If you don’t have a movable walkway through a shark tank, an opportunity to pet a stingray or a chance to lift up a horseshoe crab in your daily life, yeah, thisis that chance. The aquarium doubles as an opportunity to tell your youngsters that they better listen while at the beach (“Hey, remember that thing you saw earlier?”).
DRIVE, AWE AND SWIM
In a span of three blocks off U.S. 17 in the heart of Myrtle Beach lies a number of great stops for team trips, families, or both. Between the seven-track Broadway Grand Prix go-cart complex, the Hollywood Wax Museum (look for King Kong scaling the Empire State Building) and Myrtle Waves Water Park, visitors are drawn in starting at 9 a.m. each day during the peak season. In one form or another, all three provide a reprieve from the heat and a cheap and fun alternative not available in every market.
In recent months, the Myrtle Beach City Council has started taking steps to reduce some of the adult-age content from the Ocean Boulevard shops in an effort to keep the easy buck from overcoming the history of that stretch of beachfront property. And while that position has drawn the ire of some while earning applause from others, the most iconic part of Myrtle Beach’s tourist history has, and probably always will be, one of the best spots for a family walk during the day or early evening hours. A slew of restaurants, Plyler Park, the Myrtle Beach Skywheel and right up to the 14th Avenue Pier are an overload of sights and sounds paralleling the Atlantic.