Myrtle Beach Offers Ideal Playground for a Romantic Date

By Terry Massey, Myrtle Beach Local Expert

Romance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. One man's dream date is another woman's nightmare.

For some, a romantic date is an evening stroll on the beach. For others, it's a night out on the town. And for more sporting couples, it's a day out in nature or on the golf course. Regardless of your preference, Myrtle Beach can accommodate the desires of all kinds of couples.

Perhaps the most romantic spot on the Grand Strand is actually 190 feet above ground on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, the centerpiece of the Boardwalk's downtown district. The modernized ferris wheel has become a popular place for suitors to pop the question, and the ocean air isn't the only thing fogging up the windows of the enclosed gondolas.

Entertainment centers like Broadway at the Beach and Market Common are solid choices because of the variety of options. Fine dining, dancing, music and more are within walking distance and the oceanfront hotel is only a short cab ride away.

But for the adventurous, the Grand Strand offers fun for couples in the great outdoors. Take a tandem parasailing ride, explore the artistic beauty of Brookgreen Gardens or take a tour of La Belle Amie Vineyard. Myrtle Beach has something to offer for couples of all tastes.

 

10. Hobcaw Barony

In 1718, King George II granted a barony (12,000 acres of land) here to John Lord Carteret, who remained the owner until 1730. Since then, the land has had various owners and uses, giving it quite an interesting pedigree. Today it's a 17,500 acre wildlife refuge used for college-level research. Criss-crossed by over 100 miles of dirt roads, the property is easy to get lost on, so the only way to see it is via a guided tour, a fascinating outing that appeals to both history and nature buffs. Located about 1 mile north of Georgetown and 35 miles south of Myrtle Beach.

9. Barefoot Landing

This multi-purpose complex offers the best in entertainment, dining and shopping in one scenic location on the Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach. The House of Blues, Alabama Theater and Alligator Adventure are among the fun stops along the way through the maze of unique restaurants and shops. Located across the Waterway from Barefoot Resort, Barefoot Landing is a great place to unwind after a day on the links. Visitors also can take a relaxing cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway aboard the Barefoot Princess, or take one of the haunted walking tours that introduce guests to some of the Grand Strand's scariest ghost legends.

8. Caledonia Golf & Fish Club
Photo courtesy of Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Experience championship golf in a Lowcountry setting at this former rice plantation that has been converted into a golf masterpiece. Now for presenting golfers with a stiff challenge in a beautiful setting, Caledonia is as prestigious a public course as you'll find in the Myrtle Beach area, and it continues to receive award after award each year for its layout, location, scenery and service. Centered on a lovely antebellum-styled clubhouse, the rolling course is flanked by pines and hardwood forests and natural water hazards of salt marshes and tidal creeks. Even the most accurate hitters have trouble with the strategically placed sand traps and bunkers.

7. Atalaya Castle in the Sand
Photo courtesy of South Carolina State Parks

Located inside pristine Huntington Beach State Park, this grand home of Archer and Anna Huntington was built in 1931 in the style of the same-named Spanish castle/Moorish fort. Self-guided tours of the grounds are available daily and free of charge with park admission. Stroll the brick-lined hallways and enjoy the beach view from the iron-rod hurricane windows. The interior of the castle features a courtyard filled with wildflowers and palmetto trees, creating a lovely place for weddings and special events. The beach is only a short walk through the sand dunes and sea oats so visitors can explore while taking a break from a day on the beach.

6. Captain Dick's
Photo courtesy of Captain Dick's

Experience the thrill of flight high above the Atlantic Ocean with a parasailing adventure at Captain Dick's. Go solo or ride tandem with a friend as you are strapped into a safety harness that's attached to a parachute, which lifts you off the back of the boat and into the sky for a wonderful thrill and view. Boat rentals, jet ski and wave runner rentals, saltwater marsh exploring adventures, cruisin' the beach trips, dolphin sightseeing cruises, pirate adventure voyages, marina and bottom fishing, gamefish trolling and charter fishing are also available. Prices, dates and times vary by the season, so call ahead for details.

5. La Belle Amie Vineyard

La Belle Amie makes wonderful traditional Southern muscadine wines from grapes grown in their own vineyards; they also import specially blended wines from family-run wineries in France. Several lively events are offered every year, from charity functions to music festivals, including the very popular Parrot Had festivals in February and July. Tours of the scenic property are available, and the tasting room offers five samples for $5, which includes a souvenir wine glass. After you've tried several, choosing what to purchase in the gift shop should be a little easier. Hours vary slightly from season to season, so call ahead to verify.

4. Broadway at the Beach

This multi-purpose complex is home to some of the best entertainment, dining and shopping on the Grand Strand. Featuring top attractions, such as Wonder Works and Ripley's Aquarium, Broadway features hundreds of business surrounding a large lake. Check out the nightlife at a dozen clubs in Celebrity Square, dine at some of the best restaurants in town and shop at major national outlets and locally owned stores. Broadway at the Beach also hosts special events that attract millions to this popular venue annually. The surrounding area also is surrounded by other theaters and entertainment venues that allow you to park once and play all day.

3. The Market Common, Myrtle Beach

This new multi-purpose complex brings the feel of an upscale, urban shopping district to the Grand Strand. Featuring dozens of entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities, Market Common offers national outlets that can't be found anywhere else in South Carolina. Dine at P.F. Chang's or Tommy Bahama's, shop at Orvis or Coldwater Creek, catch a movie or some fireworks - all in one truly unique location. Market Common is a great place to stroll and window shop, or catch a movie or an outdoor concert. The district is surrounded by parks and hiking trails, making it a great place to spend an entire day.

2. Brookgreen Gardens
Photo courtesy of Navin75

The beauty of the South Carolina Lowcountry is in full bloom at Brookgreen Gardens, a 9,100-acre property located about 15 miles south of Myrtle Beach. Visitors can stroll through the many sculptures, fountains and flowers and take a break in the shade of giant live oak trees that pre-date the U.S. Constitution. This former rice plantation also features boat rides through the marshes and a zoo featuring alligators, birds and other creatures native to South Carolina. A new butterfly pavilion exhibit allows visitors to get up close and personal with various species of butterflies. This is Lowcountry nature at its best.

1. Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade
Photo courtesy of Discover South Carolina

The downtown district has been revitalized by this new attraction, highlighted by the 190-foot SkyWheel that lights up the Myrtle Beach skyline. The largest ferris wheel on the East Coast offers scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the entire Grand Strand, but it's the area right around the SkyWheel that shines the most. A 1.2-mile wooden walkway spans the beachfront on one side and open-air cafes and shops on the other. Left abandoned when the Pavilion closed in 2006, the downtown area is back and better than ever thanks to the new Boardwalk. It's a great place to stroll or to rock 'n' roll.