This Thanksgiving, we decided we all needed to get away for a few days together. Things had been so busy and so crazy and so “life” that taking a deep breath, removing distractions and having some fun together was just what our family needed. So when Vacation Myrtle Beach offered to host us, we first thought, why would we want to come to Myrtle Beach in the off-season? I mean, it’s November and it’s the beach! But, we quickly realized why it was a great vacation spot for our family.
These all fall under the “it’s the off-season, so there are less people” but let’s look into it a little deeper.
Thanks to Vacation Myrtle Beach for hosting our family and several restaurants providings meals and/or discounts.
1. Heated pools and lazy rivers
It’s no secret that Myrtle Beach in November has cooler temperatures than in the summertime, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the water. At our hotel of choice, Landmark Resort, there is an entire indoor pool area with a lazy river, hot tubs and a heated pool. Our kids LOVED it! As a bonus, we didn’t have to apply, and re-apply and re-apply sunblock on our fair-skinned kiddos. I’ll take it!
Just like The Landmark Resort, the other hotels and resorts that make up Vacation Myrtle Beach have similar features like indoor bowling and heated pools.
2. Right near da beach
Even if it’s too cool for a full beach day, there is still something magical about the ocean in any season. The whole family was excited to get our toes in the water and sand, and smell that great sea breeze. As you can see, our resort was, “Right near da beach…”, as I date myself with a Half-Baked reference. Plus, when it’s off-season, the whole beach is yours to explore. We came across a few folks walking the sand, but not many.
It was our first time at Myrtle Beach, and I was impressed by the nice shells, the clean sand and a beach amazingly free of seaweed. Our two oldest kids really enjoyed searching for shells and comparing each other’s finds. You can see our hotel in the background here.
We became increasingly brave with venturing into the ocean to enjoy the waves, resulting in some wet clothes and really cold feet. But, we were so close to our hotel that it was easy to rinse of our feet and get right into the heated pool area.
You’ve gotta have a place to rest your head, but when you’re this close to pools, beach and many other attractions, you need a spot to rest, then launch into your daily adventures. When it’s off-season, you can really find some great deals, even on properties directly on the water.
We chose Landmark Resort for the great indoor pool/lazy river area, proximity to the beach and its beach-view balconies.
What was great about the room is they feature a kitchen which allowed us to grab some food and store it in the room. Our room, as did many others slept 6 people which meant we didn’t have to get two reservations. The kids slept in the bedroom portion of our “room” and Mr. Serious and I slept on the Murphy bed in the living room.
4. The Entertainment
Myrtle Beach has really stepped up its “off-beach” entertainment game with the impressive Broadway at the Beach entertainment district. Ok, I know the word “beach” is in the name, but it’s not on the beach, and that’s ok. It’s only a few miles away, and there’s tons of free parking.
I think the best way to describe Broadway at the Beach is that it’s every indoor/outdoor activity you could hope to find in a beach resort town, all placed conveniently within walking distance of free parking. Plus, there is also great shopping, restaurants and even a fenced in playscape area. You could spend a whole day here, or more.
We chose to visit Ripley’s Aquarium and WonderWorks as both are fun for kids and adults alike.
Since we visited during Thanksgiving break, the Christmas and Holiday decorations were in full effect. Ripley’s Aquarium really went all out with a big Christmas tree out front.
The Ripley’s Aquarium had a fun “festival of trees” scavenger hunt, in which you tried to find 50 different trees with facts and information from all 50 states.
As Atlanta residents, we’ve seen big aquariums, but Ripley’s takes a different angle on aquarium entertainment with more interactive exhibits, touching pools and some “gross” exhibits, which our kids enjoyed.
We learned about urine shooting from crustaceans, and frogs that suffocate on their food.
We touched jellyfish and saw jellyfish that just sit upside-town. The ocean is full of mystery.
We didn’t really know what to expect at WonderWorks. I had seen the strange, upside-down building of the location in Pigeon Forge, TN in the past. We were so pleasantly surprised with how fun and engaging the exhibits were, and the variety is sure to please kids and adults of all different interests.
Science enthusiasts, sports fans, thrill seekers and history buffs will all find exhibits to pique their curiosity and stimulate their brain.
With the reduced, off-season crowd, you can really explore the exhibits and attractions at your pace. You could easily spend a day here.
Don’t pass up the LazerTag and the ropes course.
Feeding the family on vacation can be a challenge, but Myrtle Beach is up to it. During the off-season, you will find there are restaurants that are closed, but there are many more open, from local restaurants to favorite chains, you are sure to find something for every appetite.
Don’t overlook the hotel restaurants. It’s easy to get to them and transition the day and you won’t have to worry about moving your car. We enjoyed two breakfasts at The Gazebo that were made quickly, and were very tasty.
The Chemist was a restaurant I had to check out just because of the name alone. They feature craft cocktails and modern cuisine.
Their seasonal sangria was very tasty. Typically they have dry ice drinks and master mixology. Unfortunately, they were all out of dry ice, so we didn’t get to try one this time.
The Fowler Dining Room
The Fowler Dining Room is a student-operated dining room that provides training in a real restaurant operation, in areas such as fine dining, buffet and café service. It is located right inside the same building where classes and exams take place. You can even look in on them before or after your meal.
Menus are created using a wide range of cooking techniques focusing on taste, texture, color and creativity using locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood, cheese, and eggs. Reservations are strongly recommended, but everything is more than affordable. Do plan on lunch taking 1.5-2 hours.
Your meal will start with a complimentary Charcuterie and Cheese platter.
You will then order a la carte from the menu, or choose a starter (like a flat bread or salad), an entree and a dessert for a very low price.
They didn’t have a kids menu, but the children found something they would all enjoy.
We were only in Myrtle Beach for 2 full days. We fit a lot in, and there was still so much more to do, even in the off-season. Definitely consider it for a nice, affordable beach vacation.