Friday, August 24, 2012

Premier Partner Highlight: Legends in Concert

There are dozens of exciting shows on the Grand Strand, but only one venue lets you experience 5 of your favorite entertainers all in one night. Legends in Concert, the world's greatest live tribute show, has been thrilling Myrtle Beach audiences for 17 years and keeps us coming back for more!

Direct from fabulous Las Vegas, Legends in Concert is your ticket to the stars you've loved and listened to all your life. Each show features 5 talented artists who look and sound like the iconic entertainers who have defined generations. The artists are rotated every few months, creating a brand new show that will put Legends on your must-see list every time you vacation in Myrtle Beach. Due to popular demand, only one icon takes up permanent residence here (though the impersonator may change): the King, Elvis Presley. Other featured legends include: Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, the Blues Brothers, Whitney Houston, Steven Tyler, Little Richard, Celine Dion, Marilyn Monroe, Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Alan Jackson and many more. The wide array of artists from all generations are sure to appeal to adults and kids alike.

Behind every great artist is a fabulous crew. Legends dazzles with spectacular back-up dancers performing original choreography and a hot live band. Each entertainer is dressed in full costume just like the original artist would wear; you'll swear you're looking at the real thing.

Don't miss your chance to see this award-winning tribute show! On your way to the Grand Strand, stop by the Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor, SC. We'll provide you with discount tickets to Legends in Concert and other area attractions. For questions or additional information, call 1-803-358-8100. We'll see you soon in beautiful Myrtle Beach!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fishing on the Grand Strand

Myrtle Beach attracts visitors from all over who enjoy the white sandy beaches.  Others consider it a golfer's paradise, with over 100 courses in the area. But what many people don't realize is that the Grand Strand is also an ideal retreat for fishing! Between the Atlantic and the Waccamaw River, anglers find a wide variety of prime fishing opportunities. Our beautiful area boasts several locations for surf, pier, deep sea and freshwater fishing.

Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing in Myrtle Beach
With over 60 miles of uninterrupted coastline, the Grand Strand offers prime surf fishing. Cast your line and relax on the beach while waiting for the bluefish, croaker, whiting, skate or pompano to bite! The meticulously preserved coastline at Huntington Beach State Park also presents the opportunity to catch flounder, sea trout, red and black drum, mackerel and sheepshead. When surf fishing, the best success usually occurs from high to low tide. If you don't have your own, rent your gear from a pier or a local bait & tackle shop. Children under the age of 16 are not required to have a license when fishing in the surf. Most area beaches permit surf fishing but may temporarily ban it if there are too many swimmers.

Pier Fishing

Among the most popular locations for saltwater fishing are the many piers that dot our shores. Fish are attracted to the marine species and organisms that make the pier their home, creating an ideal spot for a fisherman eager for action! The most common species to lurk these waters include whiting, sea trout, spot trout, king mackerel, spanish mackerel, flounder, drum, tarpon and mullet. Aside from the chance for a great catch, the piers also offer sweeping views of the coastline and quick access to bait & tackle shops, restaurants and bars. Recommended piers include: Cherry Grove, 2nd Avenue, Springmaid, Surfside and the Pier at Garden City (for additional information including pricing, follow the pier links). To see a list of when the various types of fish are in season, see the bottom of the webpage at this link.

Deep Sea Fishing

Voyager Fishing Charters
If you're eager to sail out into the big blue in search of large fish and an exciting experience, you're in luck! The Grand Strand features several charter services ready for adventure, equipped with state-of-the-art electronics for navigation and fish finding.  Each company has several packages tailored to fit your needs based on the number of people in your group, how long you'd like to fish and your level of experience.  If you're new to angling, no need to worry! Most companies offer equipment rental and instruction from their experienced captain and crew. Based on the time of year, you can find dolphin, wahoo, mahi mahi, shark, marlin, sea bass, snapper, barracuda, king mackerel, grouper, cobia and amberjack. If you're interested in deep sea excursions, local charters include: Hurricane Fleet, Voyager Fishing Charters, Georgetown Coastal Adventures and Captain Raymond's Fishing & Cruises.

Freshwater Fishing
Waccamaw River
The South's 140+ mile Waccamaw River winds serenely through the Grand Strand, bringing excellent freshwater fishing opportunities to the area. Catfish, perch, crappie, bass and bowfin are a few of the species found in the black waters. Fishing from the shore can be difficult due to wetlands, but look for a few spots off of Dick Pond Road by the Socastee swing bridge and by Elm Street in Conway. You'll have an even better fishing experience if you take to the water! Renting or bringing a boat, canoe or kayak will give you easy access to the best fishing spots. Wacca Wache Marina (located in the fishing village of Murrell's Inlet) and the Conway Marina provide boat launch sites as well as rentals.

Keep in mind- if you're looking to catch dinner, we offer more than just fish. Head to the shore and harvest oysters, clams, crabs and shrimp to make a home-cooked seafood buffet!

Now that you know the best places to go, it's time to gather your gear and make your way to the water.  If you have any additional questions about the Grand Strand area, be sure to stop by the Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor, South Carolina. Happy fishing everyone!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tips for Saving Money on Vacation Part I: Airfare

The current state of the economy has greatly affected most families in the United States. With everyone's pocketbooks just a little tighter, what's the first thing to be cut from the budget? Vacations. Many families have to give up a much needed break, quality time together, a chance to experience the world around them and mental health benefits in order to save money. But you can have your cake and eat it, too! Traveling doesn't have to break the bank. In fact, there are many ways to take a relaxing vacation without making your wallet run for cover. In a series of blog posts, we'll give you several tips on saving money while you vacation.

One of the biggest expenses in vacationing is airfare. Over the last few years, the cost of plane tickets has been steadily rising as the economy has been declining. However, trying a few simple tricks can help bring these astronomical prices back to an affordable level.

1.) When you're booking a ticket, don't simply head to your favorite website and purchase. There are many companies that provide airfare at varying discounts - do your research and find the best price! A few companies you'll want to look into include Orbitz, Expdia, Cheap Tickets, Kayak, Priceline, CheapOair and Travelocity. There are dozens more companies out there, so be sure to do a Google search for "discount plane tickets" or "cheap flights."

2.) Begin looking for flights well in advance of your departure date. You want to give yourself plenty of time to look at and compare rates from the several different websites. Watch the price trends over a week or so - ticket prices tend to fluctuate from day to day. When the price drops to an amount you're comfortable with, book it!

3.) Most people find that direct flights are less hassle than dealing with layovers, but you're definitely paying for the added convenience. Connecting flights typically run significantly cheaper, so if you're looking to save money, layovers are the way to go! And are they really so bad? They give you the chance to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and take advantage of the airport's Wi-Fi.

4.) Be flexible with your dates in order to find better deals. For most websites and airlines, the best time to buy and the best time to fly are Tuesday through Thursday since most people want to travel on a weekend. Additionally, you'll find cheaper tickets if you're willing to fly in the early morning or late at night. The money you save will be worth a day of red-eyes!

5.) Avoid vacationing during peak season and holidays. If you're trying to come to Myrtle Beach over the 4th of July, airfare will be at their highest rates. Off season months in Myrtle Beach (especially April, September and October!) have beautiful weather and the beaches are less crowded. Come see us then and save money!

6.) Be sure to pack lightly. Most airlines charge a hefty fee per bag - and if your luggage exceeds the weight limit, expect to pay an extra fee. Limit each family member to one suitcase. If you really want to save, bring only carry-ons, which are free. Packing light can be a little tricky, so be sure read some great tips here.

7.) If you're getting a rental car upon arrival, try looking at surrounding airports. Oftentimes, it's cheaper to fly into Florence, Columbia, Charleston or Charlotte than directly into Myrtle Beach. If the price is significantly lower, it just may be worth the added driving time. (Note: this tip also applies to the departure airport.)

8.) Skip the plane tickets altogether and come by train! Traveling via Amtrak can be much cheaper than flying, especially if you live within a day's drive. Anyone under 16 years old is considered a child and receives great rates. This will be a unique experience that the kids love!

You have the tips; let the hunting begin! For ways to save on attraction tickets and hotels stays visit the Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor, South Carolina or call 1-803-358-8100. Stay tuned for more tips on great vacation savings!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Myrtle Beach Nightlife

After a day of fun and sun, the neon lights come on and Myrtle Beach gears up for a night of entertainment. The Grand Strand has nightlife to suit every taste and style. Whether you want to sit back and relax with a drink or dance the night away, here's your guide to some of the best nightlife the Grand Strand has to offer.

A Myrtle Beach hot-spot since 1944, The Bowery is known as the home of world renowned country group, Alabama. This saloon has a menu full of "Dixieland Delights" with a bar serving over 100 different kinds of liquor, beer and wine. House band  "The Bounty Hunters", as well as many other groups who play here, entertain you with the sounds of true country music. Even the waiters are fun to watch, carrying 10 mugs without a tray and performing special acts to amuse their guests. Proud of their reputation as a "true truckin' saloon", The Bowery will show you how we have fun down South!

Named after the 1972 Elton John hit, Crocodile Rocks is Myrtle Beach's hottest dueling piano bar. Sit back and enjoy your drink as feisty piano players take your requests and attempt to outdo each other with over-the-top arrangements. Sing along with your favorite tunes and laugh 'til it hurts during their North vs. South and College Rivalry duels. This is a nightlife experience unlike any other!

3 Club Boca
Known as one of the most lavish clubs in Myrtle Beach, this upscale venue provides you with a big city experience. A 16 foot wall plays your favorite music videos as you dance to mainstream hits and latin house music. Special features include mirrors, fog, intelligent lighting and multilevel dance platforms while Mango's Martini Bar serves up the drinks. If you're looking for high-energy nightlife, Club Boca is your destination!

4 House of Blues
One of only 13 locations in the United States, Myrtle Beach's House of Blues reflects the personality of the area. Built to resemble a farmhouse adjoined to an old tobacco warehouse, this venue offers the level of quality entertainment expected by the brand name. House of Blues hosts international artists, cornhole competitions and even a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre. The restaurant's delicious menu has something for everyone and a bar to go with it!

5 Comedy Cabana
Sit back, relax and be entertained! As Myrtle Beach's only five-star comedy club, The Comedy Cabana features a fantastic crew performing hilarious stand-up acts. This smoke-free venue also offers tasty dishes served up by the Good Humor Bar & Grill. Teens between ages 15 and 17 are admitted to this club when accompanied by an adult.

6 Senor Frogs
This quirky venue carries a theme of relaxation with a helping of silliness. The walls are covered with funky decor, funny videos and bloopers play on screens and the waiters perform crazy antics. Go for dinner and stay for the night entertainment! Expect conga lines, live music, contests, DJs and reggae bands to set the mood for you to dance the night away!

7 Rossi's Italian Restaurant
For a more sophisticated night on the town, head to Rossi's Italian Restaurant. After eating a mouth-watering dinner, you'll step into the 88s Piano Bar where you can enjoy the live entertainment until 2am. Select a drink from their exceptional wine list and indulge in a creation from the decadent dessert menu!
8 Karma Teen Nightlife
Founded in 2006, Karma provides 13-19 year olds with a safe, fun nightlife venue. Teens dance on the 5,000 sq ft floor to tunes spun by the DJ while music videos play on large screens across the room. As of 2012, Karma is also featuring a brand new light and sound show to create the ultimate teen nightlife experience!

Go let your hair down and have a great time! And remember- if you need any additional entertainment information, be sure to stop at the Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor, South Carolina on your way to Myrtle Beach.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Premier Partner Highlight: Mykonos

As a top vacation destination, Myrtle Beach offers dozens of fantastic dining options featuring cuisine from around the world. Visitors can choose from a wide variety of  restaurants- Seafood, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese and more! As of January 2011, one of the area's newest additions brings authentic Greek, Italian and Continental food to the Carolina coast- Mykonos!

Mykono's expansive menu is packed full of the most popular Mediterranean dishes and flavors. Appetizers include traditional hummus, calamari, spanakopita and dolmades. Fresh Greek and Caesar salads are featured on the menu, or, for a unique Greek experience, try the Grilled Octopus salad! You'll have a tough time choosing between the many delicious entrees offered by this exceptional restaurant. Pasta, vegetarian, chicken, seafood, lamb and steak dishes are cooked and flavored to Mediterranean perfection. Whether you select a lamb gyro or the catch of the day, you're in for a mouth-watering feast. Mykonos also features an impressive list of fine wines to accompany your meal, so be sure to ask your waiter which of the authentic, top-selling Greek selections will best compliment your entree.These courses will fill you up quickly, but save room for dessert! The honey laced Baklava a la mode, Ryzogalo (homemade Greek rice pudding), and award winning cheesecake are well worth the extra calories.This family-friendly restaurant includes a $5.95 kids menu that your little ones will love!

If you're trying to catch a show, stop in for Early Bird dining from 3:00 - 5:30pm. The Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center can provide you with coupons including two for one Early Bird entrees!

Every Sunday from 11:30am - 3:00pm, Mykonos also offers a mouth-watering brunch menu with carving stations, Belgian waffles, a 20 item buffet and fresh desserts. Adults eat for $17.95, while children 6 and under are free!

If you're looking for a place to relax and enjoy a fun evening out, be sure to stop by for Happy Hour. Taking place Monday through Friday from 4:30 - 7:30pm, Happy Hour offers premium, top-shelf beverages for $3.75 and two for one appetizers. And, beginning September 18th, Mykonos will offer an evening full of entertainment every Saturday at 10:00pm featuring a DJ, dancing, light show, and go-go dancers. Be sure to check their schedule for special events featuring live entertainment!

If you're seeking a first-rate dining experience, look no further than Mykonos. Whether you're looking for quiet dining or bringing a large group, Mykonos provides the perfect setting. Be sure to stop by the Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor, SC for additional information and coupons!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Days and Giveaways

This summer, The Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center is offering visitors the chance to win amazing WeeklyMonthly and Grand Prize Giveaways!

Conveniently located off Highway 501 in Aynor, South Carolina, stop in and register to win...

Weekly Giveaway: 3 Day, 2 Night Mini-Vacation in Beautiful Myrtle Beach
Monthly Giveaway: 50” Flat Screen TV

Grand-Prize Giveaway: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee –Drawn November 2012

Congratulations to July's Winners!

Weekly Winners:

Mr. & Mrs. Adams, Aberdeen, MD
Mr. & Mrs. Lewis, Wellsburg, WV
Mr. & Mrs. Robinson, Martin, KY
Mr. & Mrs. Jackson, Fisher, IL

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Spend a Rainy Day on the Grand Strand

For most vacationers, the biggest draw to the Grand Strand is 60 miles of sunny coastline. But what do you do when you wake up on a planned beach day to the sounds of rolling thunder? The appearance of threatening, dark clouds can be quite a disappointment. Fortunately, some of Myrtle Beach's best attractions and entertainment provide a fun-filled day while keeping you dry!


Professor Wonder and his team were attempting to create a contained man-made tornado at their lab in the Bermuda Triangle. When the scientists lost control of the experiment, the vortex lifted the laboratory and carried it all the way to Myrtle Beach where it landed, upside down, on top of a crab shack. Happily, none of the other experiments were damaged in the storm- which means they are available for us to enjoy! The dozens of interactive activities in this indoor amusement park include the Extreme 360° Bike, laying on a bed of nails, a variety of virtual sports, the bubble lab, laser tag and roller-coasters simulators! To learn while you have fun, stop by and feel how cold the water was the night the Titanic sank, experience a Category 1 hurricane simulator, learn about natural disasters and play a round of mind ball. You'll cap off hours of fun with the 3 story indoor ropes course located at the top of the building!

This is South Carolina's most visited attraction- and you'll see why! Get a close look at some of the ocean's most dangerous predators as you travel through the tunnel on the 340ft long moving glidepath. Dozens of sharks, sawfish, snappers, sea turtles, and a wide variety of fish cruise the waters, coming shockingly close to the glass! For the remainder of your visit, you'll be able to observe dozens of smaller tanks featuring jelly fish, a Pacific Giant Octopus, corals, tropical fish, piranhas, poison dart frogs and more. If you're feeling brave, you'll also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pet stingrays and horseshoe crabs. And, of course, you won't want to miss the seasonal mermaid dive show!

Additional Ripley's Locations

Ripley's has brought several popular attractions to the Myrtle Beach area. The Believe It or Not Museum provides "weird, wild, wacky fun" with 500 oddity exhibits including a genuine shrunken head, a transformer, a model of the world's tallest man and a stuffed 6-legged cow. Or head to Ripley's Haunted Adventure and get spooked by live actors, animatronics and special effects in their 3 story live-action haunted house (not for the faint of heart). Try your navigation skills at Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze, where hundreds of mirrors reflect dozens of pathways to throw you off course. Lastly, visit Ripley's Moving Theater, offering a 5D moving experience that includes surround sound, special effects, 3D imaging, and even smell!

Voted the best entertainment in Myrtle Beach for 26 years running, the Carolina Opry features two hours of singing, dancing, live music, clogging and comedy by a talented crew. The title Carolina Opry show includes a wide assortment of music genres including rock 'n roll, country, Broadway, pop and gospel. The Good Vibrations show takes you on a musical tour of your favorite hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Shows run Monday through Saturday at 7:30pm. Be sure to check their schedule, as they also offer varying matinees!

The Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre seasonally brings several different shows to the Myrtle Beach area. Their current production is Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline, a jaw-dropping performance featuring dangerous and thrilling acts of athleticism. You'll be endlessly entertained by contortionists, tumblers, aerial acts and clowns. The grand finale comes in the form of the Globe of Death, in which 3 daredevils ride motor bikes upside down in a 16 ft globe, narrowly missing each other in the process. Performances are every night at 7:30pm with matinee performances on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each night at 5:30, The Palace also presents Rock Around the Clock featuring favorites from the 50's, complete with poodle skirts! For a of couple hours, relive the good old days and boogie in your seat with this nostalgic show. Performances are held Monday through Friday at 5:30pm.

Other Shows

There are a variety of shows across the Grand Strand to suit every taste and preference! Experience the world's greatest live tribute show, Legends, honoring your favorite celebrities with uncanny look-and-sound-alikes. Travel back in time to cheer on 14th century knights in their sword and jousting competitions, all while savoring a four course banquet at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Enjoy singing, dancing, comedy and amazing costumes with a variety of music genres at Alabama Theatre's The One show. Finally, you can set sail with Pirates Voyage, where you'll watch the Crimson and Sapphire pirates battle each other on deck and in the water with breath-taking acrobatics, dives, live animals and sword fighting. They'll even treat you to a mouth-watering pirate feast.

If the rain puts a damper on your outdoor plans, head to one of these fun-filled attractions. Remember to purchase your tickets at the Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor, South Carolina to receive fabulous discounts. By the end of the day, you may even be glad it stormed!