Families To The Fore

Golf's not the only game in town

Myrtle Beach

May 16, 2007|By Jason Skog | Jason Skog,Special to The Sun

Situated on the sunny South Carolina coast, Myrtle Beach continues to make its name as a golf destination with more than 100 golf courses scattered across the Grand Strand.

The area features some of the most challenging, beautiful and famous golf courses in the world.

But Myrtle Beach, which lures more than 14 million visitors a year, is increasingly establishing itself as a family destination with its abundant beaches, gleaming new resort complexes and amusement parks. Despite last year's closing of the Pavilion Amusement Park - a tourist favorite for 58 years - other fun family adventures are on tap, including miniature golf, arcade games and NASCAR-like racing.

Broadway at the Beach is Myrtle Beach's giant, mixed-use commercial district. The $250 million development covers 350 acres in the heart of the city and features shopping, restaurants, hotels, bars and nightclubs, all bordering a 23-acre lake.

If you're still nostalgic for the Pavilion, a new attraction, opening in July at Broadway at the Beach, is taking some of the old rides and making them new again.

Hotels

Hotels and resorts dot Myrtle Beach's beautiful shoreline.

The Breakers Resort, Oceanfront at 21st Avenue and 27th Avenue North, 843-444-4444 or 800-952-4507. This oceanfront resort was voted tops by local newspaper readers. The resort has three hotels just three blocks from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Amenities include restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, a lazy river and even a pirate ship where kids can have their own adventures on the high seas. Summer rates: $179-509.

Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, 10000 Beach Club Drive, 843-449-5000. Perched on a pristine slice of beachfront at Myrtle Beach's north end, the Hilton resort has 385 rooms with an ocean view and private balconies. Two oceanfront restaurants serve fresh seafood. Call for rates.

Crown Reef Resort, 2913 S. Ocean Blvd., 877-435-9125; crownreef.com. This award-winning resort hotel has a 125-foot oceanfront pool, indoor pools, kiddy pools, hot tubs and a 575-foot lazy river. Summer rates: $175-$212.

Restaurants

Cheeseburger in Paradise, 7211 N. Kings Highway, 843-448-9293. A place for good cheeseburgers and good frozen drinks. Burgers range from $8.29-$9.29.

Austin's at Pawleys, U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway), Pawleys Island, 843-235-3800. austinsatpawleys .com. For an upscale dining experience, check out Austin's, where the owner and chef is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. The menu features Southern fare with a French flair. Dishes range from salmon to filet mignon, priced $18.95-$49.95.

Collectors Cafe, 7726 N. Kings Highway, 843-449-9370. This esteemed restaurant is incongruously tucked in a strip mall, but it has long won raves from visitors and residents alike. The ahi tuna and beef carpaccio are consistently popular. Entrees start at about $20.

Filling Station Pizza, 1913 10th Ave. N., 843-626-9435. Even New Yorkers have been impressed with the hand-tossed creations at this longtime Myrtle Beach pizza joint. A buffet, including beverage, is $8.

Crab Catchers on the Water Front, 4474 Waterfront Drive, Little River, 843-280-2025. With views of the Intracoastal Waterway from the deck, you can watch boats bringing in the catch of the day. The black sea bass, grilled shrimp, crab cakes and super-sized scallops all pair well with the fried corn and hush puppies. Entrees range from $8.99-$22.95.

Peaches Corner, 900 N. Ocean Blvd., 843-448-7424. This Myrtle Beach institution serves up foot-long hot dogs ($3.75) and fresh-cut onion rings ($3.50). Also, don't miss the burger basket ($8) "all the way" with fries.

Shopping

Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach complex. More than 100 specialty and retail shops stretch along the Boardwalk, selling jewelry, toys, clothing, accessories and more.

Tanger Outlet Center, Highway 501, 4635 Factory Stores Blvd. The Myrtle Beach location of the popular chain of outlet stores features more than 100 brand-name retailers.

Myrtle Beach Flea Market, 3820 S. Kings Highway. For a little bit of everything and a lot for less, check out the year-round flea market just south of the strip and across from Myrtle Beach State Park.

Nightlife

Fat Harold's, 212 Main St., North Myrtle Beach, 843-249-5779. A beach-music and shag-dancing institution, Fat Harold's is where decades-old summer hits and dance tunes are reborn. There are two spots for dancing, and there are live bands and DJs most nights.

Crocodile Rocks, Broadway at the Beach, 1320 Celebrity Circle, 843-444-2096. Dueling pianos prompt audience requests and participation. Musicians tweak the songs and make them their own, creating a festive atmosphere.

Bodo's German Brauhaus, 407 Eighth Ave. N., 803-448-1310. At Bodo's, you'll find authentic German cuisine, an intimate, subdued atmosphere and a wide selection of imported brews.

Fun

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