Myrtle Beach, SC - The Grand Strand - Vacation Travel Guide

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Myrtle Beach Area Features

Make a Splash in Myrtle Beach!

  By: Jacquelyn Eurice

People visit Myrtle Beach for a variety of reasons—championship golf courses, fantastic cuisine, unique places to visit and most importantly, the nearby bodies of water. Of course, splashing around in the ocean, local rivers and regional bays is the main reason millions of people visit the Grand Strand each year. There’s so much to do and so much fun to be had in the water while bonding with family members. Visitors can try a new watersport, body-surf the waves or maybe get lucky catching the evening’s dinner. So go ahead and get wet. Make a splash in Myrtle Beach!

Boating

Boating is perhaps the most luxurious way to enjoy the water. For a relaxing and enjoyable tour, reserve a seat aboard a boat operated by Waccamaw River Tours.  Explore the beauty of nature while cruising through a wildlife preserve down the Intracoastal Waterway. Glimpse alligators and great egrets while on a wine or breakfast cruise.

Enjoy a perfect day on the water while gaining a vast amount of insight into the region with Cap’n Rod’s Shell Island Lighthouse & Plantation Tours. Choose either the 4-hour Shell Island Lighthouse Tour where you’ll have the opportunity to stroll on an unspoiled beach, or the 3-hour Plantation Tour past abandoned rice fields and historic plantations. Both tours offer beautiful scenery and the chance to witness local wildlife in their natural habitats.

Fishing

For those who believe they can’t be on a boat without a fishing pole in their hands, two great companies offer full and half-day fishing trips. Hurricane Fleet Fishing in the quaint nearby town of Calabash and Voyager Deep Sea Fishing in North Myrtle Beach will take you offshore into the Gulf Stream for an all-day fishing experience of a lifetime. Wahoo, snapper, tuna, mahi and sportfish like marlin and sailfish are just a few that you might catch. The best part is, you don’t need any equipment or experience. These companies provide bait, tackle, rod, reel and expertise. Bringing others along with you? Make it a party and book a chartered excursion for your friends. Both companies offer various vessels to choose from depending on the number of people in your group. They also offer inshore fishing expeditions and (non-fishing) dolphin cruises for those who prefer to witness the ocean’s creatures. Visit their websites to choose your ideal trip but be sure to book in advance as these trips fill up quickly. Good luck hooking the big one!

Dolphin Tours

Dolphins naturally intrigue us. Their intelligence, communication styles and playful antics have endeared them to many, and the love for these mammals continues to grow. That’s why dolphin boat tours have become so popular in Myrtle Beach.

There are approximately 40 different species of dolphin including the orca or killer whale and the most commonly seen in Myrtle Beach, the bottlenose. Dolphins are highly intelligent—one of only a few species that can identify themselves in a mirror and strategize hunting techniques. They communicate by using a clicking and whistling “language” that is generated through their blowhole. The sounds vary with each individual and the pitch differs based on the message. They can be taught complex tricks and have a natural curiosity. Dolphins seemingly investigate us while we’re watching them.

For those hoping to get a closer look at these beautiful creatures, many fishing boat companies including Hurricane Fleet Fishing and Voyager Deep Sea Fishing can accommodate you on a tour. Reservations are recommended because of the popularity of these excursions.

Exercise

It’s possible to get some exercise while having a ton of fun on the water with Great Escapes Kayaking & Paddleboards. Nature lovers can take a guided tour either by kayak or paddleboard down the Waccamaw River to see wildlife such as otters, deer and birds as well as native plants including the bald cypress and the rare Atlantic white cedar. The 4-hour Waites Island tour offers shelling, swimming and the opportunity to see dolphins, an array of birds, and turtles. You can also explore on your own by renting a paddleboard or kayak.

Adventure

Adventurers don’t have to travel far to find ­excitement at new heights or thrilling speeds.

Ocean Watersports is your ticket to adrenalized water ­activities. Whether your group likes to bounce over waves on a speedy banana boat ride or you prefer to race through the ocean on a solo jet ski, they have you covered. They also offer parasailing for those looking to see the Myrtle Beach oceanfront from a different (and higher) perspective.

The newly opened Shark Wake Park lets people of every ability try wakeboarding. With the help of a cabled pulley system, you can try new tricks and stunts as you are guided around a lake that is equipped with ramps and rails. It's the newest watersport!

Myrtle Beach has countless ways to have fun on the water. Find your new passion—and dive right in!

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