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When the cooler temps and shorter days of winter set in, a beach trip to the Carolina coast may not be the first getaway to cross many potential vacationers’ minds. But as savvy travelers and longtime locals alike can attest, on the Grand Strand, the winter months offer many of the same attractions that draw the big crowds during the peak seasons — just without the big crowds.
Consider these top Grand Strand attractions/activities that you can enjoy relatively crowd-free when you plan a getaway to the Myrtle Beach area during the wintertime:
Long walks on the beach — Sure, it may be a bit too cold to hop into the water, but the winter months offer great opportunities for long strolls through the sand along the Myrtle Beach area oceanfront — and without the need to navigate your way around beach umbrellas, hop over spread-out towels and avoid disturbing sun-seeking beach-goers. That means you’ll have over 60 miles of Grand Strand coastline nearly to yourself for peaceful walks along the beach, beachcombing adventures, kite-flying outings, etc.
Visits to the Grand Strand’s two state parks — At Myrtle Beach State Park, located about 10 miles south of Long Bay Resort, guests can explore an oceanfront maritime forest, hike a nature trail, pursue some of South Carolina’s best surf fishing, hit the fishing pier, and more. And about 22 miles south of Long Bay Resort at Huntington Beach State Park, exciting activities like surf fishing, bird-watching, Atalaya Castle exploration and more await adventurous travelers on the park’s 2,500 acres of unspoiled natural beauty. Perhaps the best part — in the wintertime, the parks are even more quiet and peaceful.
A day trip to downtown Conway — Found about 30 minutes inland from Long Bay Resort, Conway’s historic downtown area offers an array of great (and locally owned) eateries and shops, as well as the 1.5-mile Riverwalk, which boasts stretches of paved path and boardwalk that wind along the deep and beautiful black waters of the Waccamaw River. Bonuses: A park and a marina await along the leisurely stroll, and all of the downtown attractions are relatively crowd-free during the winter months.
Deals at area shopping outlets — The Myrtle Beach area boasts a pair of Tanger Outlets shopping complexes — a northern location on Highway 17 near Arcadian Shores and another inland on Highway 501 near Carolina Forest. Together boasting more than 200 stores, the outlet centers allow shoppers to score bargains on top name brands such as Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren Coach, Columbia, Adidas and Under Armour, just to name a few. And during the winter months, not only is this a great place to whittle down the holiday shopping list, but visitors can also do so with fewer fellow shoppers in the area to compete for the deals.
A trip to Brookgreen Gardens — Found in Murrells Inlet just over 20 miles south of Long Bay Resort, this 9,100-acre sculpture garden and wildlife preserve features several lush and expansive botanical gardens, each with its own distinct theme. The grounds also showcase the nation’s most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture, and other on-site attractions include nature trails, a butterfly garden, historic rice plantations, and the Lowcountry Zoo. Bonus: On select dates throughout December, the Nights of a Thousand Candles celebration sees more than 4,500 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights illuminate the grounds.
Book your winter getaway at Long Bay Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront now, and start making your plans to explore the Grand Strand’s many year-round attractions without the peak-season crowds. With our range of comfortable accommodations and long list of on-site amenities, you’re sure to enjoy some off-season fun in the Carolina sun.