LG Guide to Myrtle Beach

Adventure Travel, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Spa & Beauty — By on May 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm
By Kristen Putch
LG North American Travel Editor

I’ll admit: I’m very skeptical of beach towns. While I love the ocean and the beach itself, the surrounding areas tend to be overrun with souvenir shops and arcades. So when I was invited to visit Myrtle Beach back in June, I expected nothing more than a tourist area lacking local and regional charm.

I was wrong.

Sure, Myrtle Beach has its ‘tourist’ parts, specifically near the boardwalk, but it extends far beyond that, offering something for everyone who looking for a good, relaxing vacation. It’s a great spot to getaway with your best girlfriends to shop, indulge, and relax.

*****

Take it to the Skies

It’s always fun to look at a new location from different angles… like the from the sky! Myrtle beach offers a lot of fun ways to get some ‘air’ time with your girlfriends and take in a much different view.

Parasailing
I had the opportunity to try parasailing in MB – something I have always wanted to do! At Downwind Sails, you can float above the ocean and get a great view of the coastline for 15-20 minutes. Pulled by a speed boat, you’re attached to a parachute which lifts you up into the air. Once you’re airborne, you can simply sit back, and take in the fantastic scenery. The parasails can hold up to 3 people at a time. The only obstacle is getting to the boat… parasailers are transported to the boats via jet skis pulling a raft. But to be honest, the ride out is kind of fun!

Helicopter Rides
Another great way to view the coastline from the sky is by helicopter. At Huffman Helicopters, for as little as $20, you and two of your girlfriends can fly over part of the 60-mile coastline. Rides go anywhere from 2 to 57 miles cruising at an altitude of 700 feet.

*****

Get a Rub Down
One of the best parts of a girls getaway, is the opportunity to indulge in some much-needed spa treatments. MB offers a lot of great spa options. Some hotels even offer on-site spa services for their guests.

Spas
Cinzia Spa at North Beach Plantation
The first of it’s kind in the Myrtle Beach area.  The 17,000-square-foot, brand new facility opened in March 2009, and houses three components to achieve optimal health, fitness and well-being: pampering treatments and rituals, a Med Spa wellness center with a variety of integrative medical and holistic services, and Beach Fit fitness center with a team of personal trainers and contemporary classes.

Her Body & Soul
Her Body & Soul is truly a luxurious sanctuary and pure indulgence for the mind, body and soul.  Featuring traditional customized treatments, a relaxation room, body wraps and body polishes under a specially designed Vichy shower. Your body will thank you.

Hotels with Spas
It’s not a surprise that hotels which offer spa services have a leg up on their competition. MB has only a handful of hotels which offer such luxury on-site, but those which do give their guests the convenience of indulgent massages or facials  just steps from their rooms.

Hampton Inn and Suites Oceanfront Resort
Don’t be fooled by chain hotels on the beach. The Hampton was decorated in full beach decor with an airy, relaxing feel. It also recently added on the Sanctuary Spa to offering their guests one of the only hotels on the beach with an on site spa. Although it is still new (it opened in May), it still offers a fairly complete list of services, including massages and facials. The massage rooms are at beach level, so you can take in a spectacular view before your treatments. (I recommend the sacred stone massage – it’s so invigorating!) For more information on treatments, you can contact the hotel directly.

The Hibiscus Spa at Marriott at Grande Dunes
As part of a beachfront retreat within the Marriott at Grand Dunes resort, The Hibiscus Spa offers everything from an aromatherapy massage, the unique Hibiscus Flower Peel, or a simple pedicure. It’s also a great option if you are looking for a facial tailored to you, as the spa offers over 10 different facial options allowing you to find exactly what will meet your skincare needs.

*****

Searching for a Deal
Checking out local shopping scene is always one of my favorite parts of traveling. Finding unique, local boutiques with one-of-a-kind items are always the best souvenirs.

Broadway at the Beach
This popular tourist area, home to several restaurants and attractions, it also houses more than 100 boutiques with apparel, artwork, jewelry and one-of-a-kind items. It is also home to one of my favorite finds of the trip: Bijuju – a fantastically cheap accessories boutique. I found a great purse and a brightly colored watch, which is now glued to my wrist, all for a steal.

The Market Common
The urban development located west of the beach is home to 50 stores with a mix of chains, such as Anthropologie and Barnes and Noble, along side local boutiques which offer apparel, jewelry and other goodies. There are also a number of great restaurants, a movie theater and even a spa in this widespread complex. Even if you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, it is a great spot to just take a stroll (and maybe do a little window shopping). If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, chances are you don’t actually need it.

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    5 Comments

  • Lizzie Lucas says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the scepticism about beach towns, and it’s so true that more people should try avoiding the busy shops in over-crowded tourist areas and focus more on discovering local boutiques to bring home a truly special souvenir. Myrtle Beach sounds great and I look forward to checking it out at some point.

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