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Myrtle Beach

by Apr 6, 2017

I keep over-thinking these posts and then I freeze because I want them to be perfect with artistic pictures and a precise layout and every detail but then they never get done at all and I have a million drafts just sitting here.  SOOO… Turning over a new leaf here people.  I going to TRY not to over-think.  Sometimes, I won’t edit, who am I kidding, sometimes I might not even pull out Marki V (my SLR)… It won’t be everything or perfect.  But real and me and fun.  And enough.  And I will have enjoyed my traveling and I will have enjoyed writing and I will remind myself that nobody but my mom reads these anyway!  And my mom thinks everything I write is awesome, because she is my mom.

Now to the point.  We did Myrtle Beach for Spring Break.  We needed the state South Carolina and with our son’s torn ACL, we really didn’t want anywhere too hot or too sandy or too long of a flight.  And we are on a budget (as usual).  You guys!!  Myrtle Beach is CHEAP!  If you are looking to get away, I would totally check it out.  It has some flaws but all in all, we had a great time and it didn’t break the bank.

The Scoop on Myrtle Beach:

The Good:  The beach is SO CLEAN.  The sunrises are amazing (and LATE during spring break.  Like 7am so we could sleep in and still watch the sunrise!).  There is a lovely paved boardwalk leading from the row of resorts right to an adorable downtown area with food and music and entertainment.  The weather for spring break was delightful.  It was about 70 during the day and 55 at night.  In the sun it was warm and when the sun went down, jeans and a sweatshirt were more than comfy.  It was sunny enough to get a little sun but not so blasted hot that we all burned.  The downtown had live music every night at some over 21 bars (granted, most of the music was country) and some really decent affordable food options.  Not a ton of healthy food options, but you are in the south and on vacation and walking a lot, so I’m sure it all works out.

You kind of need a car at Myrtle Beach.  There are 3 great shopping areas outside the boardwalk.  There is more food and live music and a Costco and tons of mini-golf.  All worth driving to for some variation.  I had read that Myrtle Beach is bike friendly.  We decided against bringing our bikes and were happy with our choice.  Walking was easy and the other shopping areas would not have been a good bike ride.

The Less than Good:  I’m not romanticizing Chicagoland, but Myrtle Beach is “the south”.  The Windy City corrupt politicians and shootings and neighborhoods saturated with specific ethnicities but for the most part, the people of Chicago are an inclusive group.  I have a delightful rainbow of dear friends.  My husband teaches at a beautifully integrated and multi-racial school. South Carolina still sells confederate flags and not just at the Bowery.  Don’t get me wrong, “Southern Hospitality” is STRONG!  Anyone employed (regardless of race) was beyond polite (near the point of saccharine).  But the black/white tension felt strong when it came to an interpersonal / peer level: avoiding sharing elevators, chatting pool-side, and all conversation apart from mannerly brief responses.  It was disappointing and a reality check with how far America needs to come.  And if you are from the south and read this and are offended… I’m okay with that.  I hope some changes happen.

Miscellaneous Planning Advice, Tips, Randomness, and Minutia:

  • Myrtle Beach is 15 hours from Chicago.  If you can’t swing that in one day, Asheville, NC is ADORABLE.
  • I’m not a buffet person, but this was THE BEST.  You must go:  Simply Southern Smoke House
  • The condo we stayed at was 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, 18th floor, overlooking the ocean, indoor lazy river and outdoor pools, exactly a mile on the boardwalk to town.  It was PERFECT.  I wouldn’t stay anywhere else.
  • SC still allows smoking in many restaurants?!
  • Broadway at the Beach had cool shopping and nightlife area.  Wish we would have gone more than once.
  • I never felt unsafe but Myrtle Beach has some really poor areas.
  • SC doesn’t sell hard alcohol in grocery stores, only beer and wine.
  • Over-all — Really cost-effective way to breathe in some salt-water air, but the ocean is COLD in spring at least.
  • $240 on fuel round-trip (drove the minivan)
  • $600 on food & entertainment (we pretended it was all inclusive –could have been WAY more frugal)
  • $650 on a 2 bedroom condo that over-looked the ocean for 5 nights
  • $1500 all in.  Kids gave it a combined 7.  Both would go back but there are other places 😉