I hope everyone had happy and healthy holidays!
I apologize to everyone – I’ve neglected my blog for awhile. It’s been a very busy time of year – plus I took a much needed vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC.
Many people have asked, “Why on earth did you go to Myrtle Beach in December?” and “Is there anything vegans can eat in Myrtle Beach?”
I’ll answer both of those questions!
First things first, why on earth did I go to Myrtle Beach in December?
Myrtle Beach is a short trip from Charlotte – about 4 hours and one tank of gas. Take some back roads, and it’s also an overall pleasant drive.
Myrtle Beach hotel rooms are seriously cheap in the winter. An ocean-front (not an ocean-view, but an ocean-front) hotel room at an upscale hotel could easily cost $250 per night in the summer. In the winter, you can score that same room for $50.
We stayed at the Red Roof Inn (2801 South Kings Highway) because it’s pet friendly. Not only is one small pet allowed with no deposit or extra charge, but everyone – from the hotel check-in clerk to the housekeepers – appeared to really like dogs. It’s also conveniently located and a short, 2-block walk to the beach. Highly recommend if you have pets.
Myrtle Beach weather is still pleasant this time of year – a few degrees warmer than Charlotte. I wore a Columbia fleece layered over a T-shirt, and that got me through the days.
Myrtle Beach WELCOMES your four-legged friend – in the off-season. Dogs are allowed in state parks, on the beach, on the boardwalks – everywhere except inside restaurants and on piers. (In peak season, dogs are only allowed on the beach before 10:00 AM and after 5:00 PM – and yes, this is enforced by police.)
There’s still plenty to do. Smaller shops and a few attractions (such as the amusement park) are closed, and yes, it’s a bit chilly for swimming or sunbathing. (I did see lots of surfers, though.) But there’s still the ocean, state parks, golf, destination shopping, a wax museum, the Ripley attractions (museum, mirror maze, aquarium, 5D theatre where real snow is actually blown on you by a snow machine while you are watching the movie), and tons of shows.
Frugal tip: We stopped at a Welcome Center and were offered free tickets to our choice of shows, as well as $50 to spend if we attended a timeshare meeting. We didn’t participate because we had other things planned for our time. Plus the shows skewed toward the retirement crowd – Grand Ole Opry Christmas Show, Jersey Nights featuring the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Even Legends dropped their lineup of current stars to reach into the vault for a Christmas show with the Rat Pack (yeah, I didn’t know who they were, either) and Marilyn Monroe. Still, this could be a good deal for some – as long as you don’t buy the timeshare!
Whatever you decide to do, crowds are small, lines are short, and parking is plentiful. And free. Yes, you can ignore all those pesky little parking meters in the winter!
Also, many activities are discounted during the winter. Check the Welcome Centers and the lobby of your hotel for coupon books. There are also many unadvertised specials – such as for helicopter rides.
As for restaurants – wow, I can remember visiting Myrtle Beach in the winter with my mom years and years ago, when our only restaurant choices seemed to be the Sea Captain’s House and Outback. (Obviously, this was back in my omnivore days.)
Today omnivores, vegetarians, and reducetarians have lots of choices.
Vegans? Eh, not so much. Still, there are a few. In my next post I’ll tell you about a place every vegan should have on their Myrtle Beach bucket list. And in the next, I’ll tell you about the other vegan options I discovered.